Left 4 Dead 2  
Left 4 Dead 2
Left 4 Dead 2

Producer: Valve
Release Date: November 17, 2009
Platform: Xbox 360
Rating: Mature
Genre: First Person Shooter
4 stars


It’s A Dead Man’s Party…
Written by William Nadel

Only one year has passed since Valve’s zombie thumping shooter Left 4 Dead hit our sweaty palms and here I’m reviewing its sequel, Left 4 Dead 2. Some have suggested that one year isn’t enough time to develop a quality sequel. After grinding every corner of every level of every mode of every movie while utilizing every melee and projectile weapon and attack upgrade in this game, do I believe that Valve has produced a worthy sequel?

Yes, indeed. For those of you unacquainted with the Left 4 Dead series, it is a continuous zombie massacring mindf*ck. You are one of four Survivors and must play savior to this zombie-laden wasteland. This is a gruesome FPS with the intent of getting your heart pumping while you scurry to save your friends from a nightmarish zombie death buffet. Interested yet? Well you should be, unless you are under the age of 17 or live in Australia.

(Valve butchered the AU version because of strict Aussie game regulations. Boo to Valve for giving in.)

With L4D 2, Valve has improved upon almost every aspect of their first game. There are more modes, scenarios, weapons, new Special Infected zombies, and eerie environments to round out the experience. Players must blast through detailed and varied backdrops in a world gripped by a stunning zombie apocalypse. Xbox Live members can join up in a four player party or fire up split screen co-op in the ever changing Campaign. The Director is the game’s A.I. system that watches your style of play and adapts the gameplay to your needs. If the game is too easy, the Director will spawn hordes of zombies. If your butt cannot help itself from being kicked, the Director will ease up on the zombies and add a splash of health packs or weapons.

Weapons, gore and suspenseful audio are what make a kick ass zombie game and this game has plenty. There are now melee weapons that can replace the pistols. They range from the always hilarious frying pan to the always atrocious chainsaw. My favorite moment was when I threw a vile of Boomer Bile at my feet, summoning untold swarms of evil. Too bad for them I had my Texas chili makin’ chainsaw. At least twenty-seven zombie decapitations occurred within my first burst of the saw. That is why the saw is family. There are plenty of guns, including the new Grenade Launcher. All of the primary weapons can be upgraded with explosive and incendiary ammo. There is a high level of gore in this game and it can be shocking. Shotgunning a zombie in the gut is gross, but it’s another level when the intestines spill out on the floor and are dragged ten feet while he continues to pursue.

The new Realism mode removes visual help and makes zombies more durable, unless you nail a headshot. There is no respawning, but the new Defibrillator can still be used to revive dead buddies. This mode is really fun with a good team. Communication is key with all of the online modes in this game. If you don’t like to use your headset, don’t expect consistent success online in L4D 2. The Versus mode allows four human Survivors to battle through levels with four other humans playing as the Special Infected. There are many levels this time around and that will provide hours of gameplay if you like the thrill of being a zombie. That extends to the enjoyable Scavenge mode, where players attempt to gather and utilize gas canisters while the other team plays as the infected. Survival mode has made it back and it is still as fun and impossible as ever.

If you like a frantic twitch FPS or have ever seen the Evil Dead series, you will really enjoy this title and you’ll be coming back for awhile. Just make sure you bring some worthy partners or it could be tough on the higher difficulties. If you were hoping for a drastic overhaul of the Source engine or the game format, it looks like you’ll have to wait for now. Till then, Happy Hunting!

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