The lights are on
This co-op compelled horror shooter raises Left 4 Dead to an all new level of suspense. The score is as creepy as ever and the atmospheres are both iconic for zombie enthusiasts and creepy to behold. From the darkest of carnivals and the murderous moistness of swamplands all the way up to an action packed bridge run. Left 4 Dead improves on the cooperative oriented gameplay this time around with more weapons, more support items and a slew of new special infected types. Melee weapons are a very welcome addition and after you cut down a horde of horde with a katana, you'll wonder how you ever did without it in the first game. A few new guns like the silenced uzi and some kind of automatic sniper rifle are nice little add-ons too. The support items aren't incredibly varied but their effects are valuable (such as the adrenaline shot to increase your speed even if critically injured or the defibrillator to bring back a dead teammate).
The survivors are an interesting bunch and they have more lines then the old cast had it seems. Eli and Coach are especially endearing. However, it would have at least been nice to be able to select the old characters for nostalgia's sake. It's not like the L4D series rests so heavily on it's story (which is practically non-existent).
New special infected types are probably the best addition to the game. They were sorely needed to balance out the Versus gametype and they do wonders for keeping things fresh. Now not only can the Survivors work together, but the special infected can too. A smoker can ensnare a stray Survivor and then a Spitter can spray him with acid, causing him to melt away while he's being strangled so as not to escape. Meanwhile a charger can bowl over any Survivors who come to try and help.The all new Scavenge game-type is also very fun. It has the allure of Versus play but with a sort of capture-the-many-flags feel to it. The infected of course are trying to prevent the other team from collecting various gas cans scattered around the map, then the sides switch after either all the gas cans have been collected, the Survivors are incapacitated or time expires. It's another nice addition to this shining yet rotting package.
Hardcore gamers will also not be disappointed, as Realism mode brings everything you want from a real-life apocalypse right to your television. There is no HUD for you to see how much ammo you have or what you currently have unequipped, zombies only die with headshots and deal more damage, etc.So Left 4 Dead 2 does delivers everything it promises. Better Apocalypse. But the real question here is couldn't all this have been done through downloadable content in support for the original L4D? While it probably could have been a long term dlc deal, we wouldn't see this much new content all at once, and we wouldn't see the advancement that L4D2 brings at least for another year if it was strung along as just dlc. Whatever your view point is here, if your not playing this game just for that reason, your missing out. Sure, wait for the price to drop, but if you don't play Left 4 Dead 2 you'll be missing out on Armageddon, and who would want to miss that?
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