Left 4 Dead 2

Left 4 Dead 2: The Passing Hands-On Impressions
by Tim Turi on Feb 11, 2010 at 09:37 PM
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Developer: Valve Software
Rating: Mature
Platform: Xbox 360, PC

Valve created some very memorable characters with the cast from the first Left 4 Dead. So much so, that they’re coming back to Left 4 Dead 2’s first DLC expansion, The Passing. Though my hands-on time with the new campaign at X10 didn’t involve reuniting with Bill and company, I did battle through treacherous sewers, encounter a new uncommon common, and play with a nasty new weapon.

The Passing’s second chapter has Coach and the gang navigating their way through a crowded inner city. I was immediately amazed by how divergent the paths become as the map goes on. In one instance I absent-mindedly ascended some scaffolding at a construction site while my teammates traversed the ground below. I suddenly found myself at a vantage point, picking off infected from above to protect my crew. Though all forked paths eventually converge to the same safe room, each unique route offers a subtly new experience that will make replaying The Passing fun.

When we found ourselves picking off zombies in a pool hall, I immediately noticed what looked like an M16 lying on a table. I grabbed it, and much to my surprise and satisfaction I found an M60. If you think an AK-47 with explosive rounds deals gory damage, wait until you get a load of this beast. The high-caliber machine gun absolutely shreds through waves of infected, cutting them in half while sending clouds of red into the air. With its large clip size, high damage factor, and no need to reload the M60 is the best crowd-control weapon in the series so far. Also promised to be included in The Passing is the golf club melee weapon, but I didn’t get the pleasure of swinging away with it.

The Passing also includes a new uncommon common. The fallen survivor is very different from the other unique infected of Left 4 Dead 2. Imagine the most experienced survivalist getting bit and turning into a zombie, but still retaining the instincts that kept them alive for so long. When you encounter a fallen survivor, they immediately flee from you. A zombie running from you isn’t a bad thing, you say? Not when they carry valuables like med-kits and molotovs. This creates an interesting new dynamic where teammates must vocalize that they are going to chase down the rotten loot-bags so they can avoid getting separated. It was satisfying collecting items after hunting down the dodgy ghoul.

Towards the end of the chapter we found ourselves descending into the city’s sewer system. Within, knee-high waste impeded walking and treacherous walkways made for very slow going. Laboriously wading through the murky waters while droves of infected gave chase was an exhilarating feeling. I loved trudging backwards through the muck while defending my team from the horde.

Overall, The Passing is shaping up to be my favorite campaign in the Left 4 Dead series yet, and that’s without even seeing the original cast. Valve was pretty tight-lipped about what will happen when the two foursomes meet up, but rest assured that we will be here to let you know what happens when they do.

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Left 4 Dead 2cover

Left 4 Dead 2

Xbox 360, PC
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