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Thursday, December 16, 2010

Left 4 dead 2

What's more fun that loading a zombie with a buckshot? Loading a zombie with a buckshot while your friends cover you assault rifles, and bludgeon what you miss with a cricket bat!

When valve made Left 4 Dead, their intention was to make a true co op experience. You need your team mates to survive. When you pick up a med kit, you do so knowing you may very well have to use it on one of your partners rather than yourself. The game became very popular both on Xbox and PC, and fans wanted more. Apparently, they didn't want it so soon, though, because many boycotted this sequel.

Left 4 Dead 2 stars an entirely new cast of characters, and includes many updates such as melee weapons and new enemy types. Still, it is the same Left 4 Dead as before. If you loved the first one, you'll love this as well. The new enemy types include the spitter, who will vomit acid in your path and the charger, who will rush you and then proceed to beat you into the ground until you are rescued. Melee weapons range from a frying pan to a chainsaw, and are really satisfying to use.

Left 4 Dead has a governing AI called "The Director". this AI randomly spawns enemies in different areas and in different amounts. It "directs" the action. If things are quiet for too long, chances are, The director has placed a Witch in your path, or is about to bombard you with a wave or zombies. In one campaign called "Hard Rain", the AI can even control the weather, causing a raging thunderstorm at any given moment, blurring your vision an forcing you to seek shelter as the landscape floods. The Director also rewards team work. by sharing pills and healing your team mates, you may be rewarded with more health packs later. Playing selfishly will lead to less items and med kits later, and may lead to hard times.

The voice actors are very convincing, and though some argue the cast is less memorable that the first, I argue the opposite. As before, music and sounds are what warn you of what's ahead. When you hear the witch's crying along with her signature theme, you will instinctively turn your flash light off. When a crescendo event theme begins to play, you will instantly get pumped and huddle with your team mates in preparation for the horde. Other than these even themes, music is pretty much nonexistent.

The graphics are not a huge upgrade from the first L4D, though some environments are much brighter. They are by no means bad or lackluster, they just aren't as good as most games these days. This is a sacrifice that had to be made, however. When you see hundreds of zombies swarming you with little to no lag or slowdown, you will understand.

The game runs on Valve's Source engine, and most of the weapon models are straight from Counter Strike. If you have played any valve game recently, such as Portal or Half Life 2, then you should know what to basically expect in terms of how the game feels.

As stated, this is meant to be a co op experience. you can easily play alone with a computer controlling your partners, but the bots are programmed to do 3 things: follow, heal and kill. I highly recommend playing with other human players.

This game is about $20 new for Xbox 360 owners, or if you're a PC gamer you have truly lucked out as this wonderful game is only $5 on steam.

This is what a zombie game should feel like. You aren't Leon S. Kennedy. You aren't a government agent. you are an average Joe Schmo, and chances are, you're probably going to die. Plus, if you really feel like a challenge, you can turn on realism mode. In this mode, which can be played on any difficulty, head shots are crucial and team work is an absolute must.

The game is still being supported with DLC, and even the first L4D as well. If you own an Xbox 360, or you have Steam, you simply must own L4D or L4D2.

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