7 Aug

Left 4 Dead 2

Filed under: PC Games No Responses

The Dark Carnival campaign takes you through an amusement park. Too bad you can’t actually ride a coaster.

I finished up Left 4 Dead 2 earlier this week. It’s very much a case of more of the same, so there’s not much to say about it. I even remember how upset many fans were when Valve announced a sequel so soon after releasing the first one. Some thoughts:

  • It’s prettier than the first one, but the difference isn’t huge. I tend to dislike the visuals of games that use the Source engine anyway. They look way too crisp and clean. I very much prefer more organic looking games, such as those made with the Gamebryo engine. One thing that stands out in this one is that many levels now take place in bright sunlight, which helps make it look very different from its predecessor.
  • This one not only has more campaigns that the first one but they’re also quite a bit harder than the first one, so it takes more time to play through one. Successfully completing them the first time at normal difficulty is no longer a given. Some of the new crescendo events and finales are now quite difficult to do with only AI team mates because they’re not smart enough to pick things up. The new Charger Special Infected is extremely annoying to me. The AI seems to be able to kill him really fast but he manages to surprise me almost every time. But don’t get me wrong. Harder is definitely better.
  • Once again, I was disappointed that the storytelling is sparse. Meeting up with the old crew again in the Passing campaign was fantastic, but I’d have loved more solid information of what they’d been up to instead of just hints. And I thought it was interesting that at the end of The Parish the military is evacuating all survivors to cruisers out at sea but I need more! Come on, I need some closure here.
  • I thought the locales in this one were overall more varied and interesting than the first one, but there were still missed opportunities. I really wanted to be able to actually ride in a roller coaster and shoot zombies at the same time like in the Zombieland movie. The idea of making your way through a level in Hard Rain and then come back through the same area but having it being flooded was fantastic. And of course, having a level set in a shopping mall was obligatory. I very much wanted to be placed on the roof and try to defend it against hordes of zombies in that one though.
  • There are a lot more weapons in this one. I was surprised at how few weapons there were in Left 4 Dead at first but then I realized that it gave each weapon a very distinctive character and made choosing the right one for the right situation very critical. Weapons are still organized according to the same different classes in the second game but there are now variants within each class as well. While more toys are fun and the aesthetic diversity is something I appreciate as well, I feel it dilutes the pureness of weapon choices somewhat.
  • Lots of additional game modes but I barely touched them. I was just getting tired of killing zombies and wanted to move on to the next game. I’ll probably keep this on my hd drive for a while and jump in for some quick action from time to time.

The constant downpour in the latter stages of the Hard Rain campaign makes visibility a problem and the speed penalty when moving through water encourages you to keep to the high ground.
Written on August 7 2010 and is filed under PC Games. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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