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Left 4 Dead 2 Review

 

The original Left 4 Dead was a smash hit on Xbox 360 and PC. Zombie killing had never been so fun and frantic until Valve’s co-op  masterpiece. However, when Left 4 Dead 2 was announced shortly after, suffice to say, fans were not pleased. The big question was, what would we be getting, a couple of new maps and zombies,  or a grand improvement on the already stellar system?

 

The New Crew

Left 4 Dead 2 takes place right before the infection hits critical mass,  instead opting for the locale of Savannah, Georgia, instead of wherever the hell Left 4 Dead 1 took place. There isn’t much in the name of the story department, however that isn’t much of a complaint. Though there are a few instances of something dark in the air(Dead bodies that clearly were not infected), it basically comes down to “Get to Point B from Point A, Don’t die along the way.” The bridge finale near the end stands out, but I won’t spoil it for you.

 

There are a total of 5 campaigns, plus DLC. At most, they all take an hour or so to complete, but they’re still fun and varied enough that you can replay each of them and enjoy it time and time again. Of course, “playing” is a tenative term here, because that’s probably all you’ll be doing on the higher difficulty is playing and dying. Word of advice, avoid the expert campaigns when playing with bots.With only one throwable item(pipe bomb, boomer bile, etc.), the challenge is amped considerably.

Jockey, or Late-Night 7-11 Consumer?

Versus has without a doubt benefitted the most. Instead of four, the number of special infected has been bumped up to seven, giving more variety. The new specials are the Jockey, a small but fast infected who jumps on your head and rides you off of cliffs( just like marriage); the Spitter, which spits acidic goo onto your persons; and the Charger, which shoulder charges you into a wall, then chokeslam’s you until you’re a pile of meat pudding.

These three make for definite good times. You haven’t lived until you’ve puked on a survivor being strangled to death, jumped on someone’s head while they’re trying to heal, or rammed an entire survivor group apart like a goddamn zombie bowling ball. God, in literally any other context, all of those things would make me a terrible person.

Moving on, the new special infected can be used in Versus, Realism Versus, and my personal favorite, Scavenge. In Scavenge, the goal is to grab several gas cans scattered throughout and pour them into a generator, while avoiding the special infected. It goes without saying, it’s an absolute riot. Frantically pouring gas, praying that it will fill before the hunter you just know is around the corner pounces, or grabbing someone’s head as a Jockey during overtime, causing the round-winning gas can drop; The cheers and/or boos will keep you pouring long into the night.

Unfortunately, to fully enjoy this, you have to, y’know, stay in the game. Not in Left 4 Dead 2. It has, flat-out, the finickiest community of players I have ever seen. I’ve joined games and played for a grand total of 30 seconds before being booted back to the main menu. You can, and will, be kicked out of games, without warning and/or cause. My advice to you is find a circle of friends to play with ASAP, because it’s no fun getting kicked out in the middle of the game.

Once you do so, you’ll love every minute of it, I assure you. Another big thing is stay in your skill level. If you can’t finish Dead Center on advanced, don’t you dare bring your ass to Hard Rain on expert, because your just impairing everyone else who actually knows what they’re doing. Its sounds kind of dickish, but its the truth.

 

Left 4 Dead 2 is an excellent game. Not a perfect one, by any means, but still worth your time.  If you can get past the brutal difficulty and getting kicked from your first few matches, you won’t find an experience like it.

9.5 annoying people out of 10

Notice: This review is for the 360 version only.

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