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Posted by Brad (3009 posts) -
 Pour that gas. Pour it!
Valve has been making its argument about Left 4 Dead 2 since the game's announcement inflamed the Internet back at E3. You know, the one that goes "there's enough content here to justify selling this as a full sequel and not a downloadable add-on to a game that was kind of thin on content to begin with." Actually, I don't think they've been saying that last part, but nonetheless, I'm finally starting to agree with them after my latest chance to check the game out at a hands-on event.

The focus of that event was the game's new "Scavenge" versus mode. In it, the survivors look for 16 gasoline cans spread around a small level. (It's the zombie apocalypse, man. Gas is life.) You need to gather these cans and bring them back to a generator, and then successfully dump them in (via a progress bar that gets cut short if you take a hit) to extend an extremely short timer. Scavenge rounds start with around one minute on the clock, and every can of gas you deliver adds an additional 20 seconds.

Scavenge is an incredibly fast-paced and potentially short mode. If your team is disorganized and you don't manage to get any gas back in time, well, it lasts about a minute. And since the gas cans are scattered all over the place and you need to split your team up to find them, getting yourself and the gas back to the middle in one piece is a dicey proposition. Seasoned Left 4 Dead players know that splitting your team up often means certain death. Scavenge is going to take some teamwork.

Before we got into the Scavenge mode, I had a fine time playing some regular old L4D versus, trying out the three new infected character types that have been added in this sequel.

  • Spitter. Attacks with projectile acidic vomit that covers the ground and creates an area-of-effect damage radius. The spitter seems especially fragile and doesn't have an enormous range, so it seems best suited for sneaking around and coming up right behind a party. The spitter is especially useful in Scavenge, since it can spit all over the generator and prevent the survivors from delivering any gas for a few seconds. It can also spit on dropped gas cans and blow them up.
  • Charger. This big brute is sort of like the tank's little brother. Its attack consists of, well, charging in a straight line. If you connect with a survivor during that charge, you'll grab them and start slamming them into the ground until they die or the other survivors kill you. This ground slam does massive damage and can kill a healthy survivor in a matter of seconds. The trade-off is that you can't interrupt the charge if you miss, so you may go careening off away from the action and get destroyed from behind.
  • Jockey. What a weird zombie type with a good chance to totally subvert the survivors' efforts. If you can successfully jump onto one of them, you get to steer them around against their will. They can struggle against your directive efforts a little bit, but it's not hard to make them wander straight into a pack of slavering zombies and really mess up the humans' gameplan. Plus, in Scavenge, you can keep them from getting near the gas for the few seconds you need to run out the clock. On the downside, if you jump on a guy and then get knocked off, your leap move has a lengthy cooldown before you can try again--and you'll probably get smoked in the meantime.

 Oh yeah, there's a chainsaw.
Valve has clearly put a lot of effort into beefing up Left 4 Dead 2's visuals; the Dark Carnival level I was playing on that was first seen at PAX has some great little touches here and there, from detailed carnival signage to horrible, horrible zombie clowns. In addition to the new infected (and, of course, the new survivors; special shout-out to my main man Coach), the artists have gone back and remodeled all of the special infected types to make them look more detailed and more disgusting. There are even male and female boomers now. Figure that one out! 
 
To be fair, I was playing the game on an extremely capable PC and an absolutely enormous monitor, but Left 4 Dead 2 does look markedly better than its predecessor on high settings. With all the new infected types--which add a good bit of variety to the versus mode when mixed in with the old ones--several new campaigns, a bunch of goofy new melee weapons (Chainsaw, anyone? Perhaps I can interest you in a guitar?) there really is a lot to sink your teeth into here. Of course, we'll really find out if Left 4 Dead 2 is worth a new boxed release next month when the game ships to the 360 and PC.
 
Here's a look at how Scavenge plays, courtesy of 1UP

 
 
Does any of this convince you to feel good about buying another Left 4 Dead game a year after the first one?
Staff
#1 Posted by Brad (3009 posts) -
 Pour that gas. Pour it!
Valve has been making its argument about Left 4 Dead 2 since the game's announcement inflamed the Internet back at E3. You know, the one that goes "there's enough content here to justify selling this as a full sequel and not a downloadable add-on to a game that was kind of thin on content to begin with." Actually, I don't think they've been saying that last part, but nonetheless, I'm finally starting to agree with them after my latest chance to check the game out at a hands-on event.

The focus of that event was the game's new "Scavenge" versus mode. In it, the survivors look for 16 gasoline cans spread around a small level. (It's the zombie apocalypse, man. Gas is life.) You need to gather these cans and bring them back to a generator, and then successfully dump them in (via a progress bar that gets cut short if you take a hit) to extend an extremely short timer. Scavenge rounds start with around one minute on the clock, and every can of gas you deliver adds an additional 20 seconds.

Scavenge is an incredibly fast-paced and potentially short mode. If your team is disorganized and you don't manage to get any gas back in time, well, it lasts about a minute. And since the gas cans are scattered all over the place and you need to split your team up to find them, getting yourself and the gas back to the middle in one piece is a dicey proposition. Seasoned Left 4 Dead players know that splitting your team up often means certain death. Scavenge is going to take some teamwork.

Before we got into the Scavenge mode, I had a fine time playing some regular old L4D versus, trying out the three new infected character types that have been added in this sequel.

  • Spitter. Attacks with projectile acidic vomit that covers the ground and creates an area-of-effect damage radius. The spitter seems especially fragile and doesn't have an enormous range, so it seems best suited for sneaking around and coming up right behind a party. The spitter is especially useful in Scavenge, since it can spit all over the generator and prevent the survivors from delivering any gas for a few seconds. It can also spit on dropped gas cans and blow them up.
  • Charger. This big brute is sort of like the tank's little brother. Its attack consists of, well, charging in a straight line. If you connect with a survivor during that charge, you'll grab them and start slamming them into the ground until they die or the other survivors kill you. This ground slam does massive damage and can kill a healthy survivor in a matter of seconds. The trade-off is that you can't interrupt the charge if you miss, so you may go careening off away from the action and get destroyed from behind.
  • Jockey. What a weird zombie type with a good chance to totally subvert the survivors' efforts. If you can successfully jump onto one of them, you get to steer them around against their will. They can struggle against your directive efforts a little bit, but it's not hard to make them wander straight into a pack of slavering zombies and really mess up the humans' gameplan. Plus, in Scavenge, you can keep them from getting near the gas for the few seconds you need to run out the clock. On the downside, if you jump on a guy and then get knocked off, your leap move has a lengthy cooldown before you can try again--and you'll probably get smoked in the meantime.

 Oh yeah, there's a chainsaw.
Valve has clearly put a lot of effort into beefing up Left 4 Dead 2's visuals; the Dark Carnival level I was playing on that was first seen at PAX has some great little touches here and there, from detailed carnival signage to horrible, horrible zombie clowns. In addition to the new infected (and, of course, the new survivors; special shout-out to my main man Coach), the artists have gone back and remodeled all of the special infected types to make them look more detailed and more disgusting. There are even male and female boomers now. Figure that one out! 
 
To be fair, I was playing the game on an extremely capable PC and an absolutely enormous monitor, but Left 4 Dead 2 does look markedly better than its predecessor on high settings. With all the new infected types--which add a good bit of variety to the versus mode when mixed in with the old ones--several new campaigns, a bunch of goofy new melee weapons (Chainsaw, anyone? Perhaps I can interest you in a guitar?) there really is a lot to sink your teeth into here. Of course, we'll really find out if Left 4 Dead 2 is worth a new boxed release next month when the game ships to the 360 and PC.
 
Here's a look at how Scavenge plays, courtesy of 1UP

 
 
Does any of this convince you to feel good about buying another Left 4 Dead game a year after the first one?
Staff
#2 Edited by BawlZINmotion (714 posts) -

I'll wait a couple weeks and buy it for $15 like last year. Cannot really complain. Even though the original game has some pretty bad latency issues as of late.

#3 Posted by Coldfront (256 posts) -

This makes me slightly more interested.

#4 Posted by Bucketdeth (8012 posts) -

I'll stick to the first one, I don't think I'll be buying this no matter how many new modes get thrown at me.

#5 Posted by BawlZINmotion (714 posts) -
@Bucketdeth: It's all about the community now. \m/
#6 Posted by SilenceUK (329 posts) -

i dont get why ppl are so pissed about it coming out so soon after the first one i mean you all buy madden each year and that has less of an upgrade than this  
#7 Edited by ShinyD3mon (148 posts) -

Why wouldn't you just stay at one point, have one guy near the cans and toss them from one player to the next, or even from the guy in the video's perspective, just toss them from that upper room right into the pool?
 
I wonder if they implemented a penalty for a throwing-the-can strategy, like each throw leaks a bit of gas or removing the ability to drop the cans at all once you've picked them up.
 
 
..And no, I still won't be buying this one. Nice try, Valve, but this seems a little tacked on just to be able to say "oh theres this WHOLE NEW OTHER MODE guys! Its totally worth it now."

#8 Posted by Seedofpower (3930 posts) -

Sadly, I'm only getting to because all my friends are getting it and they are done playing the first one =(

#9 Posted by somethingdumb (115 posts) -
@SilenceUK: Seeing and agreeing with your point, i don't think L4D 2 is really targeting the Madden market.
#10 Posted by scottp (240 posts) -

cool im looking more forward to l4d 2 :D

#11 Posted by skaune (82 posts) -

GOD I hate the characters! It's like I don't even wanna play the game because of them.

#12 Posted by HellBrendy (994 posts) -

After realising they would have changed Left 4 Dead to a degree of something completely different, I'll rather buy a new game and keep L4D the way it is.   

#13 Posted by memo (421 posts) -

no

#14 Edited by Hitchenson (4682 posts) -

I'll pick this up at Christmas for sure. Still... from what I've seen, I hate the new characters.

#15 Posted by themangalist (1735 posts) -

 i'm sad it ends so quickly. I really would want to see a game mode that is slow-paced suspenseful, where you DO scavange for stuff but at the same time, barricade, just like in Zombie Master.

#16 Posted by Darkstar614 (1098 posts) -

I love all the people claiming they aren't going to buy it, when it is most probably going to outsell A LOT of games. I want to say all, but I know someone will post a bunch of statistics for madden or some shit.
 
Just weird to see all the hate, and seeing it do so well for just pre-orders. Either the site is filled with trolls or everyone who plays L4D doesn't frequent this site.

#17 Posted by PJ (1144 posts) -

Aparently when Valve showed the game to the two most vocal guys opposed to L4D2 they changed their minds about the game pretty quickly so I think its safe to say that there is enough to the game that it warrents a new release instead of DLC.
 
Also, ppl bitching about Valve releasing games too quickly? WTF is wrong whit you? Just shut the fuck up and hope they'll do the same for the rest of their tittles.

#18 Posted by BawlZINmotion (714 posts) -
@SilenceUK: People were already a bit annoyed Valve charged $50 for what most would consider, at best, half a game. Releasing a sequel a year later is just salt in the wound. It's very unlikely content for L4D2 had a 1 year cycle, therefore it's within reason to assume a lot of said content existed before the release of the L4D1. This implies content was held back intentionally for one reason or another. 
 
Bottom line, it just kind of looks like Valve made a game and asked you to pay twice. Why wouldn't people be annoyed? Especially with all the extra charges publishers levy on games these days.
#19 Posted by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -

Day 1: Somebody makes a Road Warrior mod for the PC version :P.

#20 Posted by Djeffers03 (2545 posts) -
@SilenceUK: very good point, everyone has to remember valve is still a company and they aren't getting money from free updates
#21 Posted by PISTOLcm (126 posts) -

Looks great !

#22 Posted by Noodles (539 posts) -

Looks pretty cool, I'm not completely sold on L4D2 though. Ah, who am I kidding. Valve could release a virtual pile of shit over Steam and I would buy it.

#23 Edited by crusnchill (856 posts) -
@Hitchenson:
Why? 
I mean you haven't even played it and you're already making assumptions, that you couldn't possibly know for sure are valid. 
 
@everyone: I'm buying this for my brothers 18th birthday, since we're really good friends and we play L4D for a laugh anyway. But that's like the 11th december. So I'm not that bothered about it. 
We'll see if I change my tone. ;-p
#24 Posted by Zaerus (154 posts) -

In my opinion this looks worse, graphically, then the first.
Somehow still feel like those characters & weapons should just have been added to L4D or atleast an expansion instead of a complete standalone.
Full price for more of the same, with what feels like a mod in terms of changes... no thank you valve.

#25 Posted by P45K4L (42 posts) -

Fuel my fireeee =] i love the new game mode just can't wait to play this with my friends...if u don't want a new L4D then just don't buy it and stop bitching for Christ's sake just stfu

#26 Posted by Three0neFive (2293 posts) -

Haha nice, they included Gordon's crowbar. :P

#27 Posted by Brutopian (75 posts) -
@Video_Game_King said:
" Day 1: Somebody makes a Road Warrior mod for the PC version :P. " 
 
I'll droive thaht tankah!
 
#28 Posted by Sarumarine (2244 posts) -

Burnin' that gasoline? Heh. 
 
Jockey sounds pretty crazy.

Online
#29 Posted by DrBobUK (54 posts) -

Looks fucking A.

#30 Posted by Damien (1384 posts) -

Hot, I want this so bad.

#31 Posted by Pie (7099 posts) -

I love the gordon crowbar

#32 Posted by SilenceUK (329 posts) -
@Chainblast said:
" @SilenceUK: People were already a bit annoyed Valve charged $50 for what most would consider, at best, half a game. Releasing a sequel a year later is just salt in the wound. It's very unlikely content for L4D2 had a 1 year cycle, therefore it's within reason to assume a lot of said content existed before the release of the L4D1. This implies content was held back intentionally for one reason or another.  Bottom line, it just kind of looks like Valve made a game and asked you to pay twice. Why wouldn't people be annoyed? Especially with all the extra charges publishers levy on games these days. "

i'm sorry but thats a load of bull mate.... ok i got more play time and fun out of L4D than a good half of the games i played this and last year, and at the end of the day if you dont think a game is worth the money you dont buy it if you buy it and feel ripped off thats your own fault for not lookinginto a purchase well enough..... and as someone else said they are a COMPANY they are out to make money if you dont like it dont buy it simple bottom line end of story the guys that make the game shouldnt have to listen to u me or any one else bitch that they "let us down" or "ripped us off" its all a matter of perspective
#33 Posted by ajamafalous (11997 posts) -

This changes nothing.

#34 Posted by MrGetBonus (782 posts) -

Can't wait to kill some more zombies. Especially with Gordon's crowbar.

#35 Edited by wiII (108 posts) -

I got the first left for dead and honestly I do feel a little burned by it because I was aware of the amount (or lack) of content before I chose to purchase rather than rent. I purchased because I assumed they would be devoted to adding new content in the same way as TF2.    I was wrong,  and I will fully admit its my own fault for assuming such things.  Luckily, I most of the time learn from my mistakes so I will be waiting for the content to actually be there before I drop my money on a L4D game again. 

#36 Posted by Breadfan (6590 posts) -

Cannot wait.  Left 4 Dead 2 and Modern Warfare 2 are gonna make next month pretty awesome.

#37 Posted by Damian (1538 posts) -

Still gonna pass. L4D was great, and even though light on content, its fun-factor and re-playability made it worth my $60. But L4D2 does not really seem like something for the people who loved the first. It seems like a game for people who didn't get L4D, and now can grab this one, which seem more worth $60 than the first. 
That's not to say people who love the first won't be buying this (and enjoying it). I'm sure there's plenty of those people. But I can only see it from my perspective, and I see a game that's worth $60 ONLY if you don't own the first, or that money simply isn't much out of your budget. 

I've got all my bitching out, and I'm done whining. I still respect Valve, though. I just think they made a rather large error in judgement announcing L4D2 when they did. Either that or they made a mistake releasing the first when they did.
Either way, I hope they (and other devs) learned something from this situation.

#38 Posted by handlas (2682 posts) -

it's a shame.  I want this game.  But from my experience on the first game....play on Xbox 360 without a mic = kick out of every single game.  So guess I'll have to pass on this game since I don't like using a mic and see no point in needing one for this game when all the ingame indicators are sufficient enough to know what is going on with each player.  Don't play PC games anymore, comp is getting old anyhow.

#39 Posted by TomA (2531 posts) -

Scavenger mode sounds fucking stupid.

#40 Posted by TomA (2531 posts) -

Ahh they're playing the shitty Xbox 360 version! Why don't they show off this game on a PC, it's way better on a PC.

#41 Posted by nrain (1274 posts) -

Still gonna pass as I don't live due to university blocking :@
#42 Posted by SunnyD (49 posts) -
@TomA said:
" Ahh they're playing the shitty Xbox 360 version! Why don't they show off this game on a PC, it's way better on a PC. "
I know right? Same with Modern Warfare 2, I still haven't seen any footage from PC version its all 360. No love for PC gamers.
#43 Posted by sneakysnake128 (186 posts) -

The guy playing in the video is terrible, plus he's playing on the 360. Does Valve want  their game to look bad?

#44 Posted by Ordo (11 posts) -
@sneakysnake128: left 4 dead is a rare game where if you and your partners are shit its still fun:)
#46 Posted by Romination (2777 posts) -

The idea of the Jockey makes me giggle. Zombie riding...coming soon to a bar near you

#47 Posted by natetodamax (19207 posts) -

Cannot wait

#48 Posted by EvolutionX0 (413 posts) -

Its not like anyone complained about Halo 3: ODST...
imo Left4Dead 2 looks great,a Xmas buy for sure.

#49 Posted by ArbitraryWater (11741 posts) -

Hmmm... This new mode sounds cool, especially if you don't have the time to do a full out Campaign or Versus, but it is still very low on my "If have money, should purchase" list for this holiday season.

#50 Posted by MrAwsum (167 posts) -

They... KEEELLLLEED LEWIZZZZZZZZZ