epicsteve's Left 4 Dead 2 (Xbox 360) review

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  • 19 out of 27 Giant Bomb users found it helpful.
  • epicsteve has written a total of 84 reviews. The last one was for Outlast

L4D 2 adds more to the formula to keep fans coming back.

 

Heavy rain falls dramatically reducing visibility, the roaring thunder cancels out the noise of our approaching enemies making their ambushes a total surprise. As we fight our way through waist-deep water and floating corpses, we lost one of our comrades. I turn around, blind firing through the thick vegetation hoping to kill the coming onslaught of undead, for if we stopped to fight we would surly meet our demise. Thanks to quick reactions and teamwork, we pulled through.

Left 4 Dead 2 is packed with the white-knuckle action and sweaty controller moments you've come to expect from 2008. This sequel offers a lot more tricks, typically in the forms of environmental variables such as rain storms, flooding, swamps, blown-up bridges, and much more. While this game is better than the previous entry that's really all it is and your enjoyment on Left 4 Dead 2 is dependent on how much you enjoyed this formula last year.

For Left 4 Dead fans, there's a lot more to be found this time around. Valve nearly doubled the amount of special infected, added some new weapons and introduced melee weapons such as axes, chainsaws, and even guitars! This time around, the game allows access to five campaigns (all playable in versus) all taking place in the south. These campaigns are much more interesting than the stages from the original Left 4 Dead. You'll find yourself battling zombies in swamps, sneaking past dozens of mobile witches to infiltrate a sugar mill, trekking through a hurricane, and even running on a rollercoaster. Of course these are but a few instances, and you wouldn't want everything spoiled, right?

These really sound like mundane and obligatory items on the checklist for videogame sequels, but all this stuff molds together to make a product that feels fresh and original in many ways. The new special infected includes the jockey, which jumps on the survivors driving them in any direction he may so choose. The charger “charges” (hence the name) in a straight line, smashing anyone unlucky enough to be caught into the ground. My favorite addition is the spitter; this special infected pukes out a massive amount of acid to create an area of effect that seriously damages anyone standing in it. These new special infected revolve around the idea of separating the party, and introduce creative possibilities for combo attacks. Say for example a spitter lays down his pool of acid, and a jockey rides a survivor right into it. Oh and by the way, there's an achievement for that!

Once again, competitive multiplayer is a large aspect of the package. With versus available on all the campaigns and the return of survival, Left 4 Dead 2 already proves itself as a complete package. As awesome as versus is, it takes a large time commitment with most matches ranging around 90 minutes.

However, Valve introduces a new multiplayer mode called Scavenge which is the highlight of Left 4 Dead 2. It's typical survivors vs. special infected on a single map. The survivors desperately try to gather up gas canisters and bring them to a central generator while the infected team tries to eliminate them. It's good fun and captures all of what makes Left 4 Dead awesome. However, I ran into a lot of troubles playing with strangers (duh) but you're probably going to get a team of friends and find no challenge or be destroyed by communicating teams when your playing with random people. It's a struggle to find a good match were both teams are communicating and simply playing well. Also, I feel like the infected still have some janky control issues that have yet to be fixed. It's too often I fail to take down my foe at the fault of unreliable mechanics.

Of course it's all the little details that bring Left 4 Dead 2 all together. Zombies literally fall apart as you shot at them, and pipe bombs reward with a spray of ragdolls and an excess (yet appropriate) amount of gore. Left 4 Dead 2 is also fucked up! This game is much harder than it's predecessor, and those who thought Expert is for suckers now have a new Realism mode to tackle. The special infected have a nack for attacking together and at a very inopportune time.

Left 4 Dead 2 offers a lot to talk about, and is almost pointless. The bottom line is that this game is a complete package that is a must buy for any fans of the first game that still crave more brains. This game deserves its 2 and anyone saying anything else is straight-up wrong. 
 
Steven

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