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165 of 179 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It's evolutionary, not revolutionary. A quality sequel with more of the same.
I loved the first Left 4 Dead (L4D) game. I discovered it about 6 months later than the rest of the world, but I was hooked. The fast-paced co-op gameplay has provided me some of my favorite and most memorable multi-player moments. Left 4 Dead 2 is basically more of the same with incremental improvements, a few new features, and a generally improved experience. Since...
Published on November 18, 2009 by Halicon5

versus
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars One additional note
I agree with most of the reviews I have read about this game, both positive and negative, but I want to make one additional comment about how its design effects it's game play. All of the different bells and whistles, the larger maps, the daylight missions, the spread out quests, actually serve to undermine the thing that made the first left for dead so excellent, and...
Published on January 12, 2010 by Eric Schlosser


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165 of 179 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It's evolutionary, not revolutionary. A quality sequel with more of the same., November 18, 2009
By 
Halicon5 (Casper, Wyoming United States) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Left 4 Dead 2 - Xbox 360 (Video Game)
I loved the first Left 4 Dead (L4D) game. I discovered it about 6 months later than the rest of the world, but I was hooked. The fast-paced co-op gameplay has provided me some of my favorite and most memorable multi-player moments. Left 4 Dead 2 is basically more of the same with incremental improvements, a few new features, and a generally improved experience. Since I never liked the competitive modes on the first L4D game and doubt that I'll play the competitive modes on L4D2, I'll keep my review focused on the single-player and co-op campaign modes.

PROS:
+++ Fast-paced gameplay
+++ Intense and frantic battles that can feel overwhelming
+++ Huge emphasis on co-op
+++ Five campaigns
+++ Dynamic enemy placement switches the action up so you get a slightly different experience each time you play the different campaigns.

CONS:
--- Computer controlled AI teammates are about as sharp as a bag of wet hammers.
--- The XBox 360 offers only 4 types of control scheme, but none of them seem to offer me the flexibility I desire.

NOTABLE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN L4D and L4D2:
+++ Added new melee weapons
+++ Added a new variety of weapons, including fun toys like grenade launchers.
+++ Added several new special infected such as the Charger, Spitter, and Jockey
+++ Common infected are much more colorful and diverse in design
+++ Dismemberment and more detailed death animations result in more gore and chunks than the original game.
+++ Improved sense of character development and story
+++ Mission objectives have been more fleshed out, going beyond the first game's "Get to the extraction point and wait" concept.
+++ Daytime levels
--- Fewer lull moments. There is almost ALWAYS an attack imminent, which kind of kills the suspense.

GAMEPLAY: The basic premise is that you play one of four different survivors attempting to fight their way to safety during the zombie apocalypse. Essentially you blast thousands of zombies into ever-loving bits as you fight and run for your life. The new game brings some new mission objectives, which adds a subtle but noticeable bit of depth to the game. Instead of waiting for a helicopter or boat to come pick you up after 5 or 6 intense minutes of fighting for your life, you might be expected to find a bunch of gas cans to fill up a car. No matter what you do, success will require teamwork.

The new special infected are a nice addition to the mix. Jockeys that jump on you and ride you around, Chargers that pin you against walls or the ground and beat you to a bloody pulp, and Spitters that spray acid and explode into nasty bubbling pools of acid force you to adapt your strategies more quickly. Tanks and Witches are still tough, and the Smokers, Boomers, and Hunters are still around to make life hell as well. The common infected are more diverse and interesting. My favorite are the hazmat suit infected, which make a cool little depressurizing noise when killed which makes me smile every time.

GRAPHICS: For the most part, the graphics are very similar but improved in many subtle ways. Shadows seem to be smoother and more accurate, levels have more color, and there is generally more detail to seen. Enemy death animations have been noticeably improved with more dismemberment and more detailed models. For example, shoot a zombie in the chest with a high powered rifle or magnum handgun and the creature will have a neat little hole you can look through. Subtle, but still noteworthy.

PRESENTATION: With only a few (very minor) exceptions, I would argue the presentation for L4D2 is much improved over the original. The environments feel more diverse, taking you from bright and colorful New Orleans outdoor scenes to dank and ominous indoor settings. Many of the dark indoor settings are much more open, which is much spookier since your flashlight isn't as effective in large, open areas. The characters are far more interesting and have some interesting and humorous pre-scripted conversations. The redneck character, Ellis, is definitely my favorite since he says some really funny stuff followed closely by Coach. All in all, a step forward.

SINGLE-PLAYER: Single-player mode is ok, but you'll be dealing with the game's biggest flaw: frustratingly stupid AI teammates. Do you feel like sniping zombies from a distance? Have fun with that because at least one of your teammates will invariably park themselves right in front of you so they can absorb your bullets. They heal you when you don't want healed and constantly give you pills, which suddenly means your gun isn't in your hands. They fall off ledges and have trouble keeping up in general, especially if you go up some stairs. Apparently they forgot that Rule #1 is Cardio. If I were stuck in a real zombie apocalypse and these were the only living people I ran across, I'd leave them for dead.

CO-OP MULTI-PLAYER: As far as I'm concerned, cooperative multi-player is where it is at. I love it. Three or four players working together with good strategy can be a devastating zombie grinding machine. This is where the game truly shines and where I spend almost all of my time with the game.

COMPETITIVE MULTI-PLAYER: I never really liked the competitive modes in the original and I really don't expect to spend any time playing them in L4D2. It isn't a judgment against the game itself, but more representative of the fact that I prefer co-op games so much more.

Whether or not you should buy the game depends on several factors:
- If you never played the first game but enjoy co-op FPS games, I highly recommend the game.
- If you enjoyed the first game and couldn't get enough of it and crave some more, this is a must buy.
- If you played the first game to death and are bored of it now, you might consider renting L4D2 first because it is essentially more of the same with a fresh coat of paint and a few new features.

Overall, this is an enjoyable game that improves on the original in many ways as long as you have other people to play it with. As far as sequels go, the changes are evolutionary instead of revolutionary. None of the changes are all that major, but they are noticeable. In fact, I look back on the original and now realize how much was missing in the original design.
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103 of 114 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Glorified Expansion or Not, We're STILL Gonna Need More Zombies!, November 17, 2009
By 
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Left 4 Dead 2 - Xbox 360 (Video Game)
The original Left 4 Dead was a milestone in console gaming as it combined two legendary genres (survival horror and first-person shooters) and contained a great split-screen co-op whether online or offline. I gave great praise to the first Left 4 Dead a year ago, and yet, desired a lot more than what was presented. When I heard that the production company Valve was releasing an entirely new sequel barely one year after the release of the first game, I was very, VERY skeptical the developers would pull off a good game. In fact, there was a massive online boycott being organized almost immediately following Valve's announcement of a sequel due to a lack of downloadable content, quick release. Many speculated that Left 4 Dead 2 would be nothing more than a glorified expansion.

Despite all the controversy, however, I through all caution (not to mention the money for a full-priced game) to the wind and purchased the game on it's midnight release. Having played Left 4 Dead 2 for a few hours, I can safely say that the sequel has lived up to the hype despite prior skepticism and controversy.

Left 4 Dead 2 closely follows the basic gaming principles of its predecessor, a gratuitous first-person shooter against the backdrop of a global zombie pandemic. The player follows four new survivors (although possessing similar personality quirks) across several campaigns with an almost endless supply of ammo, almost as many zombies including special mutated ones, and no shooter's shoulder to worry about. Towards the end of the campaign the survivors must defend a position to await rescue whilst going up against seemingly impossible odds. Like the original, Left 4 Dead 2 focuses on teamwork survival rather than the typical one-man-army. It is virtually impossible for one gamer to survive the campaigns without assistance from either ally AI or from another player and no, this is not a dare to try. Weapons are hyper-accurate similar to doom as you simply have to point the weapon in the general direction of your target in order to hit them, thus making the Left 4 Dead franchise the ultimate zombie shooter. I definitely agree with the Left 4 Dead 2 television commercial that, even with 10 million zombies, there just isn't enough to go around as a player can kill more zombies than Electronic Arts has killed more Nazis in the Medal of Honor franchise.

(BTW: to any worried parents or concerned citizens that are hesitant or disgusted by the intense violence of Left 4 Dead, lemme just say this. It's a gratuitous shooter, it's supposed to be this violent. Don't be surprised if you see head chopped off or limbs fly around as that is a common sight in the game. You've been forewarned so either watch what your kids play or don't play it. Step aside and let us gamers deal with the zombie apocalypse.)

Left 4 Dead 2 also contains the same online multiplayer experience with survivors versus special infected (oh the fun of peeking around the corner as a boomer and unloading your stomach contents on the survivors all the hoard to survey), online campaign co-op, and survival mode similar to firefight mode in Halo 3: ODST albeit with considerably more difficulty. It's a good thing Valve did not try to tweak these features too much since that can easily ruin a good feature that everyone liked to begin with.

However, like any other sequel, Left 4 Dead 2 sports several improvements over the original game that are certainly worth noting.

1: Left 4 Dead 2 possesses a defined story arc with character development.

The original game had a very, VERY basic story with little character development. The most extensive story development in the original game was contained in the instruction manual and not the game itself. The story involving the campaigns seemed almost mutually exclusive from each other and lacked any real focus. While a lacking story beyond survive and kill did not hinder Left 4 Dead from being an absolutely awesome game, it could have made the game a whole lot better. Left 4 Dead 2 differs from this as it gives a defined story involving how the survivors found each other, their backgrounds are more defined through dialog, but their interactions with each other is just as hilarious as the first such as the survivor's discussion of NASCAR. Also, the campaigns are linked through a common thread rather than being mutually exclusive.

2: More diverse firearms selections.

One of my original criticisms of Left 4 Dead was the lack of weapons selections. You had two full-automatic choices, two shotguns, one pistol, two types of grenades, and one rifle. That was it. Left 4 Dead sports the exact same weapons as well as several new automatic weapons, more shotguns, more pistols, and most importantly...

3: Melee Weapons!!

Let's face it, we've all wanted to take either a fire axe or a katana to a zombie. Now you can! The player can also choose between such melee weapons as a guitar (which makes a loud metal sound similar to the one in Dead Rising), a cricket stick, Gordon Freeman's signature crowbar, frying pans, and everyone's favorite: the chainsaw. This was one of the most redeeming qualities of Left 4 Dead 2 as cutting through zombie hordes with a chainsaw has been a dream of many gamers since we witnessed that burlap-sack-chainsaw-welding maniac on Resident Evil 4 decapitate Leon S. Kennedy over and over.

4: Realism Mode.

Left 4 Dead, being a gratuitous shooter, does lack a more relatively realistic approach that other survival horror games offer. As such, Valve included a realism mode that A) prevents the player from seeing the other player's silhouettes when not in direct sight, B) dead survivors can only be revived by a defibrillator (another new item), C) damage dealt to zombies is based on where it hits rather than one hit equals the same damage whether the zombie is hit in the arm or in the dead, and D) dead survivors cannot be respawned via redemption closets. This makes the game considerably more difficult even for more seasoned veterans of the game.

There are a few more subtle changes such as increased difficulty. There are more zombies, some take more hits, and a survivor can only utilize a few melee attacks before becoming exhausted. My brother and I, who are very big fans of the original game, used to practice playing split-screen co-op on hard but experienced noticeable difficulty on Left 4 Dead 2's easy mode. Perhaps it was a fluke but we certainly were not out of practice. This is an improvement in a way since it makes the player think more before charging into a room or open space. Other improvements include smoother game textures (the weapons, in particular, are more detailed and refined), less loading time (the original took two minutes to load the menu screen), and more challenging special zombies such as the charger and certain zombies in riot gear making them more resistant to bullets.

I'll admit, Left 4 Dead 2 does not feel so much as a new game but I wouldn't even come close to designating it an expansion. Not in the least. It is obvious Valve went to great measures to ensure their sequel would live up to the hype of the original and the price of a new game by improving upon the base formula considerably w/o sacrificing any good elements from the first. Valve even designed the button placement and configuration to be virtually identical to the original. From what I can see, Valve did not sacrifice anything good to improve upon the sequel and this is rare.

At first, I was a very skeptical gamer when Valve announced a new Left 4 Dead but they turned me into a believer after all as I enjoyed the campaigns and the online multiplayer and will continue to do so in the future. My only wish is that Valve would include more zombies, but I'll just have to wait until Left 4 Dead 3 next Christmas when they introduce more environmental weapons than Dead Rising!

Happy hunting!
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Now I see why they needed a whole new game, November 30, 2009
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Left 4 Dead 2 - Xbox 360 (Video Game)
A lot of people were upset about the sequel to Left 4 Dead coming out so soon. I too felt like it was too soon. I was still enjoying the first, and didn't understand why they couldn't just release DLC.

Now I see why. You can tell they took the first L4D and "turned it up to 11." The graphics, the polish, the attention to detail are all first rate.

The realism mode adds a brand new level of tension--try "Hard Rain" on "realistic" and just try to keep up with your friends.

I'm not a huge fan of the Melee weapons but they are a must since they throw so many zombies at you you quickly run out of ammo.

And as some have stated, it is much, much more difficult to survive, both in the campaign and in versus. But I think that's by design.

A couple of minor criticisms?
I don't like the new maps as much. I don't know. There's a charm to Dead Air and Death Toll and No Mercy that I just don't quite feel with the new maps. Maybe it's familiarity. Plus, there's one map where you backtrack through the same level . . which I thought was just kind of a cheap way for them to "add length."

Overall though it's a solid package. I bought it for full retail, and it looks like you can get it now here on Amazon for only 40 bucks . . a steal at that price.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Weakuel or Super Expansion Pack: You make the call!, December 11, 2009
= Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Left 4 Dead 2 - Xbox 360 (Video Game)
Personally, I thought the first game was fun, but it was hindered by low production values. The Art was simplistic. There was a serious lack of cutscenes. All of the campaigns were identical and short. The weapon selection was extremely limited... Left 4 Dead 2 improves upon Left 4 Dead in almost every way, but is it enough for this game to be considered a true sequel?

Concept: 10/10
Four new Strangers must band together to fight off thousands of crazed zombies and survive the zombie apocalypse. This time, the survivors can use melee weapons ranging from a frying pan to a chainsaw. A variety of multiplayer modes and mission objectives extend the gameplay.

Gameplay: 9/10
The gameplay is similar to the original: Shoot undead and aim for the head. The 4 survivors must fend off hordes of bloodthirsty, brain-hungry zombies and the AI Director randomly spawns power ups, weapons, and enemies. Among the hordes of undead are special infected that can incapacitate a survivor; so teamwork is necessary. All of the old creeps are back: The bile puking Boomer, the strangling Smoker, the pouncing Hunter, the Tank, and the PMS Witch. L4D2 has added three new villains. The Jockey, a short fast undead that jumps on your back and steers you into fire, acid, or other bad places. The Spitter, a trailer park princess who spits pools of acid that damage survivors over time. The Charger, a fast tackling monster with the defensive rating of Ray Lewis.
In order to combat these monstrosities, the survivors have more than twice as many guns in this game (14) including a Grenade Launcher and an AK-47. The survivors can also find laser sites to improve accuracy, explosive rounds that knock back enemies, and incendiary rounds that cause undead to burst into flame. Molotov cocktails, pipe bombs, and bile jars (which cause zombies to attack each other) can also be thrown to neutralize a zombie rush.
The Survivor AI is pretty good most of the time, especially if you make an effort to slow down just a bit and stay with the group. If you run off on your own, you're asking for trouble. Once in a long while, the AI doesn't save you when you are incapacitated, causing you to die. It feels more like a random bug, than bad design. 98% of the time, the AI is pretty good.

Campaign: 8/10
L4D had 4 campaigns that all had identical structure. L4D2 has 5 campaigns composed of 4 or 5 levels with different mission objectives. Collect objects and bring them somewhere, defend an area, or battle through an area. In some levels, the AI director also causes rainstorms (Hard Rain) or changes the level layout just a bit (The Parish) to throw you off. The variety of mission objectives really make each campaign feel unique. Also, the storyline continues through all 5 Campaigns, making this feel more like a game, than a bunch of random maps.

Multiplayer: 9/10
L4D2 offers 2 Player Split Screen Coop Action, and 4 Player XBox Live Action for all of the Campaigns. There's also a Versus mode, where 4 Survivors battle through a Campaign and 4 other players Spawn every 30 seconds and control Special Infected to try and exterminate the survivors. This is GREAT FUN! The Survival Mode is also back where Survivors hold out as long as they can against waves of undead. There's a NEW Scavenger mode where survivors must collect Gas Cans and bring them to a designated area. A NEW "Realism" difficulty mode makes the game even harder. In this mode, friendly characters and objects are not highlighted and are much harder to see... also, the only way to bring a character to life is with a defibrillator. So, good luck with that!

Graphics: 7/10
Like Nicole Kidman, the Source engine may have been super hot a while back, but it's starting to show its age just a bit. This is especially true if you're one of the millions who have played Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2, which is the Megan Fox of graphics engines right now.

Sound: 9/10
The music is eerie and fun at the same time. The growls and shrieks of the undead are unsettling, and the gunfire and explosions punctuate the action. The characters' voice overs also have much more personality and add humor to break the tension.

Maturity: Swearing, Horror, Violence, and Gore... You should probably be in High School or live in a tough neighborhood in order to play this game.

Overall: 8/10
Left 4 Dead 2 is a very fun game, with a great deal of improvements over the original. For me, the original Left 4 Dead felt like 75% of a game. It was a great idea, but the lack of production values and options really hindered the experience. Left 4 Dead 2 feels like it should have been released as the original title because there's enough enjoyment in it to last a month... or more. The new zombies, special infected, campaigns, weapons, modes make this a good standalone game, especially at a $40 price point that you can find pretty easily. So, it's a good game for the price of an expansion... what's not to like?

Buy it if you love killing zombies and you never tried the Original Left 4 Dead.
Buy it if you will play online with your friends in the Campaigns, Versus, Scavenger, or Survival Modes.
Rent it if you want to kill zombies for a week and aren't into multiplayer games.
Rent it if you had your fill of zombie killing in Left 4 Dead 1. There might not be enough here to warrant a full purchase.
Avoid it if you didn't care for the first game. It's not unique enough to stand alone.
Avoid it if you are a graphics snob.
If you enjoyed Left 4 Dead 2, don't buy Left 4 Dead 1 unless you're an obsessive collector. Left 4 Dead 1 is a pretty big step backwards from 2.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars One additional note, January 12, 2010
By 
Eric Schlosser "average guy" (Portland, OR United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
= Fun:2.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Left 4 Dead 2 - Xbox 360 (Video Game)
I agree with most of the reviews I have read about this game, both positive and negative, but I want to make one additional comment about how its design effects it's game play. All of the different bells and whistles, the larger maps, the daylight missions, the spread out quests, actually serve to undermine the thing that made the first left for dead so excellent, and that is the way cooperation was not only required for success, but subtly encouraged by the game's design. By failing to cultivate cooperation in the second game L4D2 takes the franchise from an amazing experience to a frustrating mess.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars GREAT, August 28, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Left 4 Dead 2 - Xbox 360 (Video Game)
I ORDERED THIS FOR MY GRANDSON AND HE PLAYS IT ALL OF THE TIME. HE LIKE THIS GAME. GLAD I FOUND IT ON AMAZON.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not like other zombie games, March 6, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Left 4 Dead 2 - Xbox 360 (Video Game)
Let's get this clear: I hate all this zombie crap. It makes no sense and it is completely ridiculous. BUT THIS GAME IS EPIC.

The Left 4 Dead games are unique in their gameplay and overall concept, which puts you in the middle of a zombie-infested area with a team of survivors attempting to escape the monsters using weapons... and sometimes, frying pans.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Co-op Game to Play With Friends, February 27, 2013
By 
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Left 4 Dead 2 - Xbox 360 (Video Game)
My main objective when looking for games is that they can be played by more than one player. Sure, I enjoy playing them by myself, but it's more fun inviting my friends or boyfriend over for a game night. Left 4 Dead 2 is one of our favorites.
There are five campaigns you can play offline by yourself or with friends. Each campaign could last you a good hour or more on average, depending on how often you and your teammates fail to complete a level of the campaign. There are varying levels of difficulty which provides even more game time if you feel as though you are ready for it to be a bit harder.
Left 4 Dead 2 introduces a few new Special Infected that fit well with the game are some are quite entertaining (anyone else enjoy mimicking the laugh of the Jockey?). There are some new weapons and melee weapons. I feel as though there are also more zombie attacks compared to the first one, which makes this game more of a challenge even when played on Easy.
Other than the location of the safe houses/ammo/guns/weapons, the Special Infected and other groups of zombies will attack at different times and places which helps keep the game interesting and contributes to the fact that you may not tire of playing it. I purchased it a year ago and it's STILL a favorite when I have people over for gaming nights.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quality, February 25, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Left 4 Dead 2 - Xbox 360 (Video Game)
Good, reliable game that stands the test of time. Especially good for local multiplayer. DLC content costs too much, though.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sweet, July 16, 2011
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Left 4 Dead 2 - Xbox 360 (Video Game)
The Left 4 Dead franchise can be summed up by one word; "awesome". Left 4 Dead and Left 4 Dead 2 offers some of the best gameplay that you'll find anywhere. You'll be hard pressed to find better co-op. Slaughtering zombies was never so much fun.
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Left 4 Dead 2 - Xbox 360
Left 4 Dead 2 - Xbox 360 by Electronic Arts (Xbox 360)
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