9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Weakuel or Super Expansion Pack: You make the call!,
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?
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.