Friday, July 02, 2010

Tech: Left 4 Dead 2 review

There are few places more suitable for staging a zombie apocalypse than the Deep South - dark swamps, Louisiana voodoo, funny accents. Valve Corporation must agree, because "Left 4 Dead 2" follows four new Survivors on their trek from Georgia to New Orleans:

In case you missed the first game, "Left 4 Dead 2" is a cooperative FPS that pits your team against ravenous zombies. Four Survivors (who are all distinctly Southern this time around) must make their way from safe house to safe house, fighting dozens of "28 Days Later"-style Infected along the way.

L4D2 remedies one of the main complaints people had with the first game: a dearth of content. Right off the bat, you get five full-length campaigns that can be played in both the regular co-op mode and the gleefully sadistic Versus mode. Granted, each campaign only takes about an hour to traverse, but that hour is packed with all of Valve's craft and skill.

In fact, L4D2 seems to take all the high points of the original and amp them up to the next level. If you dreaded the infamous cornfield level in L4D1 (where you couldn't see zombies until you were almost on top of them), you'll be positively apoplectic at the prospect of crossing a sugarcane field, at night, in the middle of a visibility-killing thunderstorm. But it isn't all doom and gloom; how about making your heroic last stand against the undead on a concert stage with full-on pyrotechnics and Southern rock?

As you might expect from a sequel released only a year after the original, L4D2 doesn't change things up much gameplay-wise. If you got tired of shoving zombies for the Nth time in the first game, the new additions in L4D2 probably won't be enough to hold your interest for long. But for the rest of us, the prospect of decapitating zombies with a chainsaw more than justifies the purchase.

Rating: 86/100


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