by Chris Davis
reviewed on X360
If You Ignore the Crazy Guy and the Zombies, Nice Town
Valve is a company that is notorious in the gaming community for several reasons. Having created one of the best selling PC games of all time back in 1998 and, shortly thereafter, the most popular multiplayer game of all time, Valve definitely knows how to create a quality product. Unfortunately, Valve’s omega to that alpha is their unfortunate habit of delaying their products far longer than most gamers would have ever anticipated. The concept of Valve Time is something gamers have come to tolerate over the years when it comes to almost any product put out by the company. Such is the case with the newest release from Valve, the free downloadable content expansion for Left 4 Dead entitled the Survival Pack that was supposed to have been released in December and is just now arriving at our doorsteps. Packing in a whole slew of content for the low price of free, how can one not be excited?
I’m Not Gonna Let These Damn Vampires Eat Me
Obviously the most prominent feature of the free DLC is the addition of a brand new mode to the mix: the Survival mode. Taking a note from the zombie co-op mode from Call of Duty: World at War, this new addition to Left 4 Dead is not a matter of winning but rather living as long as possible. And let me be clear: you aren’t going to last long.
The mode is composed of select locations from most of the chapters of the four campaigns as well as one new map called Last Stand. Each map cordons off sections of the map like closets and rooms with limited access. Memorable locations such as all four finale as well as notable sites like the gas station from No Mercy make an appearance, though modified slightly to prevent campers from having their way. It is not all doom and gloom however as players start off the map with absolutely no infected anywhere, requiring players to activate a crescendo event in order to activate the timer. Players will find a very ample supply of weapons, ammo, gasoline and other items to help stem off the impending horde. It does add a certain amount of dread seeing all those items though; every gamer’s natural anxiety manifests itself.
Last Stand in particular is potentially the hardest map of them all, consisting of a lighthouse at the edge of a seaside cliff. The unfortunate thing players will find is that there is almost nowhere to put up an adequate defense and hide out as almost all the areas you find will leave you exposed more than you could possibly want. Walls break down almost everywhere, railings can be torn down, and no singular space is designed to help you survive. Hiding at the top of the lighthouse, probably the most defensible spot, is extremely susceptible to Smoker pulls which can cause massive damage from falling if not causing an instant incapacitation. And, of course, should a Tank get up there you are no doubt going to go flying off the cliff.
No Pros and Cons at this time