by Chris Davis
reviewed on X360
If We Find a Burger Tank Around Here I’ma One Man Cheeseburger Apocalypse!
In addition to the original weapon roll, you will also find AK-47s, SCAR-Hs, SPAS-12s, grenade launchers, new sniper rifles and magnum pistols to augment your secondary slot. Each weapon is different from the other and has both a different fire rate and accuracy.
Standard guns aren’t a singular addition however; players can modify their weapons by finding enhanced ammunition boxes and attachable laser sights for better accuracy. The ammo boxes come in two varieties: flammable and explosive. Fire ammo will light almost anything on fire and the explosive ammo causes area damage and can stun the special Infected. There are also chest defibrillators that can be used to bring a dead survivor back from the brink with half health.
The game also provides several new deployable weapons and a wide range of melee weapons such as axes, police batons and machetes. And yes, the game does have a crowbar; this is a Valve title after all.
Ellis, Sweetie, Can This Wait?
The five campaigns in the game are fun to play through cooperatively but the longevity of the game can be found in the competitive modes. Versus mode is back and better than ever with all five campaigns built from the ground-up. Survivor mode is still present and just as tense as it was last year. The new highlight is the Scavenger mode. Similar to Versus mode, Scavenger mode sets players in a pre-determined level searching for gas cans which are used to power a generator. Whichever team has the most cans wins.
If you found the Expert difficulty setting wasn’t hard enough, you can take the game on with the Realism enhancement switched on. Once activated, common Infected are harder to kill, often forcing you to “headshot” them or to use melee weapons when ammunition gets scarce. Players are also no longer highlighted making it harder to track and keep sight of your friends. Sticking together is absolutely crucial. Walk away for a few seconds and you’re probably dead right there.
The Source engine is starting to show its age even with the graphical improvements that have been made. The Infected have more graphical detail and actually look like sick people rather than reanimated corpses. A contextual damage system has been added, allowing for body deformation in your foes such as losing limbs. It is quite gruesome to see zombies be chopped to pieces and still have them come at you.
The survivor AI can be a little frustrating at times. The AI for the Infected, both common and special, is very smart and does a great job of trying to ruin your day. The survivors are… amazingly dumb. Standing in a pool of acid is painful enough but being forced to do so while an AI heals you with a medkit is outrageous. I often found myself down having to enduring watching the AI help the others before helping me. AI controlled characters will at times also lag behind unless you stick to them like glue.
Dude, If We Had My Monster Truck We Could Drive Over All This!
Left 4 Dead 2 is a great enhancement that fans of the first title should find compelling to play. While the AI is Darwinistically dumb and the Source engine now seems like a showgirl whose had a little too much plastic surgery, Left 4 Dead 2 is a great title that I will certainly enjoy playing in the months to come. Is it worth the $60 price point? It does seem a little steep but give Valve a few more months to work out the kinks and drop some DLC and it should be. In the mean time, you do have an awesome multiplayer game to play around with.
Unique and fun campaigns with great characters
Dumb survivor AI