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40oz

Left 4 Dead 2

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Alright this is a bit of a rant. I never really got into Left 4 Dead to begin with, but my brother downloaded the demo for Xbox 360.

I watched him play it for the first time and he was really dissatisfied. Let's get started:

The entire atmosphere of the game is ruined. While L4D was aiming for a Zombie Horror movie approach with the old churches, graveyards, hotels, warehouses and abandoned hospitals, which coupled with the frightened player characters and loud fast moving and dangerous zombies and required teamwork/survival skills really made for a frightening but action packed movie-like experience. Left 4 Dead wasn't really my thing but I respect it for nailing down that effect pretty well.

ON THE OTHER HAND. Left 4 Dead 2 makes a bogus attempt to preserve the scary fast-paced action-packed gameplay, but staged in a new setting. It's in midday or early in the morning most of the time. Kinda like the movie "Dawn of the Dead". Which is kinda okay but being able to easily see everything kinda detracts from the scariness of it. In addition, our 4 beloved characters (who really seemed like typical horror movie characters) are replaced with 4 commonplace comic relief characters, which completely fucks up the mood. While the gameplay of being pinned on the ground by devastating monsters and being tangled in the smoker's tongue and stuff is still in place, the characters fail to portray a feeling of panic, they may scream and struggle a little, but once they are rescued by a teammate they crack a corny joke, or say something stupid on purpose.

There are new types of zombie monsters that also have attacks that 'stun' the player and restrict his/her movement. I don't know any of the names yet, but there was one that jumped and perched itself on the character's shoulders and held player's eyes closed making him meander around helplessly trying to shake him off like it's some kind of monkey (what the shit?)

The scary suspenseful music tracks of L4D (that I've heard 10 trillions times due to how often my brother played the game) are borrowed and used in this one, except they are remixed to suit each character. For example the redneck hill billy character (Ellis I think his name is?) has the same music but with hints of banjos and fiddles playing the notes. It really is as awful as it sounds. Typically, since many of the settings take place in midday, you'll get the frightening pounding piano music of waking the witch, in addition to birds singing in the background, which defeats the purpose of trying to be scary in the first place.

Some new melee weapons were introduced, such as frying pans and electric guitars which makes it seem like a wanna-be Dead Rising. Sorry valve but the unorthodox melee weapons is very fitting for a comical game like Team Fortress, not for left 4 dead. Actually I'm not sorry.

My brother was into about 15 minutes of playing the game, desperately trying to "give this game a chance" but he declared it really is just bad. It seems like Valve didn't want to lose it's target audience by mutilating the original gameplay mechanics of Left 4 Dead, but they wanted it to seem more inviting with the comic relief. Kinda like the movie Zombieland (I didn't see it but I heard it was good). The result was The original Left 4 Dead with diarrhea all over it. There were a couple nitpicky things he thought were pretty neat, but essentially this game really is piss awful and he has no interest in going out to buy it.

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Yeah... I really didn't appreciate what I call "The Mountain Dew Treatment". It's kind of difficult to preserve an aura of horror and high tension when all your characters are zombicidal badasses.

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I never saw Left 4 Dead as a horror game. It's not scary at all, at least to me. I don't see what everyone's going on about. It's about slaughtering waves and waves of the undead - when I first saw the trailer for Zombieland, my first thought was "Oh, Left 4 Dead the movie." So I don't really see the atmosphere change as a loss, and actually, I kind of like it - my God, if L4D2 exactly copied L4D's style, I'd have no interest whatsoever.

What I'm looking at are the gameplay mechanics - and everything I've seen expands on gameplay. There's a wider variety of weapons, new powerups, melee weapons, etc., which give a greater variety to the gameplay. And while I've only played the demo, I suspect the new infecteds will greatly help in balancing out gameplay. I mean, it seems they have done a lot to ensure the survivors can't simply bunch up in a corner anymore and simply slaughter the horde.

My feelings - so far, it looks like everything they've done has gone into successfully separating itself from the first game, and I really feel that the changes they've made go a long way to addressing the shortcomings of the first.

But then, maybe I'm just coming at this from a completely different angle than others - I primarily play vs. mode, and so the atmosphere, tension, and horror really isn't a factor for me, I'm more gameplay-centered, and I love everything they've done with the gameplay - and I love the new atmosphere, as well.

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Let me start with: Well done on forming such a strong opinion on a game by watching someone play the demo on the goddamn xbox.

40oz said:
The scary suspenseful music tracks of L4D (...e) are borrowed and used in this one, except they are remixed to suit each character.

No they aren't.They're remixed for the new (southern) environment. Everybody hears the same thing.

WAAAAAA l4d1 was scary but l4d2 isn't scary I hate it

What the fuck is up with people saying this? L4D was never scary. There was the occasional fright when you get surprised by a zombie, but to me the game was always an action-comedy. I mean really, what's so scary about four wise-cracking cartoon characters mowing down hordes of zombies?

Besides, At least a few of the other missions take place in darker conditions. There's one where it rains really heavily, looks cool.

If I haven't made it plainly obvious, I'd a big fan of the game and I loved the L4D2 demo. The new guns feel perfect, the gore system is fucking awesome and the new items & special infected really freshen up the game.

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L4D isn't about being scary - it's about being a kick-ass coop game. And I'd say L4D2 is certainly living up to that, though honestly after playing the demo for a bit I'm not convinced that it really needed to be a full-priced sequel.

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Bucket said:

Yeah... I really didn't appreciate what I call "The Mountain Dew Treatment". It's kind of difficult to preserve an aura of horror and high tension when all your characters are zombicidal badasses.


It's also hard to preserve an aura of horror and high tension when everyone has certain keys bound to play different warning messages so that Bill and Francis are constantly yelling "TANK TANK TAAAAANK TANK TANK TAAAANK" and "PILLS HERE PILLS HERE PILLS HERE" while Louis screams like a little girl as you make your way up to the roof top of a hospital. I really didn't feel an aura of horror and high tension when playing the first game, and it's kind of hard for me to imagine an online game actually being scary since you're almost always bound to have some people fucking around and ruining the atmosphere.

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Left 4 Dead was definitely aiming for the horror/thriller genre. With the constant darkness, rain, abandoned buildings, creaky floors, suspenseful music, how many other games do that?

I think if you've played the game 200 times it's not scary. I mean, if you watched the movie Saw 200 times ya think it will still be scary the 201st time you watch it?

And to counter destx's argument, I haven't played either. but L4D definitely sticks to a consistent style while L4D2 tries to be two things at once. It's like a doom wad with a million new textures and miserable mapping.

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40oz said:

And to counter destx's argument, I haven't played either.\


What. That actually sounds like it'd serve to support his argument.

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Craigs said:

It's also hard to preserve an aura of horror and high tension when everyone has certain keys bound to play different warning messages so that Bill and Francis are constantly yelling "TANK TANK TAAAAANK TANK TANK TAAAANK" and "PILLS HERE PILLS HERE PILLS HERE" while Louis screams like a little girl as you make your way up to the roof top of a hospital




"Oh man, this is just like Counterstrike!"

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Fisk said:

"Oh man, this is just like Counterstrike!"


Mod bought by valve, released to critical acclaim, followed by mediocre sequel.

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40oz said:

The entire atmosphere of the game is ruined. While L4D was aiming for a Zombie Horror movie approach with the old churches, graveyards, hotels, warehouses and abandoned hospitals

ON THE OTHER HAND. Left 4 Dead 2 makes a bogus attempt to preserve the scary fast-paced action-packed gameplay, but staged in a new setting. It's in midday or early in the morning most of the time. Kinda like the movie "Dawn of the Dead". Which is kinda okay but being able to easily see everything kinda detracts from the scariness of it.


The L4D1 demo only took place on city streets and in a subway. Basically everything you said, I can just yell "demo!" at.

I'd be buying this game on day one, if I wasn't broke.

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Coopersville said:

The L4D1 demo only took place on city streets and in a subway. Basically everything you said, I can just yell "demo!" at.


It's pretty obvious that L4D1 lacked variety. If the demo only took place on city streets and in a subway, then the whole game must take place on city streets and in a subway, which means that the game lacked any variety whatsoever as far as map design goes and is therefor a worthless piece of shit that's not even worth buying.

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Coopersville said:

The L4D1 demo only took place on city streets and in a subway. Basically everything you said, I can just yell "demo!" at.

As I've said before... demos may be missing weapons or levels (or full of glitches), but the core experience is all there.

Things to expect from the full version of L4D2: More of the same
Things not to expect: helicopter chase level, zombie face editor

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40oz said:

Left 4 Dead was definitely aiming for the horror/thriller genre. With the constant darkness, rain, abandoned buildings, creaky floors, suspenseful music, how many other games do that?

I think if you've played the game 200 times it's not scary. I mean, if you watched the movie Saw 200 times ya think it will still be scary the 201st time you watch it?


I've only played L4D three or four times in the past, but each time I played it, I never got the sense that it was going for a horror atmosphere. Kinda seemed more like the kind of tone that the movie Shoot 'Em Up took. More satirical/parody than anything else, but in the end it's all about fun. My roommate plays it pretty obsessively, though, but claims that he felt the same way when he first played.

And please... pleeeeease tell me you didn't find Saw scary...

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I loved L4D and preordered L4D2 a short while back. With great excitment I played the demo as soon as steam unlocked it and found myself to be disapointed. It was good, but I didn't think it was anywhere near as good as L4D 1. Then I played it through again and found it slightly more enjoyable, then played it through again but online and had a whale of a time, I even began to like the characters. It's not a bad game, give it a chance and it will grow on you, I think some of the new ideas are excellent such as having a couple of models for the special infected, the melae weapons and the zombies in riot police body armour. That is even if the characters initially seem annoying and the level design seems awkward.

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Snakes said:

And please... pleeeeease tell me you didn't find Saw scary...


Perhaps he saw a trailer and figured it would be scary.

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Yeah I never really viewed the Saw movies as scary movies. Instead, I thought of them more as gross-out movies. The only thing that may be scary about such a movie would perhaps be an urge to turn away from the screen when you know some dude is about to be horribly mutilated.

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The first 2 movies really aren't as gory as people claim they are. They're actually pretty tame compared to some other movies such as Crank. They seemed more like just gross out movies to me. There were a lot of twists in each movie, several of which I actually found pretty interesting. There was also the symbolism behind each of the traps and challenges in the movie, such as the challenge for Xavier, a drug dealer where he was supposed to dive into a pit full of used syringes in order to find a key to open a safe for an antidote to the nerve gas flooding the building.

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The correct term for the Saw series is torture porn. See also Hostel, Turistas, Passion of the Christ, etc.

Anyway, I think it's lame they made an entirely new game so soon and didn't support the first one better. "Survival Mode" and one half-assed campaign don't amount to much in my book. Most of the stuff in L4D2 looks like it should have been included in an expansion pack or something, not a full-cost game.

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Actually, it was "awesomeface", and it doesn't count as copypasta if I wrote it both times.
*brofist*

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david_a said:

Most of the stuff in L4D2 looks like it should have been included in an expansion pack or something, not a full-cost game.

But Left 4 Dead 2 has more content than L4D, in my experience expansion packs usually only add a few levels and a couple of weapons. Besides, if you preorder with the 4-pack* It's only $35 US, which is great value compared to certian other games.


*I wouldn't really recommend buying the game unless you 3 friends who also play anyway.

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I personally don't like the new characters, but if Valve releases the original characters for download then I'm down.

Hm... speaking of Counter-Strike, am I the only one that thinks CS:Source was great and wish they would bring it to 360? Maybe I'm just a dumbass, but that sounds like hell of fun to me. (Although half the fun of CSS was the mods/gun games/custom maps... hmmm)

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Ninjalah said:

Hm... speaking of Counter-Strike, am I the only one that thinks CS:Source was great and wish they would bring it to 360?

Yes bring CSS to the 360 so joystick players can get anally raeped by legions of mouse players with a decade of experience under their belt. The lulz factor alone would be worth it. And I'm sure Microsoft would appreciate it, too.

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The only zombie/undead game I got excited over was when they announced George A. Romero's City of the Dead. A shame it got canceled. The only other zombie-only game I looked forward to and liked somewhat despite the bugs and it being a budget title was Land of the Dead: Road to Fiddler's Green.

Ah well. Passing on this as well.

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Ninjalah said:

I personally don't like the new characters, but if Valve releases the original characters for download then I'm down.

Sure thing, it'll only cost 30 USD!

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I really love Left 4 Dead, I think it's especially fun when playing with a few drunk mates. But my opinion is pretty much that of the OP. The new characters are horrible, as are the new special infected. The fact you have limited melee abilities when using weapons makes me very sad, as I like to use both the shotgun and the pistols. Now, I'm forced to carry a melee weapon if I want to survive in close quarters against a group of infected.

It's only just been the demo so far, but what I've seen hasn't impressed me. I'll give it a try when I'm round at my friend's house in the next few weeks, but I'm not in very high hopes for it at the moment.

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Ninjalah said:

I personally don't like the new characters, but if Valve releases the original characters for download then I'm down.


They said they want to have a bridge in the future to where the original survivors come in/meet the new ones, and possibly re-tool the old campaigns to fit the new engine's effects and features. Although this won't happen at launch, there are indications in the L4D2 files that this may happen later on down the line.

I know I'm going to get my money's worth out of this game just like I did out of L4D1. Of course, PC gaming is superior to console gaming in almost every way. Valve's titles are made for the PC first, and the consoles second, so playing 15 minutes of the L4D2 demo (presumably alone, with only AI to play with) on the X-Box 360 really isn't giving you the full experience.

I'd also like to note that 40oz literally put no research into this title whatsoever, giving it a bad name based off watching someone else play it (a demo) for 15 minutes on the 360. Not all the campaigns will actually take place during daylight. Like L4D1's campaigns (but to a greater degree) they will take place at varying times of day/night. They did not include all of the weapons, they did not include all of the new uncommon infected (Think the riot police armor zombie. There's different uncommon infected like that in each campaign), they did not include even all of one campaign!!

I laugh at anyone who sees this as a horror game. It's not meant to be and never will be. This is very clear if you've actually played the game. If you like fun games and zombie action, you'll probably like this!

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What's wrong with the new infected? I think they're great - especially the Spitter, which in my opinion was desperately needed in order to help break groups of survivors up. In general, it seems to me that they've really done a lot to rebalance the gameplay in terms of forcing the survivors to keep moving and not bunch up in a corner somewhere. I mean, you'd get these events where waves of zombies attacked the players, but after a while they became completely ineffective because the players learned to stake out a safe spot and simply wait the damn thing out. Now with things like spitters, and events that require the players to move to complete them, that won't be such an issue anymore.

Of course, once again, I'm speaking primarily as someone who plays vs. mode, so I tend to look at the game from the point of view of playing as a survivor and an infected.

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