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Oops sorry about the spelling. That's what happens when you're dual wielding a 5 month old and a keyboard.

Anyway, I played the first on 360 and once I have time will play the second on PC, unless that free copy i was promised actually shows up (doubtful)

Thanks. Long live the pole! emot_shakehead.gif

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The more I play this, the more mixed feelings I have about it. I haven't played it enough to form a full judgement yet (particularly regarding the SI combinations), as I've been pretty busy lately. I'll post a revised opinion after I get in another few weeks' play.

Anyway, here's my bitch list. Many of these are problems that have been repeated from the first game which I find to be very strange.

Swamp fever is deathly dull with a terribly boring finale, Dead Centre's mall is hardly dripping with detail and even hard rain's "ooh it's getting stormy" thing doesn't distract from the rolling greyness. I quite like The Parish and Dark Carnival is the best of the bunch -- I think that's a really cool map; it has a lot of distinguishing features and things to see and do. Compare Dark Carnival to Swamp Fever -- is this made by the same company?

Quite a few of the maps are obscenely short and easy. E.g. Hard Rain 1 & 4 are almost a joke. On Hard Rain 4, a rushing team will face 3 (three) SI attacks; unless something goes badly wrong, nothing is going to happen. Many of the maps have limited cover for SI. Various routes involve walking along a road with parked cars and nothing else to help. This gives many of the maps a Death Toll 4 feel -- rubbish for attacking. Throw in the fact that there's lots of unnecessary medkits + pills and they're even easier. Worse still, there are extra medkits in the safe room or immediately outside the safe room most of the time, rendering early attacks pointless.

I'm still convinced the variety in things like shotguns + rifles is largely pointless. More to the point, as with the first game, tier 2 weapons are still too strong. Instead of being auto-shotty biased like L4D1, it's all about the rifles now. 3 or 4 people with AKs shred just about everything. The game is a lot more balanced and challenging with tier 1 weapons.

Tanks get shredded by assault rifles. You can't even throw rocks from afar as they get shot to pieces more or less instantly when rifles are involved. At least in the first game it was an actual distraction to shoot rocks. Valve may have done this to try and force tanks to rush, but rushing on a lot of maps is suicide. Disappointingly, teams can still set tanks on fire when they're AI controlled if the tank gets a poor spawn, plus many tank spawns involve the tank being cut off by a doorway or something similar, meaning you either lose control or get set on fire instantly. This wouldn't be so bad if the choke points let the SI spawn, but you usually end up with 4 survivors in a room blocking all the spawn points.

I'm getting somewhat irked by the ineffective combinations of SI, too. There are many critical points where you need a charger in particular, but you may not get one. Worse still, you end up with a smoker and jockey in enclosed spaces where you need a charger, boomer and spitter. This is really annoying. In L4D1 the main gripe was that you didn't get a smoker at critical moments. This problem has now been exacerbated by the variety of SI in L4D2. I guess this was somewhat unavoidable.

Oh and the characters are still boring me. I found the original game's characters a lot more interesting/amusing ("attention all boat owners: We are the boat cops! We command you to pick us up!"). Regardless of the new narrative (which makes versus feel a bit weird) and linked maps, I've yet to come to really like any of the characters other than Coach, and that's because he's a one man cheeseburger apocalypse.

What do I really like? The charger is awesome for splitting teams up, the Jockey is a funny fucker, 4v4 matchmaking is very good, zombies + frying pans = good combination. The rolling crescendos are much better than the old cupboard fest. It's generally easier to wipe teams and the scoring is better, though not necessarily fair (almost won a game yesterday despite getting owned on for most of it solely because I wiped them as tank on the finale -- we ended up losing by 50 points or so).

I fully realise that I'm excessively critical because of how much love I have for the first game, btw. I just expected better.

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So now it's official and we can talk about it:

New DLC is on it's way, reunion of old and new survivors.

http://store.steampowered.com/news/3237/

"The Passing" Brings L4D1 Survivors Down South

December 14, 2009 - Valve, creators of best-selling game franchises (such as Half-Life, Portal, Team Fortress, and Counter-Strike) and leading technologies (such as Steam and Source), today announced the first game add-on for its co-operative zombie thriller, Left 4 Dead 2 (L4D2), is in development and targeted for release in early 2010.

Dubbed "The Passing," the first game add-on for L4D2 brings the original Left 4 Dead (L4D1) Survivors down south for a meeting with the L4D2 cast, while delivering new single-player, multiplayer and co-operative gameplay for the PC and Xbox 360.

Targeted for release in early spring, "The Passing" takes place just after the Dead Center campaign of L4D2. Set in a small town in rural Georgia, players assume the role of the L4D2 Survivors as they meet with the L4D1 characters.

In addition to the new co-operative campaign and associated narrative, "The Passing" will include new arenas for Survival, Versus and Scavenge mode and introduce a new co-operative challenge mode of play. The Passing will also include a new "uncommon common" zombie class, melee weapon, and firearm.

"The Passing will become the most important campaign in the Left 4 Dead story, as all the Survivors are being called together in one campaign," said Doug Lombardi, VP of marketing at Valve. "It will also be a huge offering of new gameplay content, with something new for every game mode plus a new uncommon common and weaponry."

[blah...]

Left 4 Dead 2: The Passing is targeted for release in early spring for the PC and Xbox 360. Pricing will be announced closer to launch.

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