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Just played through it: incredibly disappointed. Valve coyly hyped up that the survivors from the first game were going to meet up with the survivors of the second game, and that one of the original survivors was going to die. Awesome, I thought, but no. Here's how Valve managed to fuck that up:

I went into The Passing without expecting anything groundbreaking in terms of gameplay (it is, after all, just a DLC pack). What I was expecting was some story. The overall arc of Left 4 Dead 1 and 2 isn't very presented. Hell the first game was supposed to be 4 unrelated B-Movies strung together with Valve retroactively making an actual coherent story out of them all. But with the release of Crash Course and an overall arc between episodes in Left 4 Dead 2, I was expecting Valve to at least do something memorable for this somewhat hyped The Passing. What we got is two decently sized levels of typical L4D2 zombie killing. Fine. A little stale, but fine.

What do we get as our two-groups-of-survivors-crossing-paths? We walk by a bridge with three survivors standing on it, looking normal, acting like everything's ok, and ready and willing to help About three sentences later, we're off. Ok... maybe the cool part is coming up. Go about searching these rooms and oh-by-the-way there's Bill's body in a corner room there. No subtle hint of sorrow from the original character NPCs, no awesome go-down-in-flames moment. Everything's fine and there's a body in the corner over there that nobody seems to notice. I understand that this is Left 4 Dead, we're talking about. It's not exactly a game for its cinematic value and storytelling and most people just want to kill zombies and be done with it, but come.on. That's it?!? At the very least, we could have had the original survivors covering the new group as they make their way across the finale, with a short 20 second in-game cut-scene of the old survivors holding off the last wave of zombies while the new heroes speed off into the distance only to have Bill get whisked away by a charger that crept up out of nowhere, his body thrown into the wall with Zoey and Francis shooting after the Charger only to realize they're too late. The Charger and Bill lie motionless on the ground. Zoey breaks into tears hovering over Bills body whimpering "Bill!.... No..." with Francis offering his best attempt at sincerity: "I'm going to miss that old bastard..." [CREDITS]. Something!... Anything is better than oh-by-the-way-Bill-died-when-you-weren't-looking that was delivered. What valve did was pretty much akin to if the original Star Wars never showed Ben Kenobi's death, but rather Ben Kenobi deactivates the tractor beam and is along his merry way and only finding out in dialogue as Luke runs to the Millennium Falcon "Sorry kid, the old man's dead, now get your ass on board!".

We spent the entire Left 4 Dead game with these characters; their dialogue and dynamics building through each succeeding chapter. With Left 4 Dead 1's scarcity of ammo and supplies with you constantly running out on harder difficulties, forcing you to rely on these characters as your life line in dire situations establishes something with these characters that was completely not acknowledged in The Passing. The only possible way Valve can make this right is if the Left 4 Dead 1 DLC has you play the events prior to The Passing and concludes with Bill's death, and it's actually done in a way that respects the character.

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Yea the l4d1 characters where over hyped a bit too much. Still I though it was a fun map and wish they had given us the source so we could look though it in the editor. Its a good length too, I though some of the other l4d2 campaigns where too long when you are doing them on expert.

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