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Left 4 Dead 2 Review

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Developer: Valve Publisher: Valve
Release Date: November 17, 2009 Available On: PC and Xbox 360

Believe it or not, it is July and we are still writing previews for games that we played at E3 in June. Yeah, it was that busy of an E3 this year. Left 4 Dead 2 was rather low on the priority list – not because it is a bad game by any means – but because it was rather predictable at how the sequel to last year’s surprise hit from Valve would turn out. Pretty much it is just more of the same sweet zombie killing action with new levels and a few new features.

Left 4 Dead hasn’t even been out for a year and the sequel is already set to launch on November 17, 2009. This has led many in the community to wonder if Valve has abandoned their original product. Some fans have gone so far as to call for a boycott of the second game. But Valve is promising that Left 4 Dead 2 will be every bit worth the $60 asking price. For starters, the game will feature five new campaigns. This compares to just four in the original game. Each of these will be playable with up to four people in co-op (including online). Versus mode and Survival mode are also an option.

Whereas the first Left 4 Dead took place in Pennsylvania, Left 4 Dead 2 takes place in the Southern United States. You will start off in Savannah, Georgia and make your way towards New Orleans, according to Valve. I only got a chance to play the New Orleans portion of the game where the colonial French architecture is prominently put on display. The city is infested with zombies (as you would expect) and provides for some interesting urban combat.

The game provides for plenty of new features and weapons to blow off the limbs of your undead foes. Melee weapons such as an ax, baseball bat and chainsaw all make the cut, with new weapons such as the grenade launcher and an AK-47 rifle also providing zombie killing potential. New incendiary ammunition heats up the action. Whereas the Witch would moan in a given spot in the first game, Left 4 Dead 2 employs a Wandering Witch that will travel around the level for you to encounter and ultimately have to deal with.

While some fans of the first Left 4 Dead may be itching for new downloadable content, it is pretty clear to me that Left 4 Dead 2 is a more than reasonable sequel that will have most gamers itching to play more. With slightly improved graphics and A.I., as well as new missions to complete, weapons and characters, Left 4 Dead 2 is an incremental improvement on its predecessor. But what more do you expect from a sequel these days?

Written by Kyle Bell