Left 4 Dead Demo

A zombie's worst nightmare (valve corp)

A zombie's worst nightmare (valve corp)

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Left 4 Dead 2 is the sequel to last year’s best selling zombie shooter Left 4 Dead. It takes place in New Orleans, rather then in Philadelphia as in the first game. The demo features the first two sections of the Parish campaign, which takes place during daylight in the city. This is quite a departure from the first game, which took place almost entirely at night. Fighting zombies in the daylight is a new experience to be sure.

The new survivors are Coach, a high school football coach, Nick, a conman, Ellis, a young mechanic, and Rochelle, an executive producer for a TV show. Even with the short time I’ve spent with them in the demo, I know I like the cast. I do miss the old cast, but these guys are definitely realistic, well created characters. Valve knows how to make good characters (as they proved with L4D1, Team Fortress 2, and the Half Life series)

The new special infected change the game flow up considerably. For example: because of the Spitter, players are no longer able to corner camp through campaigns. The Jockey will force team mates out in the open to rescue their friend. The Charger will take one player away from the pack before pinning them down and slamming them repeatedly.

The new special infected will have to contend with the new weapons. Each standard weapon now has different versions. For example, there are two kinds of pump shotguns, two kinds of SMGs, and 3 different types of assault rifles. Each gun, even the ones from the first game, feel a lot stronger and are extremely satisfying to use.

Another new addition is melee weapons. Close range weapons such as machetes, police batons, and chainsaws will be available for use by the survivors. You can even wield a guitar. All of the melee weapons do very high amounts of damage, even to the normally hard to kill Tank can be taken down with just a few smashes with a guitar. Of course, this requires players to get dangerously close to the Tank, so it’s not a tactic for the light of heart.

All of these additions and gameplay tweaks will make L4D2 a unique experience from the first game, and I for one can’t wait to get my hands on the full game.

The Left 4 Dead 2 demo has been out for a few weeks now for Steam and Xbox live and is still available for download. The full game will be released on November 17th.