Belated Game Reviews: Left Four Dead Two

This isn’t as late as the last one, just four months, but still slightly behind the times.  Or maybe just in time but we’ll get to that in a second.  The thing is, I’ve finally managed to catch up to the level of modern teenagers and have purchased a brand new Xbox 360.

Quick side story: I had accumulated a few Best Buy gift cards through my credit card redemption points, so when the grand total came up, this box of expensive electronics only cost seventy five cents of my own money.  I actually had to ask the wife for a quarter to cover it.  Result!

250px-Left4Dead2

Anyway, contrary to my usual policy of being a cheapass, I instead went with the commandment given to me by several friends and laid down the full price (!) and got the notorious zombie game, L4D2.  If you have being living in a luddite cave for a while—like I usually do—here is the basic premise: four surviving humans kill and attempt to escape a planetful of zombie hordes.  Sounds pretty cliché, and it is to an extent, but the execution is what seems to set it apart.

I’m told that this sequel of just a refinement of the original game, so I’ll just go ahead and ignore that one, especially since I haven’t played it and can’t comment.  The offline single player mode, what a lot of people would probably call “the game,” follows a standard first person shooter format.  You pick one of the humans, who control exactly the same and only differ in dialogue, and you try to get from one location to another, all the while you shoot or hit anything that jumps out and tries to murder you.  Simple, right?  But then the game throws the Special Infected at you, the super zombies with super powers.  The Spitter can shoot acid.  The Charger….charges.  And then there’s the terrifying witch who is best avoided at all costs, and whose sobs and wailing cause genuine dread.

Now I haven’t played too many of these types of games (or even this one for that long), so I can’t say how well it compares.  The single player game is fun enough, but to really get your sixty bucks (!) worth, you have to spend a night like I did on Friday, having a a couple of delicious beverages and playing this thing online with some friends.  Sure, fighting the hordes by your lonesome can be enjoyable, but it lacks a certain quality, that unique experience of starting your first online session and getting immediately stomped by your buddy playing as a zombie and hearing the familiar deep maniacal chuckle.

I’m sure I’m leaving out of bunch of exciting details since I’ve only played for a few hours.  But at least there are still people playing this online so that I can join in on the fun.  There are so many more zombies to hit with a frying pan.  So many more moments of hilarity when someone accidentally shoots the gas can and we all get set on fire.  It’s a Lewis and Clark voyage of comedic violence.

About Tim

Tim Bennett works for a publisher of science and technology, amongst other things.
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