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The big knock against Left 4 Dead 2 by many, was that it was too soon for a sequel and Valve should have supported the original through downloaded content. So before when get into the review itself, let's take a look at some of the new aspects of sequel.
One thing that makes the sequel so special and definitively sets itself apart from its predecessor is a more active director. The placing of zombies and items are more random, thus more challenging and now even weather is subject to change.
What will be the most noticeable to gamers the first time around are the fun-filled new zombies to kill. New special infected include the Spitter who spews green acid at you and the Jockey who latches onto your back, controlling your motor skills and usually directing you into harms way. The Charger is very aptly name, typically bull rushing into your party and eventually smashing one of you into the ground. There are a few more new zombies that you'll come up against, I just didn't want to spoil them all for you.
Melee weapons are also a welcomed new addition to the Left for Dead universe. Chainsaws, machetes and even guitars can be yielded to ward off zombie attacks. So as you can see, there is no shortage of fun to be had in Left 4 Dead 2, the new king of the zombie games.
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Left 4 Dead 2 Gameplay
The Left 4 Dead 2 gameplay is largely the same, though the sequel contains more variables to consider, including the addition of alarms. At various points in a campaign, you will need get through an area by setting off an alarm, which will draw the attention of a horde. Much like a finale, the horde just keeps coming until you disengage the alarm, or are able to reach the safe room. The AI still occasionally suffers from random stupidity and especially at critical moments. Specifically, they seem slow to react to when you are targeted by a special infected. This adds more difficulty to what already was a challenging game.
New weapons and items help compensate in the Left 4 Dead 2 gameplay, including melee weapons, a powerful magnum with infinite ammo and the massive grenade launcher. Also, ammo upgrades, boomer bile to attract zombies away or to a special infected and even defibrillators to revive dead teammates also help to curb the games sometime daunting challenges.
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Graphics And Sound In Left 4 Dead 2
The graphics in Left 4 Dead 2 are a bit more polished than the original, also the sequel boasts a new gamer interface which is a bit more eye-pleasing and easy to use. Valve did a great job of creating an environment that is eerie and occasionally claustrophobic. The attention to detail is most noticeable when it comes to the best part of the game – killing zombies. There is an almost disturbing amount of realism to how the bodies react to melee and gunfire attack in Left 4 Dead 2.
The sound is a phenomenal compliment to the graphics and add to the unnerving feel of the game. The game takes on a whole new dimension when played on a good stereo-surround sound environment. Sound effects are crisp and just like the original Left 4 Dead, the voice acting is terrific and helps set the mood while at other times adding some levity. The audio and sounds are not a part of Left 4 Dead 2 that I would recommend missing out on.
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Game Modes And Replay Value
Left 4 Dead 2 features the same versus and survival modes from the original that add depth, replay value and a killer online zombies gaming experience. The game modes themselves are essentially the same, though feature the upgrades and enhancements as the campaign. One new mode is scavenge. Basically, you're on a team of survivors or special infected. If you're a survivor the goal is to collect as many gas cans as you can to fuel a generator. You're object as the dead, well, kill people, obviously. The mode itself isn't anything spectacular, but it adds depth and allows you to play both sides of Left 4 Dead 2.
The other new mode is realism campaign, here, teamwork is paramount. As you might expect, the game is far more difficult due to the added realism. Zombies must be killed by head shot, teammates can only be revived with a defibrillator, and there are many more witches to contend with (though I don't know how that last part adds to the realism.) Suffice to say, this mode is not for the faint of heart or noobs.
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Final Thoughts On Left 4 Dead 2
Again, much has been made about Valve's decision to "rush" the sequel of Left 4 Dead through, however hastily this game was made, the experience is polished and professional and in every way meets, if not exceeds, expectations set by its predecessor. There are plenty of new aspects of the game to keep diehard fans happy as well as attract new victims to apocalypse.