Thursday, August 25, 2011

Late to the Party: A Review of Left 4 Dead 2

This week, we're excited to introduce a new feature here at Fantasy Matters--a series of video game reviews written by new contributors Dan Lammert and Luke Rasmussen.  The series is called "Late to the Party," because the games are a few years old, these reviews were originally published on Luke and Dan's own website, PlastikSickness--a website that also features Luke's skills as a DJ and musician.  This website brings together video games, music, zombies, and the apocalypse in a fascinating synthesis of geek culture, and it is definitely worth checking out!  Today, we bring you the first review in the series--Luke Rasmussen's look at Left 4 Dead 2.

Left 4 Dead 2Santa came a little early and delivered a copy of Left 4 Dead 2. Alright, so it was Dan (sorry to ruin that it wasn't really Santa) but that was great because we spent quite a bit of time going through it. Managed to get through the whole thing as a matter of fact, and it was quite a rush.

The mechanics are the same as in the first Left 4 Dead. There are some new items that were introduced as far as health, weapons and projectiles (specifically, Boomer Bile which can attract hordes to other creatures like the Tank). You also have some new special zombies added, including the spitter which gets acid all over the place and (my favorite) the jockey which rides you around. Dan led the way, so unfortunately he took the brunt of the damage from a lot of Jockey attacks (not to mention a significant amount of friendly fire from yours truly), but nothing too serious.

Replay Value7.0
Overall Score8.4
The storyline is really nothing spectacular, pretty basic plot for surviving, but there's some good chatter from the various characters that add some humor and keep things going. I will admit we didn't touch on the multiplayer outside of the campaign, so this review is really focused on that aspect of the game. Replayability from the main campaign seems like it's not expected to be the main seller - you can get through the game in a few hours, but there's nothing wrong about picking the game up to run through and wipe out some zombies. I do like that you can pick up on any part of the game and go from there, and I can guarantee I'm going to hit up the Dark Carnival round some more.

I do wish Valve would have kept earlier promises about giving more content for the first Left 4 Dead, instead of coming out with this game, but all-in-all it's a fun zombie slayer.

Bottom line: While there was some controversy about undelivered promises over the first Left 4 Dead, this is a very good game and quite enjoyable to play.  I mean, it's zombies for pete's sake.

Released on: November 17, 2009
Developed by: Valve
Published by: Valve