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Tuesday | October 16, 2018
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Left4Dead 2 Preview (X360)

Left4Dead 2 Preview (X360)


Left4Dead was a huge seller for Valve when it was released and the announcement of Left4Dead2 was met with a mixed response. While many people were excited about the possibility of a new game in this exciting post apocalyptic world, others felt that Valve hadn’t supported the original long enough. As a total Left4Dead fanboy I was lucky enough to spend some time with a few of the game areas before release.

Playing ‘The Parish’ – the closing campaign of L4D2 places us immediately in familiar territory with a neverending rush of brutal zombie attacks. Survival is still the order of the day and if you don’t work as a coherent team then the game can be brutally difficult. The early build we played only featured the axe and saucepan as melee weapons but they worked very well and we are excited to see the future array of weapons when the final build is released.

This time around Valve are focusing slightly more on a storyline and the short time we spent with the game moves our gang from the shores of the Mississippi into the streets of the New Orleans French Quarter. The graphics are deliciously lit with ambient and seductive yellow hues soaking the buildings and objects in the environment as the trees filter through from the distance.

As the level progresses the survivors fight through the burned out destruction on the bridge out of the city meanwhile dealing with high tension narrow streets which are a great spot for zombie ambushes. The map really is massive, much bigger and more detailed than anything in the first game – it will certainly give people with claustrophobia a few panic attacks. The map is fantastically designed with many of the buildings offering great assassination points from above if you are willing to risk a few diversions on the path to freedom.

Valve are still masters of creating jaw dropping atmosphere and they once again do not fail to deliver with fantastic design ideas throughout. As I was killing the plethora of undead hordes there were many times I noticed little touches giving a good indication of how the humans were killed before the horrific present day situation took place. Army warnings hang from buildings and some forgotten police equipment litters the roads. Progressing further along the road we leave the market area and head into the park shortly beyond. With huge hedges blocking your vision in certain directions you never know what is coming up ahead so it is always important to keep your finger hovering over the trigger. Many times I wasn’t expecting an attack only to have my heart almost jump out of my chest when it happened. This is not the kind of first person shooter which gives you much room to recover and take a breath

The Charger makes an appearance here and he is tricky to deal with especially in closed quarters. If you get trapped in an alley or down a path with no exits it will quite often end up in your death as his huge arm smashes your head into anything nearby.

As our time with the demo ended we had to make our way to the overpass after restocking on ammo and weapons in a safehouse a little while back. The scene set here is sublime, with burning vehicles in all directions – the aftermath of a nightmare story untold and as we press forwards the undead relentlessly pound our position. It is our task to reach the rescue helicopter at the other side of the side of the bridge. Just as we cross a broken section of bridge we run into a little grouping of deserted military vehicles and you get access to some higher grade weaponry including a mounted machine gun to cut a swath through the vile hordes.

Left 4 Dead 2 is shaping up to be a killer title, especially if our short time with the demo code is anything to base our views on. It isn’t a change in direction for Valve, but considering the sales of the first game this would be a mad decision to make. What they have managed to pull off however are many small improvements in all the key areas which make the overall package that much more attractive. The graphics on the Xbox 360 are more refined with sharper, more detailed textures and the environments are home to some wonderful lighting and atmospheric effects which are trademarks of Valve. We can’t wait to see the game running on a cutting edge gaming PC as it will look even better.

It is safe to say we are excited and be sure to look out for our final review of the game before it hits retail in the not too distant future.

About Author

Stuart Davidson

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