Review: Left 4 Dead 2

Hold on to your undergarments, Left 4 Dead 2 has you going for an adventurous romp through a variety of zombie wastelands. Four different survivors and five new campaigns, with one purpose – stay together stay alive.

Stranded in the swamps and townships the south, you control the fate of four survivors, Nick, Rochelle, Coach and Ellis. Like the original, Left 4 Dead 2 has you battling your way through hordes of common zombies and special infected and only staying alive with the help of a surplus of weapons, ammunition and much needed health packs. Once again goal is the same – survive long enough to make it to the next safe house, or helicopter and move forward in the game.

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Back to wreak havoc on our survivors are the smoker, boomer, tank, hunter and the witch. Game developer Valve throws in new assailants to keep you on your toes at every turn or dark corner. Newly introduced is the Spitter who lets out a vile concoction that eats away your health points – her attire is questionable at best. The Charger, rushes at his prey full steam and grasps them by the neck and slams them into the pavement. The Jockey, who’s maniacal laugh will haunt you in your sleep, stocks his victims only to pounce on their heads and ride them like a broncos.

The most recent downloadable content for the original game gave us just a slight glimpse into what was to come in the second edition. Crash Course tied together No Mercy and Death Toll and introduced an opportunity to roam free in maps and try out new weapons. Unlike the original, L4D2′s storyline seamlessly takes you through five campaigns, an array of shopping centers, back roads, empty city streets and swamps.

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New levels test the four survivors and their will to live. In Dead Center, you battle your way through a shopping center filled with raging zombies to find a racecar that you must fill with gas to start up. In Dark Carnival, the racecar runs of gas on the highway and your forced to battle your way through the Whispering Oaks Amusement Park and a stadium where a switch to start a rollercoaster signals a rescue chopper but also alerts an overwhelming horde. In Swamp Fever, your helicopter crashes and leaves you deep in the swamps. Fight your way through a dizzying maze of thick brush and abandoned homes and you will eventually find your way to a plantation where a boat is summed to rescue you. Hard Rain not only pits survivors against the infected but also Mother Nature, with an unexpected weather surprise. In the grand finale, you are left on the banks of the South, which is overrun by the zombies. Your final goal is to reach a helicopter which takes you to a cruise ship to safety.

The L4D series would be nothing without an exciting new variety of weapons to choose from. L4D2 starts you off with the same originals including the chrome shotgun and silenced submachine gun, but adds 23 new weapons and wide selection of ammunition to choose from. You now have incendiary and explosive ammunition, and laser sight to make sure you know what you’re aiming for.

Shoving the infected was so yesterday. Now, your can equip the survivors with melee weapons which include a frying pan, cricket bat, crowbar, electric guitar, ninja sword, Machete, and my personal favorite, the chainsaw.

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L4D2′s “Director” keeps players on their toes by switching scenes and keeping a steady flow of hordes coming. Unlike the original these zombies are faster and more aggressive – and the game keeps them coming, wave after wave.

I’d have to admit Dark Carnival kept me struggling. Survivors start up a rollercoaster and which signals an ambush of zombies. The only way to stop it is to fight your way through the hordes of infected, and run to the top to switch off the power. That’s if the survivors can get there before they’re overwhelmed.

The single player campaign only scratches the surface of the L4D2. I say online game play is a must!

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As the survivors slash and shoot their way through the campaigns they leave a wake of mangled bodies of rotting flesh and a life they once knew. In the end, all that can be said is, George A. Romero created the genre, Resident Evil brought it to consoles and Left 4 Dead 2 slaps you silly with total zombie annihilation.

Left 4 Dead 2
Xbox 360 & PC
Valve
Rated M for Mature