Xbox 360 Review: Left 4 Dead 2

12 Months Later…

I for one enjoyed the original Left 4 Dead immensely. It just managed to get the right combination between team work and action without being complex. We’ve all enjoyed playing it over the past year, but is it too soon for the sequel?
Considering the first game came out about a year ago, it’s hard to say if L4D 2 has still got what it takes to draw the crowd in. Some might argue that they could have released the new content as DLC for L4D 1 and in some ways, I do agree. Having said that, I don’t actually mind that much…as long as I get to blast more zombies with people online, who cares where the content comes from?

Left 4 Dead 2 comes with 5 new campaigns and 3 new game modes. The AI Director now has more power to alter the game than before which makes each playthrough unique and requires more co-operation with your team-mates to succeed. The campaigns are much better than that of the original game and much more enjoyable.

I guess the addition of melee weapons do help to make the game slightly more fun, but they do make it dangerous for those who use them instead of their side-weapons. There are some new enemies also which I think you have to come across for yourself, but L4D 2 is a lot tougher than the first game. There’s even a realism mode which makes things incredibly tough…team-mates who die can only be revived with a defibrillator kit and cannot respawn in the level, while zombies are more resistant to bullets unless they are aimed directly towards their heads. It’s tough and it will test your sanity.
The core gameplay of L4D remains unchanged in the sequel. You still have to fight your way through hordes of zombies and monsters to the safe room at the end of each stage. Weapons pack a punch, but they don’t feel all that different from each other. In terms of new features, L4D 2 doesn’t have a whole lot…instead it relies more on new content like the new campaigns and modes. There are a few different types of versus multiplayer which mixes up the traditional L4D formula, but most will prefer to stick to helping each other through the zombie masses.

Don’t go expecting a huge visual leap from L4D 2. While the game does look a lot better, it uses the same engine. Music is atmospheric as the first, while voice-acting is a lot better. The new characters are more likeable and less stereotypical than those of L4D 1.

The Verdict

It would have been nice to see some evolution of the L4D formula, but it feels more of the same. That’s not a bad thing by any means; it just would have been great to see something uniquely different from the first game other than new content. That aside, L4D 2 is a great sequel full of new areas to explore, more pills to pop, more weapons and most importantly…more zombies to kill.


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