Left 4 Dead 2: zombie game is scarier than the original, which is plenty scary

Left 4 Dead -- a first-person, team-play zombie game -- is one of the most compelling, nightmarish, cinematic games I've ever seen. Part of it is the excellent play mechanics, part of it is the music (which has its own AI subsystem to ensure that it follows your play and makes appropriate, dramatic swellings at all the right times), part of it is the superb writing -- but it's mostly the fact that computer generated zombies are supposed to inhabit the uncanny valley, so these undead critters seem incredibly lifelike.

And now there's a sequel in the works, and holy crap, it looks even scarier. Watch this trailer and tell me that this thing won't give you bad dreams and twitches for months.

Left 4 Dead 2 PC GamesTrailer - E3 2009: Keep Fighting Trailer (via Wonderland)


  1. I would most definitely buy this game if it had cheat codes… I am thoroughly terrified of zombies and feel much better when I can laugh at them while they try to kill my god-like player.

  2. From the sounds of it, a lot of people are annoyed that they are already making a sequel. They think it should be $10 downloadable content. I think they don’t know what they are saying.

    Looks fun to me. Nothing is scary when you have a chainsaw.

  3. Ratdog: the point is not that this doesn’t warrant another purchase, the point is that the old game isn’t finished yet, has unfixed bugs, only recently had its SDK opened and doesn’t have any new maps.

    Why are we clamoring for free stuff like it’s our god-given right? Because a lot of people saw what was going on with Team Fortress 2 (LOADS of updates, new maps, new achievements, new weapons, new movies, loads of marketing) and hoped that the same would happen for L4D.

    Why are people so annoyed? Because TF2 is a quarter of the price of L4D. People were really expecting a lot of updates. They didn’t materialise. Now they’re peeved that they even paid the $40-50 for L4D.

    Instead of updates, Valve comes with L4D2.

    I guess the point is that although the cinematics and all that other stuff is great for L4D, it just isn’t as cool a game as TF2 for updates.
    Valve (http://store.steampowered.com/stats/) reports about twice as many players online for TF2 as for L4D. Remember that TF2 is ancient, by current game standards (TF2: Oct 2007 L4D: Nov 2008).

    Hey, I’m not arguing with the trailer, it looks fantastic. I’d even pay for the game if I didn’t already own L4D1. I’m not getting burned by the no updates again though. Too bad!
    Valve is a great company with a good spirit. I think they’ll make things right.

  4. @Ratdog

    I can’t blame them. The trailer shown above is prerendered. The actual trailers of gameplay have exactly the same engine capability as the last game. It seems as if its just more levels and weapons with no real expansion to the game. Hence, it should be downloadable content.

  5. @#5

    Perhaps you should try the first game out and then you might understand more the player’s beef with Valve.

    One ‘decent’ upgrade later, the multiplayer queue system is still broken. There is no way to prevent “rage quitting” (essentially leaving a full game just because you are mad). AI Bots cannot use or even pick up pipe bombs and molotovs (essential in the game).

    Basically players feel that this sequel not only feels completely rushed, but motivated by sales alone. Along with the fact that the programmers are constricted by the XBox and it’s steadily decaying graphics processing power, and maybe you can better understand the problems.

  6. @ REMMELT

    Yeah, that makes sense. It is a bit odd they are already releasing a sequel.

  7. still waiting for a sandbox-style game(think GTA with zombies) that lets the player search for food, weapons, reinforce their surroundings by boarding up windows and doors, allows for deformable terrain (take out the staircase!), and features multiplayer or co-op so groups can team up for a better chance of survival.

    Toss in rogue government forces, NPC survivor group antagonists, animals you can use for sentry duty, and you have a game that i will play for hours and hours.

    also, i somewhat agree that this sounds more like an expansion than a sequel. would be better to play the game from a single executable with additional content. (8 possible characters…multiple campaigns…aww yeah)


  8. I love Left 4 Dead and I’m willing to wait to see where Valve goes with L4D2, even if I’m not happy that I only got a year for my $50.

    That said, L4D2 is being published by EA. If it seems like a huge departure from Valve’s tradition of unimpeachable quality, that may be your answer right there.

    I’ve heard some speculation that Left 4 Dead 2 will be released along with Portal 2 and Episode 3 in an Orange Box-like product. I think that would restore a lot of good will but it’s purely speculation at this point.

  9. @Ratdog

    Valve said they were making DLC and mentioned some of the features for the DLC that is now in this “Sequel.”

    Wanting cheap stuff is one thing… but this is a case of a company changing their promises for what looks like a cash grab.

  10. Pretty sure that this will be released on the computer as an update OR reduced price. The reason being is that this new left 4 dead game is for the XBOX players because of how they can’t get the DLC like people on the computer can.

  11. I call a big business move. L4D finally got Valve on the console map and have you seen the marketing push for the survivor update? I don’t know what they’ve spent on the console push but they are aiming for a different way of making money from the L4D franchise.

    I don’t like that they are partnering with EA (if that is true – I haven’t seen a citation yet) but I would guess they need deep pockets to pit Steam vs XBox game delivery system.

  12. I wish I could play a Planet Terror style L4D game BTW.

    Cherry Darling, I’m just saying.

  13. It won’t give me bad dreams and twitches – ever. Sorry, zombies just not very scary to me.

    You want to creep me out, make me play Silent Hill, or watch something like Uzumaki or Ju-On.

    Zombies are just too overdone – with far too little variation.

  14. L4D2 can wait, Valve needs to spend its precious time on Halflife 3 .

    We’re waaaaaaiiiiiiitiiiiing….

  15. The trailers and cinematics (like all Valve games) are typically great. The game really lacked any discernable personality though and to me came off as a fairly solid multi-player FPS without much atmosphere or any of the scare factor evident in the hype surrounding the game.

  16. I just don’t understand the complaint about having paid $50, and the prospect of being “forced” to pay it again. No one’s making you buy new games for full price on release. I waited a month and got a new copy of the first L4D for $30.

  17. Personally, I think all the L4D2 boycotting business is whining and pretentious. I paid $50 for the first one, enjoyed it quite a bit, and I’m looking forward to the next. Call it what you want, fact is it’s a fun game, and the second one looks to be even better. The new game has more content that Left 4 Dead has, and an expansion can’t be bigger than what it’s supposed to upgrade, that’s backwards. Left 4 Dead 2 has more than enough new content to qualify it as a new game.

  18. hey guys,
    i never played L4D before, and i just got number 2 today. Its GREAT. though theres something going online with there servers and such… oh btw Its not scary. If u want scary play Condemed 2 or Silent Hill Homecoming! this game gets a 4.5/5! (missing .5 cause online isnt working right now)

  19. I haven’t played alot of L4D. ust enough of the first game to startle the witch and a few hunters. the game was really awesome.
    so i was s itting at my cimputer chair and i go “you know what… i want a zombie game. L4D was awesome when i played it.” so i looked around, but no L4D only L4D2. i bought L4D2. its EPIC. whoever doesn’t have it you need it. its not that scary. if you want scary play silent hill (:<

  20. scary?that aint scary!!!i played it 100 times and its kinda funny…elis always makes jokes that crack you up!

  21. This game is a lot of fun, I’ve already beat the campaign mode with a friend doing splitscreen co-op. @Ratdog (comment #5) “nothing is scary when you have a chainsaw” – nothing is scary when you have a sword and a sniper at your back either, the zombies didn’t stand a chance.
    Great game!

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