1-on-1: Modern Warfare 2 vs Left 4 Dead 2

Can Valve’s grab-bag of southern comfort and zombie goodness overturn Infinity Ward’s steamroller of an action blockbuster? Click on for our pre-release feature face-off.

By Edwin Evans-Thirlwell, October 29, 2009

See the Witch doing star jumps in top left?

See the Witch doing star jumps in top left?

#3 Enemies

Left 4 Dead 2 lands a very palpable blow with its free-form Infected opposition. Modern Warfare 2′s goons have their flights of independent thought, hunting down retreating players and the like, but at heart they’re pop-up gunmen ranged along a breadcrumb trail of cut scenes and spawn triggers. Their blood is merely the adhesive holding all the plot points together.

Shoot one and you've shot them all?

Shoot one and you've shot them all?

By contrast, the body of if/then equations encompassed by Valve’s buzz term ‘AI director’ is practically self-aware. Play well and the game will bombard you with Special Infected (now joined by the group-scattering Charger, heavy support Spitter and anti-lone-wolf Jockey); play badly and it’ll lower the temperature. An intimidating prospect to the more occasional FPSer, indeed, but when everything comes together the game should offer thrills Infinity Ward’s bombastic scripting can’t match.

Modern Warfare 2 – 2
Left 4 Dead 2 – 2

"Stanley is modelling a FAMAS scoped tactical assault rifle..."

"Stanley is modelling a FAMAS scoped tactical assault rifle..."

#4 Toys (guns, abilities, etc)

Left 4 Dead 2′s roster of generic shotguns, pistols and rifles looks pretty homely next to the acronym-spattered comprehensiveness of Modern Warfare 2′s arsenal, even with the addition of incendiary rounds. Boasting 10-15 varieties of assault rifle alone, each modelled with quite terrifying exactness on the reality, the Call of Duty sequel is the clear victor at a distance. Close up, though, Left 4 Dead 2 busts out severely semi-inducing playthings in the form of chainsaws, baseball bats and and frying pans.

From Ashes to Ashes...

From Ashes to Ashes...

Stalemate once again? Not quite – Modern Warfare 2 has its inherited Perk system and all-new customisable Killstreaks to fall back on, which breed no end of combat possibilities in online play. Will you scour a flag capture point with helicopter fire or toss a Predator missile at the carrier? Is the infamous posthumous Martyr grenade-drop more to your tastes than the low thermal profile afforded by Cold-Blooded? If you like having lots of tools at your disposal, rather than a small but well-balanced selection, Infinity Ward’s pie will be the one to bite into.

Modern Warfare – 3
Left 4 Dead – 2

3 Responses to “1-on-1: Modern Warfare 2 vs Left 4 Dead 2”

  1. joseph says:

    l4d2 is winner based on intelligent game play making it interesting 6-12 months from now….cod same thing over and over promoting a braindead mindset…lol…Cod turns ppl into zombies we can practice killing in l4d2!!

  2. Anthony says:

    Left 4 Dead 2 is way better than Modern Warfare 2. It the type of game you can still enjoy playing 2 or more years down the road as if it was your first time playing. I’m not knocking Modern Warfare 2 but Left 4 Dead 2 gives you more enjoyable gameplay that promote teamwork to its max. Left 4 Dead 2 all the way baby!!!

  3. Fink says:

    I don’t think it is even fair to compare the weapons between the two games. In L4D2 these are weapons that you could pick up in real life. Everyday people don’t have all these military weapons at their disposal. Also, I’m pretty sure that in real life after you kill so many opponents in a row you don’t get the option to have your radar point out where the others are hiding, or have a plane drop bombs or whatever. It is pretty sad that I am going to say this…but I think the post-apocalyptic zombie shooter is more realistic than a game based on the military. My vote goes to L4D2 because of the realism and just all around better gameplay.


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