Left 4 Dead 2 Review

Another adrenaline shot in the arm for the co-op scene. FPS Gamer’s take on the Xbox 360 version of Left 4 Dead 2.

By Edwin Evans-Thirlwell, November 23, 2009

The Jockey is a formidable opponent on less open maps.

The Jockey is a formidable opponent if it catches you unawares.

Frenziedly good fun as the mutants are to fight, they’re even more fun to control. Playing the Jockey in the returning four-on-four Versus mode is a particularly refined art, the trick being to mount a straggler near cover to allow immediate protection from any vengeful bullets. Versus remains quite brilliantly asymmetrical, the Survivors having the advantage of guns and sturdy health bars while the Infected benefit from numbers, heightened perception, maneuverability and infinite respawns. Alternating between the two sides allows you to really get under the skin of the maps, with their climbable surfaces, breakable walls and shadowy closets.

Once those maps have been picked clean of points of remark, the incurably masochistic can put their knowledge to the test by jumping into the new “Realism” mode, which makes the Infected markedly tougher and, more importantly, relieves Survivors and Specials alike of their halos, rendering voice communication absolutely crucial to teamwork. Beyond that, there are the last-man-standing thrills of Survival mode, in which the Survivors must defend a closed-off area against endless waves of Infected.

Later in the "Dark Carnival" campaign, you get to ride a rollercoaster.

Later in the "Dark Carnival" campaign, you get to ride a rollercoaster.

With only a year or so’s development under its belt, Left 4 Dead 2 is no Hunter-esque technical leap over the original, and naturally no threat to the cream of the Christmas 2009 graphical crop. It has the fundamentals of survival horror first-person shooting down cold, though, boasting a marathon runner’s frame-rate (outside of splitscreen play at least) and some absorbing lighting effects.

In the Left 4 Dead series, the perennially over-performing Valve has put together yet another classic franchise, and while the absence of fundamental overhaul obliges me to be sparing in my praise of the sequel, it should serve you long after Modern Warfare 2′s charms have faded. Anyone who tells you otherwise is the sort of person who hangs back in the Safe House while you’re getting slashed to ribbons by a Witch. Forget handing over your water bottle – these odious individuals shouldn’t be allowed up the gang-plank in the first place.

9 out of 10

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One Response to “Left 4 Dead 2 Review”

  1. anomonous says:

    Ive’ read reviews of the newer games and I must say that left for dead has a more vivid description.


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