While the first Left4Dead (read my other review to find out more about the original) provided one of the most innovative zombie shooters available, Valve's release of Left4Dead 2 truly changed the way I viewed zombie survival games. Left4Dead 2 provides the same scenario as the first game, where you and three other players work your way through hordes of zombies to reach a safe house. But while the concept stays the same, the makers have tweaked almost every other aspect of the game, creating one of the most adrenaline-filled game playing experiences available.
Like in the first game, you will pick one of four players, pick your weapons, and eradicate the thousands of zombies that stand in your way. Like in the first game, special zombies will be some of the more powerful enemies throughout the game, rendering your player completely useless, until you have been helped by one of the other survivors on your team. This aspect makes it nearly impossible to finish the game without relying on the other players. The special zombies remain the same (Hunters, Boomers, Tanks, Smokers, and Witches) however, some of the new special zombies make the game even more difficult than the first.
Special Zombies: The special zombies of Left4Dead 2 look even more grotesque than in the first, and create even more danger for the survivors. The Spitter vomits pools of acid that drop the survivor's health rapidly. The Jockey rides on the survivors backs (similar to a jockey on a horse) and can control where the survivor walks. The Charger, one of the larger special zombies, uses his mutated arm to smash into characters and carry them far distances. When playing Left4Dead 2 online, players still have the option to play as the special zombies. This continues to be one of the Left4Dead series' greatest strengths.
Weapons: Pipebombs, Molotov Cocktails, Pistols, Machine Guns, Sniper Rifles, and Shotguns carry over from the first game. But Left4Dead 2 offers even more weapons to rip, tear, blast, and shred your undead foe. Vials of Boomer bile can be thrown at zombies, making them turn on one another. Just be careful not to throw it on yourself or other players! New guns can be used as well, but it's much more fun picking from the new hand-held weapons, such as the baseball bat, machete, or frying pan. For those who want to get the most out of Left4Dead 2, I would recommend using the chainsaw...
Setting: From the rainy swamps of Savannah Georgia, to the run-down streets of New Orleans, the levels of Left4Dead 2 help intensify the terrifying experience of surviving a zombie apocalypse.
New gameplay features were added to Left4Dead 2 as well. In many sections of the game, you will have to create quite a large noise to advance. This will inevitably attract massive hordes of zombies. While this feature was present in the first game, Left4Dead 2 makes better use of it. Furthermore, the survivors of Left4Dead 2 have much more of a personality than the first. Their witty comments throughout the game act as a sort of comic relief.
Left4Dead 2 presents players with the best of the best. The music and sound effects are top-notch. Every howl of zombie and explosion of a gas tank can be heard with perfect clarity. The graphics are without a doubt some of the best. From shiny blood stains smeared across a wall, to confetti-like intestines flying across your screen, Left4Dead 2 captures every grizzly effect with its excellent graphics.
I highly recommend Left4Dead 2 for any fan of zombie/horror/action/shooter games. While Left4Dead 2 is an excellent game, I would NOT recommend Left4Dead 2 for younger players, unless you are comfortable with your child watching skull fragments scatter across the street. Left4Dead 2, like in the first game, makes full use of its Mature rating. Left4Dead 2 is ONLY available for Xbox 360, PC, and Mac.