(http://l4d.com/For Mature Audience 17 and over.  Valve is back at it again with the sequel of their highly successful and anticipated Apocalyptic Zombie Fighting adventure, Left 4 Dead 2.  With the hype and wonderful success behind the first title, unlike most games, we are fortunate enough to see a sequel making its return only a year later.  The story is based in the American Southeast with a brand new cast of four survivors (Coach, Rochelle, Ellis, and Nick) who are left to defend themselves from the infected zombies all around them on multiple wacky adventures.   From surviving within a shopping mall attempting to find a way out, to going to fend off zombies at a carnival and more, those who are a fan of the first are sure in for a treat with this highly polished second installment.

(http://l4d.com/For Mature Audience 17 and over.  Valve is back at it again with the sequel of their highly successful and anticipated Apocalyptic Zombie Fighting adventure, Left 4 Dead 2.  With the hype and wonderful success behind the first title, unlike most games, we are fortunate enough to see a sequel making its return only a year later.  The story is based in the American Southeast with a brand new cast of four survivors (Coach, Rochelle, Ellis, and Nick) who are left to defend themselves from the infected zombies all around them on multiple wacky adventures.   From surviving within a shopping mall attempting to find a way out, to going to fend off zombies at a carnival and more, those who are a fan of the first are sure in for a treat with this highly polished second installment.

**WARNING** The following Video May Contain Content Inappropriate for Children**

 

Presentation:

Many first person shooter (FPS) fans will find an element present in this title that is not a commonality in most FPS games: communication and teamwork.  You will find that in order to survive this zombie infested adventure you will have to work together and communicate to get through this mayhem.  From calling out finding ammo to what you’re doing next is a must to keep each other alive.  No one level is ever presented the same, for Zombies are randomly generated and spawned throughout the level.  Because the action is so fast paced you will find your eyes constantly glued to the screen until you finally find that Safehouse where you and your teammates will exhale in with a sign of relief that you all made it out of the level alive.  The teamwork required in this title really touches on a form of online game play that is commonly overlooked making it that much more enjoyable to survive a zombie infested survival adventure with your closest friends. 

 

Graphics:

Many who played the first installment will agree that the graphics this time around are not out of this world mind blowing, however when referring back to the original will notice that a lot of detail was added in this time around.  From the way that zombies take damage to the vivid and well thought out levels, many will agree that Left 4 Dead should have came like this from the very beginning and is a much more complete and polished version of the original title.

       

Gameplay:

This time as you defend yourself from a plethora of zombies a few items are now available to your arsenal courtesy of Valve.  New to the lineup are a new line of melee weapons such as a katana, or chainsaw.  If that wasn’t enough try out the deadly grenade launcher, or even revive your teammates with the new deliberators added to keep your adventure going.  But with new weapons always comes new boss zombie types.  Spitters, Jockeys, and Chargers (the names are fairly accurate what their specialties are) were added to the line up of new Zombies you will face throughout your struggle for survival.  A nice new feature that was added to the game play since at times the long battle for survival can be straining on the eyes, is the rest mode.  Any player can turn on rest mode at anytime and have AI take over not penalizing your other teammates so that you can take a break and snap back to reality for a moment.  Once you are fully rested up and looking for a true challenge, try out the new realism mode, where all the helpful glowing indicators that will lead you to items, weapons and ammo will be taken away to give the player a true taste of what survival looks like.   

 

Sound:

The soundtrack returns just as suspenseful as the original with the classic zombie boss que sound effects trademarked to a Left 4 Dead title.  But this time around what many players will find a huge improvement is the character’s emotions in their dialogue throughout as they fight for their life to survive from their zombie infested surroundings.  From Ellis’s epic stories that he will tell his teammates during at the worst times possible all the way to the way the four character’s random interactions and comments on their surroundings truly make the characters extremely likeable and game play experience not only suspenseful but comical and memorable as well.

       

Longevity:

If cooperative game play isn’t your thing there are still plenty of added modes this time around that will cater to your liking.  Returning from the original, Versus Mode is back again where players will be able to play as the infected as one of the main Boss Zombies against the humans.  This can be played in a four versus four (humans versus zombies) online style game.  Once you mastered that mode, try hone in your skills in Scavenger Mode where like Versus Mode it is played in a four on four style, but no travel to a safehouse is required.  Your goal as the humans is to collect gasoline to replenish a generator or as the infected zombies to stop the humans from doing so.  This time around with a total of five game modes available for play, there is a mode available for every audience in Left 4 Dead 2.  

 

Conclusion:

Left 4 Dead 2 is a great pickup title for this holiday season as it provides a whole new level of cooperative play that just isn’t offered in very many games out today.  This game is extremely polished from the original.  If you were a fan of the first you will only come to love this game that much more.  As for newcomers to this series you will find this game for survival strangely addicting especially since you will be able to team up with your closest friends to fend of zombies.  With a new arsenal of weapons and items, you will embark on multiple out of this world missions for survival in all sorts of environments you never thought a zombie killing survival scenario could take place.

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