Last night I got a nice little surprise. I managed to score a copy of the demo for Left 4 Dead 2. I don’t think I could have been happier if I had found the lost city of Atlantis. Okay, maybe that’s an overstatement, but still, it’s an awesome find. Xbox 360 owners supposedly have to pre-purchase the full game to download the demo, but that may not be so for PC gamers. Since OCmodshop has a press account for Steam we were able to download it when it was available, but I’m not sure if it’s available for everyone. So I installed and played the content that was available. And I liked what I saw.
The game itself starts in Savannah Georgia and ends in New Orleans during a viral zombie outbreak. The campaign available in the demo is “The Parish”, set in New Orleans. It’s a lot like the first one, but with a few changes. The characters are all new, a guy named Nick who is a gambler and conman, a reporter named Rochelle who looks like she just came from the hair dresser, a big guy called Coach that looks like the dad from Family Matters, and a redneck mechanic named Ellis who won’t shut up about all the dumb crap he’s seen and done in the twenty or so years he’s been alive. They seem like an unlikely group, but then again, so did the group from the first game.
The original sniper rifle from the first game has been replaced with a hunting rifle fitted with a mid-powered scope. It’s still very effective, but slow. The shotgun is still there, and the sub-machine gun has been replace with a more powerful mini-sub that looks like it could cut down trees with little trouble. I certainly had no trouble cutting down a few hordes of zombies with it. But the best part is the introduction of melee weapons in the new game. I got to play around with a few, sadly, not the chainsaw, and I had some fun. The machete was by far my favorite. Here’s a list of what will available in the full installment:
The infected characters are also a little fresher. They now have glowing yellow eyes and there are a wider variety of them. Other than that, there are no big changes. There are a disturbing number of them without shirts on, but it’s the South, right? Clothing is optional. The big changes were the special infected. There are now seven of them. The Witch no longer sits and rocks like a kid with Down’s syndrome. She walks around, clutching her chest and wailing. No more of the singing-type wailing, though. It’s a little more horrific this time around. The Hunter, Smoker and Boomer are pretty much the same. The new infected to keep an eye out for are the Jockey, a little creepy malformed redneck that jumps on you and rides you while clawing your head, the Spitter, who spits an acidic “goo” that boils when it hits the street causing the characters damage, and the Charger.
The Charger replaced the Tank as the big boss of the special infected. He’s not as powerful as his bigger counterpart, but he does some damage. He has one arm that is much bigger than the other and he uses it as a shield as he does a full-on football charge at you. He then grabs you with that big hand and pummel s you senseless. It really sucks to get in his grip.
There is much more to this game than the one campaign I got to play, and I can’t wait to get the new copy when it comes out next month. So until then, I’ll be playing L4D-1 and brushing up on my gunning skills. I might even go buy a machete and chainsaw and get some practice in around the house. Whatever it takes to get my Steam rating up…