There’s always been something very attractive and appealing about towns being overrun by hordes of mindless, bloodthirsty zombies hungering for human flesh. Especially if you’re the kind of person who revels in the sweet glory of punching holes through the undead with shotguns, slicing their heads off with an axe, or torching the rancid, rotting flesh right off their bones…
Yeah, playing the role of a sole survivor in a massive zombie apocalypse is great fun in a sick, twisted way, but hey, toss in three more survivors and triple the number of undead scum, and what have you? Valve’s follow up to their original, hugely successful zombie-bashing franchise, Left 4 Dead 2. Bigger, badder, and bloodier than the original, this one’s sure to keep you (and your friends) entertained for a good amount of time.
Fans of the original game will pretty much know what to expect in terms of gameplay in Left 4 Dead 2 (L4D2), and for those new to the franchise, it’s basically a team of four humans fighting to survive an insanely huge onslaught of zombies (what the game dubs as the ‘Infected’) in a variety of locations, spread out over five campaigns, each featuring multiple chapters. The locations and environments are quite varied, ranging from gloomy, murky swamps to dark carnivals to a burning hotel and more. This time around, certain chapters also take place in broad daylight, as opposed to the first game, and this lends an extra layer of eye-candy to the game, while also providing better visibility.
One would think that blasting and shredding the living daylights out of zombies would get pretty stale real quick, but in reality, it never gets old with L4D2. The game packs in several different modes featuring local and online co-op gameplay, which can be enjoyed across any and all of the aforementioned campaigns and chapters. Add to that a killer assortment of firearms, melee weapons, and explosives, some wickedly cool zombie types, and a couple of mates who share your thirst for zombie blood, and you’ve got yourself one hell of a party every single time you play. Of course, if you feel like going at it alone, you can do so by all means with the help of computer-controlled bots, and while they do a very decent job of running, gunning, and reviving, they’re no replacement for another human player or two.
Speaking of running and gunning, there’s not a single moment when you won’t be doing either one of them, as the game is chock-full of zombies waiting to lay the smack on you and send you six feet under. The ‘common’ Infected race towards you and your team at a startlingly fast pace in packs, and the ‘uncommon’ Infected (more repulsive and dangerous variety of zombies) rely on their special abilities to bring the survivors down to their knees. These ‘uncommon’ lot consist of the Boomer, Charger, Spitter, Smoker, Jockey, and the Tank, and each one of them have a unique special attack to complement their regular claw slashing, which can send you into a real world of hurt if you and your buddies aren’t quick enough. Thankfully, the game provides you with a good selection of weapons to hold your own against the ugly buggers. While the firearms are the regular fare of pistols, shotguns, automatic rifles and such, the melee weapons are in a class of their own, and come in the form of cricket bats, electric guitars, frying pans, katanas, and every zombie-killer’s dream – chainsaws. Why shove zombies back when you can bash their heads open or break their necks with the same amount of effort, I say.