Left for Dead 2 is probably the biggest announcement of day one at E3 as far as I�m concerned. But I�m apprehensive at the same time excited..
It�s a fine line a zombie game walks to maintain atmosphere and pacing, in representing the tension of insurmountable odds, like being in a tank slowly filling with water from the underside. If there�s one thing in the new announcement that really could break what Valve has done so well on it�s giving the common infected a new ability. Before reading more into the article at Rock Paper Shotgun I was annoyed to say the least - one of the great attractions of left 4 dead 1�s common infected was that not only are there just a fucking obscene amount at any given time, but they were deadly en mass while indistinguishable from one another. And then someone figured to change things up and turn some of them fireproof. As if god saw fit to grant these people invulnerability so that in death, they could ruin a Survivors day a little better than the average Zombie. In reality though, it looks like Valve has taken what I�ve just mentioned and addressed the concern by placing fireproof infected in Hazmat Suits. Presumably worn by a bitten human before turning, the bright yellow suits do well enough to explain fire retardancy. Also making them stick out like a sore thumb, and unless used very, very carefully a bulky yellow suit running at me will break immersion in ways that will make me rage in ways I have never fathomed.
But for the sum of it�s parts LFD2 looks like it will be successful improving on an already winning formula. The AI Director has been improved by introducing a feature that will change the paths for the survivors must take to reach the next safe house depending on their performance. In one example, depending on if the AI Director feels you've been doing poorly or spectacularly well, a graveyard portion of a map will be either a single corridor affair or a deadly maze of catacombs.
The sequel is set in Southern America, which has a lot of potential for very nice maps, and portions will be played in Full Daylight, changing the intensity from the bright outdoors to pitch black interiors. Random weather has been introduced by the AI Director, another nice cosmetic addition. Death animations have been amped up as well as the Gore Factor. Melee weapons are now a part of gameplay also.
Not much has been said about the new infected other than the teaser video where we saw The Charger and a change to the Witch�s mechanic. Kind of a mix between a special infected and a tank, the charger has one huge arm used to shoulder slam the survivors around, damaging them, but not instantly incapacitating. In the daylight maps, the Witch is now up and about, wandering a path given to her by the AI Director. It was difficult enough to try and find an alternate route around the Witch in L4D1 but to have her suddenly turn the corner in front of you is going to cause some shitted pants. A new gameplay mode is going to be announced eventually, (Wild Speculation) possibly a last stand type of scenario with checkpoints and barricades? (/Wild Speculation) Two publications
have already had a hands on with one of the campaigns and even spoken
about L4D2 with developer Chet Faliszek.