Wednesday, November 4

My thoughts on the Left 4 Dead 2 demo

So I just finished playing through the Left 4 Dead 2 demo that was released on the Xbox 360's marketplace today and I figured I'd do a little review on it. If you don't want spoilers, then I would suggest you stop reading this right now.

The only scenario available in the demo is called 'The Parish' which I is the stage in New Orleans stage that everybody got mad over. Just like in the first L4D demo, you can only play through the first two parts of the first scenario.

All four characters are available for you to use, I played through the demo twice and the weapon sets available to me at the beginning didn't change much except for a melee item. You start off holding a pistol and can decide to either drop it for the melee weapon, which happened to be a machete and a guitar. As far as actual guns go, you can choose between a 'Chrome Shotgun' or a 'Silenced Sub-machine Gun' from the beginning, but later on I found an 'Combat Shotgun' and an 'M16.'

The graphics have been improved over the last title and everything looks a bit more polished but there really isn't all that great of an difference. The biggest change I noticed as far as the graphics were concerned is that when you shoot a zombie, you can blow off their limbs but you can also blow their backs and ribs open and if you get a close enough shot, you can blast a hole clean through their stomachs and trust me, it's quite detailed.

The melee weapons are very powerful and I personally think they are a bit overpowered because every hit was a one-hit kill with the exception of those significantly infected. I also stumbled across an improved handgun which I'm assuming is a 'Desert Eagle' and it too had unlimited ammo. There were also some new items I came across during my playthrough which came in handy. Aside from the Pipe bomb and Molotov, you can also pick up a 'Boomer Bomb.' It's basically just Boomer bile set up to explode like a bomb which attracts the infected to it, similar to the pipe bomb except it doesn't kill them. It does however cover the infected in bile and they begin to kill each other, quite funny. You can also pick up an 'Adrenaline Shot' which makes your character react faster, but I honestly didn't notice anything different besides the sound getting weird when I used it. The shots take up the inventory space where the pills go so you have to choose which one you carry.

The infected don't appear to have changed at all which is disappointing, but I guess they are zombies so how smart can you expect them to be? There are also some new special infected as well as the old ones found in the original game.
The 'Jockey' is an incredibly creepy hunchback thing that laughs like a crazy person and rides on your back if he gets ahold of you.
The 'Charger' which is similar to a 'Tank' but much easier to kill, when he sees you, you hear him roar and then he runs at you or the group and when he hits, everyone staggers back which gives him time to grab someone and start smashing them on the ground.
The 'Spitter' looks like a woman but she spits acid and when you kill her, she leaves a big, steaming pool of goo that hurts you if you touch it, similar to the acid blood from the 'Alien' movies.
The 'Witch' makes a return except this time she isn't just sitting there..she actually walks around now!

The only event in the demo is when you open up this door that triggers an alarm. Now while this alarm is going off, you have to navigate through a small maze-like area while hordes of the infected attack you until you make it to the alarm and shut it off.

Overall, I had fun with it. It's Left 4 Dead so you know you really can't go wrong with it. Both it's downfall and it's saving grace is the fact that very little has changed, but keep in mind that this was just the demo. There could be more infected I haven't encountered yet and sadly, I didn't get my hands on the chainsaw but when the game is released later this month, anyone who was a fan of the first one will LOVE this game. I would definitely suggest it to anyone and if you're still unsure, go download the demo off the marketplace because it's available to every user now.

11/04/09 Colton West

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