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The guru of gore

tech-reviews Updated: Dec 07, 2009 20:51 IST
Avinash Bali
Avinash Bali
Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

Surviving a zombie attack may be brutal but it’s entertaining in Valve’s co-operative survival horror first person shooter Left 4 Dead (L4D). The game puts you in the boots of one of four unlucky survivors of a zombie outbreak, without really telling you the whys and hows of the pandemic. The game’s USP was that the enemy AI was controlled by a higher authority dubbed ‘The Director’ that never spawned an enemy in the same place twice. This made every play different and ensured replayability.

Now comes the sequel
Now after just about a year Valve is back with a sequel that brings a tonne of stuff to the table like newer locations, weapons, game modes and so on. The gameplay however remains pretty much the same: You have to make your way from Point A to Point B, killing all kinds of infected folk and stick with your team. You’ll come across safe houses that allow you to restock on ammunition and health. Every level culminates in a nailbiting climax in which you have to survive a number of odds to make it out alive.

New star cast
Making their debut is a brand new cast of characters who are more dynamic. You have the Spitter, who spits acidic bile at you; the Charger, who tackles you and then continues to pummel you and the Jockey, a fast mover. Another new gameplay addition are the melee weapons — katanas, cricket bats, crowbars, chainsaws baseball bats, pans. You choose any one and your pistol will become your default secondary weapon.

Visual effects
The game’s been touched up a notch and the PC version looks great. The game’s ‘gore’ quotient has improved. Shooting an infected will now actually result in chunks of flesh being blown off.

Verdict
The game doesn’t shed a lot of light on the epidemic. Matchmaking is extremely skewed. As soon as you try finding a server, things get messy. There’s no option to browse servers and the lag’s severe. However, L4D 2 is awesome but playing by yourself isn’t too much fun and playing online is a total lagfest. The game costs Rs 699 and has an XBox 360 version. http://tech2.in.com/go/96212