Left 4 Dead 2: Exclusive RPS Hands-On Preview

By John Walker on June 1st, 2009 at 7:21 pm.


New game, new locations, new characters, new weapons, new monsters: John has been to Valve and dragged back the news. [Click on images for full size]

Left 4 Dead who now? No one was expecting Valve’s next game to be a sequel to 2008′s awesome co-op zombie shooter, Left 4 Dead. To answer your immediate question: Yes, this is a completely new game, with new characters, in a new location, with new zombies, new weapons, new twists, and an improved Director, in five completely new campaigns set in the Southern United States. This isn’t more maps for the previous game, it’s a brand new game, and it’s due this November. We snuck into Valve HQ ahead of Monday’s announcement and played a full campaign, and at first glance much appears to have evolved.

It’s still Left 4 Dead: Valve have more sense than to change anything that made the first game so splendid. Rather the focus on L4D2 appears to have been the desire by everyone involved in the first game to make something bigger and better. Coming off the back of the project, we were told by various Valve developers, people we bursting with ideas of where to take the game next. So they went right there.

Left 4 Dead 2 takes place in the South of the USA, beginning in Savannah, eventually reaching New Orleans. There’s four new characters to play, each with back-stories to be hinted at in their conversations. Coach is a high school football coach from the Savannah area, used to leading the kids, comfortable in his life, and perhaps not enamoured by the arrival of a zombie attack. There’s Rochelle, from Cleveland originally, working for a cable news network. She’s producing a segment on this strange story occurring in Savannah, and gets caught up in the events. Ellis is a Southern boy mechanic, an enthusiastic but smart guy with a “Southern flair”. Finally there’s Nick, a gambler and a conman, unsure of his company and cynical about the events.

The plan for the five new campaigns is to bring them together more coherently, so you can more obviously see how the events of one lead to the beginning of the next. Nothing that will enormously impact on jumping right in to a game in a particular stage, but giving a stronger narrative logic to the complete game. And with that, the new cast will also develop their personalities as things progress. Coach looks set to gain bravery as he gets closer to New Orleans, while Nick’s attitude to the others may soften. This will be born out in a more elaborate and involved collection of dialogue barks, once more primarily away from the player’s control. Perhaps one of the most endearing aspects of L4D was the characters’ surprisingly apt and timely remarks about the events, and occasional exchanges. This is to be expanded upon, with many more back-and-forth moments of chatter appropriate to the events happening around you.

Beyond the new cast, nothing else from L4D is being replaced, but rather added to or expanded upon. So the Special Infected we’re already familiar with will appear, joined by a new collection. Of these only one has been revealed so far, The Charger. Looking like a crossbreed between a Tank and a Common Infected (what an unholy union that would be) the beast has one giant mutated arm, which he uses to shoulder-charge the Survivors. He knocks you down, but doesn’t incapacitate you. Rather you’re off balance for a moment. As happened to us as we played with Valve designers, he’s capable of taking out many of you in a single charge, sending us flying like bowling pins. However, should he charge someone on their own, rather than running to hide after, instead he might pick you up with his giant arm and repeatedly smash you face-first into the ground until a teammate comes to rescue you.

While other Specials aren’t yet shown, we have seen some changes to the familiar. Rather cutely, some of the Common Infected have been changed while in hazmat suits. This means laying down walls of Molotov cocktail fire won’t keep everyone away any more, as the fire-proof baddies can run right through. The pay-off for this is exploding their heads and seeing the goo splat against the inside of the perspex visor.

But perhaps most exciting is the Wandering Witch. Another new feature of L4D2 is setting some of the campaigns in the daylight. The campaign we played was such, and it’s oddly frightening to see it all happening while the sun shines. Making our way through the sprawling streets of New Orleans, desperately trying to reach a distant bridge at the other end of which was lay an apparent helicopter rescue, the only time we needed our torches was when making our way through buildings. And it seems in the daytime, the Witch has a bit more pep. Rather than sitting crouched, sobbing, singing, now this most terrifying of gaming enemies methodically paces around, wandering where she sees fit, although still apparently zoned out. She may be on foot, but she’s no more interested in being disturbed. This adds in a whole new aspect to Witch evasion. No longer can you simply take the long way around where she’s squatted. Instead, she may well be walking exactly where you’re headed. Or worse, walking up behind you, singing her haunting song, suddenly infuriated by you when you swing around in terror.

The Witch’s capacity to create anecdotes seems only more powerful now. Sitting down to grab some food with a collection of Valve, stories about their most frightening or plain inconvenient Wandering Witch stories flow freely, each explained in animated terms.

Of the new weapons, perhaps the most exciting reveal are the melee tools. So far we’ve seen the axe and the frying pan. Yes, the frying pan. Feeling like a sneaky bit of TF2 in the game, it’s the perfect comedy weapon, that somehow doesn’t feel irreverent in a way inappropriate to L4D’s more sullen world. Complete with a fantastic KWAPANG noise, it’s extraordinarily effective to bat your way through crowds, and can even be used to knock a Hunter off a pinned Survivor. There’s also a baseball bat, which didn’t appear in the campaign we saw, which we assume will be a little less bonky than TF2′s Scout’s. And the chainsaw, which again we haven’t played with, but hell: there’s going to be a chainsaw. The axe can’t go unexplained either. It’s utterly brutal, and shows off the Infected’s newly regioned vulnerability. Swing it low and you can slice off a zombie’s legs, letting them collapse horribly to the ground, bleeding out of their fresh stumps. Or maybe swipe off either arm. Or most horrendously of all, remove a face.

This same gore is achievable with all the weapons, with new ragdoll deaths for the throngs, to make their entrail-spilling, armpit-dribbling, face-exploding ways all the more entertaining. There were many gasps and cries of “OH GOOD GRIEF!” as we played, the strings of guts slopping wildly into the air, or as mentioned above, the faceless leaking mess suddenly bursting like a blood-filled balloon as the Infected fell to the floor. It’s awesome.

There’s a new shotgun, a new semi-automatic, and a brand new sniper rifle. This last one feels dramatically out of place in a game where you can’t stand still, but it seems extremely likely that this will be the weapon that will be used most skilfully. Obviously powerful, it’s a very useful tool when you find yourself in one of the new “gauntlet” moments.

Gauntlets are one of the new elements that will occur, as one of many moves to attempt to make L4D2 a more consistently thrilling experience. In the final moments of the campaign, finally reaching the bridge, we had to cross it. At the other end lay the potential of rescue. But it was one long, straight, inescapable path down which the Director was able to screw with us as much as ‘he’ liked. Standing still was never and option, but trying to stay high, jumping from roof to roof of the vans and cars, very much was. Someone sniping from the back here proves helpful, while a couple of at the front wielding axes or frying pans was equally effective. These make for interesting moments, an almost unrelenting onslaught from in front, but the peculiar safety of knowing that nothing you didn’t let get past you would be attacking from behind.

Another very smart change is to prevent sneaky players from trying to sit out the triggered events. In those moments in L4D where you had to press a button that began a frantic attack until an elevator arrived, or a door opened, it seems too many were crouching in a corner together and waiting for it to all die down. L4D2 has plans to prevent such treachery. Now some of the events you start can only be stopped by reaching a further target. In an extremely tense sequence, we had to make our way through a labyrinth of alarmed cars to reach a distant point that would finally see the attack fade. Trying desperately to avoid hitting any of the cars, and thus making the situation far worse, while having to make constant forward progress, amped things up significantly.

The Director even has discretion over the layout of certain sections of levels. In New Orleans we reached a graveyard that is different each time you play. As Valve explained to us, if the Director gives you a pretty straight route right through it, it’s an insult to how poorly you’ve been playing that the omnipotent AI thought it needed to make things a little easier for you. If you’ve won his robotic respect, then it’ll be a far more convoluted journey.

While there’s no intention to waste players’ time with dead ends, there is a greater emphasis on rewarding exploration. You may well learn the correct route through most of a level, but heading off down a longer pathway, or going to check out an out of the way room, is more likely to be beneficial. The Director is, we’re told, going to be far smarter this time about placing items, and the selection of these has expanded as well. Which includes the incendiary ammo.

Oh, what a pleasure it is to find these beauties. Like an ammo stash, incendiary bullets can be picked up from tables, etc, and will give you a clip of ammo for your current weapon that will set absolutely everything it hits on fire. Which is spectacular. Right up until you accidentally set a Charger alight and he comes bounding toward you to share it.

Everything seems bigger and better. And this includes the number of Infected to kill. The average number taken down in a campaign in the first game was around 1000. In our play through one of the sequel’s five new chapters we clocked up around 1700.

Due November 17th this year, it’s quite remarkable that it’s so far on already. And frankly, that of all developers Valve have made something this quickly is almost dizzying. While there’s obviously going to be something of a fuss made over people’s expectations that L4D would be constantly expanded for free, following the TF2 model, it’s important to stress that while this is obviously still the same L4D core experience, it’s certainly not a bunch of new maps thrown into the old game. It’s a coherent new imagining of the game, this time bigger, smarter, and far more elaborate. Oh, and gloriously more gory.

To find out even more details, be sure to listen to our world exclusive developer interview with project lead, Chet Faliszek, in the latest podcast.

PRESS RELEASE

VALVE ANNOUNCES LEFT 4 DEAD 2

Sequel to Best-Selling Co-op Thriller Coming This Holiday

June 1, 2009 – Valve, creators of best-selling game franchises (such as Half-Life and Counter-Strike) and leading technologies (such as Steam and Source), today announced Left 4 Dead 2 (L4D2), the sequel to the best-selling and critically-acclaimed co-operative multiplayer thriller.

Coming exclusively to Xbox 360 and PC, L4D2 promises to set a new benchmark for co-operative action games and become one of 2009′s marquee titles.

“A large part of how Left 4 Dead became 2008′s top-selling new IP on Xbox 360 and the PC was the custom-tailored gameplay made possible by the AI Director,” said Gabe Newell, president and co-founder of Valve. “With the knowledge gained from creating the original, new technology, and a passionate team, L4D2 will set a new benchmark for cooperative action games.”

Set for release on November 17, the title adds melee combat to enable deeper co-operative gameplay, with items such as a chainsaw, frying pan, axe, baseball bat, and more.

Introducing the AI Director 2.0, L4D’s dynamic gameplay is taken to the next level by giving the Director the ability to procedurally change weather effects, world objects, and pathways in addition to tailoring the enemy population, effects, and sounds to match the players’ performance. The result is a unique game session custom fitted to provide a satisfying and uniquely challenging experience each time the game is played.

Featuring new Survivors, boss zombies, weapons, and items, Left 4 Dead 2 offers a much larger game than the original with more co-operative campaigns, more Versus campaigns, and maps for Survival mode available at launch.

Supported by a $10+ million marketing campaign, Left 4 Dead has sold over 2.5 million retail copies since it was released in November of 2008. Left 4 Dead 2 is targeted for release on Xbox 360 and the PC on November 17, 2009, and will be launched worldwide with a multi-million dollar marketing campaign across TV, Outdoor, and Online.

“Left 4 Dead was backed by our most aggressive advertising campaign to date, and resulted in a top 5 showing on two platforms during holiday 2008,” said Doug Lombardi, VP of marketing at Valve. “Left 4 Dead 2 is a larger game and will be supported with even more consumer and retail advertising programs than the original.”

Left 4 Dead 2 will be featured as the cover story on PC Gamer and Official Xbox Magazines this month. For more information, please visit www.l4d.com

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595 Comments »

  1. yxxxx says:

    ohh you and your sneaky previews.

  2. FernandoDANTE says:

    Just saw this at the MS E3 Press Conference, and FUCK YEAH!!!!

  3. Vanderdecken says:

    Oh. Em. Eff. Gee. History is unfolding… but only a year after the first game in the IP? Interesting move… doesn’t give the original much shelf life, people will forget about it and move on to this. I hope Valve does its best to keep the original alive, and not supersede it completely. These comments WILL be interesting.

  4. D2M says:

    Sounds awesome, looking forward to reading more about it over the coming months!

  5. Stupoider says:

    Err, why so early? ._.

  6. Ikuu says:

    If this isn’t some sort of ‘expansion’ and is a full price game, then sorry Valve but I ain’t buying it. The amount of content that shipped with L4D was pretty low, and still the SDK isn’t fully finished and you want to pump out a sequel?

  7. benjamin says:

    Hey awesome, they announce L4D #2 before creating any new campaigns for the game that’s already out. Thanks Valve…

    So really they should have called the original Left 4 Dead “Left 4 Dead: The Tech Preview” and now we’re getting the full thing. This is a pretty dick move, and uncharacteristic of Valve.

    I know some smartass is going to come here, gloat and use the tired argument “You were okay with paying $50 for the game as it shipped, why so bitter?” Bull. Valve built themselves on a tradition of offering a large number of expansions to their original games through the game’s lifetime. To announce that they’re spending development time on a completely new game to supplant one that came out only a year ago is a goddamn smack in the face.

    We were all happy when we learned that HL2:EP2, TF2, Portal and L4D were coming out in rapid succession. Looking at this, I’m starting to think I miss the old, slow Valve.

    >Valve have made something this quickly is almost dizzying
    Don’t let the wool be pulled over your eyes. The content that’s here is clearly stuff that they’d been kicking around with the intention of adding it to base L4D, then someone (a middle manager or accountant, undoubtedly) wandered by and thought aloud ‘I wonder how we can monitize this.’

  8. Dave says:

    Not 2Dead 2Furious?

    I haven’t been playing L4D nearly as much as TF2, but they got me at chainsaw.

  9. CMaster says:

    Hmm, I AM dissapointed about them not continuing to update L4D TF2 style, especially as it still costs more and they haven’t properly integrated player-made maps.
    The fact that it was so quick almost suggests that this was planned from the start and it all feels a little well, manipulative and all.

    Still, L4D was great, as were the character interactions.

  10. A Dead Eldar Guardian says:

    Wow…I am incredibly disappointed. No Episode 3 but rather a full price sequel to an unfinished game that lost it’s fun after a month.

  11. Linfosoma says:

    I agree with benjamin.
    L4D, while great as it is, still has a ton of bugs and exploits.
    I will not buy this game until there’s some sort half price weekend deal or something like that.

    Too bad to see Valve go the EA way, I wonder if they’ll start charging for the Steam subscriptions now too.

  12. Smurfy says:

    I lolled… then I wondered…

  13. Citizen Parker says:

    Yikes, that neon yellow and cyan shirt is ghastly. I will always pick that character so I don’t have to look at him.

    Perhaps they will feature unlockable costumes, ala Resident Evil. Nothing was better than slaying zombies while dressed up for clubbing.

  14. subedii says:

    I honestly never expected this after just one year. What does this mean for Left 4 Dead then? I mean are they still going to support that or is it obsolete now? I’m guessing it’s not going to see the same kind of support that TF2 did now.

    Seriously, this is probably going to be the biggest curveball to come out of E3 for me, bigger than the MI remake even. Valve usually take years to develop anything, and this sequel is coming out after just a year. Mind. Blown.

  15. EBass says:

    f this isn’t some sort of ‘expansion’ and is a full price game, then sorry Valve but I ain’t buying it. The amount of content that shipped with L4D was pretty low, and still the SDK isn’t fully finished and you want to pump out a sequel?

    +1, L4D shipped with a quarter of the game missing (two versus campaigns), this has just been rectified, the SDK isn’t out and we’re getting a “sequal” which isn’t just a glorified expansion pack. Its going to be the same again with a few needed tweaks. But they are perfectly capable of putting those tweaks into vanilla L4D.

  16. Geram says:

    That sounds utterly TERRIBLE. Frying pans? This is supposed to be a horror game, not TF2 (not that I have anything against TF2, but it’s out of place here). The lighting is rubbish, character models…what can I say? Eurgh. Hazmats? That completely takes the fun out of burning stuff. Light maps completely removes the tension. There’s a reason most zombie films and games are made at night.

  17. Premium User Badge

    James G says:

    Just caught this in PCG UK’s twitter feed, front cover of the next issue. http://twitpic.com/6ewom

    Bit of a surprise I must admit, I had expected we’d at least be hearing a bit more about episode 3 next. The quick release of L4D2 is certainly removed from usual ‘Valve time.’

  18. Cooper says:

    I loved what I’ve played of L4D. Unfortunately, the ‘match-making’ service has meant I hardly touch it anymore.

    Getting into a game to find my traffic-light latency is almost always red due to the not-very-clever server selection process is infuriating. Lack of easy drop-in also means vs servers end up empty too quickly (sometimes straight after the first team switch as all the infected-only-players bugger off).

    As such, I’m not sure I can justify buying more L4D unless I know that getting into an online game is gonna be painless.

  19. benjamin says:

    You know what? I take back everything I’d said above.

    Frying pans?
    Being set in the South?
    Daytime campaigns?
    The goofy wardrobe featured in the screenshot above?

    This is an elaborate troll by Valve. Well played, Valve, well played.

  20. chesh says:

    Episode 3 will clearly never be released.

  21. Lorc says:

    I guess L4D just wasn’t successful enough to give us the updates for free.

  22. Markoff Chaney says:

    Confused. Happy. Expectant. Leery. Hesitant.

    Hrmm. Odd move indeed from the champions of free content and long term support for online game modes. Count me in the “I’ll wait until it’s cheap (and patched)” camp this time around, unlike my L4D purchase was. Last time around, I believed in Valve’s ability to continually patch and polish to support a game for years. Now it looks like Valve caught the yearly iteration bug (at least for some of their cash cows) and I can now expect to pay for the things I used to get as free content patches for the game I paid for the first time. Certainly that is within their rights as a content producer to charge me. I, as a consumer of said content, am within my rights to withhold or abstain altogether my purchase.

  23. Nayon says:

    L4D was a very incomplete game and many people bought it with the expectation that Valve would provide support for it for a long time, since everyone trusted them for quality. This is a huge bitch move, Valve. Thankfully I am not the only one who thinks like this.

  24. The Nitpicker who will destroy your dreams. (Also has a long name) says:

    Guys, hold up a sec, your complaining about it being too early – the CoD franchise releases a sequel every year since the 2nd one. (There was a 3 year gap between Cod and cod 2, but only a one year gap for all the other ones)

    And heck, those are great games. So Im confident valve will do well here. + its a change from the usual Ten year wait (See TF1-Tf2, and HF:2 Ep 2 to HF:2 ep 3…)

  25. Kevlmess says:

    Guys, look, where exactly did it say Valve wouldn’t continue expanding and supporting the first game? I’m seeing alarming amounts of AIM-like sentiments here lately.

    And I always thought Director was a she. Probably a sister of TF2′s Announcer.

    Also, holy cripes on toast! Sounds very promising so far and, to me, seems to have more than enough new stuff in it to justify a whole new game. Assuming there’s a lot more features/weapons/special infected to be announced.

  26. Sabre says:

    Et tu, Valve? Then fall, video game industry!

    I’m not getting this. I spent their outrageous price for L4D in the first place, on the assumption that it would receive the traditional Valve treatment of long-term support and content, even though the initial content was lacking. We’re not even a year later and they’ve been developing an entirely new game and all that L4D has properly got is only one new map and a bunch remixes of the original maps? Sod that.

    My respect for Valve has significantly decreased with this. L4D is still fresh, there is no need for a new game, only for new content to be made for the original; as there was with Counter-Strike Source, Day of Defeat Source and Team Fortress 2 on release. It is very unlike Valve to throw out a half-brained sequel this quick, though unfortunately it is very like other company who’s logo is involved with L4D.

    No thank you Valve. Make L4D 1 a game fully worth the price charged for it first.

    This had better be a joke and this is really just the next DLC for L4D 1, Valve can’t surely be serious with this.

  27. solipsistnation says:

    Don’t you mean, um, Left2Dead?

  28. Ravenger says:

    It seems valve haven’t learned from EA’s BF2 special forces fiasco, where releasing a new incompatible version of essentially the same game splits the community, making neither game a success.

    Seems strange of them to spend so much time on L4D only to abandon it. It’d have been better to release this as an upgrade which incorporates the original game as well as the new content – in other words an expansion.

    That way the matchmaking would be integrated and the community wouldn’t be split.

  29. Kadayi says:

    Have to agree with few earlier posters that this is a bit of a cat amongst the pigeons given the previous game only came out last year (and a first for Valve given their track record). Personally given the insane amount of man hours of enjoyment I’ve wrung from L4D, unlike others I’m not going to begrudge them trying to make a living (its not like all those free TF2 updates haven’t cost Valve money), but I would hope that some of the new features are in some way retrofitted to the previous title, or at least they continue to support it with further content.

    @Kevlmess

    Oh yes AIM is definitely throwing the rattle out of the pram bigtime over this: -

    ‘What the guys who made that game I paid $50 and sunk over 200 manhours into playing, [i]aren’t[/i] going to give me an entirely new game for free? Fuck those tightwad fuckers!!!”

  30. Tworak says:

    About… 4 years too soon. But I’ll be a good Valve-boy and buy.

  31. benjamin says:

    >the CoD franchise releases a sequel every year
    >those are great games.

    Ho ho ho, hee hee hee, ha ha ha.

  32. Andy says:

    I too am surprised at this move from Valve. The L4D updates have been scarce and few between, certainly nothing new has really come from it bar the survival mode which I’ve played once.

    This time however I’ll be waiting a few months until a discount weekend on this one. I won’t be falling into the trap of pre-ordering it unless there’s a hefty discount. Mainly because I don’t feel the first one is worth the £35 I paid for it (before they brought in the £ prices).

    Well, E3 isn’t over yet (not even begun has it?!) so we may hear news about their other game series yet…

  33. Captain Planet says:

    Left 4 Dead was the only Valve game I regret buying. It’s short, boring, and is no where near supported enough (they STILL havent made the SDK work properly).

    Wont be buying this unfortunately. Maybe if they integrate a good singleplayer into it, with a good story line and character development.

  34. jonfitt says:

    Well this is both good and bad news. On the up side it looks like it’s going to be an awesome game, with lots of improvements on L4D1.

    If this were a SP game I’d be over the moon.

    The bad news is the timing and the fact that it’s a new game. With online MP games even if you only release map packs you splinter whatever community you have. With a whole new game you’re going to cannibalise the L4D1 player base in a gory and messy fashion.

    Plus whether it’s fair or not, I do feel cheated about my investment in L4D1. As a pre-ordererer I paid full whack and have had to endure the sting of the subsequent sales while consoling myself that I’d be playing this for many years like TF2. Now it turns out I was just suckered in and should have waited for a sale.

    Will not be pre-ordering again.

  35. Eli Just says:

    BULLSHIT. This really blows. I paid $50 for the first game and it was fun, but we get 1 update and a new $50 game the next year?

  36. Rosti says:

    Surely this announcement is a spy? Valve have been messing with my mind so much lately, I just don’t know what to think. Watching with interest.

  37. jonfitt says:

    Oooh oooh ooh. I’ve got it!

    It’s going to be part of Salmon-Pink Box complete with HL2:EP3 and Portal 2.

    That’s the only way this would be great news.

  38. Flappybat says:

    I was sure this was a troll for quite a long time.

    I like the sound of some of it but it feels like they went a bit overboard in parts and I’m really not sure I like having to buy another game. TF2 was cheap, L4D was full price and the only extra we get for L4D was a fairly simple game mode and one truely new map? Sure survivor was nice but it was just a modified map with no end and a timer, not as involved as Payload and Arena for TF2.

  39. Sonic Goo says:

    Count me in the too soon camp as well. I haven’t even started playing the first one!

  40. Steve says:

    Really? No free updates for L4D? That’s a kick in the balls, Valve. Guess it didn’t sell well enough for them to bother with free updates.

    Valve, I am disappoint.

  41. stncttr908 says:

    Don’t like it? Don’t buy it! Fewer of you whiners to listen to in my headphones while I’m busy killing zombies and enjoying myself.

    Also, who said it will be $50?

  42. dsmart says:

    I guess L4D just wasn’t successful enough to give us the updates for free.

    Not really. Obviously L4D made a fortune, so why not do it again instead of releasing it as Episode 3?

    Frankly, I don’t see how this is any different from any other publisher releasing sequels. Obviously since people expect free stuff, they assumed that this would Episode 3 instead of L4D2. This is all about revenue and I don’t see anything wrong with that tbh.

  43. AlphaKoala says:

    I’m still holding out that Valve will show Episode 3 at E3, however hopes are fading fast now…

  44. jalf says:

    This definitely seems odd, and pretty un-valve.

    And yes, it’s certain to piss off a lot of people who expected L4d to be kept updated by Valve.

    @dsmart: Well, the problem is that unlike most other developers, Valve has been *very* outspoken about how they will always update their games to keep them fresh and attract new players, like they do with TF2. A lot of people bought L4D assuming that they actually meant that seriously, and were going to add content to L4D as well.

    If they want people to believe that story next time, they’ve got some explaining to do.

  45. Latte says:

    Okay haha very funny Valve. So when is HL2 Episode 3 coming out?

  46. Flappybat says:

    I do mostly agree with you Derek, Valve are in the business of making games of course. I wonder if perhaps they have sabotaged themselves by being generous with other games.

  47. smoopy says:

    Valve is 2 months late with the April fools

  48. grey_painter says:

    Part of me is hoping this is an April Fool’s joke that got stuck in valve time for a couple of months.

    Yes there are a lot of new features but they appear to be in the same engine and lots of little tweaks, the sort of stuff expansion packs were designed for. If they release this more as an expansion pack (or a standalone since they appear to be more popular recently) it will be incredible value for money. If its full game price it’ll sit on the virtual shop shelf until it dips significantly in price or in the mean time something really staggering gets revealed about the game.

    In summary, I’m not mad just disappointed.

    Edit: I’m not complaining about not getting free updates, I don’t have that much of a sense of entitlement. I just don’t like the idea that in the end I’ll be charged full price for content I would value more at an expansion pack level. I try not to buy games while factoring in the potential future updates that may or may not be released.

  49. stncttr908 says:

    Also, who is to say Valve won’t offer L4D2 at a lower price to owners of the original? They have the power to do this through Steam, although I’m sure EA would have a thing or two to say about it.

  50. rocketman71 says:

    Too soon, unless this comes bundled in some Blue Box or whatever with HL2 Ep3.

    Will buy it anyway, damn you Valve!