Crash Course: New DLC For Left 4 Dead

By John Walker on August 4th, 2009 at 6:28 pm.

full pic below

Some rather big Left 4 Dead news. This September will see the release of some brand new free DLC for the original game. Called Crash Course, it’s designed to link the end of No Mercy to the beginning of Death Toll, primarily intended to be played as a Versus map that will apparently take half an hour to play through. Valve also say the new free content will be set in new locations, feature new dialogue from the cast, and have what they call “an explosive finale”. More details and the new poster below.

The new content will also be playable as Survival maps (maps plural, according to the announcement) and as a Co-op campaign. It is apparently planned to be a “streamlined version of the game’s existing Versus campaigns.” And there’s some new additions to how the game plays, described like this:

“A recharge timer for infected teammates has also been added, and item spawn behavior has changed for more balanced gameplay.”

The announcement continues with Valve boss Gabe Newell adding a few not particularly related thoughts.

“Since the release of Left 4 Dead last November, the design team has been excited about creating new experiences for this world and allowing players to do the same, by releasing much of our internal toolset, like the Survival Pack and Authoring Tools. We’re working with the fans toward the ongoing entertainment value of the product.”

If you look at the poster, you can see a crashed helicopter. This would presumably be the chopper that rescues the four from the roof of Mercy Hospital, and explain how they then end up at a broken bridge in the middle of the woods at the start of Death Toll.

Will this placate the furious masses who are enraged at the forthcoming Left 4 Dead 2 this November? It certainly demonstrates that Valve are continuing to release new content for the original game despite the proximity of the sequel. Hopefully people will be delighted to hear news of brand new free content for the 2008 game. (And not, for instance, conspire that this is created since July to appease angry mobs and other such unlikely theories).

It’s completely free to PC users (while our console brethren are charged $7 for the 360 download). No more details are given at this point, and no more specific release date than “September”. We’ve emailed Valve to see if we can find out more, and will let you know what they say.

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154 Comments »

  1. Mashakosha says:

    Will it shut up the boycotters? No.
    Will it still be good, regardless? Yes.

  2. Evolution says:

    “Survival maps (maps plural, according to the announcement)”as with all the other campaigns each section of the campaign had its own survival map, so don’t go expecting a brand new, unrelated map to be in survival.

  3. Flobulon says:

    Hell, it’s about time. I have no doubt that this will do nothing to appease the angry internet men tough, and will probably just enrage them further.

    Is it free, or…?

  4. Vinraith says:

    “Primarily intended for versus.”

    Boo.

  5. Tworak says:

    can’t wait for this. woot

    also, it costs money on 360 ololol

  6. John Walker says:

    Evolution – my point is, if it’s a Versus mode that can be completed in 30 minutes, I’m surprised there’s more than one map.

  7. Tits McControversy says:

    Is that a strider? Huh?

  8. Yargh says:

    Will this placate the furious masses who are enraged at the forthcoming Left 4 Dead 2 this November?

    Not bloody likely, the AIMs will always find a reason to moan…

  9. Vinraith says:

    I love the pre-emptive boycott hate, it’s always so reliable. I see a lot of angry internet men in this thread, but all of them are anti-boycotters.

  10. Vinraith says:

    @John Walker

    Maybe there’s one “travel” map and one “climax” map? But yeah, in versus especially 30 minutes isn’t usually more than one segment of a campaign. Maybe they’re smaller maps, ala Lighthouse.

  11. cyrenic says:

    Shorter versus rounds certainly sound good, but I’m trying to figure out how they’re going to keep things at 30 minutes without some pretty short maps. Maybe it’s only a 3 map campaign.

  12. Zaij says:

    What’s with Zoe’s face? She turned into an ugly man.

  13. Dood says:

    Wait, “a lot of angry internet men”? After 10 comments? Are you actively trying to incite an argument?

  14. John Walker says:

    Woah there. Let’s not start a fight about whether people are starting a fight. Let’s instead all tell each other one thing we respect and admire about the other. On the forum or something.

  15. j c says:

    John Walker, I respect and admire you for your ability to tell us to respect and admire people.

  16. Fumarole says:

    Great news. More L4D is a Good Thing.

  17. reaper47 says:

    This certainly is the leastmaximum they could do to level all the concernshappy thoughts regarding L4D2. The disappointedgreedy L4D customersangry internet men will stay skepticaldouchy.

    [post edited according to RPS thinking guidelines]

  18. Rinox says:

    Sweet!!

    I’ve been playing a few of the first user-made campaigns with my mates to extend the fun (some are of surprisingly high quality – like the stranded tanker map in Death Aboard), so this is very cool news.

  19. Meat Circus says:

    * Meat Circus likes this

  20. Meat Circus says:

    (Not that this in any way improves LfD2′s standing)

  21. Flint says:

    Wonder if they’ll add similar in-between ‘campaigns’ for the other scenarios.

  22. abigbat says:

    Typically brilliant poster. Cannie wait.

  23. A'cs says:

    Its probably going to be like the “Dam It” map that someone made, an extended map with more sections and climax moments and a finale at the end but without safehouses and takes about 1/2 hour.

  24. Dr Gonzo says:

    Can’t wait for these and I can’t wait for LFD2! I don’t see how this doesn’t completely address all the haters worries about LFD2. I would like someone to explain it reasonably.

  25. yutt says:

    “(And not, for instance, conspire that this is created since July to appease angry mobs and other such unlikely theories).”

    A “streamlined experience” suddenly appears after complaints and we’re going to pretend this was planned all along? Even though L4D2 doesn’t adhere this design? Or was your comment dry sarcasm? *sigh*

    In any case, while I don’t see this as much more than a rushed marketing gimmick; new official levels are good.

  26. Hermit says:

    Like the idea that it’ll fill in some of the gaps in the L4D’s story. Always thought it was a shame they made the links between campaigns very subtle in the final release – hopefully they’ll either do similar with the other breaks, or at least make some more videos to finish off the story.

  27. bookwormat says:

    I never signed any partition, I am not angry in any way, and this is the first time i write my opinion on L4D2,

    But I’m also disappointed by the early sequel. Not because I think the old or the new version has not enough content, but because I think early sequels suck. For games that profit from modding and multiplayer communities that is.

  28. Ansob. says:

    They should release a T1 rifle that is a lever-action Winchester (because everyone loves lever-action Winchesters), and then maybe release an additional campaign that actually features the lighthouse (or an entirely new one if the lighthouse is in Crash Course), and then do some work on the balance, and I would be happy to buy L4D2 at release, from a moral standpoint (whether or not my wallet agrees is an other affair entirely).

    I’d love if they made backwards-compatibilised the new gore engine into L4D1, though.

  29. Dr Gonzo says:

    They have said that all mods and levels should be compatable with either LFD2 or 1.

    And as for this being a rushed marketing gimmick. Did they not say they planned on adding new maps etc from the beggining?

  30. Yargh says:

    Hopefully they’ll do this for all the original campaigns, then we can have mammoth ‘complete L4D Pittsburg in one sitting’ sessions as well as bite sized mini campaigns for lunch breaks.

  31. Premium User Badge

    amishmonster says:

    @McControversy: I thought that at first too, but then I realized it was the rotor blades.

    And I’m all for a streamlines experience for versus – the standard “movie” structure works well for other modes, but can drag out versus a bit. Plus if the map’s only half an hour long, fingers crossed for fewer ragequits.

  32. yutt says:

    @Dr Gonzo
    I will attempt to explain reasonably, though I fear we inevitably descend toward madness.

    This doesn’t really in any way address major concerns. It doesn’t claim to introduce new weapons, characters, or special infected. It doesn’t solve the issue that the community (both players and mod devs) will be split between L4D1 and L4D2.

    It is a level or two, not even a full campaign, with marketing gibberish about a faster play experience failing to hide that.

    Mind you, I am happy to have this level, have never been a boycotter, but I am extremely upset with how Valve handled all this, and the boycotters hold the moral high-ground entirely.

  33. jonfitt says:

    More official L4D maps. Hooray for this good news!

    I played Dam It when the new addon update came out, are there any other good full campaigns people would recommend?

  34. Meat Circus says:

    When are they gonna bless some community maps to OFFICIAL ZOMBIE APPROVED status?

  35. Rinox says:

    @ Jonfitt

    http://www.l4dmaps.com/details.php?file=33

    Death Aboard is good stuff. The finale is a bit different than you’re used to, but the campaign is wonderful.

  36. Joe says:

    @jonfitt: Death Aboard.

  37. Jad says:

    @Vinraith

    Agreed that “primarily intended to be played as a Versus map” = Boo.

    But “playable as Survival maps and as a Co-op campaign”? Good, I think.

    I’ve grown tired of how intensely competitive standard multiplayer games make me, and other people. I’ve played dozens of hours of co-op and survival and never once heard “Haha, pwned you noob!”, nor ever felt the desire to crow it myself.

  38. Gundato says:

    Sounds fun. I enjoyed L4D, even if I prefer campaign to survival and versus

    My big concern is over whether or not this will really be given a chance. It comes out in September, L4D2 comes out two months later. I just have a hard time believing that Valve/Turtlerock will polish up a map that will only ever be played for two months to their usual standards.

    Although, someone mentioned that the L4D stuff should be compatible with L4D2. If that is the case, does anyone know if the campaigns and what not will be ported/playable? I have been on the fence for L4D2, but if it will include (or at least, let me use) all of L4D, I will plop down 50 bucks right now.

  39. jpearl01 says:

    I say we all pre-boycott this new L4D material, in support of the future boycott on the as-yet unreleased L4D2, based on the lack of new material for L4D. Also I enjoy infinite loops (refer to the beginning of this post).

  40. Fumarole says:

    I’ve played dozens of hours of co-op and survival and never once heard “Haha, pwned you noob!”

    Wouldn’t that be because the AI doesn’t give a fuck?

  41. DK says:

    “(And not, for instance, conspire that this is created since July to appease angry mobs and other such unlikely theories).”
    Even though that’s exactly what this “planned” DLC is?

    Extra-short DLC announced without any previous hints after massive protest about Valve’s broken L4D1 promises….
    No, of course, let’s just pat them on the back. They’re VALVE after all.

  42. Z says:

    Zaij:What’s with Zoe’s face? She turned into an ugly man.

    You’re kidding, right? That’s an awesome expression. It’s something between cracking up laughing at the posing and a “Can you believe this $#!+?”.

  43. frymaster says:

    “my point is, if it’s a Versus mode that can be completed in 30 minutes, I’m surprised there’s more than one map”

    our rule of thumb is 1/2 an hour for co-op, and up to double that for versus, so i’d imagine it’s 1 or 2 maps and a finale (or have the finale at the end of map 2)

  44. derFeef says:

    Eww, what did they do to Zoes face? Thats not fitting the concept at all. And there is something wrong with Bills too.

  45. Corion says:

    Why did this take them a year?
    And it sounds like the campaign is going to be shorter than the others. The fact that it isn’t due until September makes me think that perhaps they only started working on it once they realized fans were pissed at the L4D2 announcement.

    The infected recharge timer display was suggested many, many months ago in the forums. There are 100 equally useful suggestions just like it. I find it strange that they’re publicizing FINALLY getting it into the game.

    Nevertheless, I am excited to get new content and I’m hoping my reservations and fears will subside and that the campaign will be a well-developed full-length campaign.

    Now if only we could get a real (read: special infected) solution to corner camping strategies like the Charger will be for L4D2.

    The decision to only charge for the Xbox360 version sounds like a very bad one and will only serve to outrage 360 owners… But it’s probably because they can’t have achievements that award points unless the DLC costs money.

  46. jonfitt says:

    Death Aboard looks cool. Perhaps it could have been called Pain Sailing.

    Waiting for L4D3 when all this integration stuff has been worked out.

  47. PleasingFungus says:

    Was quite pleased to hear the news. (Though also, like Mssr. McControversy, was initially confused by the resemblance between the wrecked helicopter’s rotor-blades and a similarly wrecked strider.) For no good reason, went to the forums.

    Valve: “Hey, we’re releasing a new Left 4 Dead campaign, free to PC players! ”
    Steam Forums: “Only one campaign? What about all the new weapons and content we were promised? Valve disappoints yet again.”

    (That last bit’s an actual quote.)

    There are no words.

    But anyway, hooray for new L4D stuff! My only regret is that there isn’t an actual Strider present. Someone (more patient with Hammer than I) should make that. Headcrab zombies vs. infected: hilarity!

  48. RobF says:

    Excellent. A reasonably quick fire versus map is just what the doctor ordered.

    And another yay to the Death Aboard is lovely camp. It is indeed, providing you can overlook the odd “no health packs at spawn” bug here and there. A really well designed campaign.

  49. Psychopomp says:

    I am going to hunt down, and punch the next person *on either side,* to bring up the boycott/drooling fanboys/AIM’s

    Wait.

    Fuck.

    *punches self*