Left 4 Dead 2 Is Heading To The Carnival

By John Walker on September 4th, 2009 at 9:48 pm.

So very wrong.

Valve plans to reveal the latest globules of Left 4 Dead 2 information at this weekends PAX festivities. Having previously shown off New Orleans’ Parish level, and mucky antics in Swamp Fever, Penny Arcade’s gathering will show the world the extra creepy-sounding Dark Carnival.

As if the words “Dark Carnival” don’t conjure enough nightmarish thoughts, the new ‘uncommon common’ announced is the Zombie Clown, which has to be about the most concentrated form of evil imaginable until they reveal the Zombie Tax Auditor. They’ll only appear in the Carnival campaign, apparently, and the fewer places they appear the better. Eek.

Just hug him!

There’s also a new Boss Infected joining the gang, The Jockey. It’s a bit vague at the moment, but it seems he’ll be able to physically move an attacked Survivor, whether it’s to drag them into the middle of a crowd of Infected, or indeed to drop them off a cliff. Disappointingly he’s not a four foot horse riding man, but instead a really rather ugly fellow. Poor thing. I imagine he only wants to be loved. And they’re showing some more of the melee weapons to be found: a machete, some stupid crappy deal where you get a baseball bat if you pre-order the game from the right shop (um, Steam?), but rather brilliantly, an electric guitar. I speculate, but I feel fairly certain this will make an excellent twanging sound when used.

Probably more fun than a regular carnival, of course.

There will inevitably be more details over the weekend as the PAX inhabitants spew forth their sights.

The new poster

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62 Comments »

  1. Amqz says:

    Zombie clowns… has that been done before?

  2. lumpi says:

    Hah, “The Jockey” sounds crazy! Those guys got ideas, I give them that.

    I’m still disappointed with their decision on doing a half-assed (oh-no-you-boycotter-internet-man-it’s-full-assed-not-half!!!!) sequel so quickly, but whatever…

  3. linfosoma says:

    I think that they have worked hard in making this game different.
    That said, it is exactly that what I don’t like about this new game. The additions, like the melee gus, the new infecteds, the clowns and worst of all, the music are not my cup of tea.
    But I think that Valve did a nice work with L4D, I played it again after two months of Killng Floor and I was surprised with the quality of the game.

    Anyway, I really hope they leave this fanchise and contiue to focus on their previous IPs in the future. I want a Portal 2.

  4. Little Green Man says:

    I thought there was a recent post on Offworld with piccies of the Clown and the jockey. Here we are. DON’T CLICK IF YOU DON’T WANT TO SEE! http://www.offworld.com/2009/09/paxs-dark-carnival-screenshots.html

  5. haircute says:

    I wish they would call it something else besides Dark Carnival. Sounds like some kind of Insane Clown Posse thing and I just don’t want to think about them anytime I’m doing anything.

  6. Stupoider says:

    Looks fantastic. I can’t wait to play this! :)

    The Jockey and clown uncommon infected look fantastic, btw.

  7. abhishek says:

    Can someone explain exactly what uncommon infected are supposed to mean? Are they basically like any other common infected except their model appears rarely? Or is there anything actually different about them?

  8. James says:

    Uh-may-zing poster! That is all.

  9. qrter says:

    Those zombie clowns made me groan. Not impressing me here, Valve..

  10. Phill Cameron says:

    All clowns are either sinister or depressing. Sometimes both, never neither.

  11. Fumarole says:

    Zombies + clowns = sheer terror.

  12. Stupoider says:

    Were you expecting zombie teenagers, employed at the park to operate rides, qrter? I welcome the addition of zombie clowns. I can’t see the down side to them.

  13. Lobster says:

    The Uncommon-Common, are regular zombies themed to the campaign, that have a speacial abillity connected to them. The infeced Riot Cops are bullet proof, the CleanSuit ones are immune to fire, the MudMen crawl under the water and mess up your vision when they attack and the Clowns make noise when they are alerted that attracts every nearby infected.

  14. James G says:

    Hmm, now I have Pink songs stuck in my head, and I’m not even a fan of Pink.

  15. DD says:

    I can see that jockey guy adding alot of awsome moments into the game if they carry people away. scary…..

  16. Serondal says:

    you must be this tall, TO DIE! I LOVE THAT!

  17. GuiSim says:

    Meh.. I liked the “seriousness” of the first L4D. It had this awesome ambiance.

    I’m not impressed either :-/

  18. Torgen says:

    “the Clowns make noise when they are alerted that attracts every nearby infected.”

    When you put on the nose, it grows! HONK!

    Squeeze the wheeze, everyone wants to…

  19. Funky Badger says:

    Zombie clowns?

    I just shat yself. Thanks oh so very much Valve.

    At least there’s no FRIKKIN HEADCRABS this time.

  20. Lilliput King says:

    Hooray for the new boss infected. Add plenty more of those and this may be worth buying.

  21. Premium User Badge

    DarkNoghri says:

    @Serondal
    I’m pretty sure it was announced weeks ago that one of the campaigns took place at a carnival. There was almost immediately a forum thread about what to call it + tagline. One of them was almost identical to that if not absolutely identical.

  22. Thranx says:

    the jockey FREAKED me out while I was playing it today. I hadn’t heard of it yet somehow and just freak. I was quite excited.

  23. DK says:

    “When you put on the nose, it grows! HONK!

    Squeeze the wheeze, everyone wants to…”
    It’s sadly even more ridiculous. They have squeaky clown shoes.

    The Shark it has been jumped.

  24. Andresito says:

    “Zombies!!! 7: Send in the clowns” on Left 4 Dead? Cool.

  25. A Delicate Balance says:

    This all sounds like good news. Nov 11th can’t come soon enough!

  26. l1ddl3monkey says:

    Valve obviously have a new “Trying too hard” department.

    Zombie clowns… for Christs Sake…

  27. Robin says:

    I heard someone was making a House of the Dead: Overkill mod for L4D.

    Oh yeah, it was Valve.

  28. Arca says:

    Re most evil zombie: surely some of those suited guys in the offices during the No Mercy campaign are Lawyers.

  29. Oak says:

    Re most evil zombie: surely some of those suited guys in the offices during the No Mercy campaign are Lawyers.

    They were mindless, bloodthirsty cannibals. Then they became zombies.

  30. subedii says:

    Meh, people made the exact same comments about the extremely large fat person that vomits all over people. Oh yes very clever Valve, that infantile humour is really going to work here.

    It works given the context and the gameplay. I suspect the clowns do as well (Heck, it’s a Carnival after all).

    Valve generally don’t just throw crap in for the sake of it, there’s a tonne of testing and evolution of concepts that goes on before anything becomes permanent. Heck, first new infected to be revealed was the charger, and that’s still changing.

  31. Rinox says:

    I want to frame that poster and put it on my wall.

  32. Vinraith says:

    As L4D posters go, the one for “Last Stand” is by far the best IMO. It’s probably the most understated and dry of the lot, and as a result the only one that’s ever gotten a real laugh out of me.

  33. PleasingFungus says:

    At PAX now. (Posting by phone, hence terseness.) Line for L4D2 was too long for me, but watched several (excruciatingly bad) players. Jockey is basically a big headcrab: latch onto scalp, send victim staggering about, rend, tear. Fun!

    Saw no clowns, but did see (and play!) Borderlands. Not really sure what I thought of it. Seemed slightly clunky when I played, but playing with strangers/unfamiliarity/gamepad controls are a good excuse. Seemed a bit better when I was watching others, though -

    – problem with watching others play –

    they never reload.

  34. jon_hill987 says:

    “some stupid crappy deal where you get a baseball bat if you pre-order the game from the right shop ”

    This whole “extra content if you buy from here/on platform X” thing is really starting to piss me off.

  35. Elman says:

    Zombie clowns? I guess I’ll waste 40€ on a game expansion, after all!

  36. Mashakosha says:

    @Andresito
    Good to see another Zombies!!! player.

    As to the L4D2 stuff (my god, staying on topic?) I don’t get why everyone is so arse pained over such a small thing as clown zombies. You know on the PC we have these things called mods? They can get rid of these things that you don’t like. Of course, if you lose the sounds, you also lose the ability to know where they are and thus when a wave of Zs are coming. And if you don’t like the fact that they’re clowns, just wait for someone to re-skin them into something more…acceptable. Like the stay puft marshmallow man!

  37. Premium User Badge

    Vandelay says:

    Got to share in Mashakosha’s confusion over the dislike of clown zombies. Personally can’t think of anything more terrifying than being in the pitch black and suddenly shinning my flash light on a clown zombie right in my face. Perhaps those that think it is a bad idea don’t share in my (and many other’s) brown-trouser-time fear of clowns.

    Having said that, I think Valve could have done a better job of making these clowns scary. They need a large permanent grin on their faces to really be terrifying.

    @PleasingFungus – Do you mean that the Jockey makes the player uncontrollable as he stumbles about, or does it mess up the controls in some way, or am I misunderstanding completely what you mean?

    Also, I share in your frustration, PleasingFungus, with watching bad L4D players. Every video that has been released of L4D2 shows some rubbish players and it was the same when we saw footage of Survival mode being played by both journalists and the developers. What makes this particularly annoying is the fact that the difficulty of the game is something I’m particularly concerned about. I’ve pretty much mastered the original (not to be arrogant, it is simply down to playing way too much) and with a half decent squad each of the original campaigns have become pretty dull even on expert. I want them to have made these new campaigns to be a real challenge, or else it will only take a few hours to complete all of them with my L4D experience. Watching the videos that have been released, it is almost impossible to gauge how hard the game will be when they have players that don’t know what they are doing. I want to see videos of people failing when they try to do the tricks that have been created from the first game (e.g. camping in a corner, dashing through the levels.)

  38. We Fly Spitfires says:

    “You must be this tall… TO DIE!”.

    Best. Slogan. Ever.

  39. Fenchurch says:

    I have nothing but amused bewilderment for these Kotaku-esque knee jerk opinions people snipe away with;

    “Sorry Valve you’re not impressing me.”

    Oh well, guess that’s it Valve. Pack up and go home! Internet Guy thinks you “Jumped the shark”! Turn in your keyboards and mice, your track record of non stop accolades and genre defining games simply isn’t enough to withstand the lip curling sneers of contemptuous teenagers. =-P

  40. Rinox says:

    @ Vandelay: you probably already know it, but one of the new special infected in L4D2 was designed pretty much specifically to take the juice out of the camping corners/closet tactic. The ‘spitter’ basically covers a small area in toxic goo that damages the players standing in it. It’s the yellow stuff in this vid

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=10s_k4ntCQs&feature=related

    So yeah, that should wreak havoc on the camping tactic. :-)

  41. Corbeau says:

    Got a chance to play L4D2 today (er, technically yesterday) at PAX. The Jockey, which jumps on a survivor and rides him around (with some control resistance from the survivor) is the most disruptive infected in the game. Being able to “drive” the victim away from the rest of the team can be devastating in the middle of a horde attack, and is even worse when paired with ledges. The Spitter doesn’t even come close to causing the amount of havoc that I saw inflicted by the Jockey today.

  42. Corbeau says:

    Also, for the record, I’ve been a member of the L4D2 Boycott group. Yet I was very impressed with the gameplay of L4D2 – the seemingly small tweaks add up to a lot of improvement overall. The (many) different guns, the new special infected, the new campaign maps, and particularly the melee weapons. Seriously, I don’t know how well they’ll work in versus against human players, but the katana was hands-down the most fun weapon in the game (even over the electric guitar, which indeed makes a satisfying twang when impacting zombie skulls). They did a good job integrating melee weapons.

  43. Rinox says:

    @ Corbeau

    Thanks for the info!

  44. Premium User Badge

    Vandelay says:

    @Rinox: Yeah, I did know about that, but I’ve not actually seen it in action against corner/closet campers. The only time I’ve seen it in a video is against the rather rubbish players who just flail around without much purpose or teamwork.

    In theory it is a good idea, but I imagine if you have the standard front two survivors meleeing the infected, back two shooting strategy picking off any Spitters could be quite easy, depending on their range, the size of the area of effect of their attack, and the size and shape of the Spitter itself.

    The Charger may also be good against the camping strategy, but really need to see it properly in action. I’ve got a feeling that his damage may not be too high and is more about splitting the survivors up (same with the Jockey.) This is something that is probably needed. This was left to the Smoker in the original, which was fairly easy to counteract, as even with the patched in initial meleeing invulnerability the tongue was easy to knock off. A good Smoker attack often seemed to be down to a mistake on the Survivors side rather than a well played Smoker.

  45. Valve burguers says:

    ¡nice mod!

  46. Mike says:

    Really can’t comprehend the baseball bat thing. And the uncommon commons are a bit… I mean, mud men and clowns with squeaky shoes that attract zombies? It’s a bit too humourous I think. But the rest looks amazing.

  47. Alex says:

    At least with the stupid pre-purchase unlock thing, the server will let anyone pick it up as long as one person with the unlock is connected.

  48. Shnyker says:

    Hm, baseball bat, well I have nothing AGAINST preordering, so, there. Zombie clowns are actually the first good arguement for boycotting this though.

  49. PennyWise says:

    I miss the “seriousness” of the first one as well. Too much tongue-in-cheekiness self-referentialism going on. Saving Private Ryan vs Inglourious Basterds sort of thing.

  50. subedii says:

    @ Corbeau: So are you still a member of the group?

    @ Pennywise: Personally I never took the first one seriously. I mean come on, Four survivors keep getting rescued after an epic road trip through zombieland only to crash each time. Meanwhile across all this they’re being hunted by a guy with a 50ft prehensile tongue (how does that fit in his head anywa), a humongous fat man intent who chases them purely so he can vomit all over them, and the human pinball.

    Even the first game had a tonne of self-referential humour, not the least of which was all the graffiti you saw scrawled across the gameworld and safehouses.