L4D2: Dark Carnival In Action

By Jim Rossignol on September 9th, 2009 at 8:23 am.


Via PAX, there’s some Dark Carnival footage below. And man, is that jockey infected looking a bit nasty. Personally I’ve always preferred playing infected in L4D, so I’ll enjoy making the worst out of that fella. For the survivors there’s some skull-splattering melee action. Eugh, zombies are icky.

, .

111 Comments »

  1. Meat Circus says:

    Looks good. Smells like… Left4Dead DLC.

  2. Rinox says:

    Is it November yet? Can’t wait.

  3. Adam says:

    That new special infected is doing inappropriate thins to the survivor’s heads…

  4. Ben says:

    cannot wait for ELFORDEETOO me.

  5. TotalBiscuit says:

    @MeatCircus – See this is why I think DLC is a bloody terrible, because it gives the mistaken impression that a ‘true’ sequel must have a completely new engine, entirely reimagined gameplay and indeed, only trace elements of the original in there. If it doesn’t, the complaints come flooding in ‘this is just a money-grab, this should have been DLC!’ and the obligatory dumbgamer battlecry ‘I WILL ONLY PAY 10 BUCKS FOR THIS’.

    I remember the days when an entirely new set of maps, weapons and a few extra bells and whistles thrown in did constitute a sequel, where a sequel was merely an improved version of the original game with enough different content to justify the sale, as opposed to some Renaissance of Reinvention.

    I can only imagine the bitching were today’s generation of Cheap-ass Gamers around when Doom 2 came out. IT’S ONLY GOT 1 NEW WEAPON!!

  6. Aisi says:

    @TotalBiscuit – That’s fine and dandy, but Valve has set the precedent with TF2 post-release content. I paid $20 for a game that’s worth $100+ (imo) with all the updates and new content they’ve released, and looking across the pond at L4D gamers, they seem to be getting the short end of the stick. $50 at release time, ~3 basic weapons, and one playing style – shoot things. Unless you’re already (un)dead. A sequel, another $50, so soon?

  7. Seniath says:

    Oh god, a L4D2 post this early in the day? This wont possibly end well…

  8. MD says:

    I’m boycotting this thread.

  9. Ybfelix says:

    So why do Valve love TF2 more than anything to date(I think)? Is it its most played game?

  10. Flint says:

    How about we focus on the actual content of the videos rather than pointless wanking about something irrelevant like the game’s release form.

    And the gameplay does look wonderful indeed, I still think the Spitter’s the best thing to come out in the sequel. Goodbye to lame and boring corner tactics! Not too bothered about the melee weapons but more variety’s never a bad thing.

    What I’d like to know though if all the different guns, eg all the assault rifles/SMGs, have different properties or are they just reskins of eachother for different campaigns.

  11. Blast Hardcheese says:

    @MD

    Well I’m boycotting your posts, so there.

    Also I’m totally paying for this. This new stuff totally changes the game, especially with the Spitter’s acid thingy.

    Maybe they’ll add a super hard mode to the original Left4Dead, to further separate the two games.

  12. TotalBiscuit says:

    @Aisi And that is why we cannot have nice things, unreasonable expectations. If a developer does something out of the ordinary and provides after-launch support and updates way above and beyond what could have been reasonably expected of them, then some gamers seem to think that they HAVE to provide that level of support on every single title going forward.

    It’s nonsense, no developer could be reasonably expected to do that. TF2 is the exception, not the rule and anyone who claims they didn’t get their money’s worth out of L4D and then goes on to bitch about the sequel is mad. Why would you even have any interest in the sequel if that were the case and if you did get your money’s worth, then why would you bitch about the sequel anyway? You got what could be reasonably expected out of the game in terms of price/performance, so to expect yet more content for nothing out of Valve is unreasonable and unrealistic.

    Valve didn’t set a precedent at all, they did things differently on ONE game to see how it would pan out. TF2 is for all intents and purposes a marketting ploy. They’ve said it themselves, it gives them a constant stream of promotion and the internet goes nuts everytime they release an update. L4D doesn’t have that same charm nor the same enthusiasm behind it to generate that kind of traffic or sales, so it would not serve it’s purpose. Folks may wish to believe that Valve are ‘just like us’ but at the end of the day, they are a company out to make money and we as the consumer have the right to buy, or not buy, depending on the quality of their product. That’s as far as it goes and no amount of butthurt or crying from gamers who feel ‘betrayed’ by Gabe and Co is going to change that.

  13. Premium User Badge

    MonkeyMonster says:

    Jockey looks ace!

  14. GekkoX says:

    @TotalBiscuit – I agree that people shouldn’t have any expectations beyond the release material on game, but the argument that most boycotters use is that valve -promised- more weapons and infected and tf2 like updates on the original game.

  15. Ian says:

    Hopefully they’ll tweak it so that baseball bats aren’t just shotguns with a range of a few feet.

    Otherwise, looking good.

  16. Ansob. says:

    And that is why we cannot have nice things, unreasonable expectations. If a developer does something out of the ordinary and provides after-launch support and updates way above and beyond what could have been reasonably expected of them, then some gamers seem to think that they HAVE to provide that level of support on every single title going forward.

    Except in this case the developer claimed they would be providing TF2-level of support. Anyway.

    This looks nice. I’m still undecided as to whether or not I’ll get this, but it looks nice.

  17. Knight Of Cydonia says:

    @Flint – It looks like the shotgun in the first trailer has a slightly slower firerate, but a little more kick than the combat shotgun from the first game.

    @Ybfelix – I’d be pretty surprised if TF2 was the most played Valve game. CS or CS:S would hold that title, easily.

    TotalBiscuit speaks the truth. People have been swallowing minor graphical updates and slight improvements from EA and Konami with FIFA and Pro Evo for years, KOEI have done the same with the Dynasty/Samurai/Orochi Warriors titles, id did the same with Doom, and I don’t see anyone lining up to boycott their games. If you’re going to boycott L4D2, you’re going to find yourself boycotting an awful lot of very good games from the last 15 years, unless you want to be a hypocrit.

  18. Jambe says:

    Spoiled Gamer Tears are the most delicious variety, aren’t they?

    If it’s not worth list price in your opinion then don’t buy it at list price. L4D was worth $30 to me so I bought it there. I’ll probably buy L4D2 at a discount, too, because it’ll be another one trick pony and I’d rather that money on some nice steaks or something like that.

    Curiously enough, I rather hate the Infected, and always enjoyed Campaign mode much more than vs. It’s something about the bitchiness that competitive play brings to the game.

  19. dartt says:

    I think these discussions would benefit from us determining exactly what we think a fair price for L4D2 is. If we can come to value with a decent rationale, perhaps Valve will read this comments thread and the controversy will come to an end.

    We should start by putting a price on each discrete element of the game: characters, concepts, dialogue, guns, levels, matchmaking, melee weapons, music, setting, zombies (common, uncommon common & special) should be enough to be getting on with.

    Having assigned an agreed upon value to each of these elements abstractly, we can then apply them to the concrete implementations that we have thus far observed in L4D2 through the currently available media, tallying up a cumulative worth for the product as a whole.

    Then we can divide that number by three or four because it’s Valve and they are basically a gigantic charity organisation which produces games of exacting quality out of the goodness of their hearts who not only have infinite money and resources but also signed a blood pact with each of us back in November to support L4D to at least the extent of how TF2 (specifically) has since been supported and none of us would have purchased it then had we known otherwise.

    Does that sound good?

  20. Don says:

    Perhaps my memory is in error but it looks like the way melee weapons work has changed. Early previews suggested that once you’d picked up an axe or whatever you couldn’t just swap between it and your main gun, you had to discard the melee weapon to get your shootie on. Now it looks like the survivors are channelling Gordon Freeman and his ninja skillz at carrying half a ton of weaponry without breaking into a sweat. If so that’s a pity, changes an interesting tactical choice into just another weapon in the inventory.

    The other thing that struck me about these clips was it all seemed a bit easy but perhaps that’s the default setting for game journalists. Jockey looked fun though.

  21. Stoffig says:

    On the subject of DLC/Sequel. Because of the complicated ai involved here and the fact that every human input changes how the game is played, it’s extremely difficult to make small changes to the core game.
    So valve was placed with a dilemma. Deliver bad updates to a allready good game, or create the next chapter with a new story, new characters, new challanges, etc etc.
    And thuss having to make huge changes not only with the appearance but even more to the AI.
    So crappy DLC or a better game with a pricetag..
    Well I’d gladly pay for quality.

  22. TotalBiscuit says:

    @Ansob Promises mean next to nothing in this business. I’m surprised many gamers haven’t picked up on a very simple principle for smart game buying yet and that is this…

    “Buy a game on the merits of what is in the box, not what might be in the box a year from now”.

    On the subject of the videos, I’m not seeing anything particularly exciting here. The setting is nice and the action looks solid, but I’m more interested in seeing how the ‘gauntlet’ segments work and whether or not the AI can in fact force you down different paths depending on your performance. Oh and the weather and how that affects the gameplay, show that too.

    One more thing. What bloody use is a silenced machine-pistol against zombies? Why would it be silenced?

  23. Saul says:

    I can’t wait. I can’t wait. I can’t wait. Still playing L4D, still having the best game experiences of my life.

    These got me more excited about the melee weapons:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iojGoAJdNLA
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V7xi3hvOclA

    That fire axe is off the hook!

  24. Rinox says:

    The other thing that struck me about these clips was it all seemed a bit easy but perhaps that’s the default setting for game journalists.

    Oh it was definitely on ‘easy’ (which is almost laughable). The way those people/bots play is so unhinged that they couldn’t survive anything other than that. Also, that tank went down insanely fast.

  25. Andresito says:

    This axe looks so sexy.

  26. Ybfelix says:

    @TotalBiscuit One more thing. What bloody use is a silenced machine-pistol against zombies? Why would it be silenced?
    Only played L4D once but IIRC Zombies react to loud sound. Maybe combined with melee weapon, you can play L4D2 stealthier.

  27. sigma83 says:

    I want my silenced shotgun.

  28. sigma83 says:

    oh, and my silenced grenade launcher with extra muffling on the explosive.

    Silenced helicopter would also be handy.

  29. Bobsy says:

    Here’s a question for the panel. With L4D especially, why are these preview videos always of the 360 version rather than PC? I can understand it for more “pure” multiformat releases like Batman: Andy’s Asylum, but L4D is at the very least a 50/50 audience split between 360 and PC, if not being more heavily on PC.

    Does Valve get a retainer from Microsoft to promote the 360 version in promo videos? Or do they themselves feel that the 360 version is the one that needs the extra promotion?

    It just seems odd to me, since the game looks far, far worse than it ought to.

  30. Jim Rossignol says:

    “Why are these preview videos always of the 360 version rather than PC?”

    Because it’s easier to carry 360s to the events the game is shown at.

  31. Malagate says:

    @Tbfelix, that’s exactly what I was thinking when I saw silenced guns, a more stealthy approach for taking out zombies that do react to loud noises. It would be especially nice if in L4D2 that zombies reacted to all noises based on their volume rather than specific loud noises like in L4D (i.e. exploding petrol stations would have a bigger effect on the horde than screeching metal scissor lifts do, unlike in L4D where the opposite is true).

  32. Alex says:

    Nice to see some reasonably competent players though, compared to previous videos.

  33. Bobsy says:

    @Jim

    Aren’t these pre-recorded videos that are taken to events though? Wouldn’t it be easier to bring a DVD?

  34. morte says:

    lol what? reasonably competent? Surely it was on easy, the post-boomer horde was pathetic, as for the tank…
    I presumed it was a console version given how crap the protagonist was.

    Anyway, looks ‘meh’, will buy it hough of course.

  35. Carra says:

    If I were to show off my game I’d want it to look as good as possible. Thus showing it on a pc.

  36. Premium User Badge

    Vandelay says:

    As I mentioned in the previous L4D2 post, they are again showing rather lame players on a very easy difficulty. Everyone there was charging around, hardly taking notice of what everyone else was doing. I still worry that anyone who has been playing L4D for any extended amount of time on Expert is going to stroll through the campaign mode with no trouble.

    I still haven’t seen any evidence that the changes are really going to make a big difference to the tricks everyone uses already. Again, we have a video of a Spitter against people mindlessly charging around. If the Spitter is meant to be used against people who camp why aren’t they showing videos of him actually dealing with this situation? The Tank went down very easily to the same old trick (set him on fire, pummel him with the shotgun.) I know this is on easy mode, but even on expert the Tank doesn’t last long against a team with auto-shotguns.

    The changes that I really need to see made (all fairly simple) are really limiting the number of med-kits on each level (Versus was always irritating when the Survivors suddenly became full on health and still had a couple of med-kits spare – on expert campaign there probably shouldn’t be any outside of safe room), limit the number of weapons that are at weapon drops so that the whole team doesn’t carry auto-shotguns, able to alter difficulty on Versus (some slight tweaking to damage may be needed, some servers did have altered difficulty on the original but hunters caused far too much damage, so this needs to be made official and balanced.) I also wouldn’t mind seeing ammo being limited at the ammo stashes, particularly on Survival mode. Camping near a stash was far to easy, so forcing the players to move away from it when the ammo runs dry would be a nice change. Most of all, Versus needs to be returned to way it was original meant to be. Survivors should rarely finish a level, and if they do there should only be a couple left. Versus was meant to be a race to see who could get the furthest in the level, but nowadays everyone always finishes. I appreciate that it is tough to make it work so that Infected isn’t just you spamming the Survivors until they die and it should reward a well executed attack, but it is far to in the favour of the Survivors at the moment.

    I do like the look (or at least sound) of the changes they are making. The gauntlet part of levels will really make some interesting moments (I imagine they are a bit like the corn fields from the original, by far the best moment of the game) and the new infected look really interesting. They all seem to be following a similar role as the Smoker, which makes sense as he was the most flawed of the Infected. In some ways, he seems a bit pointless now and might as well be removed.

    I probably will be purchasing this as soon as I see it for a price below the magic £20 mark.

  37. Deerhoof says:

    Get a job! Then earn some money and stop complaining about L4D2 being released so soon. Just because you had to sell a kidney to afford the original…
    Whether it had a new engine or not, whether it has a huge expanse of new game modes, or special infected, or weaponry, or none of those things, it doesn’t matter. It’s more L4D, and that alone makes it worth the asking price.

  38. Thingus says:

    Probably won’t buy for one simple reason; ReDead flashbacks :’(

  39. Duffin says:

    @ Vandelay

    I have been playing L4D for about 8 months, mostly on expert and I think L4D2 us going to be ALOT more difficult.

    Firstly the spitter, whilst your right that the footage so far has shown little of it preventing camping, it will come into its own in finales. For example you wont be able to just sit in one of the rooms in the cottage during Blood Harvest, or the closet in Dead Air.

    The Jockey and Charger also look well designed to split a party up, the Jockey in particular looks deadly at this. If you are seperated from the group in expert you are as good as dead.

    Also the crescendo events are now designed to keep the party moving. So where as in the L4D1 No Mercy elevator event you might just camp in the room opposite the lift this will not be possible in L4D2. For example one event requires someone to trigger a boat to carry the survivors across a lake, there is however no time for the person who triggered the event to reach the boat, so the survivors must make two trips. Again there is emphasis on splitting the party up.

    Lastly i think the real increase in difficulty will come from the new combinations of special infected. Imagine being jockeyed into a witch or a tank. A smoker dragging you into a pool of Spitter vomit.

  40. Rinox says:

    @ Vandelay, re: gauntlets…if you have the time, you should check out the custom campaign Heaven Can Wait. It has a gauntlet part in a multi-storey car park that is pretty well done.

  41. Gabanski83 says:

    @ Vandelay: I think the guy was playing single player, with 3 AI bots as the other Survivors. They had the character names, and just the general manner of them (i.e. all spread out, running off on their own) looked exactly the same as when you’ve got AI members on your team whilst waiting for a latecomer to join.

  42. Catastrophe says:

    I’m sorry but the videos look identical to a game I bought early this year. A game that was extremely fun, had innervative ideas, gave me many hours of playtime but eventually became rather tedious. And now they release practically the same game and call it a sequel. But but but the original became very tedious, why would I want to re-buy the same game with a couple of extra weapons and a map or two?

    @TotalBiscuit
    I feel a good example of something similar would be if WoW sold “Arena” as a “New optional Paid addon to WoW”…. then charged again for Season 2.

  43. Premium User Badge

    Vandelay says:

    @Duffin – Absolutely, I completely agree that the new infected sound like they will really spice things up. We just haven’t seen much evidence of this in the videos shown.

    I think that this is more down to the fact that the only videos we have seen are ones with random people playing. Some slightly more “engineered” videos maybe better at showing off the parts of the game I want to see. Also, the effectiveness of these Infected would probably be most notable in Versus mode, when, as you say, you can combine them.

    @Rinox – Cheers for the tip. Not really played much L4D since the release of the Survival pack, so I haven’t had a chance to try out the custom campaigns. I had pretty much burned the game out. Not to say I didn’t get my money’s worth out of, as I played it pretty solidly between the release date and then, but I just had little incentive to go back for more, except for the odd game of Survival mode (which didn’t keep me interested for long, as it encouraged the camping aspect of the game.) That is probably why I’m wary about L4D2 and really hope that the changes are enough to make me want to go back for more and stay for another couple of months. Looks promising, but I really want to play a demo before I’m absolutely certain.

    @Gabanski83 – Good point. That would certainly explain why there is no teamwork going on.

  44. Lobotomist says:

    Looks good.
    To bad i payed 50$ for what was basically beta version of this game.

  45. Catastrophe says:

    I also feel, judging by them videos that the damage on the zombies isnt as good and well placed in relation to where and how you shoot/damage them.

    For example he hits a zombie in the back with a baseball bat and the zombies arms fall off.

  46. suibhne says:

    @Catastrophe: L4D has had pretty jerky animation and bad hit detection since release – this isn’t new. I am disappointed to see that little appears to have changed in the sequel, tho.

  47. Cooper says:

    For those claiming this is little more than ‘DLC’
    I give you:
    Doom2 and Final Doom

    Now shut up.

  48. Duffin says:

    @ Catastrophe – But you don’t really get “a couple of extra weapons and a map or two”.

    There are more weapons than the original, more campaigns than the original. Plus the uncommon commons and 3 new special infected aswell as the as yet unanounced game mode.

  49. Matt says:

    Anybody else chuckle when they saw the charger in one instance run away from the survivors? Haha, it’s just fun to see a lumbering hulk slowly run away. Ironic?

  50. l1ddl3monkey says:

    I only bought the first one a month ago and am still getting the hang of it, but do absolutely love it.

    In my opinion I think L4D2 might be the difference between DoD and DoD:Source – the sequel not being sufficiently superior to entice me away from the original for anything longer than the odd game here and there.