L4D2: Scavenger Mode

By Jim Rossignol on October 8th, 2009 at 8:32 am.


Valve have sent word of a fourth game mode to be included in Left 4 Dead 2, called Scavenger Mode. It’s like this: “Scavenge mode challenges players to compete in round-based games of up to 8 players (Survivors vs. Infected). The Survivors must battle both the Infected and the clock as they collect gas cans to refuel a generator located in each map. Every can the Survivors pour into the generator scores their team a point and adds time to the clock.” Needless to say, the infected have to stop them. Just as interesting, perhaps, is the confirmation of previously discussed Ai Director 2.0, who will have “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.”

Video below.

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90 Comments »

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  1. sigma83 says:

    I have nothing to say other than ‘Yum!’

  2. Darkelp says:

    Loved the Xbox 360 advert on this PC only site :p

    I like the look of this, mixing up the different types of online modes. I also loved the new music they’ve done, and those melee weapons look proper meaty.

    Also, trust an Xbox gamer to leave a survivor to die.

    • Stupoider says:

      Oh yes, I’m going to have to agree with you on the music. That new (horde?) music was fantastic. :D

    • Ben Abraham says:

      That music sounded like it would get annoying pretty quickly. When it went away for a second or two then came back, I was already getting a bit sick of it. I know a lot of people play with the music off anyway, but I don’t… fingers crossed for better balance/fading, etc.

  3. sigma83 says:

    I take it back: CROWBAR WANT

  4. Vinraith says:

    Scavenger mode would be more interesting if it wasn’t an 8-player mode. Then again, maybe if it was pure co-op it’d be too similar to survival mode.

    • jamie says:

      why more interesting if its just co op? competition always make sthings more interesting. unless you suck like most of the people who dont like l4d

    • Smithee says:

      I’ll second you on that, Vinraith. Seeing as nearly all my real-world friends are Mac-only, and the rest have no interest in twitchy zombie-shoots, I’m stuck playing with random internet people only. In general I’ve found co-op games to be very friendly, while versus has frequently degraded into 14-year-olds spamming the word “fag” over and over. Maybe I’ve just found terrible servers, but unfortunately it’s really put me off versus.

    • Vinraith says:

      I like how jamie just unwittingly illustrated the problem for me. Finding four friends to play with at a given moment is extremely difficult as it is, eight is basically impossible, so in order to play any versus mode one has to play with the general population. It’s an unpleasant experience, certainly, and not something I would ever describe as “fun.”

    • Premium User Badge

      Vandelay says:

      I would expect that you will be able to play this mode with just a Survivor team. Really, the AI involved won’t need to be any different from what is already there, so there is no reason for you to not be able to play against AI.

      If Valve don’t do it, I imagine it would be quite simple to mod in. You could probably do it just through some console commands.

      I do like that they are offering an alternative competitive mode to Versus though. Versus is fun, but can be quite repetitive when Infected attacks are only really effective in particular areas of the map and it can go on for quite awhile. A shorter game like this would hopefully eliminate the annoying rage quitting that plagued the original.

    • Howl says:

      If you have issues finding 7 other people that aren’t likely to rage and/or throw racist or homophobic abuse at you every 5 seconds (actually quite hard on the internet) then join a group that excludes those kinds of people.

      I joined the L4D Play Responsibly Club and the chat room has ~30 people online at peak GMT times, coordinating to put games together. The Versus matches are done in good spirits, which means people have fun and stay for the whole match.

  5. Mithrandir0x says:

    Maybe I’m being a tad harsh, but isn’t it a bit simplistic?

    I hope they can balance the issue of having infected respawnable (they will have longer time than versus mode, I suppose) versus survivors that can not.

    • Howl says:

      I’m guessing that with 20 seconds per canister, teams will be stuck with the decision of either staying together to avoid a wipe, or splitting up to maximise their score. This is probably where the strategy would kick in for the other team. It will become about how to safely divide and manage your resources, on both sides… imo.

  6. Mort says:

    Looked like the art style has changed slightly to me, or it’s the vids. Be nice to see PC footage. New mode is a bit ‘meh’. All moot, game will be bought regardless, LFD has given me some of the best drunken coop nights in history.

  7. Jon says:

    The idea intrigues me, but that trailer looks nothing like actual gameplay.
    First, he ran off on his own for the whole thing. Normally, that would mean he’d get killed off pretty quickly by special infected, but instead they mostly ignored him, making it look trivially easy.
    Secondly, they only needed 3 gas tanks. I’m pretty sure that with every gas tank, the difficulty will ramp up – only showing the first 3 means that, again, we only see the easy bit.
    I understand this is to keep the trailer short, but why couldn’t they have played a proper round, and then given us a clip from the middle of it?

  8. Lobotomist says:

    Its nothing like revolutionary barrel camping mode that will be added in April, when they release L4D3.

    And they also plan to add 1 !!!! new infected !

    WoW!!!!!

  9. Smurfy says:

    Xbox 360 gameplay video? Old first look screenshot?

    I’m boycotting RPS.

    • Smurfy says:

      Aw man turns out this article is the best-selling article yet. My boycott failed!

    • yutt says:

      People seem to have bizarre ideas of the purpose of a boycott. The end goal is not to lower sales, that would be completely pointless. It is to effect change. Do you people laugh at employee strikes because they go back to work a few days after compensation increases are agreed upon?

      “OMG hypocrites! You just went back to work in the end! So much for your ideals!”

    • Tyshalle says:

      More bizarre than people’s ideas of the purpose of boycotts are people’s failures to recognize when somebody is obviously just kidding.

  10. Exonin says:

    I believe it was 3 because if you look at the end you’ll see that the other team scored 2/16, so the amount required depends on what the other team gets.

  11. Baris says:

    @Lobotomist: Are you parodying someone parodying being excited about the L4D franchise? Well played.

  12. monchberter says:

    Crowbar…

    :D

  13. Rosti says:

    Actually, this’d be quite interesting if survivor groups of 3/1 or 2/2 are effective at sneaking in some points. Anyhoo, what with the lack of free time will pick this up when it turns up in The RPS Bargain Bucket.

    • Llama says:

      That’s kind of pointless as the Infected can SEE THROUGH WALLS

    • Schmitzkater says:

      You do know that they won’t be able to see you through walls as long as you walk slowly, without firing a shot, right?
      At least that’s what it’s like in L4D1, would be surprised if it was any different here.

    • Premium User Badge

      Vandelay says:

      Yeah, it is exceptionally easy to just charge through levels with only firing when required and relying on melee for most of the time. Even those Infected that do react to you can’t outrun you. There isn’t any need for walls to be between you.

  14. Innokenti says:

    Looks like it will be a good mode. It’s nice to have another competitive one out there…

  15. Stupoider says:

    Ooooh, that looks awesome! :D This makes me even more hyped for L4D2.

  16. TotalBiscuit says:

    THIS COULD HAVE BEEN ADDED FREE TO L4D1, I AM BOYCOTTING THIS MODE AND ALL THAT PLAY IT.

  17. Psychopomp says:

    HORSE. DEAD.
    YOU. STICK. PUT DOWN.
    ALL OF YOU

    • Dr. Nerfball says:

      Psychopomp wins the comment thread!

    • Gotem says:

      NO, I’m boycotting this until they add a zombie horse to go on beating it!

    • Tei says:

      A zombie horse with infinite health inmune to all but melee weapons?

    • Funky Badger says:

      Even if it wasn’t immune, it’d still have infinite health.

      Ha, suck my logic.

      Ahem.

  18. Malagate says:

    Sounds like survivor mode, but with an actual reason not to just sit and camp next to a big pile of ammo! Getting slowly closer to perfecting the zombie game, I'm slightly more glad that I pre-ordered it.

  19. TotalBiscuit says:

    Your boycott served only to heighten interest in this article.

  20. fuggles2k says:

    “I GOT SOME GAS!”

    That’s nice – hey we all have our problems, but we don’t all shout about them.

  21. lumpi says:

    Reminds me of the HL2 mod “Zombie Master”. It’s the perfect indie version of L4D, with zombie hordes being controlled by a human player (the “master”) rather than an elaborate AI director.

  22. pignoli says:

    I wonder if you fail if you chuck a pipebomb or propane tank in there and blow up the geny…

  23. Premium User Badge

    Vandelay says:

    I love the sound of this mode. It is basically competitive survival mode, but with need to move around. My problem with Survival mode was always that you could just camp next to the ammo stockpile and very easily get the gold medal. In this mode, making you move around should make things get a bit more interesting. I would have thought Survival mode will be improved quite a bit with the inclusion of the Spitter too.

    Having said that, that was possibly the worst video I’ve seen of the game so far, and I’ve not been impressed with any of them yet. Everything I’ve read about the game seems to address problems with the original and makes it sound awesome, but whenever I see videos stuck on easy mode I start to worry again. The player runs off by himself and doesn’t get slaughtered! Bar that Charger, did any Special Infected even attempt to go after him? A single hunter should of finished him off. The map seemed fairly empty of zombies, both regular and special. AI players didn’t react to what the player was doing, and instead ignored him completely (probably rightly so seeing as he seemed to be pretty incompetent.) Also, the filling the generator probably should have been longer. That should be a tense moment where the whole team should be guarding the one filling up, but barely two seconds went by and he was done.

    Also slightly disheartened by the continued use of 360 footage. It would be nice if Valve showed the PC love, which they are renowned for, when publicising this game. I know I shouldn’t really be bothered by it, but it is a pity when the ‘saviours’ of PC aren’t using footage from their primary platform.

    • Tei says:

      “Also slightly disheartened by the continued use of 360 footage. It would be nice if Valve showed the PC love, which they are renowned for, when publicising this game. I know I shouldn’t really be bothered by it, but it is a pity when the ’saviours’ of PC aren’t using footage from their primary platform.”

      This has been discussed before, and I kind of agree with the result of such discussions:
      Demoing on the consoles result on a more cinematic experience. PC players move the “head” too fast in one direction and the other, much like birds, and result on a jerky and confusing demo for everyone but the player of such game.

    • Rinox says:

      @ Vandalay

      The quality of the special infected in the video depends on the quality of the players controlling them, of course. And in all vids we’ve seen so far none of the players have been especially bright (survivor or special infected). The smallish amount of normal infected may just be coincidence until we see extended footage.

      But you’re absolutely right on the refeuling. It doesn’t seem to take long enough. The time it takes to fire up the generator in the Crash Course finale does that just right…enough time for you to get pinned, but not excruciatingly long. Great tension moment.

    • Clovis says:

      much like birds

      Great, now I’ll be thinking that everytime I play an FPS. I preferred to think of myself as a chipmunk… but armed with a shotgun.

      Also, the console examples make sense because that’s where Valve will get the most money.

    • Jugglenaut says:

      I’m hoping that there’s a way to set a difficulty that affects the length of refilling, and the number/swarming of non-infected.

    • Jugglenaut says:

      Whoops, meant “non-special infected”

  24. Gnoupi says:

    Why, why, why, oh why do they insist on showing X360 gameplay to present the new game….

    And moreover played by someone who obviously has no idea how it’s supposed to be played (running alone all the time).

    But other than that, it looks awesome, can’t wait for the 17th of november !

    • Gnoupi says:

      Posted in the wrong place, I’ve just seen the answer just above mine.
      I understand this prevents indeed the “jumping camera” effect, which is finally annoying for spectators.

      But they could use people who play the game correctly, at least. I’ve been literally shouting in frustration while Rochelle was stupidly dying from a hunter, from a full health, and the player didn’t even care. We get that enough on internet games, they could do an effort to show a “good way of playing”

    • Premium User Badge

      Vandelay says:

      I think it wouldn’t have been so bad if the player had of actually been punished for doing that. The fact that he was able to run around like that and win the mode is what really leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Quite honestly, I want to see videos where people do do (“hehe you said do do”) things like this but then get completely ripped to shreds. For example, I want to see a video of the Spitter actually in action and decimating a team that is corner camping, so that they can prove that the problem is solved.

      It seems that the marketing hasn’t realised that losing due to some crazy error or after an epic battle were the best parts of L4D. Instead, they are showing gameplay that just seems far too easy and isn’t addressing issues and exploits that came about once we all had figured out the tricks of the original. Addressing the problems does come through in the changes they have said they are making though, so I am looking forward to the game, but a video showcasing some of these changes would be nice.

    • Gnoupi says:

      It’s indeed weird that during all this time, nothing happens to the player. I mean, in L4D, I usually make 3 steps away from others and a hunter catches me. Pity that nothing happened in this video, indeed.

      On the other side, I totally agree with this point, that what makes the fun of L4D are the epic battle with hordes, stressing moments where you’re not sure how to get out. Dying during an epic last stand is something much more fun than winning a round by running and not be caught.

      Unfortunately, after almost a year of internet games with random people, I realized that most of them don’t like the same thing. Most only want to win, no matter what. They won’t come back to help you if they can reach the safe room. For sure they will earn more points, yay, and you spent 2 minutes waiting for the end, bleeding on the ground. Most of times, in terms of points, he was right, going out would have led to everyone dying. But seriously, what’s the fun in points, I’d rather die trying a desperate rescue than win letting others die. ut again, only my point of view, on internet, most of people just don’t think that way, all that matters is WINNING….

    • Howl says:

      I’m sure it’s probably just a simple case of 360’s being easier to lug around to press events than PC towers, and easier to set up on big plasma screens.

    • Premium User Badge

      Vandelay says:

      That makes sense, but there isn’t any indication that this was from a press event.

      I’m not sure I entirely agree with the unnatural movement of the view when playing with a mouse. Perhaps it is just because I’m solely a PC player, but when I see footage like this my immediate thought from the way the camera movement is “that is console footage.” The movement in that looked more unnatural than when on a PC. I expect my head would be darting around a lot in a zombie apocalypse.

    • Howl says:

      Yeah quite a few gaming sites seem to have different footage of this new mode already. There are some PC videos too, so they must have been demoing on both platforms.

  25. Tei says:

    The normal status of a L4D player is angry.

    Is a game where your are punished by the errors of other people. You could be saving the ass of other 3 dudes for 1 hour, and die from full health If you are incapped, and the 3 others dudes just ignore you.
    Is also a game “explosive”. You don’t expect a horde to show before the next corner, mostly because after that corner often theres not horde.

    Is also a game with a basic unbalanced. The survivor are god-like. Most zombies can be killed with a single movement of your hand. Hence.. the game has to trown something at you with brutality, to be able to kill you. Is not easy to kill a survivor.

    The game is very good, but is “unfair”, “explosive” and “brutal”.

    • Gnoupi says:

      I have to agree with the “angry” state. This is a game in which you are extremely dependent on how fast your teammates react, if they react at all.

      The fact that you can’t survive alone also makes you work under “peer pressure”, as the majority will decide to do something (typically, exploit a map bug to hide from a stress event), and you are forced to follow, because if not, you are left alone, without a survival chance. Trying to play the game in another way than the majority usually gets you the “noob” naming, and finally kicking.

      I have awful memory of the “door exploit” from No Mercy 3, where they would all stack hitting the door until it breaks, to avoid the stress part o the roof…

      As the majority of players is composed by people who just want to “win”, no matter what, then you will have to go stack in closets with them, because you don’t have much other choice.

      For the “hiding in closet part”, however, I have the hope that L4D2 will change this logic, with proposing more active “stress” moments, with the gauntlets. People will finally be forced to play the events and not camp them, and that will go for my greatest joy (until one will figure out how to exploit something).

  26. subedii says:

    I’ll agree with that. Shame the “reply” button conched out on him for that post.

  27. subedii says:

    This was in response to Dr, Nerfball. Flipping reply button. *grumble*

  28. pignoli says:

    @ Vandelay, gnoupi:
    Could it just be that this is the general standard of play on 360? I still maintain that it isn't possible to play a (twitchy) shooter properly with a twiddly stick, this could just be evidence of that! Despite the weapons being based on reality, L4D can still be a very twitchy game…

    • Psychopomp says:

      No. The PC community is exactly the same.

      Most people would rather be cheap, than have fun.

    • Funky Badger says:

      No, there are no hacks or exploits on any multiplayer PC I’ve ever heard off.

      (The main skill beyond fast-twitch muscle memory is level-knowledge, and this can be gained just as readily on console as on PC – although there is the downside that the director can hear your worsd and react accordingly on consoles)

  29. Steve says:

    This just looks like a watered down version of Plants vs Zombies

  30. pignoli says:

    @ gnoupi: answer is don't play with randoms. L4D is exponentially better with a regular group.

  31. WilPal says:

    Wow. That music is one of the most annoying things i have ever heard.

  32. Hug_dealer says:

    Come on valve. wow me into buying your game. Give me just an inkling that you are going to actually make it survival horror.

    The title made me think it was going to be hardcore. items and weapons would be hard to find, making you go out of your way to find extra stuff because you cant make it to the end with just your starting equipment.

    Its really my own fault for thinking that though. Not valves for delivering little gimmick additions pretending they are adding tons of new content.

    • Tyshalle says:

      Left 4 Dead has never marketed itself as survival horror. I’m sorry that it’s not your thing, but acting like there’s some kind of failure on Valve’s part here because they haven’t built L4D in the genre you were hoping for.

    • Psychopomp says:

      “Its really my own fault for thinking that though. Not valves for delivering little gimmick additions pretending they are adding tons of new content.”

      This doesn’t have much weight, coming from the same guy who thinks that HL2 is a series of cheap gimmicks.

  33. nutterguy says:

    I’m sorry but those voice actors hurt my head!
    Really hope someone makes a “non american hillbilly” voice pack for this really quickly…
    3-4 hours with those voices would make me NEVER play the game again.

  34. invisiblejesus says:

    Interesting stuff, I’m liking having another competitive mode and it sounds like it’ll be pretty quick to play. I do have to wonder if the survivors will have a gas reference as iconic as Louis’ “Grabbin’ pills!” and “Pills here!”. Either way, I think the 17th is going to be a sick day for me.

  35. BlindPsychic says:

    Uh, L4D isn’t survival horror and never tried to be. You always have plenty of weapons and ammo and on anything but expert, healing items, bombs etc. Its an action game with zombies.

  36. Jahkaivah says:

    The last line Nick says sums up the entire video.

  37. Flobulon says:

    Does the Xbox 360 have crappy lighting tech, or was that not a final compile? Because that looked like a fan-made map, lighting wise.

  38. Silarn says:

    The use time on those gas cans does seem a bit short to me, and this vid definitely doesn’t show a realistic level of challenge. It seems like one player with a bunch of bots on idiot mode.

    But it does give you the gist of how the mode works. You kind of have to extrapolate how a match would realistically play out with the given info.

  39. Duffin says:

    Look’s pretty interesting actually, could force the survivors apart a bit more and give the infected more chance to use their abilities without getting 4 auto shotties to the face.

  40. Max says:

    Why do they always demo L4D2 on the xbox? It’s painful watching them bumble around with the analog sticks.

  41. Pod says:

    They should rename it L1D2.

  42. Pamplemousse says:

    This should be the music for L4D2. It’s very very climatic and makes great use of ground bass.

  43. PHeMoX says:

    It has been Okayed for Australia now too, after it was edited a bit. I am sure Gabe Newell was in Australia to promote his game more than meeting that mod maker.

    It sounds SO freaking much like a publicity / marketing stunt. It’s lame.

    • Premium User Badge

      Vandelay says:

      A mod maker randomly asks Gabe Newell to play his mod and then decides, independently, to raise money to fly them to Australia. They go to Australia and play his mod.

      What makes this seem like an organised stunt by Valve? Unless the whole thing was engineered by Valve from the very start (asking Joe to send the e-mail, to make the website to raise money – money that Valve themselves would have easily been able to put up themselves), which only the most cynical of us would think, then it clearly wasn’t simply a marketing stunt.

      Yep, Valve have come out of the whole thing smelling of roses, but that is because they have done something unprecedented and it is completely deserved.

  44. Hug_dealer says:

    well vandelay. you apparently missed the entire 3/4 of the story before what you picked up at. Go do some reading.

  45. Keaggan says:

    True that. Why demo ANY FPS on a console. I have both a PS3 & a PC…PCs own this genre.

  46. Catastrophe says:

    To be honest that video looked stale as hell.

    The survivors split up and were safe?!

    1 survivor took on a tank alone and casually crowbared the odd zombie.

    For a L4D2 advert we want crazy hordes of zombies charging about. Elevator music would of been appropriate music for that video.

  47. Premium User Badge

    James G says:

    Apparently the posters for the last two campaigns have been leaked:

    http://kotaku.com/5379068/last-two-left-4-dead-2-campaigns-leaked

  48. autohat says:

    That crowbar didn’t look implemented too well.

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