Left 4 Dead 2 Demo Is Unlocked

By John Walker on October 29th, 2009 at 12:01 am.

Go, go get it!

The Left 4 Dead 2 demo is go. If you pre-loaded it on Steam, it should have unlocked now. (If it isn’t showing up for you, quit out of Steam and restart.) If not, get downloading. And then let us know what you think below.

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197 Comments »

  1. Alex McLarty says:

    If they implement a rating system, I’d get L4D2.

    I was a huge fan of L4D but rage quitters slowly eroded any love I had for the game. Needs to be some form of ranking or matching system. Too many games ruined half way through when players rage or leave when it’s not their turn for infected.

  2. Mort says:

    Pre-order= Demo early access. Which is what we’re seeing now (albeit a day or so delayed)

    Free demo coming soon, 3rd nov or something?

  3. Tei says:

    I think that “demo for pre-orders” is a way to sell more L4D2 copys or sell early.
    I suspect the data show that with this way you will sell more box’s, since some of these people will not buy the data, If hace access to the demo / have already buy a different game / have read poor reviews / bad word of mouth. It seems to work for MMORPG games, that give access to the “Closed Beta” to people that pre-order.
    I am surprised (seems) there are bugs.

  4. Binni says:

    Feels like more of the same with shiny new bells and whistles. This is an expansion pack, not a full game from first impressions, so I am a bit annoyed that I shelled out money early to buy it, I should’ve waited for the inevitable 50% price drop. Also something is very much off about playing this game in daylight. The zombies just look silly and the game seems to have lost most of it’s sinister horror feel and now feels more like Shaun of the Dead, which is a great movie….but I’d rather be playing 28 Days Later.

    Demo verdict: finished game needs to really show some cool set pieces and innovation for it to be truly a new game, because first impressions are that this is just a addon with a few new enemies, weapons and a different setting. Team Fortress 2 has brought more interesting new stuff in free updates over the last year so I’m a bit annoyed that I am paying full price for this.

    • Gutter says:

      How about not buying it and pretending that L4D3 is really what you wanted L4D2 to be? Like that everyone is happy, and we don’t get to read rants about that anymore.

    • Tom says:

      L4D1 had a sinister horror feel?!

    • TCM says:

      L4D wasn’t half as scary as RE4, which failed to even surprise me.

      It was like…negative scary. It was cheesy B-comedy horror, hardly sinister.

  5. Demikaze says:

    My favourite moment so far – I threw a pipe bomb, it explodes killing around 15 zombies, and viscera flies everywhere. I walk forward. Four full seconds later, a torso lands at my feet with a sickening squelch. Brilliant.

  6. Heliocentric says:

    I don’t mean it in an angry boycotter way, but this does seem more expansion than sequel. I mean, hardcore mode would be easy to port to l4d1.

    Nevermind the inevitable 50% sale, i’m holding out for 75%.

    • Gutter says:

      Yes, any particular changes could have been done in L2D1, but all of them at once like that? It would be a new game… Oh! Look at that, it is.

    • TotalBiscuit says:

      Oh not this fucking nonsense again.

  7. Demikaze says:

    With the gibbing system, the new guns / melee weapons, the new infected, overhauled gauntlets, different characters, voicework, variable routes and extra items / pickups, I can’t see how it can be argued that this could be an expansion. You’d be shoe-horning elements in that just would not gel with the existing gameplay.

  8. HybridHalo says:

    I was surprised to have enjoyed the L4D2 demo as much as I did. As I played through with some friends I realized that my favorite moments of L4D1 weren’t when I was scared of something – those moments vanished within the first day of play as I evolved into a grizzled zombie killer. My most memorable moments in L4D1 were moments that I laughed.

    And I laughed a lot during the L4D2 demo. I think the new infected are great, especially the Jockey and the Melee weapons really add a hint of insanity to proceedings. My favorite moment of the demo so far occurred when passing through an early section of the demo I suddenly heard loud rock music playing from a building I had just exited. The howls of distant zombies only providing me a moments warning to a large rush of the undead, falling back whilst unloading into the crowd I re-enter the building and in the chaos turn to check on my friends…

    One of them is smashing zombies on the head with a guitar, the other is slowly jerking his upper torso back and forward mock headbanging stood next to the Jukebox. Providing absolutely no helping hand in the carnage he had provoked.

    I laughed until I cried.

    Also love the new gore, and a map in the daytime is interesting – though there’s no guarantee it will stay that way given the Director can now control weather. I am sure some of the other (noticeably darker) maps will have their scares too. Other highlights include : Pretty much every time a charger appeared and the hectic running battle finale.

    -Matt

  9. The Fanciest of Pants says:

    Oh jeez… the australian version is TOTALLY neutered.

    Forget dismemberment.. the infected don’t even visually catch fire whilst burning.

    This is just plain sad.

  10. Out Reach says:

    It is good. so very very good.

  11. Dave Gates says:

    I know its going to be amazing (safe bet with valve to be honest) but god the lag at the minute is absolutely appauling. Not their fault but while you’re trying to turn an alarm off and everything starts to sound like a fat boy slim song (“Get the alarm o–o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-off”) its does take away from the game mechanic slightly.

  12. Brandon Castro says:

    Binni says:
    October 29, 2009 at 10:32 am

    Feels like more of the same with shiny new bells and whistles. This is an expansion pack, not a full game from first impressions, so I am a bit annoyed that I shelled out money early to buy it, I should’ve waited for the inevitable 50% price drop. Also something is very much off about playing this game in daylight. The zombies just look silly and the game seems to have lost most of it’s sinister horror feel and now feels more like Shaun of the Dead, which is a great movie….but I’d rather be playing 28 Days Later.

    Demo verdict: finished game needs to really show some cool set pieces and innovation for it to be truly a new game, because first impressions are that this is just a addon with a few new enemies, weapons and a different setting. Team Fortress 2 has brought more interesting new stuff in free updates over the last year so I’m a bit annoyed that I am paying full price for this.’

    Congratulations, you win the most pretentious comment of the year award! L4D had a sense of humor. You’re the kind of person that reads Persepolis and complains about all the humor and jokes about serious political history, aren’t you?
    I like how you complained about the game being more of the same- but the complained about the game being different.
    You also specifically said they kept TF2 fresh and original by adding more post release stuff. And then went on to say that L4D2 looks like more of the game.
    I wasn’t aware it was post-release-
    for some reason my copy of L4D2 isn’t unlocked!
    Quit your bitching, they did more to change it up than MOST developers/publishers that come out with sequels every 1 and 1/2 years or so. Did you play through it twice? Did you realize that the environment can change dramatically? Or see that there are about- 10 new campaigns?
    Yes, 5 years-10 years ago, this would have been DLC/expansion pack. But by the current days standards for a sequel, this goes WAY above and beyond. Especially for a multiplayer game- you really can’t do all that much with that, can you?

    • Hmm-Hmm. says:

      Dude. He just voiced his opinion. He wasn’t being pretentious and what you are showcasing above I’m not putting a name to, ’cause I’m not into starting flamewars. But like Dave says, chill.

    • Catastrophe says:

      I sense some anti-boycotter defensiveness there.

    • Flobulon says:

      RPS Comment Threads – The Home of Disproportionate Rage.

    • Dave Gates says:

      That is entirely the point, if you are, or not impressed then that is fine. It does not however give you carte blanche to be rude to people. Just play something else instead. Lets be liberal for gods sake, i’m not a fan of MMORPG’s but it doesn’t mean i’m going to be unpleasant to them. I thought PC Gaming was supposed to be open minded…

    • Lagmint says:

      What the hell is Persepolis?

    • wds says:

      @Dave: “Being liberal about things” isn’t about not voicing your opinions. It’s about accepting that other people have optinions too and not getting your panties all in a twist when you notice they like voicing it.

      I feel like I should tell someone to shut up as a comical counterpoint to my argument, but I shall resist the temptation.

  13. Dave Gates says:

    Woah, we all need some chill cake. Mmmmm chill cake.

    • Premium User Badge

      MonkeyMonster says:

      Chilled Monkey Brains… No, not mine – not much to eat tbh :D

  14. Binni says:

    Wow Brandon Castro. Since when does an opinion I have about a video game demo pidgeonhole me as a certain kind of person? I could easily say that you sound like a easily excited internet super fanboy ….but I’m not going to.

    I am not impressed by the demo and I voiced my opinion about it. You do the same dude

    • Dave Gates says:

      Just step away mate, your opinion is as valid as the next man. There is no point trying to fight bile with a decent arugment. Just enjoy it when it is fully unlocked and if you don’t then fair enough.

    • Binni says:

      Yes, of course….but but..someone was WRONG on the internet :)

    • Dave Gates says:

      Really? BURN THEM! arf

  15. Leeks! says:

    New graphics=pleasing. New damage models=pleasinger. New music that uses what my uneducated ear wants to call a “Louisiana jazz” riff on the original generic (but still well done) zombie movie discord=Pleasingest.

    • Dave Gates says:

      Hardly an uneducated ear, I think thats what they were going for.

  16. Demikaze says:

    The music really is quite the beautiful thing.

  17. Naug says:

    Much ado about nothing this demo. 2 short maps, no versus mode to test out the new infected, no scavange mode. No wonder this feels exactly like L4D1, they omitted all the new stuff!

  18. Hug_dealer says:

    who would want to play this when you have borderlands to fill your co-op needs. Any hectic madness in this is totally outclassed by any hectic madness in borderlands. Best part is the guns are actually meaty and fun.

    • Sam Bigos says:

      Why chose one when you can have both!

    • Jad says:

      I played Borderlands co-op for the first time last night and I had a lot of fun. However at certain points I was hungering for the simplicity of L4D. Its so frantic while being relatively complicated — there’s all these weapons dropping everywhere with attributes that may or may not be better than your current gun and you need to make that choice on the fly and there’s quests with descriptions and voice overs that you can’t read/listen to because one of your buddies is in trouble and is yelling over your headset. Maybe it was our fault and we should have been taking a more deliberate pace, but that seems out of context with the game.

      Don’t get me wrong, I love the game, but L4D does offer a somewhat different experience than co-op Borderlands.

    • Lagmint says:

      I’ll let you know when/if I can ever connect to someone in Borderlands. So far I’m 0 for 153 tries. On three computers. On three networks.

    • Psychopomp says:

      “who would want to play this when you have borderlands to fill your co-op needs. Any hectic madness in this is totally outclassed by any hectic madness in borderlands. Best part is the guns are actually meaty and fun.”

      Well, me for one. Also, the guns in L4D2 feel *really* good especially the magnum.

      My favorite gun by far

  19. Hypatian says:

    Bile useless on a tank? Hunh. That’s not my experience. We got creamed twice by tanks on expert, until we finally managed to light one on fire, *and* hit it with puke, *and* then run around and shoot the crap out of it.

    I think the key thing is that while the bile bomb won’t kill off a tank easily, it will slow him down as the commons come in and mob him. That’s a very significant advantage, assuming you have the means to pour some damage on (i.e. set him on fire first, shoot him a lot) and clean up the commons after the bile wears off (i.e. pipe bomb.)

    For an added bonus, land the pipe near the tank so that there’s a chance it’ll blow up on him before he gets clear.

  20. Tom says:

    Far to small/early/locked to say anything really but LOL, the gore! What fun. Shot one zombie in the stomach and the bullet just opened him up. Repeated hoping to see the affect again and his intestines went blasting out his back!
    Pipe bombs are awesome again. GORE!!! Oh so much gore, flying through the air, fully physicalised – can only imagine what the chainsaw’s gonna allow you to do.

    Amusing dialogue.

    Graphics have seen a bit of a bump, which is nice. Love the day setting.
    The enviroment’s a little bit more interactive in amusing ways. Was stuck in some little dinner/coffee shop and spotted a juke box. Went over and flicked it on. Just at that second a horde appeared and we ended up fighting with some pretty cool rock music blaring away. There’s more than one track in that box. Some for comedy value. Some for LETS ROCK!!! value (think Aliens).

    New specials look like a laugh, but this lead me back to Valve being incapable to releasing a good demo. Why, oh why, oh why is versus unavailable?! It’s the meat and bones of L4D. Bizarre.
    More items. The de-fib’s gonna be a game changer for sure, and getting your own back on a boomer’s highly satisfying. AI’s clearly capable for far more.

    The guitar… :) Garenteed LOLs right there. Starts out playable. Doesn’t end that way.

    Gore.

    If the intro cinematic and what I’ve seen is anything to go by… it’s gonna be awesome.

  21. Tom says:

    Don’t play it on anything other than advanced or expert – it’s the only way.

  22. vash47 says:

    lol @ the valve zealots getting mad at honest opinions.

  23. Ffitz says:

    I think the point of the jukebox is that by switching it on, you summon a horde. Rather like shooting an alarmed car, but easier on the ear.

  24. Scott says:

    100% Agree.

  25. StalinsGhost says:

    Apples and Oranges I guess. They're both aiming for totally different experiences, even if they're both coop FPSs.Or at least I'd guess as much, Borderlands still hasn't unlocked for me yet (another 8 hours :F)
    As for L4D2, I'm totally loving it. There's a few niggles – poor FOV/removal of bodily awareness, but for the most part it's the coop zombie FPS we know (and presumably love), just with more stuff and better characters/a more carefully conceived setting.
    And blood. Lots more blood.

  26. Hug_dealer says:

    depends on what you think graphics are. if they are strictly high poly, hi res. then yes crysis beats TF2. But if you take into account other factors, like style, and use to create atmosphere, then no.
    Same goes for borderlands and for l4d1/2. Thier use and style 100% works in the game, even though they might not be cutting edge top of the line badass.
    I will say from experience that borderlands graphics are awesome. There isnt much cooler than an incendiery bouncing betty. It might look slightly comic bookish, but it isnt, the textures are way more detailed, giving it a hand drawn look like you see put into artwork, not the minimalist seen in comic books, or tf2.

  27. Theblazeuk says:

    Congrats, YOU have now posted the most pretentious post on RPS.

    (Well after the RPS guys themselves natch :P)

  28. Pantsman says:

    All this is very interesting, but how are the new characters?

    • TCM says:

      Coach and Ellis are highly memorable, Nick and Rochelle not as much.

      But it’s only a short segment of the game, and there is a lot of incidental dialogue.

    • Premium User Badge

      abhishek says:

      I actually think that the dialogue delivery of the new survivors is a bit flat. Toneless, expressionless… As if the actors were bored when they recorded their lines and couldn’t even bother to put in inflection in their voices.

  29. plugmonkey says:

    I’ve played it through a few times and I’m loving it. I was initially sceptical about the melee weapons, but they fit in quite nicely and finishing off a hoard with makeshift weapons after all the ammo has run dry is an awesome experience.

    The gauntlet run is awesome fun as well. We abandoned our cupboard hiding tactics long ago anyway, but to tackle something so different was very refreshing and the running battles feel far more terrifying than the L4D1 sieges ever did.

    I’m not really sure what more anyone could expect from a sequel really: new characters, new weapons, new modes, new enemies, new environments, new play mechanics. Isn’t that what you normally get from a sequel?

    • Pantsman says:

      I think what people most expect from a quality sequel is a few years between it and the past release. L4D2 contains more content than L4D did at launch. It’s just the sense that this doesn’t add much gameplay-wise and may have been a rush-job, but then most sequels don’t add much to the original mechanics.

  30. Ffitz says:

    You know what? I didn’t take to the characters when I played for an hour this morning. I’ll probably play Nick the most, simply because I like his suit, but they just felt… inconsequential.

    Not nearly as iconic and archetypal as Bill, Zoey, Louis and Francis.

    Maybe they’ll grow on me when the game arrives and we learn some more about them. I hope so.

  31. Ffitz says:

    And actually, that suit comment sums it up. There was no “I want to play the Old Vet” or “Cool, a biker dude”.

    My first thought was “nice suit.”

  32. Cooper says:

    Has anyone had any problems with the matchmaking/lobby/server finding system? Or has it been working well?

    I was sorely dissapointed with L4D when I got it as, and hardly played it at all for the first few months. I was constantly being put in very laggy servers and had almost no control over the matchmaking system.

    The current system in L4D is much, much better. And I rarely have problems just being able to drop into games. So I’ve actually spent more hours playing it the past few weeks than I had done since I got it.

    I’d like to see L4D2 up the game on this. L4D is great with friends, but for me to want to buy for longevity it’s got to be able to provide a good experience for just dropping into lobbies or games with randomers.

  33. Dan says:

    Does anyone feel like the characters just dont fit in with the game? With L4D 1 i loved all the characters but with L4D 2 i dont like any of them :(

  34. Railick says:

    I actually didn't like the characters in L4d and I don't like the characters in L4d2 any more or worse than then. Also playing L4D gave me nightmares so if this is suposed to be even scarier ect I don't think I'll be able to handle it. Even Shawn of the Dead makes me sick :P

  35. Vinraith says:

    So here’s a question for the L4D2 demo crowd: are the bots any better? Is there any way to give them orders? Or is this still “4-player co-op” rather than “up to 4 player co-op?”

    • TCM says:

      The bots are…well, they don’t die as easily on the higher difficulties, and they gnerally know not to do horribly stupid things. Still no order giving, unless the dialogue wheel can do that (haven’t noticed).

    • Vinraith says:

      “Still no order giving, unless the dialogue wheel can do that”

      That’s a real shame. Something as simple as a “stand here/follow me” toggle would do wonders for the 2 and 3 player game. I’m unsure why Valve seems so intent on making the game hostile to any group of less than 4 players playing on a fun difficulty setting.

  36. Railick says:

    I still remember one time on Left 4 Dead the F@#$@# bott fell off a 1 foot high board and hung there for like forever while the other two bots kept trying to save him and the zombies were destroying us all (like one would bend over to save him and a hunter would pounce him the other would save that bot then go help the one falling) Then that one would get a smoker pulling him off and the first one would shoot him free and go help the falling guying :P

  37. Jim Manico says:

    even single player is lagging terribly for me. crap.

    • Kewyshik says:

      @ Jim Manico: A lot of people have monster lag problems with the default settings. Try going through your options and doing the following: disable Steam Cloud, disable Multicore Rendering, set Shader Detail to low/med, set Audio Quality to low/med, change Full Screen to Borderless Window mode.

      They seem to be the big five options that the default settings cause the most problems on the client side. 99% of the time altering those settings works for people in my experience with both L4D and L4D2 demo.

      Oh and for what it’s worth, I think the L4D2 demo is absolutely brilliant fun, particularly with a few good friends. It’s short, but then I wouldn’t want too much in the demo in the long run anyway, as it would spoil the full release for me.

  38. JKjoker says:

    im feeling a bit confused over here, does “demo for preorders only” make any sense for anyone ? arent demos supposed to get you to “buy” the game ? whats the point of giving them to ppl that already bought the game and risking they dont like it and cancel the preorder and not to those that are waiting to see if its worth the money ?

    • Psychopomp says:

      The demo right now is a buggy mess.

      It’s called an *early* demo for a reason. It’s not done yet, still needs some bug testing. Everyone else gets it when it’s done.

      There you go.

  39. Matzerath says:

    You know — I hate the Left4Dead series because I love it. It’s a great idea. It’s just unfortunate that it made me realize what I actually hate is the asshole aspect of the gaming community. I just can’t deal with them. Certainly not on a ‘cooperative’ basis. It’s the antithesis of fun.

    • Psychopomp says:

      It’s normally fairly easy to organize a game in the RPS chatroom, FYI.

      I can’t agree with you enough, playing with randoms is a *nightmare,* the past half year. I remember only pubbing when I first got it, and everyone was a fucking dream to play with.

      Something terrible happened.

  40. Tei says:

    Valve is doing this wrong (???).

    To sell this game to me, and maybe other people, has to make me care about these characters. Currently I don’t know anything about then. So, I don’t care about then.
    I need a “Meet the…” video, but just a text with the motivations of every character will be enough, maybe a few jokes here, and there… some “spice”.

    #Wen in a Zombie Apocalypse, get friends. I am not friends of these characters. I don’t even know his names.

  41. Brandon Castro says:

    …what rage? I think he’s an idiot because his opinion is marred in ignorance.
    Anyways, if the whole point is that we can voice our opinions, then what’s wrong with me voicing mine? I see no reason to sugar coat my bullshit. For all I know he’s a pretty alright guy, but he said some really dumb shit. So my response was angry. That’s all.

    I just think he’d be better off not bitching about Valve- the only developer left that’s actually doing something for the PC crowd, because they’re releasing a sequel that he is making totally invalid complaints about. I wasn’t aware that DISAGREEING with someone makes me “wrong” (“b- but someone was wrong on the internet!” dolt.) or means “disproportionate rage” (because I was definitely pounding on my keyboard as I wrote that).

    No, I guess this is the internet though. Everyone make sure you’re as politically correct as possible so as not to offend anyone- this is serious business!

  42. Victim says:

    I hate the lobby system in both L4D & L4D2- Being from New Orleans was delighted with the theme from ‘The Parish’ – but they really missed the mark. The supposed ‘cajun accent’ of the boat captain is as Fail as most movies- they really should have paid someone from Louisiana to read that short script.
    Don’t understand why they changed N.O.P.D. to police and dropped the logo from the barricades- the real ones are much more attractive. I cannot disable multicore rendering, and the intro movie lags so badly the audio can’t be understood because of it. hell, even the Valve intro lags because of it- I will definitely NOT pay for a game that seems to not be able to run on my system correctly despite the supposed option to configure it. Three cheers for content, four thumbs down for execution. Also don’t get why they didn’t schedule the release for Oct 31′st rather than Nov 17th. Bad Valve, no cookie.

  43. dave says:

    I hope they announce L4D3 the day after the game releases.

  44. Richard says:

    i was way impressed actually, more of the same with shiny bells and whistles, if it aint broke.. :)

    anyway it was getting darker so it will probabally end up being night, that was just part of a campaign

  45. Victim says:

    You may be right, Psychopomp- normally I think that’s the case- but I think usually commercial interests protect their logos. Not sure if a police department or a city would try to do so regarding a reference in a videogame. It doesn’t really matter all that much- They did a really good job on the balcony railing props- but the signs are seriously fail. When I saw ‘fresh crab’ I lol’d. Fresh seafood would have been more appropriate to the theme. The river should have been more dominant though- and there’s no dock like that around here- They did a great job on the horse statue in the park plaza- none of the layout was even close, but I’m sure if they tried to be more realistic in physical terms it would have diminished gameplay severely.

  46. ryan says:

    They implemented a ranking and awards system

  47. Dwane Wilson says:

    Get off your PS3 and play the original in versus mode, I mean REALLY play it! Learn the team work of the, “infected”. I highly doubt you have actually played the original game to the extent and complexity of which it was meant to played.

    You stated only more, “bells and whistles”…. Really? You played the, “demo” which in my opinion has a very limited bit of events and gameplay experience. As a result you boast only your ingnorance. As a dedicated gamer of the original title, I am confident the, “demo’ and it’s simplicity is only the tip of the ice when it come to the actual depth of L4D2.

    I bought the original just over a year ago, and until I played the game on-line in versus mode I had the same, one-sided opinion. If there is one thing Valve is missing the mark on, it is a tutorial to learn the versus mode.

  48. haha says:

    lol australian fail