They’re Baaack: TeamL4D Meets TeamL4D2

By Alec Meer on December 14th, 2009 at 7:40 pm.

Crivens – and here were we all thinking the first L4D2 DLC would involve fictional hoary old rockers the Midnight Riders. In fact, Valve are doing something gosh-wow-what? different.

First DLC The Passing arrives in Spring. It features four very familiar faces. Clue: it’s not Zippy, George, Bungle and Geoffrey.

There will be much rejoicing. Except by people who don’t do that sort of thing.

Throwing this up quickly because BREAKING NEWS, but official details are copypastaed a little further below if you want to hop straight to them.

Obviously, though, it’s going to raise further (and perhaps biggest-ever) hackles amongst the boycotters and folk who own only L4D1. If it turns out to be paid DLC (all we have in that regard is “Pricing will be announced closer to launch”) that’ll only get worse. Which does make it a bit of a mysterious move, as it could generate a rhino-weight of bad press in an instant.

An idea occurs to me, however. Perhaps there’ll be associated DLC for L4D1 too, with the new chaps sticking their heads into a coda for L4D1 – the title ‘The Passing’ somewhat hints at this, in a way. The Southerners go North and the Northerners go South. That’d be lovely, and would defuse the brewing storm. There’s an equal chance Valve are just flexing sadistic muscle, of course – but they are prone to smoke and mirrors, so let’s wait it out a bit. It’s not hard to imagine them sitting back and laughing as the internet turns bright red and blows steam out of its ears, knowing they’re about to make it look rather silly.

But for now, let’s try to thrill to the concept and worry about the details once we know more of them. Will the new (i.e. old) survivors be playable in L4D2 in any form? Is it something to do with this new mode? What does it mean for the story – is someone going to die? Romance? Feuds? Could some of the old guys be zombified? Is it a setup for Zombies 8 Brains (insert own terrible pun here)? Why do birds suddenly appear?

These are all the answers we’re getting for now:

Valve, creators of best-selling game franchises (such as Half-Life, Portal, Team Fortress, and Counter-Strike) and leading technologies (such as Steam and Source), today announced the first game add-on for its co-operative zombie thriller, Left 4 Dead 2 (L4D2), is in development and targeted for release in early 2010.

Dubbed “The Passing,” the first game add-on for L4D2 brings the original Left 4 Dead (L4D1) Survivors down south for a meeting with the L4D2 cast, while delivering new single-player, multiplayer and co-operative gameplay for the PC and Xbox 360.

Targeted for release in early spring, “The Passing” takes place just after the Dead Center campaign of L4D2. Set in a small town in rural Georgia, players assume the role of the L4D2 Survivors as they meet with the L4D1 characters.

In addition to the new co-operative campaign and associated narrative, “The Passing” will include new arenas for Survival, Versus and Scavenge mode and introduce a new co-operative challenge mode of play. The Passing will also include a new “uncommon common” zombie class, melee weapon, and firearm.

“The Passing will become the most important campaign in the Left 4 Dead story, as all the Survivors are being called together in one campaign,” said Doug Lombardi, VP of marketing at Valve. “It will also be a huge offering of new gameplay content, with something new for every game mode plus a new uncommon common and weaponry.”

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127 Comments »

  1. manintheshack says:

    I wouldn’t worry about the boycotters. I should imagine they all own L4D2 by now…

    • Vinraith says:

      “Imagine” being the operative word.

    • Egoh Rtut says:

      I don’t. When I boycott something I don’t wuss out like most of the cowards out there. Be a cold day in hell before I buy L4D2.

    • Kamos says:

      I don’t know what you’re talking about. I, for one, am not buying anything from Valve.

    • Vinraith says:

      @Kamos

      Personally I wouldn’t go that far. I’ll certainly still buy Episode 3, I’d almost certainly buy a Portal 2 if it came down the pipe, and if they introduced a new single-player property odds are good I’d buy that too. What the L4D debacle (and to a lesser extent the evolution of TF2 into something I no longer want to play) has taught me is not to invest in multiplayer shooters, no matter how promising they sound. This is something I used to know, but that Valve briefly caused me to forget. Lesson re-learned.

    • Senethro says:

      See Vinraith, this is you coming into threads about multiplayer shooters and telling us why multiplayer shooters are bad. Its grumpy!

    • Vinraith says:

      @Senethro:
      No, this is several other people dumping on Valve as a whole and me saying I still like Valve, but they’ve reminded me that multiplayer shooters aren’t for me. “Aren’t for me” doesn’t remotely translate to “bad,” indeed quite a lot of people seem to love them. My opinions are just that, mine, they aren’t supposed to be comments on the objective quality of a given genre, even I’m not that painfully arrogant. Why do you insist on taking things I say in the most negative light possible? That seems far grumpier than anything I’m actually saying.

    • Psychopomp says:

      “Why do you insist on taking things I say in the most negative light possible?”

      I would like to introduce you to my friend, The Internet.

  2. StalinsGhost says:

    Boring!

    Midnight Riders please.

  3. Shalrath says:

    If they made the new mode something like Left 8 Dead I’d be in heaven. So many people to friendly-fire!

  4. Clovis says:

    Zoey doesn’t look so impressed by this DLC.

    • chesh says:

      That’s actually the poster for Crash Course. But really, would you be thrilled to have Nick hitting on you when you’re trying to kill zombies?

  5. Da'Jobat says:

    Oh so excited. If they continue supporting l4d1 as well with this content, I will be so happy.

  6. Jacques says:

    Can we have L4D vs L4D2 versus mode please Valve?

    • Don says:

      Yea, the survivors fighting amongst themselves over some dwindling resource would be a pretty realistic depiction of how the human race usually behaves. A Counterstrike game in the middle of a zombie apocalypse sounds kind of cool. Plus you could have the added fun by making them have to co-operate to survive the early part of the campaign with an interesting calculation the teams would have to make as to when to to backstab the other side.

      On the general point though this will confirm that Valve regards L4D as its red-headed stepchild. Compare all the love being currently lavished on TF2 (which I greatly appreciate, the Soldier vs. Demoman war adds extra spice to every round) and now L4D2. Seems odd that they couldn’t be arsed to at least put some people on the job of keeping L4D looking shiny and interesting seeing as that approach seems to have served them so well in other games.

  7. Starky says:

    Sounds good, though I’ve yet to buy L4D2 – waiting for a sale – £20 or less is my limit for it.

  8. NukeLord says:

    I don’t recall Valve creating Team Fortress and Counter-Strike (and only partially involved in Portal). Interesting news, however.

    • Starky says:

      Well Valve are the creations, in PR logic.

      In that they hired all the creators of those mods and now they work at Valve, therefore ARE valve, therefore Valve created Team Fortress and Counter-Strike.

  9. Mechtroid says:

    *ducks incoming shitstorm*

  10. Flint says:

    Sarcastic snark fight between Francis and Nick please.

  11. army of none says:

    Heheheh. Awesome. Yay Valve, making my day with some cool news! Very much looking forward to this :)

  12. westyfield says:

    16-player scavenge mode please. Two survivor teams (old and new) competing against each other to get the most fuel, while the 8 infected try their best to ruin their plans.

  13. abigbat says:

    I hate social occasions.

  14. iSoLateD1 says:

    wait, they are charging for the PC DLC???

    • Stupoider says:

      @iSoLateD1: We don’t know. Maybe they’re talking about 360 DLC?

    • Starky says:

      Indeed, chances are it will be free for PC and a small cost (around £5 in their points system) for the 360 – which if I remember right will basically be to cover costs and pay Microsoft their pound of flesh.

      Though that said, now that steam has it’s DLC system implemented fully, they might decide to charge a small fee for the PC too.

    • WilPal says:

      The only way for DLC to be free on 360 is if it has no achievements, as Microsoft decide the pricing based on quantity of achievements.
      As this has ten of the above, it won’t be free there.

      Knowing Valve’s track record with the PC makes me optimistic about it being free for us though.

    • ybfelix says:

      Crackdown had patched in free additional Achievements, though I guess it’s because the game shipped with only 900 gamerscores.

      So, if no achievement make it free, then why don’t do it? Most of us can happily ignore those achievement ‘hos

  15. Bolt Axyon says:

    I predict a 48% higher price for europe tier 2.

  16. VHATI says:

    Slow news day.

  17. Wazzle says:

    Wow, they’re really aiming to underwhelm with this one. I was expecting they give us all free sports cars, pacific islands, and millions of dollars. I mean, just a campaign, the old cast everyone likes, new weapons, other new maps, and a new mode? WEAK.
    Or… hold on a second…..oh.

  18. Tei says:

    “players assume the role of the L4D2 Survivors as they meet with the L4D1 characters.”

    It don’t say L4D1 “survivors”.

    Zoey Zombie?

  19. EaterOfCheese says:

    Zoe > Rochelle
    Coach > Louis
    Francis > Ellis
    John Cusack == Bill

  20. elle says:

    Francis: “I hate nice suits.”
    Nick: “Yeah? Well I hate dirty brain-damaged asshole bikers.”
    Francis: “You better watch your mouth, pretty boy.”
    Nick: “What, are you having Deliverance fantasies? ‘Cause Ellis is over there.”
    Ellis: “Whut ya’ll talkin’ ‘bou–”
    Francis: “If you’re such a gambler, Nick, how many teeth you want to bet on whether you stay up after I hit you with this shotgun?”
    Nick: “Like you have any to spare. Hey, what’s it like being a Midnight Riders groupie? That has to be some sweaty bear sex.”
    Francis: “I hate you. I hate you.”

  21. Ian says:

    So there I was searching “zippy george bungle geoffrey l4d2 dlc?” and excitedly clicked the link.

    Now you’ve crushed my dreams, Meer.

  22. Rei Onryou says:

    Any excuse for more zombie maiming is a good excuse. :)

  23. sana says:

    “Pricing will be announced closer to launch.”
    That sure sounds promising.

  24. Velvet Fist, Iron Glove says:

    With all the L4D2 and TF2 news, I imagine most of Valve is busy working on those two titles. I guess it’s up to our own Cargo Cult to heroically finish HL2 Episode 3 all on his own!

    • GGX_Justice says:

      Velvet Fist, Iron Glove: Always a pleasure to meet a fellow Acolyte! And yes, with him (partially) behind the helm, I fear naught for Episode 3.

      Also, I really like the sound of this passing business! Didn’t realise how much I liked the first survivors… wonder if it makes sense though. Did they really pass each other? I suppose so…

    • Frosty says:

      @VelvetFist, IronGlove

      I totally wrote some awesome fanfic that I will donate as the story element. I can’t give away much, but G-Man is actually Gordon’s mother FROM THE FUTURE. Alyx is also a dude.

    • Valve Lawyer says:

      Frosty.

      You are clearly threatening Valve’s IP with your plagiarism, how you attained such information, theft or internal leak will be investigated.

      We, acting on behalf of Valve will agree to take this no further, if you agree to cease and desist any projects, or fiction with said information and sign a NDA for any other information you may have attained.

      I would go on to say that thanks to you, Episode 3 will be delayed by at least 6 months, as you’ve given away integral parts of the plot that will need to be rewritten with new voice acting, and game play changed.

      I would ask that the community be tolerant with us (Valve) while we make these changes, and in no way seek to bring harm to Frosty for his part in the delay. I would especially advise against doing anything so reckless as hunting him down in real life and beating him to death with a crowbar (on sale now at the Valve store).

      Yours faithfully.
      Valve Lawyer #206

  25. snappy says:

    I would hope what they mean if it does cost is something like free if you own l4d1. Costs 10 bucks if not.

  26. disperse says:

    All this grumbling surprises me somewhat.

    I, for one, am looking forward to decapitating zombies with a fire axe as Louis.

  27. Lobotomist says:

    And so the money milking begins.

    Glad i was smart enough not to buy that crap

    • luminosity says:

      Lobotomist: I don’t think anyone who reads L4D comment threads is unaware of your position. You can stop regurgitating it every single time, now.

      Thanks.

    • sana says:

      Yea, how can you be so bloody stupid to post a comment with your opinion in a comment thread designed to voice your opinion? Boycotter scum…

    • Psychopomp says:

      It’s less that he’s voicing his opinion, and more that he’s mind numbingly abrasive about it, often to the point that anyone who disagrees with him are brain washed corporate sheep.

    • Funky Badger says:

      If that’s being right, etc…

    • Catastrophe says:

      To be fair, everyone whos licking Valves arse on this subject also post the same opinion over and over in every L4D thread, yet Lobotomist is the bad person because hes not happy about what Valve have done?

      I agree with him, I think Valve have done this all wrong and L4D is an empty shell of a game now, with L4D2 looming over it.

  28. Beast says:

    It’s not hard to imagine them sitting back and laughing as the internet turns bright red and blows steam out of its ears, knowing they’re about to make it look rather silly.

    I don’t want to be That Guy, but isn’t this basically the same thing that was said when L4D2 was first announced and a lot of people were assuming it was going to be DLC or, at worst, a cheap expansion pack?

  29. Stijn says:

    Apparently there’s already traces of a “fallen survivor” Special Infected in the game’s files, plus that quote from Chet Faliszek: “They have plans for the original survivors, and they are neither dead or undead”

    What that implies I don’t know, but it doesn’t sound like they’ll be playable. Which makes sense, given that else they’d probably need to rerecord a ton of dialogue.

    http://www.wegame.com/forums/Left-4-Dead/SPOILERS-6th-Uncommon-Infected-revealed-PIC/

  30. Vinraith says:

    Two years since the Orange Box, now, and the sum total of information leaked about Episode 3 is a couple of concept art images IIRC. Considering that Ep2 had a trailer on the end of Ep 1 and STILL took them better than 2 years to release, I’m starting to get concerned.

    • Frosty says:

      @Vinraith

      We know there is going to be a deaf character in it too.

      But yes. This looks a bit turd.

    • Vinraith says:

      We do? I must have missed that piece of information. But yeah, if trailer precedes release by 2 years, not having a trailer 2 years after Episode 2 is… distressing.

    • GGX_Justice says:

      @Vinraith: Ahem.

      There is a reason that there isn’t a trailer for Episode Three, you know. VALVe felt that Episode Two changed significantly from what the trailer at the end of Episode One suggested, and realised that having trailers before the product was finished just made things confusing.

      Episode Three is being worked on, and the sheer fact that VALVe works in seperate groups means that more L4D doesn’t mean less Half-Life.

    • Frosty says:

      @Vinraith: I generally assume everyone knows more than I do. Perhaps I am wrong. It either pops up in this video or the second part.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j2LnP3JgbM0&feature=PlayList&p=A38571652E39947F&playnext=1&playnext_from=PL&index=2

      Interesting watching all round though.

    • Vinraith says:

      “There is a reason that there isn’t a trailer for Episode Three, you know.”

      I really didn’t. If what you’re saying is true, that’s very good.

    • Adam Whitehead says:

      I’m not sure about the happy thoughts. In theory, based on prior information, it appeared that Valve had three teams: one working on EPISODE III, one working on L4D and one working on PORTAL 2. But when Kim Swift left last week, she said she’d been working on L4D2 instead, indicating that this neat division of Valve into teams may not have panned out this way.

      What I am hoping for is that Valve, having accepted that the episodic thing hasn’t worked out, has decided to turn EPISODE III into a full length (or at least much longer than the previous two episodes, say 6 hours plus or something?) and much more ambitious game to justify the wait and do justice to the apparent conclusion of the G-Man storyline. I consider this outcome as likely as BioWare announcing tomorrow that KotOR 3 is complete and will ship alongside the MMORPG with no extra charge. With enclosed free cake.

  31. Pl4t0 says:

    This if full of WIN!

  32. subedii says:

    @ Beast: It is pretty much the same thing they said last time. People are foaming at the mouth over nothing. And to be blunt, I can’t help but feel that comments like that are just deliberate stirring.

  33. Pootank says:

    How about less left 4 dead and more HALF LIFE EPISODE 3!!!

  34. amoe says:

    and still no news about episode 3… :P

  35. Acosta says:

    Call me when Valve goes gack to single player games please, I may take a interest on their games again. I’m not asking for a trailer of EP 3, just some hint,a teaser, whatever. Knowing it´s coming before the Sun implodes is not enough.

  36. Jesse says:

    I would eagerly pay for the opportunity to play as the old survivors IN the new game, with all the new stuff. Even if it’s just one campaign. I’m trying, but I don’t like the new characters as much.

    Anyway I think it’s pretty clear what’s going to happen here. The new survivors will be playable and will run into the old survivors in some minor way – like they’ll have to gather gas for them from the opposite side of a barricade or some such thing. They’re not all going to be active at the same time, fighting zombies together. The two groups will pass each other and go on their way.

    L4D3, coming out in, oh, say, 16 months, will feature the return of the original crew, since most people like them better than the new crew. In an effort to shake things up, they may possibly replace Louis and Bill with Coach and Ellis, or maybe with two brand new characters. Zoe and Francis will definitely come back, though. Mark my words. Mark them!

    • Heliosicle says:

      @Jesse but…louis is my name WHY do you want to get rid me? :(

    • Tei says:

      L4D3, coming out in, oh, say, 16 months, will feature the return of the original crew, since most people like them better than the new crew. In an effort to shake things up, they may possibly replace Louis and Bill with Coach and Ellis, or maybe with two brand new characters. Zoe and Francis will definitely come back, though. Mark my words. Mark them!

      I like Francis and Bill much more than Coach and “TF2 Scout” Ellis. Hope you are wrong there.

  37. Jamie says:

    It would be great to see 8 player coop sliding its way in :O Could make L4D2 worth the money…

    Although I would love to see some sort of exp system mode work its way in…

    Wait, i’m just describing Killing Floor.. well, both game could use vehicles! Now my opinion is valid…

  38. Heliosicle says:

    I’ve always said the midnight riders looked like metal versions of the l4d1 chars, BUT DID ANYONE LISTEN TO ME?

    Yay though, no paying please? After everything they’ve done for TF2 to tell us to pay would be..dissapointing.

  39. amoe says:

    my guess is that they will release episode 3 together with half life 3… in 2013 or so

  40. Magrippinho says:

    I always liked the original cast more, because they are glorious horror-movie stereotypes, instead of just stereotypes.

  41. Pantsman says:

    They won’t make us pay. The 360 players are another story, which is why they don’t just announce the pricing right now. They probably aren’t decided on it yet.

    My greatest hope is that it will be a new campaign for both games that’s essentially played as two campaigns in parallel. Four L4D1 players will play the original survivors, while at the same time four L4D2 players will be the new guys, each working through separate parts of the levels, removing obstacles from each other’s way and stuff.

    • Dominic White says:

      And to clarify, the charging-for-stuff on the 360 thing isn’t Valves call. Microsoft don’t allow free content.

      Seriously, they’re that controlling.

  42. Aftershock says:

    This is how it is going (read: i would love it) to be. L4D1 and L4D2 players play through the same level, in the same game, as both groups of survivors, assisting each other in funky ways to get to the end.

  43. SH4RKY says:

    8 v 8 officially supported? yes please.

  44. turkeyfox says:

    Early 2010… so, mid to late 2010.

  45. Joseph says:

    This update doesn’t have any achievements, that’s the crash course promo poster in the pic.

    Correct if wrong.

  46. Joseph says:

    That was @: “The only way for DLC to be free on 360 is if it has no achievements, as Microsoft decide the pricing based on quantity of achievements.
    As this has ten of the above, it won’t be free there.

    Knowing Valve’s track record with the PC makes me optimistic about it being free for us though.”

  47. Shon says:

    I wish they would do a campaign where you play as one team, and you are one step behind the other team. The other team does what Left4Dead teams do and sets fire to places, blow up bridges and makes a mess of things that the second team has to survive through. You could do a crescendo event where the !st team sets off an alarm and the 2nd team has to deal with it.

    The other team would be completely scripted and unplayable, but it would be fun to see them through the eyes of survivors just trying to make it through town.

  48. Lilliput King says:

    Delete-o-tron is sweeping and harsh, but fair.

    Anyway I’m pretty much looking forward to this. L4D2 has been more fun than I expected, and is much more of a Valve game than L4D terms of polish. That sort of makes sense, considering the differing design ovens the two games were baked in. Perhaps Valve look at it in the same way and hence might, well, support it this time.

    I’d like that.

  49. RPS says:

    Race debate is removed in its entirety, as will be any attempts to restart it. This isn’t the place for that kind of discussion, and it most certainly isn’t the place for the kind of prejudice some of you expressed in it.

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