Left 4 Dead Not 2, Part 2

By Alec Meer on September 22nd, 2010 at 11:34 pm.

Bet you wouldn't all be so nuts about her if she was called Ian

That rather confusing title being a reference to the second part of The Sacrifice, the continuity-plugging comic which describes the events that lead up to recent L4D2 DLC The Passing. We posted about the first part here, and now we’re posting about this one here. It’s a 40-page tale of the original Left 4 Deaders, soldiers, and vampires. Sorta. Once again, Michael Avon Oeming takes to the pencils for this big old chunk of survivor chatter. This one includes backstory, and tragedy.

Read it! Read it with your reading organs! Then be mildly frustrated that part three doesn’t land until the 28th.

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71 Comments »

  1. SpinalJack says:

    My reading organs are all over it

  2. billyboob says:

    At least I know what I’m getting from Valve for my birthday on the 28th!

  3. TCM says:

    Zoey demonstrates the problem with being genre savvy.

    Louis and Francis demonstrate the advantages.

  4. Mashakosha says:

    Have to say I was mildly surprised at the revelation in it. It’s all being bridged very nicely. I like it a lot! And it provides some sweet research material for my college project :D

  5. airtekh says:

    Yeah I read this earlier in the day when it was linked on PCGamer.com.

    I’m really enjoying it so far. It has a much darker tone than the TF2 stuff (apart from Francis). I loved Zoey’s backstory, really heartwrenching stuff.

  6. Armyofnone says:

    Dang. That was really well done. Eagerly awaiting the third and fourth installments now!

  7. Rinox says:

    Zoey’s memory reminded me of The Walking Dead. Which is hardly a bad thing!

  8. bleeters says:

    Does nobody in zombie apocalypse settings lock their doors? :(

  9. Deston says:

    These are absolutely brilliant!

    Is it the 28th yet? :(

  10. Rick says:

    Entertaining, but really not a fan of the art style. Zoey in particular just looks wrong.

    • Koozer says:

      I’ve got to agree. Francis’ eyes look funny, and Louis’ chin juts out too much sometimes. The boomer looked nice though…

  11. rnx says:

    i hate waiting.
    i’ll read it once it’s complete.

  12. Serenegoose says:

    I love the art style of these comics – it’s so hard and sharp, I feel it captures the tone of L4D1 pretty perfectly.

  13. Neosubu says:

    At first I had to get used to the artwork which I didn’t perticularely loved, but the story is awesome.
    I wish they released it as those frame swooshing comics for iPhone/ipad.
    Can’t wait till the 28th!!

  14. MadTinkerer says:

    In the game, locked doors are only a mild inconvenience to horde zombies. It’s one of the horde’s small advantages that no one else has.

  15. 0mar says:

    Really wish L4D2 used the same characters :( I miss the gang from L4D1

    • Alexander Norris says:

      It’s especially aggravating since Coach, Ellis and Nick are alright, but Rochelle is just terribly bland for no reason whatsoever, something which could have been easily fixed with one model/texture change and nothing else. She’s supposed to be a career-driven journalist; have her wear a fucking suit, with trousers, so she looks like a news anchor. Yes, we’d have two characters with suits but a) Nick’s is white, Rochelle’s would be slate or black and b) suits are awesome.

    • DrGonzo says:

      Why should she wear a suit? How does that give her any personality? A Depeche Mode T-shirt is fucking awesome. What they needed was some interesting things for her to say.

    • Alexander Norris says:

      Gonzo: because her wearing a suit makes her look like a journalist, rather than a random person in jeans and a tee-shirt. Visual story-telling is important, man.

    • Arathain says:

      Rochelle isn’t actually a full-on journalist. She really wants to be, but she’s an assistant at the time of the infection. She intends to grab the opportunity to report the incident, since the actual journalists she’s assisting have gotten sick/run away.

      I like her costume, though. It says a lot more about her than something more formal. Which is good, because while her incidental dialogue is good enough that she’s my default pick, the guys get all the good lines.

    • Alec Meer says:

      Hah. Journalists don’t wear suits.

    • Tei says:

      If this where a MMORPG, the perfect solution would be to nerf Zoey to make she less interesting. Thats how things work on the mmorpgland.

    • Alexander Norris says:

      @Alec — you mean lame journalists don’t, Mr Lamo-pants.

    • Fumarole says:

      Isn’t Rochelle a producer?

    • Arathain says:

      From the website:

      “As a low-level associate producer for a big-name news station, Rochelle’s job mostly consisted of lugging cables and fetching coffee. But when the outbreak hit and staff started calling in sick, Rochelle got her break: producing a segment from Savannah about the evacuation center located there. She was still setting up the cameras when her big story became a war zone.

      But that doesn’t mean she’s letting go of her dream job yet. Surviving a zombie apocalypse is just something else she can use her wits and drive to produce the hell out of.”

  16. alice says:

    My love for Zoey would grow ten-fold if she was born “Ian”.

  17. Alexander Norris says:

    This is actually way, way more enjoyable than both games put together as far as I’m concerned.

    Incidentally, has anyone noticed that as long as she’s wearing her jacket Zoey’s chest is reasonable, but as soon as the jacket comes off and she’s no longer constrained (pardon the pun) by the official art, she suddenly gains a couple of cup sizes? The Witch also seems to have grown C-cup or larger breasts overnight: http://imgur.com/m8F8z.jpg

    • Serenegoose says:

      Whilst the real answer is: “It’s a comic, and personal style will adjust every character, including giving Francis a GINORMOUS forehead” I’m going to overthink this just for a second, because overthinking is my hobby. Now, I’m a scientist, and I happen to be in possession of my own pair of breasts, so I done a little experimentation, and copied the overall posture of Zoey in your comparison pictures. I stood up straight like Zoey is – and sure enough, they looked a little smaller. I then slouched myself over onto the keyboard, and as if by magic, wow. Bigger looking.

      Ergo science says you’re a silly.

      As for the witch…

      That’s just a different witch with big boobs. It’s not like the same one following them around. :P

    • DrGonzo says:

      Didn’t particularly like any of this. All story should be told in games. Also, not really liked comics since I was a nipper. Though I have enjoyed Sandman and Watchmen

    • bleeters says:

      I’m going to go out on a limb and suggest the Witch wasn’t drawn with sex appeal in mind anyway.

    • Serenegoose says:

      @Bleeters. If you ever want to keep that impression, never, ever look for either Zoey OR the Witch on google.

      *shakes head mournfully*

    • DrGonzo says:

      Oops, that should have read, all of the story should be told inside the game. I really dislike backstort being spread out over lots of different media.

    • Alexander Norris says:

      @Serenegoose — if you wanted to use SCIENCE! you could also have pointed out that Zoey’s chest is going to naturally look smaller in a closed hoodie than it would with the hoodie open or off. :P

      I have to admit, Zoey looks like it might just be posture, but the witch is more than a little ridiculous since I’m fairly sure they’re not meant to be sexualised that way.

    • Serenegoose says:

      SCIENCE SOLVES ONE CONUNDRUM AT A TIME.

      And got distracted by boobs.

      SILENCE!

    • bleeters says:

      @ Serenegoose

      MY EYES.

    • Huggster says:

      Are you guys ACTUALLY having this conversation?

    • the wiseass says:

      @Alexander Norris: Don’t you really have other problems? Gee, I’d be embarrassed if I were you for even noticing this and then starting a conversation about something that 99% of non-boob fixated, non-oversexed, people never would have noticed. I’m slowly starting to realize why there are so few women into gaming. It’s not only the games, but also the gamers: “OMG Boobies!!1! lulz”.

    • Okami says:

      @Dr. Gonzo: I’d rather have a really good comic then aweful in game cutscenes or stupid “interactive narrative scenes” that only distract from the real meat of the game – the bit where you’re acutally PLAYING the damn thing. These days I’m really grateful for any game that’s not afraid to admit that it’s a game and doesn’t hide that fact behind hours of uncanny valley style cut scenes that look like they’ve been directed by a 15 year old wanna be Michael Bay.

      /rant

    • Alexander Norris says:

      @the wiseass — you’re an idiot.

      I am specifically complaining about the sudden breast size increase of L4D female characters because I’m against the wanton sexualisation of female game characters. It doesn’t take scientific genius to work that out. I am tired of seeing all female game characters sporting F-cup breasts that would realistically snap their itsy-bitsy spine in half the moment they tried to vault off an ancient ruined wall or even do a quick 180 to shoot people behind them.

      So piss off, and don’t go claiming that not noticing the sexism makes you a “normal person;” it makes you an imbecile incapable of critical thinking.

    • Alexander Norris says:

      Ergh; I shouldn’t have gotten that annoyed, even if it’s over that kind of anti-intellectual dross. Sorry, people.

    • the wiseass says:

      @Alexander Norris: I’m really thinking you’re completely over-analyzing this. That is, at least in my opinion, just as bad as sexism you’re perceiving here. Even if I share pretty much your criticism of the male and female stereotype of most games, I think your zealotry was pretty misplaced here. Too often people are just too fuddy-duddy instead of just taking it easy for once. Yes sexism is bad, yes stereotyping is bad, but you don’t go around expecting it at every fuckin’ corner.

      Yes I may be an idiot for calling you out on this, but all this moral zealotry is as bad, if not even worse than the moral wrongs their are denouncing. Don’t believe me? Well have a look at the main stream media (Fox, the sun, etc…) where one moral crusade is followed by another.

    • the wiseass says:

      Also not every fucking witch has the same breast size and sometimes, as Serenegoose already stated, gravity works wonders. Now go read that comic again. Are you still insisting that it’s sexist? Really?

    • Saiko Kila says:

      I like zombies. Maybe the author is necrophiliac too?

  18. Saul says:

    Really enjoying this, although Zoey’s grim back-story contrasts a bit with some of her light-hearted dialogue in the game. Can’t wait for the next bit.

  19. DrGonzo says:

    I think I must be out of practice, I’m finding it really rather difficult to figure out what order to read the pictures and text boxes in.

  20. Arathain says:

    These are really fantastic. The male line carrier thing is such a big tragedy for Zoe.

    That Boomer was right slow off the mark with the old vomit. Votekick!

    • jarvoll says:

      WOW. TOTALLY did not get that until you put it that way. WHOAH. Well done, Valve, for making this subtle enough that it’s actually totally possible to miss huge things like that.

    • Rinox says:

      Yeah, that’s gotta be a kick in the pants. I guess people get a little quick on the “headshot your loved ones” thing during the zombie apocalypse. :-/

    • Huggster says:

      Woah! I only just realised as well. Perfect.

    • the wiseass says:

      The people that didn’t realize this may the same ones that took the flame pit in Portal as the definite ending ;)

    • Premium User Badge

      JB says:

      OK, I have a nasty cold so if someone feels like PM’ing me and explaining, I’d really appreciate it. I’m so slow in the brain these last few days =\

    • Premium User Badge

      JB says:

      Oh wait, I got it now. See, slow.

    • Dozer says:

      Well you see, when you’re on the platform dropping into the fire, you’re still holding a working portal gun, and there’s friendly walls all over the place…

  21. Huggster says:

    Read “World War Z” if you haven’t already by Max Brooks, its a pretty bleak “realistic” look at what a zombie apoc would degenerate into. Just finished it, enjoyable read.

  22. Kieron Gillen says:

    Once again, really strong stuff. I hope they do a paper version of this.

    KG

    • Fumarole says:

      I’d rather they didn’t, unless it was about a completely different team, because then we’d have to pay for more story involving these folks. Of course, were said comics free, I’d be all over it.

  23. Premium User Badge

    Richard Beer says:

    This is fantastic writing and art. Really enjoying it. In fact I hope the series continues well beyond the games!

  24. Okami says:

    @Alexander Norris: Some women do have large breasts in real life and why shouldn’t one of those have been turned into witch?

    • Okami says:

      Yay! My first reply fail. I’ve always thought that they were some kind of myth!

    • Alexander Norris says:

      Because in-game, every single witch has a flat chest? I think it’s pretty safe to assume the mutation into a witch makes them look like emaciated twelve-year-olds.

      That aside, it’s pretty suspicious that they suddenly sprout a pair of watermelons as soon as they’re depicted in comicbook format, else I wouldn’t've commented on the fact.

    • Malagate says:

      @Alexander, actually the witch in the game is not that flat chested, she’s definately got noticable breasts, only they’re better covered in the game (comic has underboob). I think it’s the comic’s styling more than anything which makes the comic witch’s breasts more noticable, you know because in the comic she has a wasp waist and stands up tall and straight which is very different than the game’s style.

      It does seem like the witch in the comic has been more sexualised, but I see it more as due to a combination of the comic’s art direction and as a way to make her more disturbing, you know as she’s still got horrible claws covered in blood and grey skin. Also artistic license, the fact is that each witch in the game is identical doesn’t mean they have to be in the comic too, for instance the boomer in the army clothes works better than the standard (although that does raise the question as to why not have an army themed witch, or for that matter why every witch is in her underwear (except for the bride witch of course)).

    • Huggster says:

      Comicbooks are exaggerated though, the violence seemed to be kinda exaggerated – I think its part of how you get your imagery across in those frames.

  25. Huggster says:

    My only problem with Left 4 Dead is the special infected. Whilst “zombies” are on the edge of realistic plausibility, the mutated “clones” does take the edge off the realism somewhat and makes the whole mythos more fantastical. Its a tricky one I guess.
    Its still great but, I dunno, missing something because of that. What do you think?

  26. Anonononomous says:

    “Style,” you say? They all look like Valve got 5 artists and gave them all random pages without showing them the style that the other artists would be using. Characters look completely different page to page, even panel to panel.

  27. Jimmy Jazz says:

    I accept this as a good Birthday present, thank you Valve.

  28. tubbles says:

    there is nothing wrong with Rochelle’s dialogue, especially seeing as half of it is Anchorman quotes.

  29. PHeMoX says:

    Yeah, way to go Valve for tearing a game apart and making us pay twice for half the stuff they should have given us from the get go. So sad.

    • jalf says:

      I’m usually happy to criticize Valve for the L4D2 thing, but where did this come from, and how does it relate to the comic?

    • haircute says:

      @phemox

      You so silly little boy!