Pripyat Calls Once Again: Left 4 Dead Dniepr Mod

By Craig Pearson on May 14th, 2013 at 8:00 pm.


Making Left 4 Dead campaigns is an interesting challenge. You’re building levels for a game that decides when and where to attack the player, and you have almost no control over those moments. It means your focus is in creating the world and in making it an interesting space for the players to exist in. You can’t guarantee that the cleverly designed chokepoint you made will ever be used as one, but you can make it the prettiest damn corridor the player will ever see. The setting is one of the biggest considerations you have, and then you have to have the talent to pull it off. It’s why I think most L4D campaigns take such a long time coming. Dniepr’s a Left 4 Dead (1 and 2) campaign that’s set in the Ukraine, including Pripyat, and has been three years in development. There’s a quite startling pair of trailers below.

Poor Pripyat. As if being swaddled in nuclear fallout wasn’t bad enough, now it has to contend with the undead as well. At least nothing else can go wrong. Dnierpr is one of those undertakings that I can’t imagine people doing for free: four maps, custom soundtrack and models, a non-linear story. But looking at the pair of trailers below, you can see that the work has turned out a rather beautiful place. It’s almost a shame that it’ll be hidden beneath piles of corpses and splats of blood.

Gather your friends: it’ll be out on May 20th.

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31 Comments »

  1. ResonanceCascade says:

    “1 and 1.” Typo or joke? ‘Cause I only play L4D2 these days.

    • Craig Pearson says:

      Clumsy fingers.

    • Juan Carlo says:

      Valve’s importing L4D 1 Versus mode into L4D 2 (it’s supposedly already in the L4D 2 Beta, but I don’t know as I haven’t tried it). So they seem intent on finally just making them one game.

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  2. povu says:

    I thought this was going to be the news that the Misery V2 mod for STALKER CoP would be released soon, but no. :(

    This sounds cool too though.

    • Luringen says:

      I’m checking that site more often than I’d like to admit…

      • King_Rocket says:

        Never heard of this until I read your comments, now I can’t wait for it to come out. Stalker Coop would be so much fun.

  3. Lobster9 says:

    Combine this with the Blood Sucker – Smoker skin on the workshop, get yourself some vodka and expired canned food, and you have yourself a night to remember! …..also Botulism.

  4. CobraLad says:

    Looks weirdly unukrainian, if you ask me. That can be some swamp american city or subway underground as well.
    Also, its funny how they use Rodchenko font, one that was used in 20s-30s and looks in that context like old-timey Bioshock Infinite posters would look in 60s.

    • BAshment says:

      Have to agree with you on this, seems more like Detroit then pripyat. The building site areas look oddly new as well as the very western looking mall. I think its vital to capture the utilitarian nature or soviet buildings to sell this kind of level. The level design in general looks impressive just the setting seems off.

      • welverin says:

        That’s probably because they reused a lot of assets from the main game, the mall looks like it was taken out of Dead Center and one of the outside areas reminded me of the mill, or whatever it is, in Hard Rain.

        There were a few points in the trailers where I felt like I was just seeing gameplay from the official campaigns.

  5. Slade says:

    Also coming out this year (est. November), the Chernobyl campaign for further tours in Ukraine.

  6. F3ck says:

    My experiences with Pripyat were all about atmosphere, mood, and the solitary vibe of the place…

    …as a single campaigner L4D held little-no appeal for me, being a non-stop click-fest a la Serious Sam or Painkiller…

    …now you say they’ve combined the two?

    This is like a remake of Jaws with an ocean chock full of sharks…every few meters another herd…only fun if your favorite part of the movie was blowing up the bad guy – and not the suspense leading to that moment…

    • ZIGS says:

      Yeah, making this for a game like Left 4 Dead… what were they thinking?

    • Xotes says:

      Hey.

      Hey, you.

      I disagree with your opinion, but it’s perfectly valid and I see where you’re coming from. However, that’s not why I’m typing this.

      Ellipses don’t replace standard punctuation. That is all.

      • F3ck says:

        ….but they do.

        Type like I speak…not particularly interested in cadence – just the message…and not even that.

        …but please, fuck yourself.

  7. Cytrom says:

    L4D killed the zombie “genre” for me. The endless repetition, the poorly made generic weapons and effects, all levels playing the same regardless of how they look, the 9 billion same looking weightless zombies made out of paper on every level, it just drained all my enthusiasm about zombie games and movies completely, even before everyone started spamming zombie games. Valve or whoever made L4D (I assume all the core valve team stopped making videogames many years ago) really only focused on simple coop gameplay and nothing else. It never really felt much more than a polished CS mod.

    The only decent thing was the assymetrical versus mode, because hunting down survivors was quite unique and entertaining at the time thx to the unique abilities and “weapons” of the zombies, as opposed to the boring CS weapons that all did the same thing of the survivors. But even that got old faster than a decent MP game.

    • dethtoll says:

      “It never really felt much more than a polished CS mod.”

      That’s because it started off as one. Thanks for playing.

      • SkittleDiddler says:

        And it remained one, even through its second iteration.

        Valve never did do much of anything to improve it, is what I’m saying.

  8. stupid_mcgee says:

    Actually, there’s quite a few ways to ensure your chokepoint is used as one. Likewise, there are ways to flag areas for the director to chose to spawn zombies in and rate their likelihood. You’re not entirely at the mercy of randomizations and algorithmic decisions of the director. The secret is finding the right blend.

    IMO, the long wait for L4D campaigns is because, typically, there has to be 5 different maps that need to be fully built, scripted, redesigned, tweaked, scrapped, restarted, etc. etc. And this is usually all done by one or, maybe, a few people. It’s a lot of work, actually.

  9. Jamison Dance says:

    The song in the first trailer is “Goodbye” by Apparat, one of my favorite artists. I was surprised at how atmospheric and melancholy it made blasting zombies in the face. Looks wonderful.

  10. HadToLogin says:

    They are infected, not undead.

    They are practically “your most hated football team” hooligans (don’t confuse with fans) who spotted you and your three friends in “not their team” colors – that how they act…

  11. Viroso says:

    That’s how people should do their trailers. You start with raw gameplay, then you proceed to do whatever else you want to do, in this case setting the atmosphere. Then, only after you’re done, you put writing on black background boasting the stuff your game or mod has.

    So many Greenlight trailers that begin with bland scenery, a sentence displayed word by word split across mutiple black screens lasting 5 seconds each, 3 minutes of self hyping before you can see anything.

  12. Dudeist says:

    Campaing, ok but no mod.

  13. PopeRatzo says:

    Speaking of Pripyat, I really wish there were some other game, set in Russia, with guns and beautifully rendered spaces that maybe came out, say, yesterday. Something I could play right now. Maybe something with a story based on a novel. With lots of underground stuff and radiation and grime.

    But there must not be anything like that, because if there were I’d certainly be reading about it here on RPS and being told what some trusted RPS writer thinks about it because RPS is reliably quick with the Wot I Thinks for new games so I can know whether to part with the $50US (plus $5 for “Ranger Mode”). But I’m not. Because, not. So, not.