Left 4 Dead 2 Is Heading To The Carnival

So very wrong.

Valve plans to reveal the latest globules of Left 4 Dead 2 information at this weekends PAX festivities. Having previously shown off New Orleans’ Parish level, and mucky antics in Swamp Fever, Penny Arcade’s gathering will show the world the extra creepy-sounding Dark Carnival.

As if the words “Dark Carnival” don’t conjure enough nightmarish thoughts, the new ‘uncommon common’ announced is the Zombie Clown, which has to be about the most concentrated form of evil imaginable until they reveal the Zombie Tax Auditor. They’ll only appear in the Carnival campaign, apparently, and the fewer places they appear the better. Eek.

Just hug him!

There’s also a new Boss Infected joining the gang, The Jockey. It’s a bit vague at the moment, but it seems he’ll be able to physically move an attacked Survivor, whether it’s to drag them into the middle of a crowd of Infected, or indeed to drop them off a cliff. Disappointingly he’s not a four foot horse riding man, but instead a really rather ugly fellow. Poor thing. I imagine he only wants to be loved. And they’re showing some more of the melee weapons to be found: a machete, some stupid crappy deal where you get a baseball bat if you pre-order the game from the right shop (um, Steam?), but rather brilliantly, an electric guitar. I speculate, but I feel fairly certain this will make an excellent twanging sound when used.

Probably more fun than a regular carnival, of course.

There will inevitably be more details over the weekend as the PAX inhabitants spew forth their sights.

The new poster


  1. Corbeau says:

    @ subedii

    Yes, I am still a member of the boycott group, and I will remain so until Valve releases Crash Course.

    @ Vandelay

    The Charger is indeed there to break up clumps rather than cause damage directly. If you get bulled aside in a charge, you really do go flying dozens of feet – but the charger himself goes down pretty quickly once he’s grabbed someone (the main difference from, say, a hunter pounce is that meleeing the Charger doesn’t seem to make him drop the survivor that he’s curbstomping). Clumping up, while perhaps not obsolete, carries very real risks in L4D2.

  2. qrter says:

    I have nothing but amused bewilderment for these Kotaku-esque knee jerk opinions people snipe away with;

    “Sorry Valve you’re not impressing me.”

    Oh well, guess that’s it Valve. Pack up and go home! Internet Guy thinks you “Jumped the shark”! Turn in your keyboards and mice, your track record of non stop accolades and genre defining games simply isn’t enough to withstand the lip curling sneers of contemptuous teenagers. =-P

    You seem to be under the assumption that I think Valve will read any comment made by me, let alone care about it. That makes you sound a lot more delusional than you thought I was.

  3. Dracko says:

    God forbid someone criticise the GabeN Power Fantasy Foundation.

    How the Hell could any of you take the first game seriously?

  4. Vandelay says:

    Cheers for the info, Corbeau.

    I think some of these additions will spice up the game quite a bit, but I really hope there is a substantial demo to give a good idea about how these changes will all work. Preferable with a chance to try out these changes in Versus (even if it is just a single map.)

    Speaking of Versus, do we know which of these infected are going to be controllable? I’m assuming that the Charger, Spitter and Jockey will all be controllable, but with only 4 players on the team it could become harder to get the right mix of specials if they are completely random. They got it about right before, with you pretty much always having a Smoker, Boomer and two Hunters (with the odd tri-hunter always being a nice surprise if you didn’t rig it.) Perhaps allowing you to select but only allowing one of each could work.

    And yes, there was very little seriousness in the first game. It looks like this maintaining the same balance between the silly and the scary. It was always more Dawn of the Dead then 28 Days Later (zombie speed excluded, obviously.)

  5. Vinraith says:

    While calling the first game “serious” is clearly overstating it, there does seem to be (based on the material released thus far) a bit of a tonal difference between the first and second games. L4D2 certainly comes across as sillier, at least so far. Whether one likes that or not is, of course, a matter of personal taste.

  6. Kabe says:

    I see exactly what some of you at getting at in terms of the superficial style, but L4D was never a “serious” game at its core. That’s what makes it so fun. I can’t remember the last game I played online with friends and digital acquaintances that I so often laughed in, and had a genuinely good time.

    The fact that L4D takes raw individual skill away from being such a deciding factor in the game made it far more accessible to players who don’t just play to win, and often that type of gamer made the games much more fun and relaxed than other multiplayer (particularly FPS) games I’ve played over the years.

    I’ve clocked up hundreds of hours on L4D, so I’ve played it enough to see the usual retards, arseholes and griefers, but they are part of any online game. Something that’s interesting with L4D is that the Infected in VS mode are essentially a griefing team. As Infected, it is your job to troll the shit out of the survivors, chipping away at their health with surprise attacks and irritating them into making mistakes, until you can finally get them in a position to be wiped out.

    That’s a fantastic game mechanic, and although not necessarily original, made VS matches insanely fun to play and let a lot of natural griefers vent some steam (no pun intended), whilst still making themselves useful to the game… letting the sole survivor limp to within 2 metres from the safe room before smoking them back is a troll’s wet dream, but is simultaneously a legitimate objective.

    Maybe L4D2 does have a little extra tongue in its cheek, or maybe that’s just the impression we are getting from the limited snippets we are being fed. Who knows? The same basic game mechanics are going to be there, so if you enjoyed the first, then chances are you are going to kick a kick out of this one too.

    Something I am sure of, is Valve are one of the few big companies really keeping the PC gaming market strong in recent times. The usefulness of Steam to developers large and small is reason enough for that statement.

    But they are more than Steam – given their rather stellar portfolio of titles and experienced developers (Zoid Kirsch of Quake CTF fame is on the L4D multiplayer team, for instance) too, it’d likely be a mistake to bet against them delivering the goods after seeing a few short videos.

    This ain’t their first rodeo, and they have a proven track record in understanding what makes games enjoyable.

  7. Davie says:

    Anyone else think the Jockey looks a little bit like a humanoid headcrab? Not a mere coincidence, methinks.

  8. PHeMoX says:

    The graphics suck bad. Valve, do us and yourselves a favor and start making Half-life 3 already. These visuals are so outdated.

    The HL2 engine has expired over at least two years ago. Stop pretending it’s still superb.

    “This ain’t their first rodeo, and they have a proven track record in understanding what makes games enjoyable.”

    Wrong, their most successful games were floating on hypes. True for Left 4 Dead 1 too. Yeah, shooting zombies is fun, but the game is pretty much crap when it comes to it’s gameplay. It’s too short to be worth it’s money actually.

    Their track record is starting to look like EA’s.. ripping of their trusty fans. No wonder they’re going to release Left 4 Dead 2 this soon…. heck, they should have made the series episodic and call it HL2: Left 4 Dead Series instead.

  9. Ace says:

    The Source engine is not outdated. It’s an excellent engine that is continually updated.

  10. Vandelay says:

    It certainly doesn’t look as good as many other current engines. Since HL2:EP2, it has been showing its age.

    But that doesn’t matter as the games they are making on it are still great. I think PHeMoX is just trying to start some flaming. Anyone that compares Valve with EA is talking nonsense. Valve clearly make games because they love games. That doesn’t mean they don’t care about the money (they are a business) but the amount of attention they put on every small detail shows that they are always trying to make the best gaming experiences they possibly can.

    And the “L4D was too short argument” is one that is easily refuted by the tens of thousands of people that played the game for months. Certainly when they finished the Versus mode (I will accept this should have been in at release) there was plenty of content.

  11. Dominic White says:

    Yeah, L4D2 may not look as spectacular as some other stuff available for the PC. Sure, they could make it look better, but they choose not to.

    Most people don’t have heavyweight PCs. They have work machines with a bundled standard 3D video setup, or a laptop. Valve are pretty business-savvy, and aim for as wide a market as possible.

    The huge success of L4D, and the continiung success of earlier stuff like Counter-Strike lends weight to this theory.

  12. Kabe says:

    PHeMoX: “The graphics suck bad. Valve, do us and yourselves a favor and start making Half-life 3 already. These visuals are so outdated.”

    It’s no CryEngine or Tech 5, sure, but the Source engine does run well on just about every gaming PC out there, cheap or otherwise. That can be extremely important for successful multiplayer games.

    Maybe you just have an overwhelming lust for shiny things, and that’s fine if it works for you, but you should understand that many others in the community value the scalability and customisation as high or higher than the latest eye-ripping DX10 visuals. Games are much more than just works of graphical eye candy, I hope one day you are able to develop an appreciation for that.

    As for your comment about Valve’s games just being hype and comparing the company to EA, I don’t feel that I even need to dignify that kind of silliness with a response.