L4D Crash Course Release Date


September 29th. Yep, that’s the latest bit of DLC (free on PC) for Left 4 Dead, which is a new campaign set between the events of No Mercy and Death Toll, with support for both survival and versus modes. Valve says: “While containing both Survival maps and a Co-operative Campaign, the primary goal of Crash Course is to deliver a complete Versus mode experience in just 30 minutes, resulting in a streamlined version of the game’s existing Versus campaigns. A recharge timer for infected teammates has also been added, and item spawn behavior has changed for more balanced gameplay.” There will also be a L4D2 demo from Valve on October 27th, accordingly to reports from Tokyo Games Show.

68 Comments

  1. Rinox says:

    Argh I’ll be on holiday then. Still, sweet!!

  2. fishmitten says:

    I’ve got next week off work! Fuck. Yes.

  3. Carra says:

    I suppose that means it’s not free for those console lovers. How much do they have to pay? I’m curious so I know how much I saved by using my good old pc!

    • PHeMoX says:

      It’s a downright insult to anyone who has to pay for that DLC. Even if it’s one campaign, it basically means just over 2 hours of gameplay at max. It’s like the Portal crap, you’re going to pay too much for too little game.

    • TotalBiscuit says:

      You are evidently not familiar with how DLC works. Plus that ‘x hours’ thing is irrelevant in a multiplayer game. Console owners paid for map-packs that would be seen as a total ripoff on the PC, but provided them dozens of hours of extra content, so they were fine with it. Console and PC owners view the marketplace differently at times.

    • Vandelay says:

      Did I just see “Portal” and “crap” in a sentence that wasn’t “Portal is not crap.”?

      Also, it is not Valve’s fault that Microsoft force console owners to pay for DLC. It pretty incredible that Valve were able to persuade Microsoft to allow the Survival Pack to be released for free.

      More interested in the demo for L4D2, but a little more extra L4D love doesn’t go amiss.

    • lumpi says:

      “‘x hours’ thing is irrelevant in a multiplayer game”

      Although I have no intention of digging deeper into this debate… No, ‘x hours’ is relevant for a multiplayer game. You can play a singleplayer level 50 times in a row, if it is good you might even enjoy every single run and find something new… but it’s still just one level. Just as well you can play a multiplayer level 3 times and get bored with it, to hardly ever play it again.

      Nothing can replace variety. Not even replayability. One level is one level.

  4. Rob Lang says:

    Seems that Valve are true to their word. The detractors might have to start cutting up the humble pie soon.

    • PHeMoX says:

      It’s only one level… come on, you can’t be serious. That’s not enough.

      “the primary goal of Crash Course is to deliver a complete Versus mode experience in just 30 minutes, resulting in a streamlined version of the game’s existing Versus campaigns.”

      As if the gameplay wasn’t uhm, well casual enough already. So much for hopes of a deeper gameplay experience.

      It’s probably me, but I feel like I’ve wasted too much money on Left 4 Dead knowing the sequel will be out in only a few months.

      @TotalBiscuit: Jokes aside, I am NOT going to buy Left 4 Dead 2. Ever.

    • Stijn says:

      Yeah, like it’s ever enough.

    • bookwormat says:

      There will still be an early sequel, right? Early sequels are usually very bad for games that are about multiplayer and/or about modding.

      I would prefer Valve not to release new content for L4D if they in turn also don’t release the sequel before 2011.

    • jalf says:

      Ah yes, because obviously, what they promised was “a half-length campaign delivered a year after launch”, was it?

      You know, I distinctly seem to remember them promising to deliver updates *quickly*. I also have a vague recollection that they said something about campaigns (plural), as well as new weapons and new infected types.

      Of course, this only matters insofar as the chief source of entertainment for the angry internet men lately has been to defend everything Valve does, and flame anyone who don’t goddamn worship the company. It really is impressive how much anger and hatred the so-called L4D2 boycott can inspire.

      For the rest of us, a small update is better than nothing, so yay.

    • Vinraith says:

      @jalf

      “Half length” is a little generous, don’t you think? Any campaign that takes “half an hour to complete in versus” is at best a quarter length.

      On the other hand, I’m getting a lot of kicks out of people simultaneously bashing the boycott and celebrating this new content, so there’s that.

  5. TotalBiscuit says:

    Ahh, so THIS is what they’ve been doing instead of making Left4Dead 2. Valve are rapidly becoming one of my most hated developers, always breaking promises, goofing around instead of getting on with their jobs. Don’t they realise that we, the gamers pay their wages? I say we boycott Left4Dead1 in protest., show them who’s boss.

    • Carra says:

      I was going to write a reply but then I noticed the obvious sarcasm.

    • Christian says:

      Yeah. I’m also for a boycott on L4D. Come on Valve, stop playing around with us and developing new content for an old game. Nobody needs new content for an outdated game. We want L4D2 already !1!!11

      Also, I would like to ask you all to please donate some money to me so I’ll be able to fly myself to Hawaii and send Valve a postcard form there? That’ll show them.

      Also:
      Great news. This might even be enough to finally get interested in L4D again and give it another try. I don’t know why, but I really do like them. A question would be why it’s free for PC and most certainly will cost money for the XBox. Is it because of piracy? Is it because MS doesn’t support free content? Seriously, this is strange..

    • Rinox says:

      It’s the latter.

    • KikiJiki says:

      I doubt it’s because Microsoft doesn’t support free content, you just have to take a brief look at the XBL marketplace to see that there is quite a lot of free content for some games.

      Methinks there may be small porkies being floated about why you have to pay for this DLC.

    • Rinox says:

      No, it’s really MS. There have been several public and not-so-public disputes between MS and developers about free DLC on XBL in the past, for example with Epic. As I recall Valve offering the survival mode as free DLC for the Xbox earlier this year was considered something of a tour de force too.

    • Dominic White says:

      Yeah, Microsoft have a long history of this kinda shit on Xbox Live. Did you know that developers can’t even begin the process to petition for a change in price on their own Live Arcade games unless they sell over 100,000 copies?

      Control freaks of the first order.

    • Camodude51 says:

      Ok look man, i dont know what rock you have been under but valve is making left for dead 2. A few people have already made reference to it in the comments above. And you seem to be highly opinionated on a subject you know nothing about. You dont know what obstacles valve has faced in the last year that may have kept them from releasing new DLC. Dont insinuate that they are lazy. Is it not enough that they made a fuckin awesome game?

    • Camodude51 says:

      My last post was in response to total biscuit

    • Fumarole says:

      Camodude, your comment is either really clever, or really fucking stupid. Somehow I doubt it is the former.

  6. Baris says:

    I wonder what would happen if Bobby Kotick became head of Valve? Probably some sort of rebellion, possibly involving zombies even.

  7. Lobotomist says:

    To save you the time , insert my usual L4D2 boycott rant here :

  8. Elman says:

    This DLC makes me even more excited about the upcoming expansion pack!

  9. Mort says:

    lfd2 as soon as Oct 27th? I really really hope so!

  10. Tangy says:

    Fingers crossed for a weekend deal on L4D when this is released, so I can finally pick it up at a price my wallet agrees with.

  11. JoeDuck says:

    Really?
    Are you really starting the discussion about the boycott over again once more?
    Of course, feel free to do whatever you want, but I want to draw attention to just one very little point.
    The boycott row has been going on since E3, in the first week of June.
    Thousands and thousands of posts of thousands of people and 4 months have passed already, gentlemen.
    And now I ask, you start over with the boycott again, based on what news exactly?
    That a new level for a different game that we knew was coming has finally a release date?
    Have fun…

  12. Tei says:

    I am playing “Bullshit Bingo” with Valve latest announce.

    ” is to deliver a complete Versus mode experience in just 30 minutes, resulting in a streamlined version of the game’s existing Versus campaigns.”

    DLC, streamlined, existingm, experience…

  13. Nick says:

    Hmm, if its full versus in 30 minutes is it based on one level? Or split into two sections or something? I’m wondering how it will work as too many short sections won’t be much fun (I find the slightly longer vs sections to be more interesting, rather than those that allow for maby two ambushes and they are over).

  14. Lobster says:

    Its two maps, about 15 minutes each, the last of which has a new take on the finale event.

    • IdleHands says:

      New take on the finale? I hope that means they include the gauntlet aspect they’ve mentioned from l4d2. It’s peaked my interest regardless though.

      As an aside, I’m glad for a shorter versus campaign. The original can take between 1 to 2 hours to do, depending on the teams. Sometimes I don’t have the time or patience to play for that long, especially when it can be hard to find a good team on public servers (an aspect that nearly completely killed l4d’s fun for me).

  15. army of none says:

    Yay Valve. That is all. Love, Armyofnone.

  16. DK says:

    “While containing both Survival maps and a Co-operative Campaign, the primary goal of Crash Course is to deliver a complete Versus mode experience in just 30 minutes, resulting in a streamlined version of the game’s existing Versus campaigns.”

    In order to save time, we took the two maps we had already made and then cut out (the campaign connector segment – see Audio Commentary for L4D), ran another graphical polish pass over it and are now releasing it under the “streamlined” moniker. We are crossing our fingers that people are dumb enough to take this as if it was what we actually promised for L4D in the first place.
    Love, Valve.

    • TotalBiscuit says:

      Hurf Durf, Valve ftl, EPIC FIAL.

      Seriously? You’re whining that they created content and are now using it? Without any proof I might add.

    • lumpi says:

      Yea, not being happy with whatever Valve produces is totally out of style…

      Seriously, though. Reading the word “streamlined” just has to make every Valve fan cringe. It’s the most evil and abused word in games marketing and it’s essentially a euphemism for “shorter”. Quality over quantity doesn’t mean quantity is evil.

  17. Premium User Badge

    Cooper says:

    PHeMoXIt’s like the Portal crap, you’re going to pay too much for too little game.

    I still get caught out on occasion by the pain and utter confusion that some stupid, dense internet people can cause.
    Portal was free. I bought HL2:Ep2 and got FOUR FREE GAMES (two of which I sent to a friend as a free download because I had them already). How on this little blue-green planet is that paying too much for too little?

  18. Smurfy says:

    @PHeMoX We stopped caring a few months ago when the boycott waved goodbye to the last of its remaining credibility.

  19. Gorgeras says:

    Well it doesn’t fix any of the problems Left4Dead has. The problem isn’t the length of the Versus campaigns causing people to leave; people leave because the game is full of exploits and imbalances that turn small advantages into massive score differences. If one team manages to consistently get to the safe room, regardless of their health, if the other team doesn’t they have little reason to carry on after the third map. It’s like playing a beat ’em-up but instead of ending the match when someone wins two rounds, they fight the third even though the loser can’t affect the outcome.

    Valve chose to put some of the fixes in the sequel only: like the new special infected that prevent corner/closet camping. Then Chet had to go and put his foot in it by marrying the new special infected to the new director, then the new director to the new maps, essentially disqualifying Left4Dead from ever recieving those same balance fixes unless it gets an overhaul that would effectively prove all L4D2 content is perfectly compatible with L4D with some tweaking.

    • Fumarole says:

      I genuinely feel sorry for folks who play games solely for the score at the end. Doubly so for a game that is such great fun with friends.

  20. Tei says:

    I have no problem with people joining my games,and after that quitting. The trick here is to add to friends these reasonable and fun people you found in your L4D life.

    Is on the advert of the game: On a zombie apocalypse, get friends. Thats exactly what you MUST make with L4D. And probably on a real Zombie apocalypse. The game is designed with that on the core. The very incapacitation system is designed so you are saved by friends. If the others guys don’t love you, you will suffer, and you will hate then, and then will hate you. I don’t see how short games can fix anything that need fixing, but I love how Valve make all things, these guys rocks! :-)

  21. Dominic White says:

    It’s not often I pine for the days of olde (they generally were quite crap, and only become tolerable when viewed through rose tinted glasses), but it seems that it’s only something of a recent phenomenon to become so aggressively opposed to anything a studio might do.

    Maybe I’m just being wildly idealistic in my black-and-white world where I am either interested in a game/product, or just don’t particularly care about it.

    I wasn’t too big a fan of L4D1 in general, so I’ll probably be passing on the sequel, but this is because it just wasn’t my flavour of game, rather than part of a personal vendetta against Valve, who I still think are a pretty neat studio all round, and their continued post-release support is definitely something other developers should take inspiration from.

  22. DK says:

    “and their continued post-release support is definitely something other developers should take inspiration from.”

    They effectively dropped the post release support for L4D1 before even starting it – which wouldn’t be so bad if they hadn’t marketed it with just that post release support included.

    • Dominic White says:

      Yes, L4D1 got no post-release support, and was completely abandoned except for the regular patches, new playmode (and associated maps), SDK, growing support for modders and now an extra mini-campaign?

      I’m fairly sure you’ve moved the goalposts to somewhere around Jupiter at this point.

    • Gorgeras says:

      Saying it recieved ‘regular’ patch updates is misleading: the iterations do not corrolate with the actual amount. The SDK was delayed so much as to be almost useless now there’s a sequel coming, the new playmode is not only unpopular but was already possible on modded servers even without the SDK..

      The game has recieved no balance fixes since April and they were balances that went in completely the opposite direction to what was needed, were never explained and Valve still never talk about balance on the L4D blog. Support that is unresponsive, slow and slight is only second to no support at all.

      The Team Fortress 2 team is once again moonlighting on the new Left4Dead title. As was the case before, content support on TF 2 will greatly slow down. There are actually some people on the L4D forums that think the original hasn’t suffered at all from under-development due to the sequel, even though TF2 did before and will again demonstrate that diverted resources slow things down.

      The only people moving goalposts are those clumsily and inaccurately criticising the Boycott using split-hairs, generalisations and the most token gestures Valve have made.

    • Vinraith says:

      There’s no evidence to support the idea that they were sitting on these maps. Indeed, that the campaigns were originally narratively connected hardly means they originally had maps inbetween them.

      In fact, I sincerely doubt any of this content existed or was planned to exist before the L4D2 announcement received the response it did. I’ll undoubtedly be accused of all kinds of nasty things for saying it, but I think it’s very unlikely we’d ever have seen these maps if it hadn’t been for the boycott.

    • IdleHands says:

      @Gorgeras-

      I liked Survival mode. I thought it was a good addition, adding quicker but more frantic and being more drop-in, drop-out friendly than other modes. This is the first I’ve heard of it being unpopular.

      @Vinraith –
      No nasty words for my good sir but I do personally believe we would of seen this content but there’s no doubt that the boycott must of spurned them on to release quicker. Though we can never really tell because the boycotters will say they forced Valve’s hand, and Valve will say they always planned to keep adding new content as they’ve said.

    • Vinraith says:

      I quite liked survival mode, it provided another o-op mode and thus extended the game by about 50% for me before it got old/problematic. Unfortunately the whole bot problem was even worse in survival, but it was certainly enjoyable on the rare occasion I could drum up four people I actually liked.

      And yes idlehands, the truth is we’ll never know. That Valve gave no indication whatsoever that they were working on new content after the SDK release certainly makes me suspicious, though.

  23. Psychopomp says:

    “It’s like the Portal crap, you’re going to pay too much for too little game. ”

    That’s where you lost most of your credibility.

    You lost the rest when you derided a game for being “casual.”

  24. Hug_dealer says:

    L4D was better before valve took it over.

    How the hell do you take survival horror out of a zombie game.

  25. Ergates says:

    Apart from the boat one (“Death Aboard”?) are there any good made campaigns out there?

  26. Rhys says:

    Yea people leave because of imbalances…. I think you will find people leave because they do not like losing, there are more losers playing L4D than any other game.

    The only games I ever finish anymore are all friends only games, or games that my team is losing. L4D is a great game and offers one of the best multiplayer experiences possible, as long as people stay until the end.

    • Gorgeras says:

      Yet very few people leave a TF2 match because they are losing. There is usually a way to turn things around. Left4Dead provides very little in the way of that except by increasing the score multiplier on later maps, but this just entrenches a disadvantage if something goes wrong by the third map.

      Losing completely on a single map is too punishing in Left4Dead. It’s completely pointless to continue once the score reaches a certain disparity. It’s also very noticeable that whilst players often stay when a sever carries over onto a new map in TF2, almost no one stays for another campaign.

      The 4v4 Versus model itself needs looking at and if not replacing, an alternative Versus with 20 or so players included that is more suitable to drop-in/out play. My understanding was that this was the original design: 16 players control infected, with boss infected being rare spawns, 4 players are randomly chosen to be humans first and only humans can score points. The infected players must do as much damage as possible to humans so when one dies, the highest damaging infected player takes their place and spawns in a closet to be rescued. The dead human player joins the infected until they do enough damage to play a human again.

      Even if that is never implemented, Versus still needs serious balancing and always has, but Valve just can’t muster the interest.

  27. Funky Badger says:

    What kind of tool plays versus to win? It’s all about playing the game, surely?

    • Fumarole says:

      Amen to that. Somehow I think it is people that are not playing with friends. If any game demands them, ’tis this one.

  28. JimmyJames says:

    As gamebreaking as the quitting is, the other really off-putting aspect of L4D’s versus is the rampant vote kicking. I uninstalled after just a couple of months when the DF-esque “losing is fun” attitude was replaced by insults and votekicks. It seemed as though in half the games it was an instant boot if you got one or two survivors with the boomer or – god help you – get shot before you can puke.

    I don’t really see any of this changing in the second version, unfortunately.

  29. Vinraith says:

    Versus is virtually useless in my experience. It’s hard enough to find four good people to play with, eight is basically impossible. It wouldn’t be so bad if the game weren’t so overtly hostile to small groups of friends, but if you can’t muster up 4 players for co-op (or 8 for versus) you get saddled with some of the most lackluster bots in the history of multiplayer gaming, which lack even the ability to give them rudimentary commands like “stand here” and tend to be as much a liability as a benefit. I used to hope they might fix that, it goes without saying that hope is gone.

  30. Szudden says:

    Indeed. That’s the greatest element of L4D for me, that each play is different. While it sucks to get steamrolled, and it can be difficult to dig one’s way out of a 2,000 point hole in versus, you still get the opportunity to eat the survivor’s brains. That’s good enough for me.

    BTW, played it on the console last night, with the new update. Advanced weapon spawns are random again. No more of the 2nd team getting to scout the level while playing infected. This is good, sez I. Also, seems like grenades are much more plentiful. Not sure if that’s good yet.

    • IdleHands says:

      Ugh that is one thing I blame squarely at Valve. I liked it when the two teams got different things on their playthroughs, the losing team got a break and the winning team got a challenge. Win-win, right? But no apparently people complained that they wanted it to be ‘fairer’ so both teams got the exact same stuff, so they could play ‘competitive’ games / clan matches. I honestly don’t understand why Valve listened to them, L4D isn’t a competitive game like CS.

      It’s not fairer this way at all in my experience. A good team will play survivor first and then know exactly where tanks / witches are and set up killer ambushes. It was fairer when the losing team got a break but the winning team got a more challenging experience, and fun was had by all. I admit though that the old random versus was a bit too random at times, losing teams getting more tanks. But surely a bit of tweaking could’ve solved it rather than binning it all together.

      The thing that ruins the game for me though, as others have mentioned, are the ‘pro’ teams. These people are people that just have to win, it doesn’t matter if it’s fun or not, winning is all they care about. These are the people that rage quit and vote kick. I thought the L4D community would be more like TF2’s but it’s turned out to be a majority of people that take the game far to seriously.

  31. Szudden says:

    Er, I was trying to reply to Funky Badger’s post. I’ll get the hang of this internet thing someday.

  32. Arathain says:

    I’ve never known Versus to be about the score at the end of the campaign, and I’ve played a fair bit of Verus. It’s a round to round, moment to moment thing. Folk dropping out is an issue, but not usually a huge one- since they did the last revamp of the server system empty slots seem to nearly always fill fast.

    I love Versus, and always have. All 20 maps are pretty darned good- each has interesting places for both teams to navigate. I consistently have some of my most varied, exciting and satisfying gaming multi-player experiences on this game. I have never felt a lack of variety. Valve want to give me more of this? For free? Given all they must have learned about designing levels? Yes please. Thanks, Valve.

  33. megaman says:

    I’m astonished. Seems to me like Valve is seated between a rock and a hard place, and either way it’s pain. If they publish additional DLC for L4D1, it’s either “keeping them from developing L4D2” or “not keeping up to their promises” because it’s too short or too small. And if they stop working on L4D1, they are destroying a healthy online community.
    I’m not 100% in love with how things went with L4D and L4D2 (personally, I think L4D2 could have waited a bit longer from appearing). But considering this update for itself, at least a small “Thank you Valve” would be appropriate.
    Thank you Valve!

  34. Gorgeras says:

    Valve already are destroying one community to create another just by virtue of L4D2’s existence. Nothing they can do with the original can prevent this.

    Valve have put Left4Dead owners in a position where they are *forced* to buy the sequel or play a game that is at a dead-end. Despite repeatedly saying they understand concerns, they don’t seem to actually empathise with this at all. They’re acting like a normal company, not just that but a *bad* kind of normal company, but they’re not a normal company; they’re an astonishingly brilliant company and nothing short of an astonishing, brilliant olive branch is going to get disgruntled players back on their side.

  35. DK says:

    “Yes, L4D1 got no post-release support, and was completely abandoned except for the regular patches, new playmode (and associated maps), SDK, growing support for modders and now an extra mini-campaign?”
    Compared to TF2? Which is what they said L4D’s support would be like? No, compared to TF2, the support L4D received is laughable.
    And that’s ignoring the out-of-game support of TF2, from the meet-the-class vidoes, to the Mann Co. stuff, to the elaborate update pages and more.

    It clearly shows that Valve actually love TF2, while L4D – they don’t like it enough to be bothered.

  36. Nighyelfydruidy says:

    Will you stfu, about what you liked and what you didnt. Stop fucking complaining, its a game ok? Yea, i understand your frusteration for the game, but still, get over it! At least be happy they ARE doing something new, and that its comeing soon! And who gives a cows shit about the boycott, they didnt do a damn thing, but just whinning and complaining, because Valve was making a new game, instead of making all DLC’s, does it matter? No, either way, its comeing out, and you cant do a shit to change it. So, all this fighting and complaining is a big fat bull doughe. Im not on either side, but im fucking tired of this happening over and over on every forum I go to. And for the wait, theirs still many other games, Halo series, Res. Evil series, World of Warcraft private, or retail, Resistant 1 or 2, little big planet, Call of Duty series, Elder scrolls, Fables, and Fallouts. Find a new game, or keep it up with this game, and sit it out…… thats all…………………. >.>

  37. John says:

    wow, just wow.
    it seems like valve can’t make anyone happy.
    they make a sequel to an amazing game… people complain
    they make FREE dlc for their current game and beg MS to let them give it for free… people complain

    i cant stand these miss informed people. I dont care what you people opinions are. I just know that i will be getting the dlc and left 4 dead 2 and i am going to enjoy them while you sit and yell at valve for being the devil