Have You Played… Left 4 Dead 2?

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game recommendations. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.

Of all games, Left 4 Dead and its sequel might well be the ones I miss the most. Sure, I could still play them today if I wanted to, but who would play them with me? They’re two of the smartest and most atmospheric cooperative games I’ve ever played, but I tend to tip my hat at a slightly more approving angle in the direction of the second because it has a wonderful sense of place. It also has improved zombie gore.

The basics of Left 4 Dead are brilliant – the AI director mixing up the threats on each attempt, the desperate rush to save a fallen companion, the red rain that follows the BEEP BEEP BOOM of a pipe bomb. Back when Left 4 Dead 2 was part of my daily diet, I invented all kinds of survival scenarios, games within games that sometimes required mods but more often simply required other players willing to experiment with odd, self-imposed rules.

But putting the actual shooting and surviving to one side, Left 4 Dead 2 earns its place in the pantheon of greats thanks to the beauty of its environments and the way that it uses a place as a theme. I love that the familiar musical stings from the first game have been recreated, Southern style, and that an organ adds a delirious quality to The Passing’s horde attacks while a banjo frantically attempts to keep up with the panicked drums of Dead Center. Then there’s The Parish.

The look of the game is as strong as the audio. The passage of time from one act to the next is noticeable in the changing quality and level of light, and the transition throughout Swamp Fever and Hard Rain is as attractive as any weather pattern I’ve ever seen in a game.

And, yes, I preferred the new characters to the original four. Nick had a proper arc and everything!

62 Comments

  1. waltC says:

    This game is without a doubt on my list of all-time worst games it has ever been my displeasure to play…;) Valve gave it to me gratis and so it remains in my Steam account, albeit with all of the local game files deleted! Yea! My heart goes out to the people who actually paid for this steaming pile.

    • Kala says:

      Interesting… what did you dislike so much about it?

      • deadly.by.design says:

        Most people I know who disliked L4D games were 1) expecting it to be survival horror or 2) thought there weren’t enough levels.

        L4D2 is, at its core, a multiplayer experience that can be played semi-competitively. It’s not competitive in the way that dota 2 is, but I still think Versus Mode is one of the best modes in any game. So, if people don’t have want to play the same campaigns with new teammates and enemies, they’re going to think it’s dumb and repetitive. If you see it for what it was designed to be, you’d share my opinion that they couldn’t be more wrong.

        • LionsPhil says:

          Workshop support helps mitigate the latter. Here are a couple of good ones (we’re still playing this):

          I Hate Mountains, for outdoorsy lost-y funtimes.

          Journey to Splash Mountain, which is just kind of amazing in its theme-park reproduction, but also really quite fun and has a neat end challenge. Get it before the lawyers wake up.

        • plugmonkey says:

          or 3) played it on too easy a skill level.

          Far too many people I know blasted through on Normal and called it finished. It’s a shame, because the game only really ticks when you’re getting your ass handed on a regular basis, and success is an achievement rather than the norm. That’s when it becomes tight and strategic instead of a duckshoot.

          • Razumen says:

            Agreed, anything less than Normal and nothing is much of a threat, the Tank becomes a joke even amongst the most average team of players

    • theblazeuk says:

      Is the wink to say it’s all a lie? ‘Cos I just can’t conceive this.

      • Caerphoto says:

        It’s a bit odd, yeah. I can understand someone not liking the game, or being ambivalent towards it, but “on my list of all-time worst games it has ever been my displeasure to play”? That’s pretty hard to justify.

        • El_Emmental says:

          Not playing a lot of different games, and expecting something completely different from L4D2.

          L4D2 is really an arcade shooter where you rush through the map and kill a bunch of zombies – there isn’t much plot or context, or particular game mechanics (if you don’t dig enough to find the non-standard game modes/maps), and the weapons feels kinda the same (shotgun/assault rifle/sniper/melee).

          It only shines when played with other human players who are looking for the same experience – if they want to rush it and you don’t, if they want play silly (odd weapons, pushing infected around) and you would prefer playing it more seriously/at a harder level, the experience is just not gonna be positive.

          Or maybe the OP experienced a rare bug or performance issue, that ended up being a troubleshooting nightmare, using up all his/her patience.

          • ZPG Lazarus says:

            You nailed it. Playing it with the computer AI sucks, but playing it with your friends is a weirdly surreal B-Movie Dawn of the Dead experience. You can get as competitive as you want. Its almost a hearken back to the Doom days of no story, weak plot–just zombies to mow down.

            For being over 5 years old it still looks great too.

          • LionsPhil says:

            I really wish they’d do an engine update that could cope with rendering the light from all four players’ flashlights, though.

        • LionsPhil says:

          If you played it with bots or assholes and the director kept pinning you under specials, particularly because you were new and slow and it thought you were clearly too calm, I can easily see how you’d come to that conclusion.

          Or if you played that goddamn level with the rollercoaster in the last segment that will send you right back to the chuffing start. It is such an ill-placed ridiculous difficulty spike. It’s a harder finale than the actual finale, and the bots cannot cope with it at all.

          (Improved Bots helps a bit, but not as much as it really needs to in some cases. There’s a different version for singleplayer but honestly singleplayer L4D2 just is not worth it.)

    • AXAXAXAS MLO II: MLO HARDER says:

      I concur, and my experience was the same. The shooting is not good enough for a shooter and not bad enough for horror. The few levels I’ve played were somehow bland and labyrinthine at the same time. The regular zombies are too much of a threat to be ignored but too boring to spend a long time fighting. And the fact that the game forces you to play with four characters even when less people are playing is just asinine. I was playing with a friend and I don’t know why we had to babysit two bots through it. We both deleted the game as soon as we both died in the first mission and I can’t fathom going back even for the Steam cards. I’m not sure it’s one of the worst games I’ve played, since it ran and didn’t cause my computer to explode, but I found it utterly mystifying that such a bland, mismatched experience would be held in such high regard by so many people. I feel similarly about the Half-Life series, but there are a lot of things I can see it does right and I can kind of see where its idolatry comes from; L4D2 gives no such footholds, it’s just a boring, boring game that everyone loves.

    • Yglorba says:

      While it’s nothing wrong with the game itself, I will hate L4D and L4D2 forever for effectively killing Zombie Master, which was IMHO one of the most amazing Source mods out there.

    • quarpec says:

      tell me about never having played more than five games in your life

  2. theblazeuk says:

    Best games in my steam library. I can play this over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over—

    OK I’ll stop now but really, even vanilla campaign mode offered more replay and fun just based on difficultly levels than any other co-op game I’ve ever played. Throw in the custom maps (some of which are pretty damn good) and mutations, versus mode etc – I’ll never tire. Bring on L4D3.

  3. Kala says:

    I *have* played left4dead 2! and the original left4dead.
    That and Payday 2 is what my co-op foursome keep coming back to.

    I’d agree with you that 2 has a fantastic sense of place and mood; and also, the additional challenge of having to fulfil objectives is novel compared to 1, where you just have to survive til the safe room pretty much.

    I’d disagree with you about the characters though; Francis is clearly best. I hate vans! And as the female member of my group, I prefer Zoe to Rochelle. “Axe me a question”? Pssshhh.

    The overall best thing about left4dead though? (besides Francis) The graffiti.

  4. riboflavin says:

    1558 Hours played. I am fairly certain I could have been a Doctor by now had I studied medicine instead.

    link to steamcommunity.com

    My friends and I play Versus almost every night. Someday I hope to get my money’s worth from this game.

  5. Brosecutor says:

    “Of all games, Left 4 Dead and its sequel might well be the ones I miss the most. Sure, I could still play them today if I wanted to, but who would play them with me?”

    Very much this. My mates and me moved on to other games, but I would drop all the Battlefields and Borderlandses in a heartbeat if they released L4D3 one day.

    Also, while part deux was an improvement in gameplay and humor, the first L4D was sometimes genuinely terrifying.

  6. suibhne says:

    Just fired this up for more co-op a few days ago. It hasn’t aged well in some ways – animations are sometimes pretty dodgy and hit detection is just awful. There’s plenty of room for an L4D3, tho, and I can only imagine how splendid it would be if hit detection especially were fixed.

  7. mrwonko says:

    That soundtrack reminds me of TOO MANY ZOOZ (their capitalization), which in turn I found through some Sunday Paper a while back, and thus we come full circle.

    Left 4 Dead 2 sure is a great game, I used to play a ton of it. I was quite surprised when I recently found out Payday 2 had surpassed my total time spent with L4D2 after only a couple of months…

  8. zind says:

    I always found it to be middling at best until I started playing the Follow the Liter mutation in versus mode. Scavenger was my favorite game type, but Follow the Liter made it into more of a competitive game where we could get 3 rounds in without it taking all night. I never enjoyed co-op because I find playing as survivors tedious most of the time, and versus campaigns just take FOREVER.

    Follow the Liter fixed all that, and if we can’t get a full 8 it’s just as fun with 6; sometimes even more so when the AI pulls off some surprisingly good plays.

  9. fuggles says:

    Much preferred L4d1 to 2. The levels all hung on horror film settings, the characters were much better developed and the setting just was more interesting to me, or possibly because it was new. Once that was imported into l4s2 though, no real debates.

    Now, have you played the fall? Gosh what an overlooked game.

    • Mr.K says:

      I agree. While in theory, I should have liked L4D2 more because of the more open maps with more options and more to do… I just didn’t. The maps of the first one felt much more intense whereas in the sequel it feels a bit like you’re just running around. I also didn’t like the weapon drops of the sequel at all. It’s not a bad game, it’s just not as good as the original.

      The worst part of the sequel was that it divided the playerbase and at least among my friends we ended up losing the group from the original. Some of us wanted to play the sequel, some preferred the first one and some didn’t want to play at all anymore because most of the people in the original group couldn’t agree on what to play. For this reason, I don’t really miss the series. I do have great memories from playing the first part but the negativity around the sequel very much overrides those and now when I think “Left 4 Dead” my first thought is something like “isn’t that the great zombie game they messed up completely?”

    • plugmonkey says:

      I also thought the characters in the first game were better. They were a perfect blend of zombie/horror movie tropes who could survive or die in any combination and it make perfect narrative sense. I didn’t get that with the L4D2 characters. They were all a bit more comedy.

      I’ll never forgive them for officially killing Bill, as it kind of broke it all a little. That’s not their decision to make, it’s our decision to make every time we play.

  10. phoss64 says:

    Just rented a server to replay this, if anyone fancies some realism runs it’s 85.236.101.2:27515 and is up for the next month

  11. lordfrikk says:

    I love playing L4D2 with a friend, no other multiplayer game has the same atmosphere for me.

  12. Lars Westergren says:

    Left 4 Dead 3 is the Valve Sequel Rumored Most Likely To Exist.

  13. richtaur says:

    Put about 300 hours into L4D2 with friends. SO FUN GOOD GRIEF

  14. frenz0rz says:

    Left 4 Dead is my Gaming Made Me. It caused me to stumble across a wonderful community of friends who I now commute to meet regularly despite our Versus days being long over, and it gave me some of the best co-op and competitive multiplayer experiences I’ve ever had.

    The game also changed noticeably for me over the years. It started out as a terrifying button-mashing co-op survival ordeal, with a handful of chums eking it out in post-apocalyptic suburbia, but by Left 4 Dead 2 we had turned it into a slick, brutally competitive action-fest with monthly clan events often filling 2 or 3 servers with spectator slots for others to cheer us on and share in the fun.

    Really some of the best times of my life. Such a shame that the lack of a further sequel or anything else even remotely similar lead to our community largely fizzling out a few years ago. Still, there’s always Evolve eh?

  15. Jalan says:

    Last time I did, I went for a largely melee approach (as I tend to have bad luck blasting members of my own party in co-op when I have any weapon with bullets) and one of the random jerkasses I was playing with decided to raise a stink about it when he got caught by a Charger (which was no one’s fault but his own, as he stood still and in the middle of every opportune spot for the AI Special Infected to harass him whenever a horde was called) and I was using my melee weapon to try and beat the thing down to try and help him (this was on Normal difficulty).

    I guess he was so pissed that from then on he kept trying to kill me and attempting to get the remainder of the team to do so (thankfully they didn’t share in his thought). So I eventually just shrugged him off until I found my moment, picked up an assault rifle and gunned him down in the middle of the sewer and then pleaded with the rest of the team to leave him there to get his teeth kicked in by whatever zombies happened his way.

    They seemed happy to oblige and shortly after I left him laying in the water he disconnected from the session and a more amiable player took his place. Long story short though – multiplayer games would be great, were it not for the… multiplayers.

    • welverin says:

      Killing them with a melee weapon is probably faster, as long as you’re already nearby.

      • Jalan says:

        That was my general plan. Like I mentioned, I tend to have unfortunate luck when it comes to friendly fire (I don’t do it intentionally, I just have insanely bad aim) so I typically become “that guy” who goes for the melee and tries to take out whatever is in front of where the group would be going (nothing too hard to do when it is just regular zombies) and when things get hairy, I try to keep mobile enough to avoid getting trapped by Special Infected (excluding Tanks, where I typically would place myself behind the people using firepower until I could dance behind one and get some knocks in). I’m not saying it’s a foolproof plan of playing (I tend to be Smoker catnip unless I spot them early on), but I feel like it’s easier for me than potentially blasting someone else with a shotgun/etc. and having them get the wrong impression.

        • plugmonkey says:

          I have to say, I do find it a wee bit frustrating when I’m pinned and someone thinks they’re so good with melee that they’re literally faster than a speeding bullet. Melee is good for blocking up a door and not much else, in my opinion. People use it way too much, and I always go for a DEagle or twin pistols so that I can still contribute from the floor.

          That said, people do it because it’s FUN, so if I have a machete obsessed nutjob on my team, I just incorporate it into the variety and challenge. I’d have left that guy to rot in the sewer like you all did. No excuse for what he did.

          • Jalan says:

            I personally never had the feeling of being The Flash with a crowbar/etc. but I can see how many might get that impression (I never witnessed it myself, but can easily see how someone might opt to go all Conan and expect things to just work out in their favor). In retrospect, being up front with anyone I was playing with back then might’ve been a better way to go about it vs. potentially having them wonder “why isn’t that guy ever firing a damned shot!?”

            Agree with the general sentiment though – no one should really be telling/attempting to force someone to play the way they want/expect them to (unless they’re just literally doing nothing, in which case a prodding to at least move might be in order). It’s one of the reasons I rarely play multiplayer anything anymore (I’d much rather sit alone with my own thoughts doing it how I want to than listening to another guy nitpick about my choices/etc.)

          • plugmonkey says:

            That’s definitely the impression taken when you’re lying on your back with a Hunter on your face, shouting “Shoot him! Shoot him! No, shoot him! DON’T COME OVER HERE JUST SEND A BLOODY BULLET!” ;P

            If you’re right next to someone though, the ALT fire melee is usually the best thing anyway as it breaks it up instantly.

            Like I say though, just roll with it. The game is all about challenge anyway. I got to a point where I could complete Advanced scenarios most of the time, but Expert was a bridge too far. That meant Advanced with someone playing a bit unorthodox was kind of an ideal level. It works with the fiction too. You’re with a bunch of random other survivors, not a spec ops team. Work with what you have, and if you can’t beat them, join them.

            All of my most legendary moments in the game have come from this, now I think about it.

  16. Foosnark says:

    While 2 had some nice things going for it, I preferred the gameplay in 1.

    I absolutely hated the weird scene at the mall where you have to collect gasoline cans to fill the car. Why are there gas cans at the mall? If the car’s gas tank is completely empty, how did anyone get it into the mall in the first place? How many gallons do they need just to GTF outta there?

    Similarly the ending thing with the concert stage… just no.

    • varangian says:

      Well there was a certain amount of logic to the mall, the car was a promotional exhibit. Posters along the way were advertising it ISTR. And presumably the gas cans were there because some previous would-be escapees had collected them to fuel the car up but got zombified, not being immune and/or badass headshot artists.

      But I don’t disagree with your basic argument, the scenarios, particularly the end of chapter levels, were pretty contrived in 2. Those in 1 felt more believable and that ramped up the tension, the run through the cornfield to the farmhouse still being pretty high on my list of scary gameplay moments. In 2 it was more ‘now run around the fairground ride because Valve want to show off some tricksy level design’.

    • fish99 says:

      I hated the end of level bits in L4D2, to the point where we gave up after act 2 in disgust. Not only do you move slow carrying those cans, but you also have to drop the cans to shoot. The director also spams extra specials at you if you’re actually doing well in terms of health and healing which is just punishing you for doing well. So yeah I much preferred the end of level sieges in L4D. I thought the first one had more atmosphere too.

      (we were playing 2 player btw)

  17. SirDeimos says:

    One thing about Left 4 Dead (either 1 or 2) that make it my favorite coop game, and a related trait that I wish more coop games adopted.

    – Left 4 Dead can be an extremely tactical and rewarding coop shooter on harder difficulties if you have a dedicated group of friends. Sure, you can play through the Campaigns on Normal (or even Advanced) difficulty and have your team jump around independently while you’re all just shooting zombies—and it’ll come off as a very fun and polished 4 person shooter in the zombie genre, but maybe not much more. However, crank it up to Expert, and especially Realism – Expert, and the game is absolutely punishing if you and your team do not advance cohesively and efficiently. You are required to employ precise movements and tactics. Otherwise you’ll be incapacitating each other with friendly fire or getting decimated by horde/special combos when you are out of place. Plus, the wickedness of the director can still foil your run at any point, so it’s unforgiving and dynamically changing the whole time. This is not meant to be a condescending piece, or a bit of bragging. I just wanted to bring up something that people should go back and try if they only remember it as a fairly straightforward “zombie game.” It has that “easy to learn, difficult to master” aspect nailed, and five years later my friends and I continue to love the game(s) for it.

    – Speaking of straightforward, I wish more games removed their “leveling” or skill trees in favor of Left 4 Dead’s spartan approach and difficulty settings that simply require “better” play to beat. Personally, unlocking an ability that gives me 30% more whatsits this level (and, amazingly, 40% more whatsits the next level!) loses its luster after a while. Anecdotal evidence for sure, but my friends and I have never put the same dedication to be “better” into any other game since. And I think it has to do with the way leveling systems and obscure bonuses can shift the creator’s and player’s attentions away from the action (Obviously, pro teams in any genre live and die with every nuance of every ability and percentage). We’ve acutely enjoyed other coop games just as much, but nothing has felt as rewarding as working to overcome Left 4 Dead’s hardest difficulties. The closest have probably been the first Payday game, and Insurgency.

  18. welverin says:

    I’ve played it a little bit, if nearly five hundred hours between the two games qualifies as a little bit.

    I’ve all but stopped at this point however, despite the fact my friends still play regularly.

  19. captain nemo says:

    L4D2 is my favourite multiplayer game. I don’t play it as much as i used to (500 hours on the clock), but it still gives us a laugh every now and then.

    In other news: The article ‘Left 4 Dead 2 Changed My Life for the Better’ on Eurogamer : link to eurogamer.net

  20. malkav11 says:

    I found Left 4 Dead 1 deathly dull and repetitive. Yes, supposedly the director makes it a new experience every time, but in practice, you’re dealing with one core enemy type that’s pure bullet fodder, four specials that punish certain types of bad play but are otherwise not particularly exciting, the occasional witch (who you should simply avoid if possible, although that is, admittedly, easier said than done), and the tank, which you are guaranteed to see a couple times a campaign and otherwise won’t. You wade through varying levels of the first five enemy types in a pretty much linear fashion, then periodically have to hold off the horde in a fixed location. Sure, the particular environmental details vary and make some tactical difference from campaign to campaign and level to level, but in terms of actually shaking up the formula, they do little. There’s literally no difference between the four survivors aside from their occasional lines of dialogue. And there’s basically three guns (nobody uses the rifles, apparently), since the second tier is just a pure upgrade. Be still my heart. It’s something that is probably rewarding in versus and for people that are in it strictly for engaging with the pure mechanics (which I’m sure are solid, Valve games usually are), but as someone who needs variety of experience and narrative payoff, Left 4 Dead completely fails to deliver.

    Left 4 Dead 2 was a significant improvement. More guns, more enemy types, and a much wider array of encounter beats in the campaigns. Stuff like Hard Rain’s reverse trek through the flooded area (and that sugar mill) . Better feedback from the shooting in the form of dismemberment and other gore. Etc. But I dunno. I still went through any given campaign once or twice and then I was done. It didn’t help that the bots were still terrible and this time their inability to interact with event objectives makes them even more useless. (This is not to say that I have a poor opinion of either game because I played them singleplayer. It was quickly obvious that this was nonviable. But it made playing with the one friend that plays videogames with me pretty tough to manage too.) It’s still not the sort of coop experience I’m looking for, not even close. Divinity: Original Sin is pretty much my ideal, for reference. But even the clearly Left 4 Dead inspired Payday games do way, way more for me than either L4D.

    • LionsPhil says:

      I’m surprised you prefer Payday if you care about narrative. I can never get over that the police are just reskinned zombies who will suicidally march forward into your crossfire to die in waves. Then if they down one of you, it’s OK, they’ll release you right back into the bank you’re robbing to shoot some more of their friends and colleagues in a little while.

      As a setting, it completely and utterly does not mesh with the mechanics.

      (Also mechanically you spend about 80% of the game pressing F at things, or waiting for progress bars that occasionally make you press F at things. L4D2’s holdouts are generally rarer and more…organic?)

      • malkav11 says:

        The zombie-like nature of the cops is certainly silly, but aside from that the Payday games give a really strong feel of various heist movie scenarios, and there are a lot more variations on the basic flow of the level (in 2, at least – I haven’t played much 1), potential approaches, etc. The levelling and specialization in terms of things like loadout and perks also really help make me more interested in the gameplay than in L4D. It’s still got terrible bots and there are some other flaws that mean it’s not my favorite series by any means, but as this particular formula goes I think it’s a huge improvement.

        • LionsPhil says:

          Oh, well I find the persistent unlocks to be a big, rancid stream of decomposing pig mulch dribbling over the whole thing, so that’d certainly be one major disagreement of opinion there.

          When I want to get friends into a game (or vica-versa), I don’t want to say “OK, now first grind for two-thousand hours so you can unlock the equipment to have as much fun as me”.

          • malkav11 says:

            There’s only so often I can do pretty much the same thing before I have to shut the game off. Having some sort of actual progression through play helps extend that period dramatically. It’s not like either Payday offers less to play with before the levelling happens than the L4D games. And once you expect more than two players in your coop game, there’s no longer any chance of me assembling that group out of my actual friends anyway. I probably know enough people that game that it’s theoretically possible, but in practice they have different platforms of choice, different availability, different tastes, etc.

            I don’t want to give the impression here that Payday is any sort of ideal for me, or that I’ve even played them very much. They’re still not particularly story driven, fairly repetitive and the mandatory four players is kind of a huge stumbling block. But I would like to play more of them than I have, which is not something I can say about L4D2, much less 1. My ideal coop game is two (or more, as long as it scales appropriately) player progression through a (preferably story-based) campaign, or at least a sandbox with a finite amount of content and an endpoint – Far Cry 4 might qualify, perhaps. But Divinity: Original Sin has been pretty much exactly what I crave, and games like Dungeon Siege III, Kane and Lynch 2, FEAR 3, Baldur’s Gate, and even the otherwise extensively mediocre The Last Templar have all fit the bill nicely at one time or another.

  21. cpt_freakout says:

    Played Versus almost every night (sans weekends) throughout 2010 with three friends, on the eksbawks. It gave us some of the best videogame anecdotes we have, and we sometimes still reminisce about it when we get together every once in a while. We stopped playing because life drove us away to different countries, but the fact is, if we had been doing our BAs forever, we would probably be still playing nearly every damn night.

    People say Call of Duty is only for multiplayer – well, they clearly didn’t try playing L4D solo or even co-op. No, this game was best when played in Versus, even in pickup teams full of assholes, if only because hilarity often ensued. Versus is where this game shines, and where it makes for one of the best multiplayer experiences around.

  22. aoanla says:

    I never played L4D2 for the same reason I never played L4D: as the comments here note, and reviewed noted at the time, the impression is that L4D is only really fun if you play it with 3 other people who you know. I don’t know 3 people that I could play L4D (or L4D2) with, and didn’t when they came out.
    [This is one of the things that annoyed me at the time about Valve’s sudden multiplayer focus – moving from making games that I could play and enjoy to games that were made for people entirely unlike me. Their whole “oh, you need to have a microphone to play” nonsense that they came out with on L4D2 was just the icing on the cake.]

    • Jalan says:

      I never played either Left 4 Dead with a microphone. I only played Versus games in the first (when it was actually stupidly fun to be a Hunter) but the co-op games I played in the second I was typically typing in chat. It didn’t seem to be a big hindrance to those I managed to play with (who weren’t people I knew, excluding my oldest nephew on seldom occasion).

      • aoanla says:

        Well, in that case, Chet Faliszek did an excellent job of misrepresenting his own game for Valve. Most of what I remember about L4D, and especially L4D2, promotion was Chet essentially telling people off for not using microphones and stating that L4D(2) needed microphones to be played.

        • Jalan says:

          I think it’s more him trying to emphasize that tactics were better understood if microphones were in play. And yeah, I’ll potentially concede to that fact – assuming everyone has working sound and can hear what is being said, of course people are going to generally be more aware of a plan (excluding potential language barriers).

          But absolutely needing a mic to play – gotta call bullshit on it, based on personal experience. While true, you’ll find some interminable arsehole who will berate you for potentially not having a mic, more often you’ll find people who don’t particularly mind so long as you aren’t actively taking a shite on their gameplay experience.

          • aoanla says:

            Well, it’s unfortunate that they let Chet speak, then, as the time for L4D2 seems mostly passed, and he chased me off buying it at the time with his comments. :(

    • sicemma says:

      There is a kind of parabola of mic use in the L4D games:

      Micless scrub dude / dude who stands still in the open typing out his important thoughts.

      Dude who won’t shut up about how much they have gleaned from spuf and makes sure to point out over and over to rush the bridge (either game).

      Dude who only needs to say about a word per round. Knows all the things and many more. Can deal with people not knowing those things too. Will still rule.

      When you start out it seems like #1 is the most intolerable thing going and you may cringe at the thought that this is you, but by the end, you’ll come around to the right answer. It’s definitely #2.

    • plugmonkey says:

      I played initially shouting across an office, which is probably the ideal, and then a lot online with randoms both with and without headsets.

      When you play a lot you gradually establish a bunch of best practice ‘drills’ that improve team wide performance (crouch and fire, don’t block doorways, leave a gap between you and the wall so team members don’t have to run through your fire arc to get past).

      The best games I’ve had have been with great teams of randoms all wordlessly doing the exactly right thing at exactly the right time. It’s monumentally satisfying.

  23. Premium User Badge

    Neurotic says:

    We had a few hours of 4 player co-op last night that was fan-fugging-tastic. We played a custom campaign that one of us had done some voice work for, called Dead Before Dawn. It has 5 episodes, each about 200mb, plus custom music and menus. It’s inspired by Dawn of the Dead, and most of the action takes place in and around a huge shopping mall. Absolutely brilliant fun, I’d highly recommend it. You can find it in Steam Workshop too. Good stuff.

  24. Razumen says:

    I Love Love Love Left 4 Dead 2, especially now that they have all the levels from the first. The Workshop support is awesome too, you can replace the zombies with zenomorphs, storm troopers, terminators, and more, the tank with the StayPuft Marshmallow Man or Donkey Kong who throws barrels at you, Or have the Hunter belt out “yoohoo!” as Michael Jackson lines as he skulks around corners. You can replacing the main characters with those from Resident Evil, for a little cross-game cameo variety. There is even a freaking Minecraft campaign that replaces EVERYTHING with Minecraft-themed models. This plus weapon skins, new sounds, etc. really keeps the game fresh, providing you like the core gameplay at least.

    Along with Skyrim, L4D2 is a perfect example of how to do Workshop support. (Not really surprising though, since it’s a Valve game after all)

  25. DXN says:

    Heh, this post inspired me to fire up the game again. Still fun, even with randoms! It seems those who have stuck with it this long tend to be a bit more on the ball.

  26. Dragonbrad says:

    Can you stop recommending games that literally everyone and their mother has played?

    • jrodman says:

      Firstly, they cannot help themselves, please try to be compassionate.

      Secondly, my mother never played this as she kept insisting we play Quake or Counterstrike.

    • Premium User Badge

      Adam Smith says:

      They’re reminders and reminiscences as much as recommendations.

      And my mum only played the original anyhow because she thought this one came “too soon and would split the playerbase”. Hasn’t had a kind word to say about Valve since!

  27. ewertonurias says:

    /mnt/steam/SteamLibrary/steamapps/common/Left 4 Dead 2/bin/vaudio_miles.so error=libMiles.so:

    Left4Dead2 without music.

    What can I do?

    snd_restart, snd_rebuildaudiocache, snd_relocalize… not solve the problem.