Eight years after its last major content update, Left 4 Dead 2 has mutated all sorts of newness with The Last Stand. Made by fans but released officially by Valve, the huge free update has added a new mini-campaign based on the first game’s lighthouse Survival mode map, dozens of new maps for Survival and Scavenge modes, new weapons, and loads of wee tweaks and touches. With Valve saying as recently as this year that they’re not making L4D3, The Last Stand may be the co-op shooter’s last stand for quite some time.
The Last Stand’s headline feature is, y’know, The Last Stand. Originally a map for L4D1’s Survival mode, here it’s expanded into a two-level campaign with a journey leading to the lighthouse then an actual escape at the end, rather than inevitable death of Survival. It’s not a huge campaign, only taking me about 35 minutes on my first try, but it was fun enough. Bit dreary, but I suppose that’s fitting. I was just happy playing L4D2 again, really.
On top of that, it adds 26 Survival maps, four Scavenge maps, a shovel and pitchfork, the Counter-Strike: Source weapons previously limited to the German version, and 30 cheevos, while putting some unused dialogue into the rotation, fixing many bugs and exploits, and more. See The Last Stand’s subsite and the patch notes for more.
The launch hasn’t come without problems, mind, with some players reporting crashes, part of The Last Stand breaking in a way that blocks progress, and more. Some issues are seemingly caused by mods needing to be updated to work with the new version, which isn’t a huge surprise. Others are actual bugs the makers plan to fix. Valve have noted a fix for controller issues is coming, and the community devs behind the update are talking about more fixes.
“The technical issues were out of our control – the game was working perfectly on the beta, but something went wrong when pushing to the public branch,” one of the devs said in on the Steam forums this morning. “We’ve been working on fixes for the past hours and will have a hotfix ready soon.”
The update has raised the hackles of some diehard players who’d gotten used to the game in its seemingly-final form after eight years. The CSS weapons, some map fixes and tweaks, and a few other changes have not been well-received by all. That stuff, I imagine, probably won’t change back.
The gang of fans behind the update told the NME that they had initially planned to release a smaller update in November 2019, for L4D2’s tenth anniversary. But Valve were tied up with Half-Life: Alyx at the time, so the gang asked if they could bring the lighthouse map into L4D2 (the only mission never ported over), and it all grew from there.
Left 4 Dead 2 is currently holding a free trial weekend on Steam with an 80% discount to get it for keepsies.