Some rather big Left 4 Dead news. This September will see the release of some brand new free DLC for the original game. Called Crash Course, it's designed to link the end of No Mercy to the beginning of Death Toll, primarily intended to be played as a Versus map that will apparently take half an hour to play through. Valve also say the new free content will be set in new locations, feature new dialogue from the cast, and have what they call "an explosive finale". More details and the new poster below.
The new content will also be playable as Survival maps (maps plural, according to the announcement) and as a Co-op campaign. It is apparently planned to be a "streamlined version of the game's existing Versus campaigns." And there's some new additions to how the game plays, described like this:
"A recharge timer for infected teammates has also been added, and item spawn behavior has changed for more balanced gameplay."
The announcement continues with Valve boss Gabe Newell adding a few not particularly related thoughts.
"Since the release of Left 4 Dead last November, the design team has been excited about creating new experiences for this world and allowing players to do the same, by releasing much of our internal toolset, like the Survival Pack and Authoring Tools. We're working with the fans toward the ongoing entertainment value of the product."
If you look at the poster, you can see a crashed helicopter. This would presumably be the chopper that rescues the four from the roof of Mercy Hospital, and explain how they then end up at a broken bridge in the middle of the woods at the start of Death Toll.
Will this placate the furious masses who are enraged at the forthcoming Left 4 Dead 2 this November? It certainly demonstrates that Valve are continuing to release new content for the original game despite the proximity of the sequel. Hopefully people will be delighted to hear news of brand new free content for the 2008 game. (And not, for instance, conspire that this is created since July to appease angry mobs and other such unlikely theories).
It's completely free to PC users (while our console brethren are charged $7 for the 360 download). No more details are given at this point, and no more specific release date than "September". We've emailed Valve to see if we can find out more, and will let you know what they say.