Last night, I caught up with a dear old friend the classic way: over a round of Left 4 Dead 2. Valve's cooperative FPS is still a great hangout game after 13 years but while waiting for my pal to log on, I did think I might refresh it by browsing the Steam Workshop and installing some popular mods. Turns out, modders have made lots of anime girls and VTuber avatars to replace friends, enemies, and even guns. What an experience! It is startling to discover that the blue-haired anime approaching you is not a teammate but, in fact, a vomit-filled Boomer.
Hit Left 4 Dead 2's Steam Workshop and you will find three main things: 1) weapon models from other games; 2) serious tacticool outfits for serious kewl d00ds ; 3) anime girls. Like a moth to a flame, I couldn't resist installing a random grab bag of anime girls, just to see what would happen. I did not pay attention to who the anime girls were or which models they replaced. I should have paid attention but I wanted to be surprised by magical girls and VTubers fighting zombies. It was good to be surprised. Mostly good.
It is very funny to start a new campaign and see regular Coach and Nick hanging out with two anime girls in the cinematic. It is mind-boggling to find a statuette of an anime girl with a sniper rifle only to discover she actually is a sniper rifle, and your weapon is a tiny living handheld anime girl with a reload animation where you boop her cheek. It is weird to pick up a drinks can decorated with a moving picture of an anime girl and have no idea which weapon it is until you throw it and find oh, that's Boomer Bile. It's likewise great to see an anime girl stumbling about and, not remotely remembering which anime girls are your new teamies, thinking she's friendly until she vomits in your face and bursts.
That surprise of "What the hell even is everything?" was a great experience for both me and the pal who listened in on my befuddlement.
Less great is realising that the anime girl Boomer model is set up so that rather than spraying limbs and viscera when she bursts, she explosively sheds her clothes to leave a nude anime girl corpse. Oh no. And my distress upon first finding a medical supply cupboard which had doors decorated with cheery anime pictures then a startling display of erotica once opened. I no longer wanted that medkit.
Yes, surprise is good, but not all surprises are good. I should have anticipated the Internet's less wholesome interests in anime girls. Naively, I was not expecting pornography or Nazis in my magical girl zombie apocalypse adventure. Welp. That made me delete some mods sharpish. Do pay attention to the screenshots on the Steam Workshop pages before installing, reader dear.
I would do this again. It was a weird and fun way to add fresh surprise while catching up with my pal in a game I still remember much more than I would have expected. Next time, I will download a different set of random anime girl mods (after vetting them). And I must remember to get that classic Macho Man Randy Savage zombie sound pack. Yeah. Yeah yeah yeah! The greatest!