Review: L4D2 The Passing DLC

I ranted on some forum about how the new DLC for L4D2 is great, because i couldn’t believe people were attacking it (sigh. Oh, internet). Since I’ll probably just be flamed, I thought it wise to save these thoughts on this here blog. n’stuff.

(spoilers for the DLC in here! don’t read if you haven’t played!)

…I thought this DLC was way better than expected. Crash Course was neat, but this one improved on all levels.

– these games tell a story with the environment details (not with cut scenes). The “hero’s corpse” quietly dead in a nearby room is what this story telling style is all about. I didn’t even notice this the first few times I played (i wondered what louis/zoey meant by ‘should we tell them?’). I got that he was dead, mostly because it was spoiled by rabid internet junkies. but for some reason I assumed his corpse would be up on the walkway with the rest of them.

also, starting the whole campaign with a single first-game-character on the bridge is interesting foreshadowing. feels like a Half-life style idea. Arty.

– This campaign’s design feels more like a scary movie (like the first game), but also shows off some unique southern flavor (like the second game). I think the core L4D2 game nailed “the south” but didn’t really nail that “scary movie feel” which the first game had (probably because the first game feels like one big struggle to escape a city at night, and this games feels more like a romp through the south).

-the new in-game blog, and weekly mutations: are excellent unexpected additions to the game that will keep me coming back.

– It’s specific set pieces are great. The tank that will chase you out into a parking lot full of cars. the witch alone at her wedding, which splits the group. the mad rush in the sewers. Crash Course let you fire a big gun (once. sigh.) and had the generator go out. but those felt more like gameplay gimmicks than stylish “scenes from a cool movie.”

– the survivor Uncommon, who tempts people off on their own.

– the supply crates are genius. It’s a new flavor of fun to just shoot up with a needle 5 times in a row, like you’re a crazed druggie, before running off to kill. ditto throwing ridiculous amounts of mollys and pipes. it just feels like a welcome release from all the tension.

– i guess the golf club is neat. but really I love the ridiculously “large gun.” (whatever it’s called). yelling at someone to get out of the way, so you can unload it is a slightly new flavor of awesome. (because of the limited ammo, i guess. chainsaw was neat, but I didn’t see people grab it that much. this gun: everyone wants).

– having a crescendo where NPC’s are covering you, and yelling at you to lure beasts out so they can shoot them is – AWESOME. also totally new experience for this franchise.

– i tried out the survival mode, and actually had a consistently good time. turning that frustrating “witch wedding” moment into a violent focal point is neat, conceptually, and the delicious spread of every gun laying around in the arbor is delightful.

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