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Valve Provides Details On Left 4 Dead Survival Pack DLC 62

A post on the Left 4 Dead blog shares details of the Survival Pack downloadable content due out next week. It will be free, and available for both the PC and Xbox 360 versions of the game. "Our goals for Survival Mode are to deliver a mode of play distinct from Campaign or Versus, have games that regularly last under ten minutes, and emphasize competition with team play through leaderboards. Survival Mode draws on the planning and communication aspects of a successful Finale or Crescendo event, while taking it to another level. It rapidly hits a fever pitch that only a well coordinated team will be able to successfully survive. ... Given the extreme pace of Survival Mode, the number of zombies killed in a single round often outnumbers an entire campaign."
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Valve Provides Details On Left 4 Dead Survival Pack DLC

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  • Excellent! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by A Nun Must Cow Herd ( 963630 ) on Saturday April 18, 2009 @01:45AM (#27624019)
    Having played multiplayer online FPS games since Quake 1, L4D is the first one that really felt like a different game to me. Part of that is the intense teamwork required - much more so than other 'team' games like the BattleField series. I'm not really into the whole zombie theme, but the gameplay and design are so well done that I can't help but love playing it anyway.

    Thanks Valve for making a fantastic and innovative game better, and giving away the new content for free!
    • Re:Excellent! (Score:5, Interesting)

      by shutdown -p now ( 807394 ) on Saturday April 18, 2009 @02:53AM (#27624269) Journal

      I'm not really into the whole zombie theme, but the gameplay and design are so well done that I can't help but love playing it anyway.

      It's actually interesting that the game is in many ways a parody on the zombie theme itself - in many things, from fast zombies (remember Zoey? "I can't get over how fast they all are, it's not even fair. I'm calling zombie bullshit on that, you know? *nervous chuckle* ... they're not allowed to be so fast") to occasional character comments (Zoey again, upon seeing an abandoned shack in the middle of the trees: "I know how this movie ends") to all the scribblings on the walls. It really takes some time to find all those little pearls, and it's enjoyable in and of itself. It certainly doesn't have much of your classic zombie movie atmosphere, but it has heaps of its own.

      What's also interesting is that the individual elements in the game aren't really all that innovative by themselves; it's the combined result that truly stands out. It's also worth noting that it is one of the few games today that competes entirely on gameplay, and not on the "ooh, shiny!" factor - the graphics is somewhat dated (HL2 engine isn't brand new anymore). On the other hand, it's actually good, because you can play it even on old hardware with good settings (or you can play it on the latest-gen with everything maxed out and 16x FSAA).

      • Re:Excellent! (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Fallingcow ( 213461 ) on Saturday April 18, 2009 @03:10AM (#27624345) Homepage

        If you listen to the developer commentary, they say that they came up with the idea when they found themselves regularly firing up a Counterstrike game with a few human players on one team and a whole bunch of knife-only bots on the other, and loving it.

        My friends and I have been doing similar things since the N64. We'd play Perfect Dark against a bunch of melee-only bots, or play three players vs. one raptor in Turok: Rage Wars (we'd have played vs. a dozen stupid raptors, but that game only let you have four players no matter what, so we just had to set its AI to max). On the PC, we'd play one of the AvP games (I can't recall whether it was the first or second one) as marines vs. as many Alien bots as the game would allow, and just play to survive.

        I'm sure many, many others have done similar things. For us, this is one of those "dream games" that we've always wanted; maybe we've even imagined it in our heads in some detail. I fired up the demo for this game, played a level, and was blown away because it was so close to what I'd wanted for years. I'll occasionally play a game like that, though usually it's some kind of RTS for whatever reason (Hearts of Iron II, Rome: TW, and Sins of a Solar Empire all come to mind, as does the Hoth level of SW: Battlefront). Every time it happens, it's like being a kid on Christmas morning, times ten.

        L4D was one of those sorts of games. The Versus mode has proven to be where its long-term value lies for me, but the campaign is the part I'm in love with. That's the game I've wanted for the better part of a decade, and Valve read my mind and made it.

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by TheLink ( 130905 )
          Actually the glowing of enemies in L4D reminded me of AvP2.

          I think the AvP franchise still has potential as a game. Imagine using the crysis tech for AvP. Maybe the player controlled marines (as opposed to cannonfodder NPC ones) could have nanosuits, or maybe not :).
        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by rossjudson ( 97786 )

          You blew your chance to say that Valve read your mind, and ate it.

  • Shorter rounds (Score:2, Insightful)

    by skavenger ( 1219006 )
    It'll be nice to have an option to hop into a game for a little bit without committing to an hour+ long campaign or versus match. One of the main reasons I don't play very much is that I can rarely sit down for a couple hours and get a full round in.
    • If that's the case, I'd suggest joining a campaign game already in progress; there's a good chance that the players will already be halfway through the campaign by the time you join.

      And worst case scenario, just leave mid-game if you run out of time; the computer will take over for you.
    • Thats part of the point of the Survival mode - the games are a lot shorter (from what I've read you're doing well to last ten minutes once you started the game clock)
  • no new maps? (Score:4, Informative)

    by sentientbrendan ( 316150 ) on Saturday April 18, 2009 @02:16AM (#27624119)

    The gameplay of versus is great... we don't need another game mode, we need *MAPS*. I can't believe they've been wasting their time on this. If they'd actually talked to anyone who *PLAYS* their game, they would know that people want new maps.

    Everyone is tired of playing mercy hospital for the trillionth time... A new game mode isn't going to make mercy more exciting.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Fallingcow ( 213461 )

      I'd feel like Valve had done right by their customers if they'd give us the two existing non-VS campaigns as VS--which they say they will do, but goddamnit Valve, that should have been done at launch or a couple weeks after--and at least two more official campaigns (for both VS and Coop). A new game mode is fine, but more maps are what I really want.

      I'm less upset by the small number of campaigns than many are, I think, as it seems to me like 20 maps is quite a few for a multiplayer-only game, but given th

      • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        You do know that those large 5 map campaigns aren't just something a level designer can pull out of their ass on a weekend right? The four campaigns at 5 maps per must have taken quite some time to do.

        The two that were released for versus lent themselves fairly easily to versus mode play I think. The two that were NOT released for versus are a bit more wide open in some places. I played both of them a bit earlier tonight and found some spots were damned frustrating for infected as spawning was quite diff

        • by icsx ( 1107185 )
          These level designers at Valve get PAID for doing maps. However, models, textures and brains are needed to feed the zombie designers that Valve has at their basement but if you get paid, do it the job for more than 40 hours a week, you get a pretty nice campaing out in a month or in Valves casem 2 months as they tend to "tune" them up, unless already existing models and graphics are used. Besides, level designers have modelers, animators, graphics artists and so on as their help.

          It's not that hard to do
          • by rtb61 ( 674572 )

            Of course this points to valve's who business plan for L4D. Try it out with four maps, see how popular it is, promise more maps, gauge response and then charge for extra maps if demand is strong. Personally I think they waited too long, the game got a bit boring, players started to misbehave and the licence has taken a bit of a bruising. They even made it unnecessarily difficult to run custom maps all to give their pay per map a leg up on the free competition.

            What they really needed was much more variety

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by SCPRedMage ( 838040 )
        Uh, both the remaining campaigns WILL be introduced to Versus mode as part of the Survival Pack...
    • > we need *MAPS* ... A new game mode isn't going to make mercy more exciting.


      What the really weird part is, that you can _already_ play Survival mode. A co-worker (accidently?) invented a new game mode about 2 weeks ago since we were getting bored on Expert. We call it "Don's Survival Mode" after him.

      Details are: After contacting the rescue mission, run _back_ to the safe house (!), and try to stay alive as long as possible as you get wave after wave of zombie and tank rushes. (We count each T

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      One new map especially catering to the Survival mode, is released (called "Lighthouse"). Other than that, they also make the other two campaigns available to be played in Versus.

      Other than that, you should really have a look for the multitude of custom maps/campaigns already available: Definitely with the SDK going to be released, this is only going to grow.
    • by DanWS6 ( 1248650 )
      I agree. I'm not that interested in playing versus mode and survival mode will require playing with friends. Could you imagine how futile it would be playing on a pub? I bought L4D when it first came out for $50, while I have played it over and over I can't help wish they would've provided more than 4 hours of game play. My friends and I are able to play through each campaign on expert in rougly an hour. I'm ready for a few new campaigns, not new game play modes. I have a feeling that this new survival mod
    • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      The Developers Kit is going to be released for PC around the DLC time. Its already in beta testing... so there will be more high quality maps to play with over time. If you have Xbox version sorry you went with the worse choice.

  • by joocemann ( 1273720 ) on Saturday April 18, 2009 @03:22AM (#27624399)

    Bring it on! As if there was anything else to do as a survivor!

  • Like most of my online buddies who enjoy playing multiplayer games competitively, I was very disappointed when I purchased L4D and learned that only 2 of the 4 campaigns were playable in versus mode.

    And while Campaign mode (humans vs. bots) was fun for the first week or so, the game quickly became stale and I shelved it. "Survival Pack" is a fitting name when you consider that L4D has been steadily slipping in use since it's initial boom at release: []
    http://www.x []

    • Those stats are only for xfire, which I imagine most Left 4 Dead players are not using considering Steam already includes its own game overlay and social networking functions.

  • I've been a player of Left 4 Dead since its release, and the fun factor has been slowly declining since that time, as each subsequent patch has seemed to cause detrimental changes to the gameplay, while removing many fun elements.

    For example, Valve, please fix these most blatant problems: the magic Boomer bug where often bile goes through survivors completely; the glitching Hunter pounce where you'll often fly right through survivors; finally get the Smoker grab working correctly this time; and get rid of
  • and I don't care where it comes from, is outside, daytime maps. To be sure our 4 survivors didn't sleep all day and only make a run for the next safehouse at night! I want to fend off a horde in the broad daylight. I want a well-lit look at the face of a Tank. I want to see zombie flesh rotting in the sun!
  • Good news for everyone complaining about the price. It seems Left 4 Dead's price has come down from what I saw. It used to be $49.99 but now it's $39.99. In my case though, I have already bought it and look forward to the new content. However, this price cut is surely well timed in that it will likely make more people keen on getting it.

"Mach was the greatest intellectual fraud in the last ten years." "What about X?" "I said `intellectual'." ;login, 9/1990