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Left 4 Dead 2 Announced For November 231

hansamurai writes "Left 4 Dead 2 has been announced at E3, and a trailer for the game has surfaced. It will be released November 17, 2009, just a year after the first game. Gameplay changes include a new focus on melee weapons, especially the iconic anti-zombie weapon, the chainsaw. The cast of characters is brand new, but the plot appears to take place during the same zombie outbreak." The game is being developed for the PC and Xbox 360, and Valve says it will make use of a new version of their AI engine, which has the ability to "procedurally change weather effects, world objects, and pathways in addition to tailoring the enemy population, effects, and sounds to match the players' performance." Rock, Paper, Shotgun got the chance to do a hands-on preview, providing details about the gameplay and confirming that "it's a coherent new imagining of the game, this time bigger, smarter, and far more elaborate. Oh, and gloriously more gory."
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Left 4 Dead 2 Announced For November

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  • Sigh... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Chabo ( 880571 ) on Monday June 01, 2009 @08:01PM (#28175841) Homepage Journal

    My current PC runs Left 4 Dead only somewhat acceptably, and I was hoping that I could wait till 2010 to buy a new PC.

    Sigh... Valve just killed that plan. :/

    • Re:Sigh... (Score:5, Funny)

      by jandrese ( 485 ) <> on Monday June 01, 2009 @08:05PM (#28175875) Homepage Journal
      Don't worry, this is Valve, it will be delayed until 2012.
      • Tell me about it. I wish they'd drop L4D and the TF2 updates and concentrate on wrapping up Half Life 2: Episode 3. Anything else is just a distraction.

        • Re:Sigh... (Score:5, Informative)

          by interkin3tic ( 1469267 ) on Tuesday June 02, 2009 @02:06AM (#28178153)

          I'm assuming they have different teams for different games, and I'm equally sure the half-life team is, in fact, concentrating on wrapping up the half life 2 series.

          Plus, in my opinion, TF2 outshines HL2 and the episodes, even though they were amazing themselves.

    • by Chabo ( 880571 )

      Sorry to reply to myself, but I suppose I should tell you what my PC is, to preempt the console fanboys' cries of "LOL If you bought a 360 that wouldn't happen!" I think Valve does an excellent job of making their games run on all kinds of hardware, but my PC is almost 6 years old, with no hardware upgrades in the past 3 years:

      Pentium 4 3.2, Nvidia 6600GT-AGP, 1GB DDR400 RAM.

      I play Left 4 Dead at 1024x768, most settings at Low, and although my average frame rate is usually above 30, it dips below that mark

      • If it is agp ati made an agp version of the 3850.
        If it is pcie you've got all sorts of upgrade options right now, which you can plug into your new computer once you build it. Get a new video card. The 6600 is pretty weak compared to what is available now.

    • Why do you feel the need to buy new games? Is L4D not fun? Will it not continue to be fun regardless of what other games are released?

      • Well, it -is- a game that relies on other users to enjoy. If his friends are all playing Left 4 Dead 2, then he's stuck dealing with bots or randoms.

    • So build your own. I had a copy of XP X64 which I picked up in 05 when folks started unloading it for the "great new Vista"(Bwa ha ha ha) and at Tigerdirect I picked up a nice barebone AMD Phenom dual core(supports the new quads) with 4Gb of RAM(goes up to 32Gb) a nice black case with 4 USB ports on front and a 300Gb SATA2 for a whole $281 shipped. Now all I have to do is slap a $50-$100 graphics card and I'm good to go. The 3100 onboard plays Bioshock nice but I want a gig of RAM on the card. If you don't

    • Re:Sigh... (Score:4, Insightful)

      by BikeHelmet ( 1437881 ) on Monday June 01, 2009 @11:57PM (#28177541) Journal

      Left4Dead, polished a bit more, is perfect as is.

      I don't care about melee weps, beyond this: I want melee to work when a zombie is stuck in a wall or the floor.

      Nothing sucks more than a zombie hiding under a table, knawing on your leg, taking you from 70 to 20 health in a few seconds. Worse yet, the table interferes with projectile angles, so shooting the zombie is difficult(not just point and click), on top of meleeing it being impossible.

      Oh, and those trash cans. Seriously. It's not proper that a trash can rolling up against my leg completely immobilizes me and prevents me from jumping. If I press forward, and a trash can is trying to roll me to the left, I should move forward; not sit there stuttering while the trash can passes through my legs, then once it has passed through I can proceed.

      Better AI? That sounds great, but the zombies were already plenty smart(or stupid; depends how you want to look at it). Special infected AI was pretty weak, but totally acceptable in singleplayer and co-op. Not so good if your allies leave in a versus match, so you're stuck with the AI...

      The bots though? Damn they're stupid. Either give me some commands that they respond to("Come here", "Get in the corner", "Melee the zombies back while I shoot.") or make them smarter than bricks. Though to be fair, it's not the engine's fault. I know someone that wrote a modified AI script(tweaks known and hidden cvars for singleplayer and local hosting), and it really was impressive what the bots could do; they hide in closets, cover each other very well; usually one player crouches and melees while the others shoot over his shoulder. They don't waste medkits when they hit 49 health, but they always make sure one player is in the green if possible. Oh yeah, and they almost never get caught by tanks; they're good enough to beat expert mode with an all-bot team!

      But that just proves that the engine is already solid/perfect; the game just needs more polish...

      One last note - I'm sad they're implementing chainsaws. I'd be happier if they had unworking chainsaws that you could pick up, toss, but not actually use to cut things up. Every zombie game has chainsaws; it's so stereotypical. But I would laugh at finding chainsaws all over the place that can't be used, or have already been used. Maybe you can drop them on the zombies, or toss them down stairs/halls to kill/trip a bunch of zombies. ;)

      Or the chainsaw could be defensive. Carrying it around reduces damage taken from attacks from behind. Just do something original!

      • Have you ever used a chainsaw in real life, and spent 20 minutes trying to start the damn thing? On the odd occasion that mine gets flooded or whatever and refuses to start, I find myself imagining zombie hordes lurching towards me as I repeatedly and futilely yank the pull starter. It'd be cool if that made its way into a game.
      • The most annoying thing about bots in versus is that they pretty much refuse to help get a special infected off you until you've already lost most of your internal organs. They stand right next to you and watch you squirm for about 5-15 seconds.

        That's got to be more than just stupidity. I think there's just some variable somewhere to make them completely ineffective at saving people.

  • by letsief ( 1053922 ) on Monday June 01, 2009 @08:04PM (#28175871)

    Don't get me wrong, I enjoy playing Left 4 Dead, but I was really hoping we'd finally get an update on Half Life 2: Episode 3. Left 4 Dead gets a sequel after one year, but we have to wait three years (presumably) for Episode 3?

    • by Zeussy ( 868062 ) on Monday June 01, 2009 @08:08PM (#28175907) Homepage
      remember that Left 4 Dead that made by Turtle Rock Studios or now Valve South. Valve North have been quite quiet, apart from the TF2 updates.
    • Half life 2: 2004
      episode 1: 2006
      Episode 2: 2007

      Granted, it's been almost 2 years since ep2, but it also seems to me that most of the game in L4D is the multiplayer aspect, there's less in the way of plot, cutscenes, and maybe level area, though I'm not sure. Also seems like zombies might be easier to program than enemies who are supposed to be thinking. I have absolutely no experience on videogame making, but it seems like the half life episodes would naturally take longer than the L4D games.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 01, 2009 @08:07PM (#28175891)

    So once again PC owners get screwed by the shitty Xbox 360 and its 7gig disc format and outdated graphics hardware.

    PC gamers are who made Valve what they are today.

    Make a real PC game Valve, then figure out what you have to do or hire to downgrade it for the stupid little Xbox.

    • So, what do you find lacking from L4D then? Just because the game exists on the 360 it doesn't necessitate the PC version be worse, or that a lack of such guarantees it would be better.

    • I like it, my computer upgrades last longer. I don't want to have to sink $1000 every year into computer upgrades, instead, I can upgrade at about the midpoint of the console cycles and play everything but system-rapers designed to keep people like you happy...
    • So once again PC owners get screwed by the shitty Xbox 360 and its 7gig disc format

      How so? Do you expect PC owners to already own BD-ROM drives?

      • by wampus ( 1932 )

        It's a Valve game, you don't even get prompted for the install media.

        • by tepples ( 727027 )

          you don't even get prompted for the install media

          Then how do you expect to download even 7 GB on a 5 GB/mo Internet access plan, which is the best home Internet access plan in your area?

          • by wampus ( 1932 )

            I'd suggest asking Valve, not some random guy on slashdot.

          • by SeaFox ( 739806 )

            Is it actually 7 GB when you download it? Or just that size on the console version since it's sent in playable form on the media?

            I'm brand new to Steam, but I'm downloading Mirror's Edge right now, and it said I'll need like 8 GB of free hard disk space on the system requirements, but the download is only 900 MB.

    • PC gamers are who made Valve what they are today.

      One way of looking at it is they're being loyal to all their customers by not making them spend money on upgrades?

      (I doubt that viewpoint will be very popular on /. though.)

      PC gamers are what made valve? Bah. Money spent on the 360 version was just as real as the money spent on the PC version, and valve's fans who play on machines you hate for some reason are just as much fans as those who game on platform b. Valve has earned my respect, I trust they aren't just doing this to make money, and instead are

  • by Doobian Coedifier ( 316239 ) on Monday June 01, 2009 @08:09PM (#28175915)
    I recently gave up on L4D because Valve has broken the ability to play Versus mode on advanced difficulty (With our own dedicated server, not one of their public ones). Normal difficulty just isn't very much fun. They have to fix this in L4D before I would even *consider* buying L4D2. Melee cooldown also pissed me off quite a bit, it's gotta be off for Advanced. And while I'm ranting, the lobby system sucks.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Chabo ( 880571 )

      I recently gave up on L4D because Valve has broken the ability to play Versus mode on advanced difficulty

      IIRC, wasn't that changed while the game was still in beta? Personally, I think that it's better this way anyway, because in Versus mode the main challenge is supposed to be the Special Infected (controlled by players) anyway, not the Horde. If you want a tougher Versus game, a tight-knit team of opponents should suffice.

      Melee cooldown also pissed me off quite a bit, it's gotta be off for Advanced.

      It makes it so you can't just melee-spam your way through a mob of horde. As a player I agree it's annoying, but it's annoying in the same way that being out of breath while you're running

      • They're rolling out the new matchmaker system in the next few days, I heard.

      • I recently gave up on L4D because Valve has broken the ability to play Versus mode on advanced difficulty

        IIRC, wasn't that changed while the game was still in beta? Personally, I think that it's better this way anyway, because in Versus mode the main challenge is supposed to be the Special Infected (controlled by players) anyway, not the Horde. If you want a tougher Versus game, a tight-knit team of opponents should suffice.

        They brought Advanced Versus back after they broke it the first time, it broke most recently with the update that gave us Survival mode. It's not just the quantity of commons, but increased damage from everything, including FF and fire, that made it more challenging.

        Melee cooldown also pissed me off quite a bit, it's gotta be off for Advanced.

        It makes it so you can't just melee-spam your way through a mob of horde. As a player I agree it's annoying, but it's annoying in the same way that being out of breath while you're running is annoying. I can see why they did it; it makes it so you have to shoot your way through a mob, or even better for the Teamplay aspect of the game, get teammates to kill the Horde that's mobbing you at the moment.

        Agreed, for normal difficulty, which is all valve seems to care about.

        And while I'm ranting, the lobby system sucks.

        It doesn't work perfectly, but I can see why they wanted it that way; you can either join a random game with random strangers, or you can find a group of friends to play with. Left 4 Dead isn't the type of game where you want a traditional game-server model, which is best for Deathmatch and CTF, or similar styles derived from those. Instead, you want everyone to start at the same time, like in an RTS. A lobby is the best model for that.

        I like the idea, but it's really really buggy.

        • Agreed, for normal difficulty, which is all valve seems to care about.

          It's funny--they've put all this effort in to fixing the balance in versus, when just giving us a choice between Normal and Advanced settings would have pretty much fixed it.

          Tank too easy? Play advanced. Boomer completely fucking worthless against a team that's got fewer than 3 n00bs? Play advanced. Melee too powerful? Play advanced.

          At least half of their fixes would have been unnecessary if they'd allowed at those two difficulty set

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Mr2001 ( 90979 )

        It doesn't work perfectly, but I can see why they wanted it that way; you can either join a random game with random strangers, or you can find a group of friends to play with.

        It's a nice idea, but Halo 2 did it right, years ago. It's disappointing that Valve's implementation of basically the same idea is so bad.

        In Halo, you can join a party with your friends, and then when you start a game, the system matches you up with enough players to fill the game. If you have 4 people in your party and you want an 8 player game, you might get matched up with another 4 person party, or two 2 person parties, or a 3 person party and an individual, etc. -- the system knows who's looking for a

  • Title (Score:5, Funny)

    by yoyhed ( 651244 ) on Monday June 01, 2009 @08:11PM (#28175937)
    Left 4 Dead 2? What about Left 8 Dead?
  • This sucks (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Caboosian ( 1096069 ) on Monday June 01, 2009 @08:27PM (#28176061)
    What the hell happened to the continued post-release support of L4D? TF2's community has been growing steadily thanks to the fantastic updates being constantly released for it - yet L4D's map editor isn't even out yet? Simply put, this is a grab for money - they're cutting the legs out from under L4D, and releasing what quite simply should be free updates. I mean, honestly, this isn't even that much new content - the gameplay is exactly the same, the graphics are just barely better, and the setting, well, kind of sucks.

    As far as I'm concerned, Valve just got downgraded from premium status in my book. This game is a mistake.
    • Indeed. Didn't they announce a map editor/sdk for L4D before launch? Where the hell is that?
    • Re:This sucks (Score:5, Informative)

      by kusanagi374 ( 776658 ) on Monday June 01, 2009 @08:37PM (#28176139)

      Basically Valve broke their promise from last year and is now officially a greedy developer. If they intended to have Left4Dead be a technology preview all along, they should've gone and called this paid beta-testing as the Prologue version, like Gran Turismo 5.

      "Valve intends to support hotly anticipated zombie survival shooter Left 4 Dead post-release with new characters, new maps, new achievements and new weapons in order to grow the community, Gabe Newell has revealed.

      Speaking to at Leipzig Games Convention, the Valve co-founder and managing director said the developer intended to follow a similar downloadable content policy as it has with Team Fortress 2.

      Newell said that Valve's support of the game post-launch will be essential for growing the community.

      He said: "One of the things that we're doing is we seem to be in a transition between games as a package product and games more of a service. So if you look at Team Fortress 2, one of things that's really helped grow the community is the continuous updates, where we release new maps, new character classes, new unlockables, new weapons. And we tell the stories about the characters, like the meet the sniper, or meet the sandwich. And that ongoing delivery of content really seems to grow the community."

      source: []

      • Thats what I was thinking... this seems weird for valve. I'm hoping that there is a ruse to this, or its that they have an expansion or something...
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        Yep, this is a very uncool move from Valve. I mean look at the ton of content TF2 has gotten for free. Now L4D has had the one big update, and now the sequel is coming, which as it stands appears to be standalone.

        When the original game cost $50, Valve are taking the piss. Very VERY uncool. If Valve genuinely do throw this out as a full price sequel, I will never buy another Valve title again.

        They screwed my friends and I over once before with the bots for Counterstrike, removing them from CS 1.6 so they cou

      • Where in there does it say the updates would be free? I don't see anything about it. I'm inclined to think less "second game in series" and more "first expansion pack."
    • Agreed (although the L4D SDK is out--it's a "beta", but it works fine). I'm hoping that this ends up being an expansion pack (at expansion pack prices) rather than a full new game.

    • Re:This sucks (Score:5, Insightful)

      by $1uck ( 710826 ) on Monday June 01, 2009 @08:42PM (#28176175)

      I cannot disagree with you more. Seriously, for how much time I've played the game and how much enjoyment I've received from the game I have gotten my money's worth multiple times. The article I read specifically states that this does not mean that support for l4d is going away. It also stated that it is a possibility that l4d would be included with l4d2. Something else I'm completely fine with, I would simply give my copy of l4d away to someone who was unsure if they wanted to buy the game.

      Looks to be plenty of new content, 5 campaigns, new infected, new behaviors from old special infected, melee weapons, expanded alteration game play driven by the ai (maps will vary from play to play).

      If you think it sucks don't buy the game. I will gladly shell out the money when the game is released (fully expecting it to sell for half the price 6 months later).

      • that it is a possibility that l4d would be included with l4d2

        If they had been watching TF2's post-game support, L4D2 would be included with l4d.

      • by artor3 ( 1344997 )

        Agreed. I said many times that I'd be happy to spend $10 on a DLC for L4D that included a new "movie" plus some extra weapons/infected/etc... If they want to bundle five such packages into a single game, then I'll be happy to buy it.

      • While I'm hoping (and maybe even expecting) that Valve will offer some sort of discount to people who already own L4D, I think it's interesting to note that in general, a good video game is pretty damn cheap compared to the amount of entertainment that it can provide. If you spend 50 bucks on a game and get 25 hours of decent playtime out of it, then that works out to $2/hour. That compares very favorably to movies, concerts, sporting events, and even books (depending on how fast you read). And that's not t

    • I agree -- L4D has still not reached what I consider to be $50 worth of content. Especially if you compare it to other games like Half-Life 2 and the Orange Box, both of which went for $50.

      And after all this time it is still buggy, full of map exploits, and incredibly difficult to get a good game going unless you plan one out with 8 friends. It seemed to have been left in the dust, and I guess now we all know why.

      Given these issues, I'm really not feeling like paying for a L4D 2. Valve was the only game

      • by Spit ( 23158 )

        I still play L4D for at least 3-4 hours a week, it's a better way to meet people online than Uno.

      • I still can't figure out why they removed functionality from the game after release--namely, the ability to play versus at settings other than "normal".

        Sure, it was chosen on the server-side so it was effectively random to the player, but the proper response was to add a simple drop-down to let the user choose rather than taking the option away entirely.

        Call me crazy, but I much prefer the fast-paced, wild style of an expert-difficulty versus game to a longer, slower, usually one-sided normal one. I've got

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by TinBromide ( 921574 )
      This is what happened to Battlefield 2. EA killed their BF community by splitting it between the old bf2 players and the new bf2142 people. When BF2142 came out, some BF2 people bought it, some people tried to stay with BF2, but BF2142 wasn't worth the "upgrade" cost over BF2 so the veterans continued to play, but without the influx of new people, the community is still dieing a slow death. Right before bf2142 was announced, BF2 still sold for $50USD. After the announcement? The price dropped dramatically.
      • However, unlike valve, EA did an awesome job of the post-release upkeep with new maps, good patches, and an expansion

        The game hasn't even been released yet. How can you say "Unlike Valve"? Valve have had the best track record of any developer besides Blizzard for post-release updates.
        Sure, they've not done much post-sequel updates, but they've never had a sequel released this close to it's predecessor before. We don't know WHAT Valve will do with L4D once L4D2 comes out. This is uncharted waters for Valve,

    • I completely agree with your post, this is a ridiculous joke.

  • Dynamic Lighting (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 01, 2009 @08:31PM (#28176093)
    The real question is will I be able to to see the light from the other player's flashlights.
    • What? Honest question... do you not see it? As in, if they turn it off, does it not go off for you? It does for me.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        I think he's asking more about seeing the areas lit up by the other players' flashlights. It's something I've heard a few players talk about. I can see where my flashlight hits, but not where other flashlights hit. I suspect that it's a computationally difficult thing to perform.

        • I'm pretty sure I saw a video or podcast or something where they talked about this. They could make it work, but as you suggested, it was a big performance hit and so it got cut.

    • I believe they answered this long ago -- that it would be easy to make happen, but it was better for horror gameplay to keep you seeing only your own flashlight.
  • I have been too busy working the last year so I have not had time for anything else than xbl games. But I just borrowed this game last week and it didn't seem so great to me. Perhaps because I only can play single player mode. (hate multiplayer since it costs money, I know noone who play games and I don't want to waste my spare time with random idiots on xbl :D)

    It seems that many games these days focus on multiplayer and that's all great if you are into that sort of thing but not for casual gamer like me w

    • Re: (Score:2, Flamebait)

      L4D is designed for the PC. Playing it on the moronbox is not going to be anywhere near as fun.

      Multiplayer is free on the PC, too.

    • by Spit ( 23158 )

      The game is pretty shortlived as a single player campaign, multiplayer is where it shines. Splitscreen is pretty good but online with random people is awesome.

  • by FishWithAHammer ( 957772 ) on Monday June 01, 2009 @09:01PM (#28176299)

    Gabe Newell ( reads all his mail. If you are upset about the failure to treat L4D as more than a tech demo, send him an email discussing your concerns. At the least, he'll respond, and who knows? It might help.

    Be polite, be reasoned, and make sure to explain why you're upset. At the risk of making it sound form-letterish, I'd quote what he said as mentioned by this article: []

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 01, 2009 @09:07PM (#28176343)

    Left - 4
    Dead - 2
    Chelsea - 2
    Everton - 1

  • by SilentOneNCW ( 943611 ) <silentdragon AT gmail DOT com> on Monday June 01, 2009 @09:12PM (#28176389) Homepage
    I've heard that the Scout from TF2 will make an appearance... BOINK! []
  • Man, this game is worst on me than crack. I hope they remove the hunter pounce damage hard limit and work some cooler math for it, use log or whatever. :-P
  • by incognito84 ( 903401 ) on Monday June 01, 2009 @10:25PM (#28176927)
    I don't have a problem with Left 4 Dead 2, but the one problem I did have with the original L4D is that there simply wasn't enough maps. You were running through the same sets over and over and over and over again.
  • Old 'Nawlins (Score:3, Informative)

    by brain1 ( 699194 ) on Tuesday June 02, 2009 @02:04PM (#28185273)
    Well, I recognize the setting in the screen shots as the French Quarter in New Orleans around Royal Street. Looks like a typical Mardi Gras to me. Especially the morning after. -dh

Never worry about theory as long as the machinery does what it's supposed to do. -- R. A. Heinlein