Author Topic: The L4D2 Demo...  (Read 6519 times)

Offline The Rogue Wolf

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Re: The L4D2 Demo...
« Reply #15 on: November 17, 2009, 10:37:09 AM »
Well, I do have to give Valve a little credit... it only took them an hour to unbork the release, as opposed to the several hours I was expecting it to take. :computerfix: :lol:

So I played through the Hard Rain scenario solo last night. I do agree that the bots aren't nearly as on-the-ball as they used to be (Ellis got himself killed by a Witch while trying to go over a building to get to me, rather than just crawl through a window, and Coach set a Witch off by staring at her for no good reason), but there have been a hell of a lot of improvements to other parts of the game. For example:

- Weather effects. I am so glad that the Source engine can finally do a raging thunderstorm properly! Not only that, but it actually ties in to the scenario- maps 3-5 of Hard Rain are simply the first two maps being re-traversed, but with many sections flooded out, forcing you to take a higher route or slog through waist-high water as a perfect target (since the water doesn't seem to bother the Infected much). And if you're caught outside during a major squall, visibility is severely reduced, making it a priority to get into a building for the inevitable Horde rush.

- Map construction. The maps in Hard Rain didn't feel quite as linear as many of the ones in L4D's scenarios, although there were still inexplicably-solid barriers along roads (I'm pretty sure even Coach could've squeezed between a couple of those barricades). It looks like Valve have placed more of an emphasis on vertical movement, as I had to climb into and over several buildings both ways through the maps, and had to traverse rooftops above streets that I'd run along the first time through.

- Special Infected presence. You know, playing through the custom maps with fellow Foxholers, I noticed a pretty big difference from the official maps- vastly increased Special Infected numbers. The regular maps only ever have you up against two or three SI at a time, and if you see more than one Witch per map it's an unusual experience. Not so in Hard Rain- I had to traverse an empty factory with no less than six Witches wandering around inside... and this was on Normal difficulty! Moreover, my merry band ended up facing a Tank three minutes into the first map! You can expect to always have at least one SI on your tail at ALL times, and don't at all be surprised if you find yourself facing the lethal combination of Jockey/Spitter/Charger when coming out of a dilapidated sugar factory during a rainy sunset.

And, oh yes- the final map actually had a katana available for use. I didn't take it, however- I'm an American, and we Americans solve all our problems with guns. :purplelaugh:
"Choice one: we flank them using what military men called tactics, and what religious men call divine inspiration. Or, we charge at them head on screaming various obscenities, in what military men call bravery and religious men also call divine inspiration."

Offline bobdog

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Re: The L4D2 Demo...
« Reply #16 on: November 20, 2009, 07:33:44 AM »
I KNEW if I was patient enough that there'd be a sale on L4D2, and it appears GameStop will offer the game for $30 instead of its just-released price of $50, during the Black Friday sales event right after U.S. Thanksgiving: http://news.bigdownload.com/2009/11/19/gamestop-black-friday-sales-include-left-4-dead-2-at-29-99/

Offline Joshua-kun

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Re: The L4D2 Demo...
« Reply #17 on: November 20, 2009, 04:25:44 PM »
Wow! I probably won't be able to get to one before the end of the work day, sadly...
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Offline bobdog

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Re: The L4D2 Demo...
« Reply #18 on: November 20, 2009, 11:57:25 PM »
It says sales are Friday and Saturday -- just depends on if there is still volume available.

Offline Doc_Brown

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Re: The L4D2 Demo...
« Reply #19 on: November 22, 2009, 08:10:31 PM »
Although I'll be writing up a full review, I thought I'd pop in and offer up some rambling thoughts on my L4D2 experience, having just finished playing through all of the campaigns:

First off, am I good or what?  Hard Rain is my favorite campaign.  A five map camp built using only two maps, it's a great example of smart design.  Because of the flooding, it doesn't feel repetitive like you'd think.  Furthermore, the rain effects make it easily the most atmospheric of the campaigns.  Even before the squall hits, it showcases some brilliant design ideas, like the factory and fields full of Wandering Witches.  Lastly, the narrative elements behind Hard Rain are top notch.  Realistically speaking, if you're smart about it you should be able to survive a zombie outbreak with ease.  It's when your hand is forced that it hits the fan, and the combination of needing to stop for fuel, a freak storm breaking out, and accidentally leaving your supplies behind nails just the right note in that regard.

As far as the other camps go, Dead Center is my second favorite.  The burning hotel, with its low visability, and the Scavenge-style finale are both fun and unique.  The other three are decent enough, but can be really hard at times (I'm ashamed to admit to dropping it to Normal difficulty in a few instances).  Dark Carnival is the worst, with three gauntlets to run through, The Parish ends with a gauntlet finale (which means a Tank is thrown into the mix... on a bridge full of cars...), and Swamp Fever's finale makes you face two Tanks simultaneously.  I know we ran into something similar on a custom server recently, but those Tanks had 60% health and there were four human players.  On your own on Advanced against two Tanks with full health you haven't got a prayer.

I do agree that the AI for your allies doesn't seem as sharp as the original.  They seem to insist on using melee attacks when you're pounced/smoked/charged/jockied, which leads to many a death because they simply do not reach you in time.  It'd be nice if they would carry the shock pads so they could bring you back if you die.  I've also noticed the game is a bit buggier than the original.  On three or four occasions I was charged into the environment and could not move afterwards, forcing me to start the level over, and in one instance Coach was stuck in a freefall animation--he looked like he was sitting in an invisible recliner, floating around after us.  Creepy.

Interestingly enough, because of my fondness for melee weapons (the machete, I think, is my favorite) I find myself avoiding shotguns, which are my preferred weapons in the original L4D.  Since the melee weapons fill the same close combat role but without relying on ammo, machine guns and rifles suddenly become more appealing options as they fill a different niche, namely combat at greater ranges.  By removing most of the ammo piles, you now have to switch up your weaponry more often, and since there are a greater number of machineguns and rifles those seem to be what you wind up using most.  The grenade launcher is... interesting, but I don't know how much use it'll get.  The same holds true for the chainsaw--it's powerful, but the machete just fits me better.

I like the new Special Infected, but it almost feels like the original trio have been pushed from the limelight.  You just don't see them pop up as often as the Spitter, Charger, and Jockey.  I rarely got boomed or pounced, although the Smoker remains as diabolical a presence as ever.  The Uncommon Common, though, are definately a nice touch.  Some are fireproof, some are bulletproof, some make noise to alert others, some can't hear a thing and are thus unaffected by pipebombs, some are tougher, some are faster, and so on and so forth.  With the new damage modeling, it seems aiming high is less effective (unless, of course, you actually hit the head), since they just keep coming even with arms missing and holes through their torso.  I've found that aiming low, for the legs, puts them down faster.  In that light, I'm hoping L4D3 will take a page from the AvP series and give us zombies that can crawl without legs.
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Offline The Rogue Wolf

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Re: The L4D2 Demo...
« Reply #20 on: November 26, 2009, 11:38:59 PM »
So....

Anyone feel up to giving the Realism mode a try this weekend? :turnhappy:
"Choice one: we flank them using what military men called tactics, and what religious men call divine inspiration. Or, we charge at them head on screaming various obscenities, in what military men call bravery and religious men also call divine inspiration."

Offline Fanghawk

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Re: The L4D2 Demo...
« Reply #21 on: November 27, 2009, 08:42:28 PM »
I think I can squeeze a bit in! I'll probably be popping in and out throughout the day, especially if I need a novel break. If I don't see anyone during the day, we'll see what the evening holds!