Author Topic: Mutations! Mutations! Mutations!  (Read 2641 times)

Offline Doc_Brown

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Mutations! Mutations! Mutations!
« on: May 31, 2010, 01:33:12 AM »
I was never too sure about L4D2's Mutations when they were first announced.  Call me skeptical, but they didn't seem to be much more than a gimmick, something that wasn't good enough for the actual game but could be thrown in as a brief diversion.  I was as surprised as anyone, then, when the first Mutation--Realism Versus--was almost immediately made into a permanent part of the game.  It was about as minor a change as you could get, hardly changing the experience at all.

Then came Bleed Out, which at least gets points for both a) making a more significant change to the game than Realism Versus did, and b) actually doing something different, something we hadn't seen before.  Still, while I don't mind the perpetual loss of health, the constant Hordes made it nearly impossible to actually beat a level without dropping the difficulty level down--essentially, feeling like you're cheating.  While I might not be a fan of it, at least Bleed Out was an improvement and a step in the right direction.

Next came Follow the Liter, which I regret to admit never actually getting a chance to play.  The idea, at least, sounds interesting enough, since having only a single gas can to scavenge ensures the Infected are always in on the action (nothing's more frustrating in a normal game of Scavenge than to move to defend some gas cans only to miss all the action because the Survivors went another way).  Again, though, essentially a minor tweak to something familiar.

Last Gnome on Earth followed, which essentially just tasked players with completing the Guardin' Gnome achievement on any of the other campaigns, not just Dark Carnival.  Having never been inclined to complete that achievement to begin with (unlike many, I don't really give a damn about achievements), I can't profess much interest in this Mutation, but I can see why some people would enjoy it. 

Finally, though, we come to Last Man on Earth, and all I can say is... wow!  They've finally come up with a Mutation that I love, a tweak that radically alters the experience, turning it into something new and exciting.  I'm writing this post shortly after completing a playthrough of The Passing with this Mutation, and let me say that running through the finale being chased by two burning Tanks with no health kits left is just about as intense an experience I've had in L4D2.

Hopefully Last Man on Earth, like Realism Versus before it, will be added as a permanent game mode.  While I'm not completely free of my skepticism--the upcoming Chainsaw Massacre doesn't seem terribly promising--I do look forward to seeing what else Valve can come up with, if Last Man on Earth is any indication of what they're capable of.  In the meantime, feel free to use this thread to post your own thoughts on the Mutations.
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Offline The Rogue Wolf

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Re: Mutations! Mutations! Mutations!
« Reply #1 on: May 31, 2010, 11:07:11 AM »
I managed to get the "Sob Story" achievement (get through the sugar mill in Hard Rain without startling a Witch) in Last Man on Earth on Advanced. It was not easy. I'm not even going to touch this particular Mutation on Expert- I don't hate myself that much. :hammerhead:

When you're all by yourself, sound becomes a MUCH more noticable thing in L4D2. Seriously, the game just sounds creepy, with the mournful music, the creaking of wood in a half-destroyed building, and the cackling of a Jockey where is it where is it WHERE THE HELL IS IT?! And the Special Infected just get downright cheap sometimes- when a Charger managed to grapple me in the swamp, his buddy Jockey waited patiently until he was done, then pounced me just as I got up. Game over. :redhot:

There's plenty of fodder for epic stories when you're all alone, too. Like the time I was in the busyard in The Parish, and a stray round ricocheted off a bus and startled the Witch. I dropped a Molotov at her feet and raced her to the safe house- and slammed the door in her face. Whew.

Doc, I dunno if Valve is going to keep the Mutation as a game mode, but if not it's not too difficult to set up an .exec file to tweak the game settings. I did that with the original L4D, eliminating the Special Infected, slowing the Common Infected to a quick walk, and raising the numbers of them significantly. Sadly the game crashed when it tried to send about 400 of them at me in a panic event. :computerfix:
"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: Mutations! Mutations! Mutations!
« Reply #2 on: May 31, 2010, 04:02:49 PM »
Really like this mutation myself.... once I got a feel for the gameplay changes, things went smoothly. There were some things I expected I wouldn't like about it (in particular that the levels start to feel much more FPS standard when facing only special infected instead of director-spawned common infected) but every time that feeling started to creep in I would get into a duel with a hunter.... or better yet, a tank.... and found it to be a lot of fun.

What I would like to see in a future mutation is something along the lines of what Rogue described, either with a single survivor or the whole team. As much as I like the style of L4D, that sounds cool enough to risk crashing for.  :ok:

Offline Doc_Brown

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Re: Mutations! Mutations! Mutations!
« Reply #3 on: June 04, 2010, 09:05:29 PM »
Chainsaw Massacre... pretty much what I expected.  Amusing for a few minutes but it lacks any real longevity.

*sigh*

I already miss Last Man on Earth.  I was able to beat every campaign with the exception of the Swamp Fever and Hard Rain finales--and on the latter, I came this close last time, leaping from the dock to Virgil's boat only to get punched out of the air and into the water by a Tank.  Good times.

Incidentally, this is the second place winner in Valve's Last Man on Earth contest.  Really should have taken home the gold, if you ask me.
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Offline bobdog

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Re: Mutations! Mutations! Mutations!
« Reply #4 on: June 04, 2010, 10:24:36 PM »
That vid was epic -- awesome movement, but where'd he keep getting all the shots?

Offline Doc_Brown

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Re: Mutations! Mutations! Mutations!
« Reply #5 on: October 24, 2010, 02:20:11 AM »
Turns out there's a way to play any previous mutation you want via the console.  Thanks to that I've now played Last Man on Earth through every single official compaign on Expert difficulty.  :onethumb:

Lone Gunman, meanwhile, which is similar insofar as you go it alone, is absolutely destroying me on Easy difficulty.  :o

What I've noticed, though, is that I really seem to favor these solo mutations.  The only other ones that even come close are ones like Hard Eight and Hunting Party, which change up the composition of the Specials.  Most of the others don't really do it for me, but then again I haven't had a chance to play all of them yet...
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Offline The Rogue Wolf

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Re: Mutations! Mutations! Mutations!
« Reply #6 on: October 24, 2010, 05:41:15 PM »
Lone Gunman is pretty much Valve's codeword for "Impossible Mode". When every Infected hit takes 30 health, and there's just so many obstacles in your way yet so many avenues for them to come at you, and considering that they don't have to even stop running to hit you... yeah. Eventually it stops being fun and just becomes annoying.
"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."

 

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