Left 4 Dead 2
is a cooperative first-person shooter game. It is the sequel to Valve Corporation's award-winning Left 4 Dead
. The game launched on November 17, 2009, for Microsoft Windows and Xbox 360 in the United States and November 20 in Europe. It builds upon the cooperatively focused gameplay of the original and uses Valve's proprietary Source engine, the same game engine used in Left 4 Dead
. The game made its world premiere at E3 2009 with a trailer during the Microsoft press event.
Like the original, Left 4 Dead 2
is set during the aftermath of an apocalyptic pandemic, and focuses on four survivors fighting against hordes of the infected. The survivors must fight their way through levels, interspersed with safe houses that act as checkpoints, with the goal of reaching a rescue vehicle at the campaign's finale. The gameplay is procedurally altered by an artificial intelligence engine dubbed the "Director" that monitors the players' performance and alters the scenario to provide a dynamic challenge for the players as they progress. Several new features have been introduced, such as new types of infected, melee weapons, and a story-arc that connects each of the game's five campaigns together.
The game has attracted an unusually high volume of pre-release controversy. It has received a combination of positive, negative, critical, and community reactions. There also have been concerns about the game's graphic content, as seen from the alterations made to the cover art as well as the refusal of classification by the Australian Office of Film and Literature Classification for the unmodified edition.
Like Left 4 Dead
, the sequel involves the aftermath of an apocalyptic pandemic. There has been an outbreak of a rabies-like pathogen that causes infected humans to behave like zombies. The four survivors have to fight their way through the hordes of infected, using safehouses along the way to rest and recover, in order to reach extraction points. Left 4 Dead 2
is set in the Southern United States, starting in Savannah, Georgia and ending in New Orleans, Louisiana. Left 4 Dead 2
introduces four new survivors, whose backstory is again provided through dialogue. Unlike the first game, where there was no significant story development, Left 4 Dead 2
features a story arc.
After climbing a hotel in Savannah to achieve rescue, the survivors find themselves abandoned by helicopters, and make their way to the local mall after hearing word of a second evacuation point there ("Dead Center"). Following a brief encounter with a gun store owner, Whitaker (voiced by Dayton Callie), the mall is found to be overrun, and the four use a stock car to bust out of the mall and travel towards New Orleans. Following an encounter with the survivors featured in Left 4 Dead
("The Passing", a downloadable mission set to be released in Spring 2010), the group finds the highway completely blocked by wrecked vehicles, and the four are forced to travel through a still-operating (but abandoned) amusement park, and start a huge fireworks-and-lights show used by the fictional band, The Midnight Riders, in order to attract the attention of a helicopter pilot ("Dark Carnival"). Though rescued, they find that their pilot has been infected, and Nick is forced to kill him. This causes the helicopter to crash into a bayou ("Swamp Fever"). Finding brief shelter in a plantation mansion, they make radio contact with a boat captain named Virgil who rescues them, but informs them that he needs additional diesel fuel to make it to New Orleans. Amid a torrential downpour, the survivors go ashore, making their way through an abandoned sugar mill to a gas station to get fuel supplies, and return to the boat ("Hard Rain"). Virgil takes them to New Orleans, where the military appears to still be evacuating civilians, before travelling upriver to find more survivors. But as the group make their way to the extraction point, they find that the military is actually bombing bridges to cover their retreat ("The Parish"). The survivors then make their way across a lift bridge amid a mass of infected and board the last military helicopter leaving the city before the bridge is destroyed.