Sunday, December 20, 2009

WAIP: December 16, 2009 - On Vacation Edition

This post is not so much to chat about what I have been playing this past week but more to chat about what I have been playing for the past few days. There is always one game that is included in that category: Left 4 Dead 2.

I had previously been skeptical on whether I was going to pick up this game even though the original was my game of the year last year. What sold me on the game was actually playing through some of it with Kara and my wife these past few days and I have since ordered it on Amazon and it will be waiting for me when I get home.

I have only really dabbled but I am really a big fan of all the small additions to the game. These additions make the original appear very lackluster or almost as though Left 4 Dead 1 was just a test bed for the sequel.

I am enjoying working out ways to avoid kill the new special infected and combining that with strategies learned from the original infected. All of the old infected are fairly similar to how they behaved in the original with one exception - the witch. This time she wanders about making it both easier and harder to avoid her depending on the situation. It adds an interesting stealth-like element to the game whereas previously the object was to just reach the end as quickly - and with the least possible damage - as possible.

The addition of the Charger, Spitter and Jockey makes the game tense at all moments but I also felt that at times knowing which of the new special infected that was coming was predictable. An perfect example of this is when I was playing with Kara and I had not seen a Spitter in a while I said to her, "I think a Spitter might be coming up soon," and sure enough the next corner greeted us with a noxious green acid pool.

The Charger is not particularly hard to kill but is there to provide the unexpected annoyance of splitting up your party when you least want/expect it.

Lastly, the Jockey will always come around if you are falling behind your party or are getting ahead of your party. He will also come around regardless but if you have someone watching your back it is easy to make short work of him.

Something that I did not think that would make a difference to me one way or the other was the dismemberment. It is so gratifying and it makes killing zombies any other way just plain boring. The melee weapons really show this off when you are lopping off heads, arms, and legs with machetes, guitars, etc.

My favorite experience with the game so far was trying to get Gnome Chompski through the Dark Carnival level. At the end finale it provided such a level of frustration, excitement, and eleation. What sold me on the game was that I found myself talking to Kara the next morning about the crazy situations that we had gone through trying to get the Gnome out safely. The moments that you talk about sold me on the first game as well.

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