Left 4 Dead 2 bring players to new levels, with new characters, stunning visuals and more gory, zombie action.

User Rating: 9 | Left 4 Dead 2 X360
Without a doubt, Left 4 Dead was a great success. It introduced gamers all over the world into dangerous scenarios, glorious set pieces and waves of flesh eating zombies. Nit unusual, as many game developers before hand have had a go at a zombie title, but nothing compared to what Valve created when Left 4 Dead was released. Now, the sequel has been hyped for months, the trailers and numerous game play videos have stirred up all Xbox 360 fan boys, but finally, the Xbox 360 title of the year has finally arrived. But nothing has changed much, except for the stunning graphics and new characters, Left 4 Dead 2 hasn't evolved much from it's predecessor, but it's still a great game to buy and experience.

I am now able to kill a zombie with a frying pan. It's not the sort of skill you expect to learn in life, but after playing Left 4 Dead 2 I can now turn an everyday cooking item into a lethal weapon. Remember the opening for Left 4 Dead? The point of that clip was to familiarize you with the rules of the game. It introduced you to the special Infected and gave you tips on how to deal with each one. Left 4 Dead 2's intro has greater ambition, it begins the business of character building from square one. And the brilliant thing about Left 4 Dead 2 is that the story isn't segregated from game play by long cut scenes or being tucked into books or audio files or anything other. The plot of Left 4 Dead 2 actually happens. And in this game it isn't all just about getting from point A to point B. Left 4 Dead 2 has depth, something that the first didn't. It has a powerful story, and an array of different environments to explore. Thanks to the new special Infected and ingenious level design, no two campaign climaxes feel entirely the same. Much of this hinges on the game's approach to finales: Rather than task the Survivors with simply surviving a wave or seven of zombies, Tanks and other enemies, Valve gives them something to do. Sometimes that means camping, sometimes that means running fuel back and forth. And other times you just have to run. And there's where Left 4 Dead 2 makes the greatest improvement over Left 4 Dead. The first game was indebted to the zombie film, borrowing heavily in tone and setting from America's horror master George Romero. This game is a suspenseful, original zombie game, full of big, dramatic moments you've never seen before in a zombie game or film. One point in which it is superior to the first, is the graphics. Without a doubt, Left 4 Dead 2 boasts some great graphics. With or without a HDMI cable, the game is stunning. I actually took out my HDMI cable once to check if the game looks as good in standard definition, and it's basically the same, a stunning piece of art work. Compared to the first, the environments, the set pieces and the plot is far superior. The plot does pack a powerful punch, and it does have some memorable moments, and some cool problems and obstacles in which you have to solve. Which is a good thing, but still doesn't ass enough energy or variation to the game, comparing it to Left 4 Dead. The new survivors, who go by the names of Ellis, Nick, Coach and Rochelle, are a fairly likeable group of people who have the similar type of charisma that worked with the original cast of survivors. None of them are too unique to the point where they'll receive the same reaction as Louis and pills or Francis and his extreme dislike for everything, but the wit of some of them will be enough to make you smile. The new cast needs some recognition as well as every campaign is connected. There's continuity, giving some level of story to how these four survivors found each other. Though it still relies heavily on the player reading safe house writings for the background story, the fact that the campaign films are somewhat connected is an improvement, but not a big one. Though there are a few new things to go around, that's not to say some of the old things haven't returned. All of the special infected of Left 4 Dead have made a return. They're also joined with some new faces that not only change how players will have to utilize the special infected but also how they overcome them as survivors. The Spitter is a new special infected who literally spits gunk of acid, damaging anyone who stands on it.

The animations have not changed, and the zombies run everywhere, get stuck in walls and doors and generally look like idiots, but I feel they are supposed to look like idiots, even if it is too idiotic. The AI hasn't changed either, as similar to before, they look like idiots. But when crowded together, plummeting you, clawing you and trying to literally kill you, your put in situations of sheer terror and disbelief. Your friend's AI hasn't changed much, but they are much more aware of each other. The game still feels like an arcade style shooter, but it ties into the feel of Left 4 Dead 2. It's really not the guns that are the centre of attention but rather the melee weapons. Replacing the pistol slot of your load out, melee weapons range from a cricket paddle to a chainsaw (which is limited by the amount of battery life in it). Each weapon requires that you get up close and personal with your infected foes. Slashing down the violent horde with a sword means watching body parts fly from their limbs. Though they can be fun to use, their viability is not very high considering that you do have to go within melee range of the infected who, at the same time, are within striking range of your body. Regardless, bashing your way through a horde mixed with the sounds of swings make it a satisfying experience. There are plenty of melee weapons spread out along each area, giving survivors some new and often humorous ways of escaping. Oh, and it's gory as hell, too. But, overall, Left 4 Dead 2 is a great success, even if it hasn't changed much from it's predecessor. The graphics are mind blowing, and it packs a powerful punch for any action, shooter lover to enjoy. Xbox 369 owners, get out now and buy this gory as hell game, while your human!