It is E3 week and the internet is full of news and other nonsense about loads of games. Only one thing has caught my eye, and that is the Left 4 Dead 2 announcement, the sequel to the zombie-fest is due out November 17th 2009 and lots of info is available already.
Important bits and pieces first then; you can look forward to five new campaigns which take place in the Southern United States with four new characters, they are: Coach; Rochelle; Ellis and Nick. In addition to the normal campaigns there will more Versus campaigns and more Survival maps.
There will be a new AI Director, version 2.0 this time. According to the press release the new Director can procedurally change weather effects, world objects, and pathways in addition to tailoring the enemy population, effects, and sounds to match the players’ performance.
Melee combat is being expanded on with chainsaws, frying pans, axes and baseball bats appearing. There will also be new Special Infected and maps which will take place during the day.
Brief bit of analysis: It is soon, very soon for a sequel to Left 4 Dead and some people may worry that it is a simple cash in, the Angry Internet Man rants have already started. However, this is Valve we are talking about, if anyone can make L4D2 something even better than the original, and a game that is worth getting, it is them. Personally, I just want some Episode 3 news.
Press release for those of you who haven’t seen it yet:
June 1, 2009 – Valve, creators of best-selling game franchises (such as Half-Life and Counter-Strike) and leading technologies (such as Steam and Source), today announced Left 4 Dead 2 (L4D2), the sequel to the best-selling and critically-acclaimed co-operative multiplayer thriller.
Coming exclusively to Xbox 360 and PC, L4D2 promises to set a new benchmark for co-operative action games and become one of 2009’s marquee titles.
“A large part of how Left 4 Dead became 2008’s top-selling new IP on Xbox 360 and the PC was the custom-tailored gameplay made possible by the AI Director,” said Gabe Newell, president and co-founder of Valve. “With the knowledge gained from creating the original, new technology, and a passionate team, L4D2 will set a new benchmark for cooperative action games.”
Set for release on November 17, the title adds melee combat to enable deeper co-operative gameplay, with items such as a chainsaw, frying pan, axe, baseball bat, and more.
Introducing the AI Director 2.0, L4D’s dynamic gameplay is taken to the next level by giving the Director the ability to procedurally change weather effects, world objects, and pathways in addition to tailoring the enemy population, effects, and sounds to match the players’ performance. The result is a unique game session custom fitted to provide a satisfying and uniquely challenging experience each time the game is played.
Featuring new Survivors, boss zombies, weapons, and items, Left 4 Dead 2 offers a much larger game than the original with more co-operative campaigns, more Versus campaigns, and maps for Survival mode available at launch.
Supported by a $10+ million marketing campaign, Left 4 Dead has sold over 2.5 million retail copies since it was released in November of 2008. Left 4 Dead 2 is targeted for release on Xbox 360 and the PC on November 17, 2009, and will be launched worldwide with a multi-million dollar marketing campaign across TV, Outdoor, and Online.
“Left 4 Dead was backed by our most aggressive advertising campaign to date, and resulted in a top 5 showing on two platforms during holiday 2008,” said Doug Lombardi, VP of marketing at Valve. “Left 4 Dead 2 is a larger game and will be supported with even more consumer and retail advertising programs than the original.”
Left 4 Dead 2 will be featured as the cover story on PC Gamer and Official Xbox Magazines this month. For more information, please visit www.l4d.com