Thursday, 12 November 2009

Left4Dead 2 - Not a Boycott

Not a Boycott, but not a purchase either.

If you've not played the demo yet I suggest you give it a go, because as much as I've tried not to be biased about this I'm not sure I've succeeded.

I won't go into the "I'm a Valve fan-boy" talk again, I did that before. Suffice to say I own anything else they've ever made. When L4D2 was announced I was intrigued - why a sequel after such a short period of time? What could they possibly add to improve this?

But after a few play throughs of the L4D2 demo, I have personally decided not to buy the full version. Because I feel quite strongly about the whole Boycott issue I'm going to go into my reasons why.

It feels very much like it was made for a certain audience, and that just isn't me. It's pretty much the same game as before but it goes that extra mile in terms of weapons, characterisation, the "director 2.0" but here's my problem. With Team Fortress 2 I get a sense of fun, things happen in a humourous way that you want to tell everyone about. With Half Life 2 I get a sense of awe, with a great story and emotional attachment to the characters I just can't wait for the next installment. However with Left4Dead the only memories I have are of when I got shot down by team mates or when one of them ran away while we were fighting a tank. It wasn't fun nor was it awe inspiring.

This experience pre-tainted my enjoyment of this sequel, which of course can solve neither of these issues as they are fundamental to this kind of multiplayer game. The same thing used to happen in Counter Strike, but somehow not as often.

So on my play through I was looking for what the sequel had to offer me that wasn't in the original, nor in the excellent "Killing Floor", released earlier this year by Tripwire Interactive. Melee Weapons? Killing Floor had those. 4 Player co-op? Nothing too new there - try Borderlands for mission based co-op! AI Director 2.0? Didn't notice anything significant on my subsequent playthroughs aside from different item/weapon drops.

I don't feel like getting this just for the chance to hit zombies with a cricket bat or electric guitar, which is the only reason I can see for buying this. Others may disagree and I'm sure they'll enjoy it as much as they are hoping, but aside from the fantastic trailer it hasn't impressed me enough.

It's not a boycott though, because I can quite firmly guarantee that if this had been offered as an expansion I wouldn't get that either!

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