Sunday, July 26, 2009

Left 4 Dead 2 (Mixed Feelings)

Taken from a forum post I did on blues, because I'm feeling like a lazy bastard this Sunday morning.

I see both sides of this argument.

I still don't know how I feel about such a quick release for a title that, while fun, wasn't worth sixty dollars. Despite the randomness provided by the A.I. Director, there's no hiding that the game is comprised of four segments that last about 45 minutes to an hour a piece. That's shorter than the single-player on Call of Duty 4.

I paid full price for it last year because I thought Valve would support it with numerous - and free - content updates for years to come, making it worth the investment. I never expected a full-priced sequel only a year later.

But, Valve has supported Left 4 Dead 1. There have been numerous refinements, tweaks, and additions - though there's been only one patch that actually provided new content, and that was only a new - and not terribly exciting - game mode. No new characters, weapons, or monsters. It's been disappointing.

What is odd is that they have put much more effort into Team Fortress 2, a game that, on the PC, is half the price and has a smaller global fanbase - without asking for a single penny after the initial purchase. They've worked their asses off with that game, from videos, blog content, and the class/map updates.

From reading their interviews and listening to their in-game commentaries, these guys put themselves through hell to make their art. They bust their asses for years making these games, and they support their fanbase better than any other game company out there to thank us for our support.

Who else would have given away Team Fortress 1 and Counter-Strike away free to owners of Half-Life 1? Released a Half-Life 2 multiplayer game for free after countless user requests. Etc. Etc.

I can see where one could take Lombardi's comment posted above negatively. But it sounds to me like these guys want to have fun making a game where they can focus more on the creative aspects instead of building new tech. This could still turn out to be one helluva game.

That being said, I don't play Left 4 Dead enough to warrant another sixty dollar purchase for a game that doesn't seem very different at all. This could be the first Valve release that I won't least until it gets much cheaper a year or two later. And, of course, if Left 4 Dead 3 isn't out by that time...

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