- Left 4 Dead 2 is a 2009 multiplayer survival horror game developed and published by Valve. The sequel to Turtle Rock Studios’s Left 4 Dead, it was released for Windows and Xbox 360 in November 2009, Mac OS X in October 2010, and Linux in July 2013.
- Left 4 Dead 2 builds upon cooperatively focused gameplay and Valve’s proprietary Source engine, the same game engine used in the original Left 4 Dead. Set during the aftermath of an apocalyptic pandemic, Left 4 Dead 2 focuses on four new Survivors, fighting against hordes of zombies, known as the Infected, who develop severe psychosis and act extremely aggressive.
- The Survivors must fight their way through five campaigns, interspersed with safe houses that act as checkpoints, with the goal of escape at each campaign’s finale. The gameplay is procedurally altered by the “AI Director 2.0”, which monitors the players’ performance and adjusts the scenario to provide a dynamic challenge. Other new features include new types of special infected and an arsenal of melee weapons.
- Set in the zombie apocalypse, Left 4 Dead 2 (L4D2) is the highly anticipated sequel to the award-winning Left 4 Dead, the #1 co-op game of 2008.
- This co-operative action horror FPS takes you and your friends through the cities, swamps, and cemeteries of the Deep South, from Savannah to New Orleans across five expansive campaigns.
- You will play as one of four new survivors armed with a wide and devastating array of classic and upgraded weapons. In addition to firearms, you will also get a chance to take out some aggression on infected with a variety of carnage-creating melee weapons, from chainsaws to axes and even the deadly frying pan.
- You will be putting these weapons to the test against three horrific and formidable new Special Infected. You’ll also encounter five new “uncommon” common infected, including the terrifying Mudmen.
- Helping to take L4D’s frantic, action-packed gameplay to the next level is AI Director 2.0. This improved Director has the ability to procedurally change the weather you’ll fight through and the pathways you’ll take, in addition to tailoring the enemy population, effects, and sounds to match your performance. L4D2 promises a satisfying and uniquely challenging experience every time the game is played, custom-fitted to your style of play.
- Next-generation co-op action gaming from the makers of Half-Life, Portal, Team Fortress, and Counter-Strike.
- Over 20 new weapons & items headlined by over 10 melee weapons – axe, chainsaw, frying pan, baseball bat – allow you to get up close with the zombies
- New survivors. New Story. New dialogue.
- Five expansive campaigns for co-operative, Versus, and Survival game modes.
- An all-new multiplayer mode.
- Uncommon common infected. Each of the five new campaigns contains at least one new “uncommon common” zombies that are exclusive to that campaign.
- AI Director 2.0: Advanced technology dubbed “The AI Director” drove L4D’s unique gameplay, customizing enemy population, effects, and music, based upon the players’ performance. L4D 2 features “The AI Director 2.0” which expands the Director’s ability to customize level layout, world objects, weather, and lighting to reflect different times of the day.
- Stats, rankings, and awards system drive collaborative play.
Like its predecessor, Left 4 Dead 2 is about within the aftermath of a worldwide pandemic of a communicable disease referred to as the “Green Flu”, which rapidly transforms humans into zombie-like creatures and mutated forms that demonstrate extreme aggression towards non-infected (much just like the infected in 28 Days Later). Few humans are resistant to the disease, still carrying the infection but showing no symptoms. The Civil Emergency and Defense Agency (CEDA) and therefore the U.S. Military create safe zones to attempt to evacuate as many American survivors as possible. Left 4 Dead 2 introduces four new Survivors: Coach, Ellis, Nick, and Rochelle, who are resistant to the disease and have individual backstories that are provided through character dialogue. While the game is intended as a continuation of the original, occurring one week after the first game begins, Valve decided to create a new group of Survivors due to the change in location. Like the first game, the five campaigns in Left 4 Dead 2 are set across a story arc, set in the Southern United States, which starts in Savannah, Georgia, and ends in New Orleans, Louisiana. The four Survivors have to fight their way through hordes of Infected, using safe houses along the way to rest and recuperate in order to reach extraction points.
Left 4 Dead 2 features a new cast of human Survivors, which include: Coach (voiced by Chad Coleman), a portly high-school football coach with a bad knee (although it does not affect gameplay); Nick (voiced by Hugh Dillon, motion capture by Adam Karst), a chilly and cynical gambler and con artist; Rochelle (voiced by Rochelle Aytes), a low-level production assistant reporting on the evacuation for an area television station; and Ellis (voiced by Eric Ladin), a friendly (and rather talkative) mechanic who often talks about his friend Keith and their many misadventures. In addition to the four playable characters, Left 4 Dead 2 also features a supporting character within the sort of Virgil (voiced by Randall Newsome), a Cajun boat captain, who appears (voice only) within the game’s final three campaigns.
Development for Left 4 Dead 2 started shortly after the discharge of the primary game, following a brief break, building on ideas from the event team to form subsequent game “bigger and better”. The game was given the codename “Carnation” to stop revealing its details before its official announcement; Valve also considered a replacement title for the sport, Back 4 More, though they eventually dropped it for Left 4 Dead 2
The Xbox 360 version of the sport was noted at launch for having serious issues with lag and slowdown in online game modes, the bulk coming from using the game’s dedicated servers. According to Valve, these problems were thanks to an unexpectedly huge number of players online on Xbox LIVE. It was shortly fixed after release by a server infrastructure change and adding new dedicated servers.
Valve acknowledged problems with the PC version of the sport upon launch, including the inability to put in the sport, or users finding it crashed within minutes. Most users reported successful bug fixes from the patches that followed.
Competitive community and tournaments
On the PC, the first competitive modification named “Confogl” was created by community member ProdigySim. It is now a playable mutation included in the game. Confogl may be a set of rules for competitive Left 4 Dead 2 versus which standardizes certain elements and changes the distribution of things and weapons. It tips the scales toward the infected. Tournaments have been held utilizing the Confogl modification, such as the CEVO tournament.
Pre-release sales estimates for Left 4 Dead 2 were positive. As of July 2009, Left 4 Dead 2 ranked first in purchase intent out of all upcoming games, with 9 out of 10 polled stating that they would buy the game. According to Lombardi, pre-orders for the sequel within the month following the announcement were double those for Left 4 Dead at the same time relative to release date. In a press release on October 5, 2009 Valve announced that, based on the strength of pre-orders, they expect Left 4 Dead 2 to be the fastest-selling product in the company’s history, with the game’s pre-release sales averaging 300% greater than Left 4 Dead. In an interview in November 2009, Chet Faliszek claimed the number of pre-sales of Left 4 Dead 2 was four times that of the original game.
On December 1, 2009, Valve reported that more than two million retailed copies of Left 4 Dead 2 were sold in two weeks, which represents “more than double” the sales of the original game’s two-week debut. According to the NPD Group, the Xbox 360 version was the fifth best-selling retail title for consoles in November 2009, with over 744,000 copies sold.
In February 2010, Electronic Arts, Left 4 Dead 2 retail distributor, revealed that the game had sold 2.9 million on retail so far while Forbes wrote that more than 4 million copies were sold at stores in 2009.
Over two weeks in July 2010, approximately 12,000 owners of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 were mistakenly banned by Valve’s-Anti-Cheat system. Those affected received a free copy of the game or an extra copy to send as a gift.
On May 10, 2011, Doug Lombardi mentioned that each of the Left 4 Dead games had sold three million copies on the Xbox 360. In August 2011, Faliszek said that the series had sold over 11 million in total. The game was offered free for a day on Steam on Christmas 2013.
Left 4 Dead 2 received positive reviews from game journalists, praising the changes made with the new melee weapons and firearms, the new strategies introduced through the new special infected, and the details of the southern locale and individual campaigns compared with the campaigns of the first game.