Power to the Undead People

Being a lover of games, especially good ones, and even more so of sequels that are just as amazing as the first, it’s not often that I find myself hesitant to accept another title to add to my ever expanding collection. Having what could probably be considered as too many Final Fantasy and Resident Evil games, I’d be a bit of a hypocrite to say that sequels are bad, but that doesn’t mean I can’t question the timing!

November 18th 2008, an almighty day for the gaming world with the release of an undoubtedly influential, extremely successful, and all-round bloody marvellous gaming bombshell: Left 4 Dead. While I wipe away the drool and attempt to contain my love of this game to a bare professional minimum, I really don’t need to spend much time to summarise the impact of this game; Ready Up Left 4 Dead Wednesdays for one, a perfect example of the impact of this game – we don’t dedicate days to any old tosh you know! How about a special edition game of the year release for another, or if you want to be very fussy how about over 2.5 million sales before it’s five months old? Are we on the same page? Good!

The net has a lot to answer for!

So crazy amounts of copies and not many months later along comes E3 2009 with the, dare I say insane, news that Left 4 Dead 2 will be released a day before the year anniversary of the first. Surprisingly, many people have since been left wondering why the hell Valve, makers of Left 4 Dead, have opted to bring out a sequel to a game that is still riding on its fast paced and addictive wave of success.

The main argument for many, and something that as a big player of Left 4 Dead I agree on, is that the first game still hasn’t reached the limits of its potential, and is still far from dropping in popularity with players. The survival pack released earlier in the year was a perfect example of the additions that can be made and be lapped up by us zombie slaughtering nut jobs accordingly. Because of the beautiful simplicity of just having to get through the scenarios without getting pounced, puked on or having your jugular ripped out by a rabid woman in her underwear, gameplay can always be expanded with extra levels, and will be rinsed to the length of a smokers tongue and back before we even think of asking for something more.

The easy add on potential was confirmed again recently by the newly announced campaign pack that will be released in September, featuring tweaks to the normal game modes, new dialogue (I eagerly await more classics one liners!) and will be fully compatible with co-op, versus and survival modes; so… do we really need a whole new game two months later?

'Oh come here… I'm gonna miss you, you manky savage cow!'

This mutual feeling between many of the Left 4 Dead online community has given rise to an actual Left 4 Dead 2 boycott, if you can believe such a thing! Their play on the situation is simply let us get through and take the current game as far as it can go before we shunt to the next one. Having such a close knit group of highly addicted online players, many gamers are concerned that bringing a second title in this early will create a divide, and leave Left 4 Dead 1 slowly rotting and gathering dust in a fictional gaming world corner along with Zoey, Francis, Bill and Louis. When many game series such as Halo, Gears of War and Call of Duty take nearly 2 years to develop between titles, you can understand why many feel it’s all a bit too rushed.

l4d2boycottSo far well over 41,000 Left 4 Dead players have joined the boycott, and although I know I’m not strong enough to resist the temptation of Left 4 Dead 2, I do agree with their point of view. Valve, the ever encouraging and supportive game developers that they are, attempt to reassure us that this won’t be the end but yet another new beginning, but it wouldn’t hurt to fend it off for a little while longer now would it? For more information on both points of view please visit http://steamcommunity.com/groups/L4D2boycott







9 responses to “Power to the Undead People”

  1. The Rook avatar
    The Rook

    I had lost interest in playing the first game after a while. Haven’t been back to it in ages. If it wasn’t for Ready Up players, I probably would have lost interest in it a lot sooner.

    With the news of a second title, I will play it through and look forward to seeing how tey have changed things. See what Valve have learnt from the first game and what improvements have been made.

    It will be good to run through fresh levels as well. Which is why I find it strange to find out they were developing a new Campaign for the first game. How long was that in the works? Or was it done in response to the initial cries of ‘too soon’ for a new game.

    Either way, I’m getting more levels to play.

  2. Gene avatar

    Personally, I don’t really care that they’re releasing a sequel instead of extra content, since I got the original on sale. What I’m angry about, though, is how they managed to release two entire multiplayer games back to back, and still haven’t delivered a shred of progress info about Episode 3, which was supposed to be released shortly after the 2nd with the “episodic content” scheme. Now it seems more to me like “episodic” means “release 2/3 of a game and leave everyone who bought them on a cliffhanger ending for at least 2 years!” Now that’s something everyone should be angry about.

  3. Laura avatar

    For me it’s a non-issue, I love L4D and I’m going to buy L4D2. Valve have said that they are still going to bring out more content for the first game. They haven’t let us down by making a sequel! I don’t get why people are mad.

    But yeah, Episode 3, I have no doubt that it’s going to be worth the wait but a little info would be nice 🙂

  4. Kat avatar

    Love the blog ^_^

    But no way am I boycotting L4D2. I can’t wait! I’ve played the first one so much it started to bore me to tears. Although I agree new content would revive my interest in it, I’m really looking forward to new characters and weapons and campaigns. So long as a few RUers also buy it and I have people to play with then I’ll be a happy bunny.

    I *really* hope the sequel is fantastic and that in a couple of months I’m not grumbling about how they’ve rushed it out and should have waited.

  5. MrCuddleswick avatar

    Interesting stuff!

    I have to disagree on one thing – I do think popularity for L4D1 is dropping off. For example, our tournament in the forum died mid-way through, and most of us are/were avid players.

    I’m with teh killerchick – the too-soon problem is a non-issue to me.

    I loved L4D, and I am excited about a sequel.

    If I had to choose between in-depth post-release support for 3 years and no sequel OR a sequel after one year, it’s a simple choice for me. And it’s not like we won’t all be able to go off and play L4D1 if we don’t like the sequel.

    I would crawl over hot coals for HL2: Episode 3, but it’s done when it’s done. Plenty of other stuff on the horizon.

  6. Dave G avatar
    Dave G

    So, just to be clear, what are those boycotting hoping to achieve?

    To stop the title being released? That sounds very unlikely to happen after they’ve spent money developing it.

    To teach them a lesson by reducing their sales? That actually seems naive to me, as if you reduce the developers income that could impact their resources to develop new DLC.

    Okay, okay, I do understand the passion some people have for the game and it’s a compliment to it that people feel so strongly. I just don’t think their approach has been thought through.

    (Good blog though 😉

  7. Loz avatar

    I think the trouble is if people are that eager for left 4 dead 1, I honestly cant see them turning their back on a sequel – me included.

    But I still feel I get as much enjoyment from this game as I did originally, and is one of the few games i continually put into my xbox. Still, to actually boycott a game… crazy thoughts regardless of your point of view!

  8. Jake avatar

    And more people have pre-ordered the second that have actually bought the first. Boycott fail.

  9. Duncan avatar

    I still find it mind-boggling that people will attempt to boycott a sequel to a game they (and pretty much the entire gaming population) think is brilliant.

    Where’s the logic?! I even heard a rumour that Valve were trying to make L4D & L4D2 compatible with each other over this?

    Just sad, leave them alone and let them work on more Portal. 🙂

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