Valve has announced a sequel to Left 4 Dead, slated for release on the PC and Xbox 360 platforms this 17 November. Their announcement came this morning at around 2am (Singapore time) during a Microsoft press conference at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3).
Left 4 Dead 2 will feature five new campaigns that are linked together as part of a larger and more coherent narrative story. The all-new cast of characters will also develop their personalities as the game progresses.
All of the existing Boss Infected will return, along with new additions. Two of these were shown in a Rock Paper Shotgun exclusive hands-on preview of the game – The Charger, a miniature Tank with a powerful charging attack, and the Wandering Witch, who wanders the entire map instead of staying stationary, forcing the Survivor team to rethink their tactics for Witch evasion.
Melee combat in Left 4 Dead 2 has been expanded. Axes, baseball bats, chainsaws and even frying pans are some of the tools available for players. It is not clear if Valve intends to retain the “right-click” melee attack option in Left 4 Dead, or if it will be completely replaced.
The new and improved AI director has been given the ability to alter the layout of certain sections of the campaign, forcing players to seek out different pathways with each playthrough. The director also has the ability to change weather effects and to create random objects in the game world.
Speaking to Rock Paper Scissors, Valve explained that no major changes to gameplay would be made in Left 4 Dead 2 and that the focus of the sequel is to simply create a bigger, better, and more refined Left 4 Dead experience.
Updated to include more information about the new AI director.