L4D2 PC demo: hands-on first impressions

Update: You can view some screenshots of the L4D2 demo taken by Maddcap on Facebook here.

Original: The Left 4 Dead 2 PC demo has finally been released on Steam, and is available for customers who have pre-purchased the game. Glen “Maddcap” Seetoh, leader of WCG ’09 L4D champions Wallhackers, has played the demo and given us his first impressions of the game:

Just tried out the Left 4 Dead 2 Demo this morning. And it was amazing! The gore, the sound, the new special infected and the new weapons! The AK-47, SCAR, G3SG1 (??), Silenced Uzi, Uzi, Shotgun, Auto-shotgun and the wide range of melee weapons makes it greater than its predecessor. The weapon sounds are great except for AK-47 — it sounds a like a toy. The guitar goes TWANG! And the frying pan goes PING! Unfortunately, not all of the new weapons from Left 4 Dead 2 were in the demo. The grenade launcher and incendiary ammunition were missing.

The AI seems to have improved too, for the Infected that is. At least the Special Infected have better teamwork now. The Survivor bots on the other hand only showed a bit of improvement. I was being pummeled by a charger, and the bot beside me just stared at me.

When the common infected are killed, and you’re using a high damage weapon to kill, e.g. the SCAR, you can see the insides of the infected. When you’re playing expert and you shoot them with the SCAR and they don’t die, you can see their insides AND they’re still running towards you! How cool is that!

The new grenade, the Bile bomb, is an interesting weapon. When you throw it on anything, it spawns a horde and attacks the marked target. E.g. when you use the Bile bomb and throw it at the tank, it will be marked, and a mob will spawn and attack it. The good point is if the common infected surround it, it can’t move, and it’ll just be able to throw rocks at you. BUT once the bile is over, the common infected will change their target and attack you instead. It works as a pipe bomb too. Too many common infected in front? Use it! The infected will swarm over the location and attack their targets. It can also be thrown at other common infected and it’ll cause a zombie Royal Rumble! You might think that this is a good griefing weapon… but nope, you can’t throw and mark your teammates.

There are several cosmetic improvements for the Special Infected too. The Hunter for example, now wears shorts. The Smoker looks a lot uglier – in a good way, the Tank looks more pinkish and realistic, and for the Boomer – there’s a female version of it. No changes to their attacks though.

When you burn the Common Infected, you can see their charred body after they are burnt, unlike in L4D1.

In Expert difficulty, pills, health kits, defibrillators, and adrenaline are available. This is unlike L4D1’s Expert mode, where pills are the only health items available after the safehouse.

Now for the cons. You can’t see your legs. Not really much of an issue actually. Personally, I think the view models are a little too close. It might feel like an expansion for a few of you, but personally, I feel it’s worth it.

There’s also random freezing in the game. Several people are having the same problem. But there’s one possible way of fixing it – turn off multi-core rending. It may or may not help, but it’s certainly worth a try.

Here’s a random tip for the Crescendo event on Map 2. If you find yourself being mobbed on the gauntlet run, try to stop and clear the Common Infected first for some breathing space and regroup before you continue. It helps.

“I have not… Come this far… To die now…”

Thanks Maddcap for the L4D2 demo write-up!

Have your say. Add your comments:

  • Maddcap

    Can I have my HON beta key now?

  • Frez

    you forgot the chainsaw!

  • Matafleur

    So, is Rochelle or Zoey hotter?

  • DomeJr

    Zoey, hands down.

    Rochelle is more like that annoying bitch of an older sister that won’t shut up.

    Plus zoey goes “argh! he’s crushing me” when the tank rapes her.

  • Matafleur

    mm Zoey… crushing… rape… I SEE WHAT YOU DID THAR

  • Glimmerous.Fop

    In my haste to post Maddcap’s review I totally forgot about the screenshots he had taken. I’ve updated the article with a link to the screenshots (Facebook required).

    The graphics look awesome for L4D2 on the PC.

  • DomeJr

    L4D2-Demo Screwing Up Mah O’ Levels!

    Meant to be in engineer’s accent lol.

  • Maddcap

    Fat Auntie as picture

  • DomeJr

    “There are several cosmetic improvements for the Special Infected too”

    I wouldn’t call them improvements ..

    I mean, apart from helicopters made of chocolates,
    the tank looks like a big ham,
    the hunter looks like he got dipped in the kfc fryer
    and the spitter is going, “Hey look my boobs are at my waist.”

  • Maddcap

    should be cosmetics changes ;d

  • Glimmerous.Fop

    Keep in mind that L4D2 is on a new engine (Orange Box engine), so naturally there will be some graphical improvements in the models and textures.

  • sunburnedcrow

    “Zoey, hands down.

    Rochelle is more like that annoying bitch of an older sister that won’t shut up.

    Plus zoey goes “argh! he’s crushing me” when the tank rapes her.”

    Yes! I knew it! Hypothesis confirmed!