Celtic Gaming: Valve – Left 4 Dead 2 Preview and Portal Review

07 Jun

Right, I know I said I’d be back Tuesday, but I’ve been looking at the trailer for Left 4 Dead 2, and saw that several people are saying to boycott the new game from Valve. This has let me come back two days early to say why I think that boycotting the game isn’t exactly a good option. Sit down and read on, you disagree, feel free to let me know.

Now, everyone knows that Valve don’t do “Release a Sequel after a year” – that’s not their thing. They did say L4D would come with plenty of DLC, so that is a major reason for the boycott call. So far all we got is two campaigns being made available for Versus and a new mode. Not the best DLC I’ve seen. However, considering the technology of the game, and the nature of the updates – Melee Weaponry, an AI Director overhaul – A sequel is a logical way to bring the promised content to the public, without sending the game off-balance, like they did with Team Fortress 2. By only releasing some bonuses to some of the classes, the game has become frustrating, with shitloads of Snipers and Spies. As an Engineer/Demoman player, that can be pretty terrible.

But that’s a rant for another day. I’ll hold my hands up by saying I like Valve – I like all but one of Valve’s games ((Not mentioning it…yet)), and they do know what they’re doing, especially when you look at their History of games. Team Fortress, Half-Life, Counter-strike – let’s face it, Valve are the king of FPS games – so a new game should not be boycotted because they aren’t doing exactly what they said they would. I mean, looking at the improvements to the AI Director ((If they can pick up bloody grenades for once, that will be awesome)), the new Infected ((One-armed Hillbilly Tank, anyone?)), more paths to take as well as better rewards for taking harder paths and the most intruiging thing, the Wandering Witch – like the Nemesis from Resident Evil 3 or Defoe from the Trilby series – is that it’s something bloodly lethal and you don’t know where it is, and it creeps you out when you see it. The Witch, and the music that accompanies her presence have to be one of the creepier moments of modern gaming.

L4D2 is to the original what Knothole Island and See the Future are to Fable 2 and the bug-filled expansions are to Fallout 3, except this time it’s going to be worth it. The gameplay and engine, yeah they are gonna remain the same, but those things were rather solid. The AI Director is getting major upgrades, there’s new weapons, new enemies, ammunition that sets stuff on fire – Left 4 Dead 1 was worth the money, and I’m pretty sure Left 4 Dead 2 will be too – so let’s drop the calls and enjoy the king’s best project.

That’s not to say everything they do is gold. I’ve mentioned that there are three things that majorly piss me off in games – overhyping, terrible controls and blatant fanservice – the former has ruined Chrono Trigger for me, it ruined the Force Unleashed for me and it also ruined Portal for me, but it isn’t fair to blame just one person…the whole bloody internet did it! Webcomics eespecially – there are only so many times you can hear “The cake is a Lie” without the police knocking at your door inquiring about a missing pizza man. There are a few things I can yell about, so I shall.

My major complaint is GlaDOS’ voice – it’s like getting your ear cleaned by a jackhammer covered in Sandpaper at times – yes, the classic humour is there, but the voice just irritates me, taking away some of the funny, making the jokes at best only just enjoyable. The colours are…depressing, although they do fit as it is a lab controlled by a psychotic AI. I admit, the puzzles are clever, but it gets rather repetitive – the portal gun is fun for the first few minutes, but the novelty vanishes quickly. I played for a while, and it’s not good for a game when you look around after an hour and ask yourself  “Okay, when does it get fun?”

Yeah, I just love pissing off fanboys – Portal is not a bad game, it’s just average, let down by being too short, too expensive for what you get – annoying voice…it’s just not a game that deserves all the hype – the main good thing I like is the idea. But that’s it. I’m sorry, but I can’t honestly say I like it, when I got bored of it not even halfway through. It’s innovative, but it’s like Mirror’s Edge and most of Top Gear’s efforts – ambitious, but rubbish

Join me on Tuesday when I get burned in effigy!



Posted by on June 7, 2009 in Celtic Gaming


Tags: , , , , , , ,

2 responses to “Celtic Gaming: Valve – Left 4 Dead 2 Preview and Portal Review

  1. Rutskarn

    June 22, 2009 at 10:37 pm

    As far as the AI and grenades go:

    Observe as the AI unfailingly stands in the most undefensible, crossfire-prone area.

    Observe as the AI consumes pills and health kits alike when they stub their toes, get rugburn, or get called a nasty name by the zombies.

    Observe as they gambol about, with little concern for lines of fire, concentrations of zombies, and things that are actively exploding.

    Now ask yourself if you want them in control of bottles of fire.

    • scotsperson

      June 23, 2009 at 10:05 am

      Yet incredibly, they’re still preferable to have in a game than some of the people online – goes to show when it comes to the Zombie Apocolypse, we’re more or less humped

      Thanks for reading!


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