This game is very violent, very bloody and gory. But it's a game where you're killing zombies, what do you expect?
That being said, what a game, what a game. It's all I can say about this. To sum this up, this is an over the top, intense, first person zombie shooter that's everything that the first left 4 dead should have been.
First, the setting, stories, characters, etc.
So this time around you're playing in a southern area, around Louisiana, Mississippi, etc. which brings with it, it's own character. There's a famous southern rock band, the midnight riders, for instance and in one level, the ending fight scene takes place at a concert of there's where you can battle against zombies amidst the fireworks and light show that the stage provides. There's also a famous race car driver, and one level you're busy gassing up his stock car (at a car show) so you can drive it and get the heck out of there. But no, you sadly wont be doing any driving. It's a great ending to see the car bash through a bunch of zombies however.
You get the idea..
This time around, you're not playing 4 separate sort of "movies". The chapters are, at least somewhat, connected. Like when you drive out from the ending of one chapter, the next chapter, the car has broken down, and now you're on foot.
The characters, wow, what a change. Part of me misses the old l4d characters, like bill, and zoe.. but these new ones are so full of great humor and character it's quite a tossup.
There's Nick, who doesn't really "belong" in the south. He's very more of a serious, almost like a business man from the north. However, he's actually just a gambler and a conman, oh wait, what's the difference? I'm kidding! But seriously, he's always making jokes about the "south".
There's Rochelle, who's a news reporter, she's kind of an in between character, not too funny, not too serious imo.
Then there's Ellis and Coach. Ellis is a mechanic, and coach is well, a coach. They're always full of jokes and wisecracks and can really bring a laugh, or at least a chuckle around every now and then.
Ok so enough about that, lets get down to the nitty gritty.
This game is extremely over the top and I mean that, whole heartily. But it fits well here and provides a new layer to the l4d world. For instance, there's new melee weapons, there's normal things like you would expect. Like an axe, a sword, a baseball bat, a chainsaw... But there's also others like a guitar, or a..... frying pan and I must say, there's something oddly funny about smashing a zombie over the head with a frying pan and hearing that comical clang afterwards. With all the melee weapons, they're basically 1 hit kills to the normal zombies and will usually involve some sort of dismemberment. Even if you're using a guitar, if you hit a zombie at the head, it's gonna fly. However, you have to be careful as it's extremely easy to damage friends nearby with these.
Speaking about that, you can take a whole new world of hurt to the zombies. There's a new system in place that allows you to... well, lets put it this way.. if you shoot a zombie in the back, part of his back goes missing. You can blow off a part of the zombies head, if you slice with an axe or sword you can leave some nasty gashes in the torso. You can literally blow a zombie to bits, like with the grenade launcher and pipebomb. Sometimes after the explosion if you take the time to look you'll see bits of arms, legs, some intestines, whatever. It's pretty violent, pretty brutal, pretty fun. If this was happening in another game, and you weren't killing zombies... There'd probably be a ton of people freaking out. It'd be like an extremely violent game, even more so than the soldier of fortune games... But since you're killing zombies, it's actually quite fun.
Also, to quote game informer, "At one point an explosion propelled a zombie over m head with its intestines trailing behind it like a party streamer." oh and if you attack zombies with melee weapons blood splashes up on your screen, it's a neat effect and doesn't really get in the way.
The melee weapons takes place of your secondary weapon, so you can still keep your primary firearm, whatever it may be. There's plenty of new ones this time around as well.
The guns this time around are much more real. It seems as though they took their time modeling and animating these guns to their real life counterparts. There's an ak47, something that resembles a scar, you've got a much more modernized semi-automatic rifle equipped with sights for some nice sniping action, there's m16's, there's shotguns, uzi's, tmp's, grenade launchers, etc. Whatever you pick, you're probably going to like it. It just FEELS right, it feels like a gun in the game, not a toy.
There's also "laser sights" you can pick up that increase accuracy (I don't know why it would, but oh well), there's also new rounds you can put into your favorite firearm. You can use incendiary rounds, explosive rounds and they're a blast. Literally. There's a limited amount, so when you get them you only have like 40 or so in your primary weapon.
There's the new uncommon common zombies. Like the zombies in hazmat suits, or zombies in riot gear that are bulletproof unless you shoot them from the back. They add a little more fun and break up the monotony. There's also, this time around, 6 special infected (Not including the witch).
There's the spitter (One of my favorites) that spits out a pile of acidic goo that does quite a bit of damage. There's the charger that runs into the survivors and will grab one of them and keep slamming him/her into the ground until he, or the survivor dies. There's also revamped versions of the special infected from the first l4d. There's the boomer, smoker, hunter and tank. All of the special infected have a new look that fits this game very well and I definitely prefer it to the original (Except the hunter and tank they basically look the same). The sounds the special infected make are also much improved. The boomer for instance sounds much more gross and nasty and it's GREAT!
The campaign is much better this time around, the levels are much more detailed and fun although they're much more open and they aren't as linear. There's been a few times on the first play through where I was scratching my head trying to figure out where to go mainly because I ran past where I was supposed to go when I was busy killing zombies and ended up slightly lost.
But it's such a vast improvement, the environments are much more fun as well. One level where you play in a fair type setting, there's a roller-coaster that you send and it runs into zombies on the track, and I believe it was Ellis who says "These zombies don't respect lines" or something of the sort.
But there's still a lot carried over from l4d, you still have the same matchmaking service, it still looks like l4d, it's slightly improved especially with a lot of the effects, like fire, explosions, etc. but it's not going to blow you away.
However, there's new modes. There's the normal campaign and versus but...
There's the realism setting, which removes any glows and I haven't seen a real difficulty increase, even on expert. It just seems more visual, but I could be wrong. I haven't played it much.
There's the survival setting which basically pits you against wave after wave of zombies.
There's the scavenge mode that has you do something like hunting for fuel to keep something filled while fighting off a ton of zombies. It can get quite intense or frustrating haha.
All that said, I have had a few problems with this game, it's crashed a few times. Although, it's odd. Usually when a game or anything crashes, you'd get a popup, some sort of an error, at least it might help you in figuring out what happened, whats wrong. But I never get anything, the game just closes and that's it. It's happened in single and multiplayer so I'm not sure what's going on and it's also happened to other people so I know it's not just me.
There's also, of course, people. People you play with on multiplayer, it doesn't matter who or what. There's always going to be something, of course this isn't the games fault. But it's something to be aware of, quite a bit of people I play with, whether it's pubs or pugs, they're pretty decent. But there's always that one game, with that "one" person that just completely ruins everything. Like for instance, this guy "MorganFreeman911" would blame EVERYTHING on me, even when it was HIS fault. Like if I was shooting at a bunch of zombies and he'd run into straight into it, it was my fault. If he ran into a witch and got killed, it was my fault. You get the picture. It's people like that, that can really ruin a fun experience. If you're playing with someone like that, it's usually best to just leave, find a different game, and be on your merry way.
But all in all it's a very fun game and HOPEFULLY they'll release some DLC later on that'll add to the longevity of this game, because I do like this.
As time goes on, I'll update this review if needed. I hope it was helpful!