2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Much as I love it, best bought when re-issued in a GOTY version,
This review is from: Left 4 Dead 2 (PC DVD) (DVD-ROM)
To be fair to the game, I have played it for just under 200 hours since it was released 11 months ago, when it's good it's great in campaign mode with three teammates who actually want to play, but I have to knock it down by two stars just because single players will be frustrated by the random but generally lousy AI from the computer-controlled teammates. Compared to Valve's earlier titles like Half-Life 2 and its episodes where the companions' AI is above average to good without necessarily being completely scripted, it feels like the other three team members in Left 4 Dead 2 were downgraded with the assumption that you'd always have three to six other friends that owned the game and would always be about. These computer players are even worse than the first game a lot of the time.
It also affects whether you can even get into certain game types as well, there's no practice in Versus or Scavenge modes with the PC sidekicks as one other human player is demanded before you can start. To enjoy survival you have to make your own lobby and hope someone's hosting the map you want to play, otherwise you have to do it yourself and hope your upload speed's fast enough for a decent game if other people join.
From 5th October 2010 you can import the most popular campaign from the first game into L4D2 (No Mercy) - it looks similar but will run faster - and that's nice, but requires another 3.5Gb of space added on to your installation. Like all Valve titles it's a Steam game and if you have a Steam account problem you have to make a new support-only account to get Valve to fix it, so that's the only other issue that might get in the way. They added another small campaign as well but its ending and second Survival map (Survival mode having no ending until you're all beaten down and incapacitated) are identical to the mini campaign from Summer 2010 - that was a slightly lazy touch to carry out such carbon-copy recycling.
If however a Game of the Year edition is released which means you don't have to download nearly 4 extra gigabytes in addition to what's on this DVD, then it's still worth a try depending on the price remaining around ten pounds, particularly with the "Mutators" that change aspects of the mainstream gameplay which are rotated from a list of 20 across single and multi-player It's great and the developer has taken steps to try and keep you interested but you had to be there at the time to get the best from this. If there's going to be a third game it'll need a lot more than just a year's work.