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Left 4 Dead 2

Left 4 Dead 2

November 17, 2009
Developer:
Publisher:
Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Language

Video Game Cat Review

Date of Review:  November 25, 2012
Format Reviewed:   Xbox 360
Language / Country of Origin:   English / USA
Single or Multi-Player:  Single- and Multi-Player (up to 2 players offline, 8 players online)
Online Capability:  Online multiplayer available (both competitive and cooperative).  There is also downloadable content (DLC) available for this title.
Prequels: Left 4 Dead.
Equipment Needed: None needed.
Maintenance Required:  None required.

Review:

Plot:  
A worldwide pandemic turns infected victims into ravenous zombies hungry to spread their disease.  Four survivors stranded on a rooftop must fight their way to safety.  Grab a weapon and charge your way through five campaigns in order to survive the zombie apocalypse.

Cultural / Historical Value:
Left 4 Dead 2 is the second installment in the Left 4 Dead series.  This game, according to the developers who made it is “bigger and better” than its predecessor – with richer graphics and animation and a more developed story and plot.  It has won numerous awards and has sold millions of copies worldwide.  However, this game has not been without controversy.  The Entertainment Software Ratings Board (ESRB) called the game’s original cover art too graphic – for depicting a dismembered hand missing fingers.  This has been changed for later versions.  Others have accused the game of being racist and insensitive – for depicting an uncommon number of African American zombies and a water soaked New Orleans shortly after the impact of Hurricane Katrina.

Teaching / Learning Characteristics:
Left 4 Dead 2 relies on cooperative campaigning in order to survive the zombie apocalypse.  The game rewards players for choosing more difficult paths and utilizing teamwork methods in order to progress through the stages of the game.  Better weapons and health sustainability are rewarded to players who mind their teammates’ lives.  As a result, Left 4 Dead 2 promotes team work and collective cooperation skills and teaches and instills these values into its players.

Replay Value:  
There are numerous ways that players can complete Left 4 Dead 2.  Players have a choice in the routes they take that affect the length and difficulty of their campaigns.  This gives the game additional replayability.  Furthermore, this game has four game modes: “Campaign” (where up to four players fight their way through the various chapters of the game together); “Versus” (where some players are able to take the role of the infected); “Survival” (where players attempt to withstand zombies for as long as possible); and “Scavenge” (where four survivors attempt to keep power generators operating as long as possible while four infected players attempt to stop them).  These various modes give the game added life and will keep players going back for more.  For those looking for even more content, there are three downloadable missions available: “The Passing,” “The Sacrifice,” and “Cold Stream.”

Likely Audiences:
Left 4 Dead 2 is obviously going to appeal to those who enjoyed the first game in the Left 4 Dead series.  Fans of zombies and survival horror games will probably like this title.  The Left 4 Dead games are good for those looking for an action-packed multi-player shooter experience.  Because the game is chock full of violence and graphic material, it is intended for only adult players.

Overall Score:
80/100

Other Reviews:
1up.com
Gamerankings
Gamespot
Metacritic
Mobygames

 

About the Author:
Ben Bigalke is an avid traveler, bicycle enthusiast, lover of animals and video gamer extraordinaire.  He grew up taking the stories and virtues told by the Nintendo of his childhood to heart.  As an adult, he continues to appreciate the entertainment and learning experiences that videogames offer and studies the technological and artistic advancements they have made throughout his lifetime.  As a videogame reviewer, he enjoys both observing and experiencing the cultural impact that these games have on his generation.

Awards

Award Giver Category Verdict
Spike Video Game Awards 2009Best Multiplayer Game Nominee
Spike Video Game Awards 2009Best PC Game Nominee
Spike Video Game Awards 2009Best Shooter Nominee
Spike Video Game Awards 2009Best Xbox 360 Game Winner
Spike Video Game Awards 2009Game of the Year Nominee
Spike Video Game Awards 2009Studio of the Year
(Valve)
Nominee
GAME British Academy Video Game Awards 2010Action Nominee
Interactive Achievement Awards 2010Action Game of the Year Nominee
GAME British Academy Video Game Awards 2010Best Game Nominee
GAME British Academy Video Game Awards 2010Multiplayer Winner
Interactive Achievement Awards 2010Outstanding Achievement in Game Play Engineering Nominee
Interactive Achievement Awards 2010Outstanding Achievement in Online Game Play Nominee
GAME British Academy Video Game Awards 2010Use of Audio Nominee

Additional Info

ESRB Description:
Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Language

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