The last DLC package released for the Left 4 Dead series received a pretty negative response from most players. The campaign was too short, contained no shine, and the environments seemed fairly familiar. We have yet to see a DLC release since then, but now we do. The Passing for Left 4 Dead 2 has been released, and was advertised to contain cooperative play with the survivors from the first Left 4 Dead game, include a new weapon, and a new game mode. After playing through the campaign a few times, my opinion on it is a positive one.
What I Expected
Some new environments to explore: Crash Course contained many of the same texture models as the other campaigns, giving it a very dull look. * Satisfying interaction between the survivors: This seems to be the main selling point of this package, so it better be good.
The new game mode better be good: To be honest, I am pretty bored of this game, which sucks considering it is fairly new. I am hoping that this game mode adds some replay value to this game.
The M60 being a great weapon: A light machine gun sounds like a great addition to this game. I don’t see how it could suck.
When I first loaded up Left 4 Dead 2 after downloading this 1gb update, the first thing that I noticed was that the introduction movie was still the same. Although this is not an issue, I was kind of hoping that this would have changed, as this is the trailer for the game. But on to the main menu. There are now two new buttons to click on. The first one, Mutation, is the new game mode that Valve has been advertising. Each week, Valve is going to introduce a new game mode that is a modification of the regular modes (Campaign, Survival, Versus, Realism, and Scavenge). For example, one of the Mutation events will be Chainsaw Massacre, which is a modification of the campaign mode. Here, you are equipped with only a chainsaw (with unlimited gas), and get to slash your way through an entire campaign. That sounds awesome, and I am extremely excited to play it. Mutation is a great idea, as it adds some juice back into this game that I was beginning to become very bored of. The other button, Blog Post, allows you to vote in a poll each week. The first poll was asking what your favorite character in the game was. That is kind of cool, but to be honest, I don’t care about voting about little stuff like that. I can imagine this feature coming in handy with bigger polls, such as future DLC options.
This campaign takes place immediately after the events of Dead Center, where the survivors are blocked by a closed bridge. There, they are greeted by either Francis, or Zoey from the first Left 4 Dead game, where they explain that the bridge cannot be opened until they make it to the other side. So basically, the campaign is the survivors navigating around a bridge. However, the campaign is much more complicated than that. There is a lot of terrain to cover for such a simple objective. You actually end up traveling underground, which I found really cool. Overall, Valve did a great job with introducing new environments here. However, that doesn’t mean that all of the terrain is new. I did come across a good amount of objects that I recognized from other campaigns. However, that is to be expected, so it’s not that big of a deal. The recycled materials were not as bad as the Crash Course DLC in Left 4 Dead 1, where the campaign just looked like a user-made campaign. Found throughout the campaign are some new items. The main one being the M60 Light Machine gun. This thing really packs a punch. I used it to single-handedly take out a tank on my first run through. My only gripe with this is that it only comes packed with 150 bullets, and you are unable to pick up ammo for it. I guess if you could, it would be extremely overpowered. Another add-on is the footlockers. In these, you will find an infinite supply of throw able weapons, and healing remedies. So, you will find pipe bombs, molotovs, pain pills, and adrenaline shots. These are very similar to the footlockers found in the Half-Life series, where you could find an infinite supply of rocket launcher ammo, and grenades. This is a cool addition, but overall, it doesn’t impact the game very much. What the hell are you going to do with an infinite supply of adrenaline, when the effects wear off in a few seconds? It doesn’t make much sense to me. One thing that I really liked with this campaign was the wide variety of lines implemented by the characters. On all of my play-throughs, I seemed to hear a different line voiced by each of the characters in the same situations. That was very exciting for me, as the old lines were starting to become extremely dull, as they never changed. My main gripe with this campaign is how short it is. It is only a three chapter-campaign, the shortest in the game. However, despite its length, I found it to be one of the most intense campaigns. Perhaps my favorite addition that came with this campaign was the new Survival maps. I really did not like any of the maps for any of the other campaigns, as I just couldn’t crack any of them. So far, I have not gotten one gold medal on any of the survival maps in this game, but I almost had all of them in the first game. Valve actually implemented good weapons in The Passing’s survival maps, such as the AK-47, which is not present in any of the other maps, and the Magnum pistol which was only in The Atrium. Also, there are much more elaborate places to camp in these maps, giving it a much more fun experience. I can see myself getting a gold medal on all three of these maps. You read that correctly, three survival maps. This also surprised me, because each campaign tended to have a small number of maps. Dead Center for example, only offered The Atrium, when there were numerous other places that I could easily Survival maps being placed on.
The Passing was a very impressive DLC package. This rivals with the Survival Pack for Left 4 Dead 1, which really spiced up the game. Despite its short length, it was very action packed and fun. Thanks to The Passing, I can see myself playing Left 4 Dead 2 for months longer with the campaign and Mutation.