Survival should not be this fun

Left for Dead 2

It’s time to fire up the chainsaw, ready a machine gun and start killing zombies. "Left 4 Dead 2" places the player in a zombie-infested adventure, similar to its predecessor, that consists of five intense campaigns. The game allows the player to choose between four different characters with one goal in common: stay alive. Each character has a unique personality; there is Nick, the conman; Ellis, the redneck mechanic; Coach, a football coach; and Rochelle the reporter.

Valve once again goes the extra mile with attention to detail. From the writings on the walls of abandoned houses to the affects of a heavy rain storm, this game looks and feels very polished. "Left 4 Dead 2" also brings back the stellar sound effects featured in the first game. Gameplay is virtually the same with the player only able to carry two weapons; a primary firearm and a secondary gun or melee weapon.

The game’s five campaigns follow a developed story, instead of just placing the characters in completely different situations likethe first game. Each campaign is broken into chapters that are completed when a safe house is reached, similar to the first game. The first campaign places the characters in Savannah, Ga, where they are trying to reach the top of a hotel to be rescued. After no rescue helicopter comes, the group decides to go to the mall.

After escaping the zombie-infested mall with a hot rod, the group is forced to ditch the car and trek through a carnival, the second campaign, eventually to be rescued by a helicopter. The group then kills the pilot after finding out he was infected and crashes into a backwoods swamp town, the third campaign. Battling through the town the team finds themselves aboard a boat. After the captain, Virgil, informs the group he needs fuel, the team is then forced to battle through another southern town, but this time in a heavy rainstorm. The final campaign takes place in New Orleans, where the team must battle through the city to the evacuation point.

The five special infected types return from the first game and are joined by three new special infected. The new infected types are the spitter, who spits out a toxic acid; the charger, who knocks players down; and the jockey who jumps on players and controls their every move. The witch, a returning infected, has new the ability to walk around, making it even harder to avoid her this time.

"Left 4 Dead 2" offers a vast array of weaponry. The player can wield chainsaws, baseball bats, sniper rifles and a grenade launcher that comes in handy on several occassions. The game features two new modes; "Realism" strips away the blue silhouettes from the player’s teammates and weapons and if a player dies they are dead for good; "Scavenge" makes four survivors search for gas canisters that are spread out throughout the level to run generators while four infected players try to stop the survivors from finding the canisters.

"Left 4 Dead 2" comes packed with new modes, longer campaigns, and a new arsenal of weapons. If you’re a fan of killing zombies, then give this game a try on the PC or Xbox 360.