Left 4 Dead 2

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Description official descriptions

Left 4 Dead 2 takes place one week after the events of the first game and three weeks after the first infection. Instead of following the journey of Zoey, Francis, Louis and Bill from the first game, the player gets to control Coach, Rochelle, Nick or Ellis. They arrived a few minutes too late at the evacuation point and now need to fight their way through the south-eastern part of infected America to the next official evacuation point.

The core gameplay has not changed since Left 4 Dead. The player still looks through the eyes of one of the survivors and fights his way together with his three team mates through hordes and hordes of zombies. Instead of fighting mainly in the dark, most content of the five campaigns takes place both out in the open and in daylight. This also plays into the hands of a new feature: weather effects. The second part of the third campaign is even completely build around the theme of a heavy storm hitting a small town on the outskirts.

Heavy rain is not the only new enemy for the survivors. The zombie horde also grew through the addition of three new special infected called Charger (a smaller version of the tank), Jockey (he jumps onto a team mate and moves him away from the group), Spitter (spits deadly acid in front of the player's feet) and a new class of common infected: the uncommon common infected. They have the same basic attributes as normal zombies but have a special ability. The clown for example attracts a horde of zombies, while the riot police man is immune to damage from the front.

To take on new and old enemies the weaponry has been greatly expanded. Besides new rifles, pistols and shotguns, melee weapons such a a chainsaw, a guitar and a baseball bat have been introduced to the game. Also new is a laser sight that can be used to increase the accuracy of a weapon as well as two types of special ammunition. In addition the Boomer Bile is now available to launch at enemies and turn the raging horde against them.

Multiplayer once again consists of several different modes. Beside playing through the campaigns cooperatively and playing both the survivors and special infected in the Versus mode, the players can choose the Survival, Scavenge and Realism Mode. Survival pits the players against wave after wave of enemies with the only goal being to survive as long as possible. Scavenge requires the players to collect fuel canisters to fill up a generator while the other team, playing as special infected, tries to stop them. Realism Mode is a variation of coop-play for hardcore zombieslayers. The stakes are much higher there. The zombies can only be killed with a headshot, the witch has changed into a one-hit-one-kill-weapon, and a downed player is dead unless he is revived with the shock paddles. The last mode is Mutation, which has the player play a game with different rules. The rules are changed every week. The player might have to do the entire game using only M60's or play Survival combined with Versus.

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Credits (Windows version)

249 People (243 developers, 6 thanks) · View all



Average score: 87% (based on 49 ratings)


Average score: 3.7 out of 5 (based on 86 ratings with 2 reviews)

Better than the original in every way

The Good
The difficulty has increased in quite a few ways; you can no longer spam melee attacks to keep hordes away, zombies and special infected are much stronger and camping is now much harder. Not only does this increase the difficulty of singleplayer matches, but it also results in better players online. The removal of melee-spamming is my favorite change because it was really unfair in the original Left 4 Dead when people just backed into a corner when a horde was coming their way.

The campaigns are now much more enjoyable to play due to new and interesting settings. There was a campaign on a carnival which was especially amusing because you could play games if you got bored or play with clowns. In the original most settings were pretty simple and mostly aimed at locations everybody would recognize. The settings are still recognisable though, they just made them more wacky.

The new character cast has a lot more personality than the original (who do make an appearance). Sometimes you notice that they used the old characters as a floor on which they build the rest of the house. Rochelle is just as caring as Zoey, Nick is a lot like Francis and Coach is the leader-figure (Bill). The story as a whole has improved a lot and now the many campaigns form are connected instead of separate stories (I understand the comic did connect the many campaigns in the original L4D, but that doesn't count). Somehow the new characters aren't as like-able as the characters we got used to though.

The new Infected are really awesome; The Spitter which spits burning goo, the Charger which grabs people during his charge and of course the Jockeys which takes control of players were all pretty original and fun to play against. I especially liked the Charger because he could really mess up my tactics from time to time. The new uncommon Infected were also nice, but I hardly noticed them.

There are more multiplayer modes and the competitive ones have certainly improved. This is mostly due to the new Infected I mentioned earlier, in the original there were only three (not counting the Tank) which meant you always had the same characters on the field and could only perform a handful of tactics. Now there are six Infected and you never know what Characters will show-up. The Mutation mode is fun, but I don't really get it and Scavenge is a nice change.

There are new finales and Valve did a pretty good job at trying to make them as fun as possible. I still liked the old "Call the rescue team and hold-out for a few minutes" formula a bit better due to the simplicity, but I do have to salute the variation L4D2 offers. There are levels where you need to; bring gas cans to a car, run across a bridge within a time limit and keep a rock concert going. They came up with some pretty cool stuff here and even though I like the original finales better, it's still a nice change for when I am bored.

The new equipment is a lot better than I thought it would be, I was a bit cynical when I saw all the new stuff; adrenaline shots, melee weapons and boomer bile just to mention a few. It is however very easy to understand what they do and it doesn't make the game harder to play at all. I was afraid that we would end up carrying so much stuff that switching would be hard, but everything is still orderly. Adrenaline replaces Pain Pills, Melee Weapons are trade-able for pistols and defibrillators can be picked up at the cost of health-kits instead of all been connected to a new key.

The Bad
The level design is often very confusing and Left 4 Dead 2 is not the kind of game where you want to take your time to figure out where you want to go. I already mentioned that in my review of the Crash Course map, but not it is like they build the entire game like that campaign. Yesterday (23rd of May 2011) I was playing versus with a load of friends when we suddenly had to navigate through a burning building. This was not such a problem until we suddenly couldn't find a door anymore in a massive room. Eventually three of us died before I finally found the exit and went for the safe-room, but we weren't very happy.

Some of the old problems have not been fixed at all. The hunter is still very annoying to control for example and the bots have only gotten more annoying. There are some very easy ways to fix the many problems this franchise carrier with it, but little to no effort has been made to try them out. And when are you going to make a training option to play as Infected?!

Because I didn't want to have any lag while playing with friends, I lowered my graphics settings to medium, but this was a little too low. The game didn't look any worse, but whenever I shot a zombie in the chest it just looked like they had a t-shirt with blood and bones printed on them.

It's still very hard to find a good game by joining random matches. There were rushers, team-killers and slackers all over the place and they really ruined a lot of matches for me. I try not to quit games because some of those people might be new and they are just trying to learn how to play, but when I can't talk to them or they won't let me help them, I am going to leave them to it.

The Bottom Line
Left 4 Dead 2 is a very fun game and I like it a lot better than the original. This is very subjective though. Left 4 Dead was a very serious game, but Left 4 Dead 2 is a lot more wacky and is often hilarious. There are a lot of campaigns from the original on Left 4 Dead 2 though, so even if you do prefer a more serious version of the game, you can play those.

Aside from the bots who are a lot more annoying than they used to be, Left 4 Dead 2 is a better game in every way. Buying the original might even be a waste of your money because you would be paying for three or four campaigns that didn't make it into the sequel. I can recommend this game to almost everybody given they can handle a little challenge and like to play as a team.

Windows · by Asinine (957) · 2011


The Good
NOTE: most of this is from a review for Left 4 Dead 1 but extra details about Left 4 Dead 2 are listed below in a special section.

Arguably the best FPS for its year. L4D is one of those games that punishes you if you try to be a lone wolf and go out by yourself. In fact, one of the many strengths of this game is that you live or die by your team and the weakest teammate can even be a liability (because you're always saving them or they're not covering their corners or they're using all the team healing resources up). No matter how good you are at this game you can still get capped by a Special (i.e. something tougher than a zombie and referred to as an SI) and the only way to be saved is by one of your teammates.

Additionally, it's very hard to almost impossible to do the finales by yourself (especially on any difficulties above normal) so, again, I like that the team is vital to the success of the mission. Weapon selections are tiered as you progress through the campaigns (which vary in length from half an hour to many hours, especially if you die and keep repeating chapters) and there are nice goodies to help you against the zombie hordes such as Molotov Cocktails, pipe bombs, gas cans, propane tanks, oxygen tanks but none of these matter much if you don't follow one of the cardinal rules of positioning yourself strategically. This is a game that also rewards you for positioning your team in the most strategic positions when you are attacked by random zombie hordes or at various chapter finales. In fact, if you aren't very good at protecting your teammates and putting your back to a solid wall when the hordes come, well, you probably shouldn't be playing on advanced difficulty and certainly not the unforgiving expert level. Healing resources are limited to health packs and pills and in the higher difficulties there's never enough. In fact, sometimes it makes sense to let a few teammates die so that the others can make it to the safe house chapter where everyone who died spawns for the next chapter. That way, you don't all have to die and repeat the chapter. If someone died soon enough in a particular chapter they come back in one of the many closets up ahead but a teammate has to "rescue" you. Spawned characters start at moderate health and lose some of their resources, especially a favorite main weapon.

But the real pleasure of this game is the multiplayer (coop/camp games). In fact, if you don't MP your gaming experience may dwindle after a time. Yes, it's true that the director of this game changes elements even if you play the same campaign over and over with the bots but the dynamics of playing with real people and not just bots throws in so many variables. Weaker players will make the campaign harder and sometimes that can be fun. Stronger players will make it easier and they'll also show you tricks that you're unlikely to read in the cheat books. In fact, chances are good that you'll start to have favorites that you like to play with regularly and as you get to know your particular team better you will react better to them when they need help. Compare that to when you play with new people for the first time, even if you all have microphones for faster communication. Other nice things about MP (at least, on Steam which is my experience) is that you can do different types of coop scenarios that fans have created. They're free to download. If you're tired of the same maps this can be a lot of fun.

Additionally, if you want something different they have survival games in which a group holds out for as long as possible but the real attraction, if you want something different, is the versus games (player groups versus one another). Each side takes turns playing the Specials and try to stop the other team from reaching the safe house. Victory points are all determined by how far the survivors have gotten, how much damage was inflicted on them, whether defibs were used or not (see below) and several other variables. Interestingly, people who are very good at coop games are usually not very good at versus games (and vice versa) as its a totally different beast.


Left 4 Dead 2 has 4 new characters just shortly after the pandemic that has swept the globe, beginning in Savannah, Georgia and ending in New Orleans. You can play one of four colorful characters (Coach, Nick, Ellis or Rochelle) who have various dialogue trees and the like but you only get them all if you play through a lot. My favorite was the archetypical River Boat Gambler Nick but for the last several months it has changed to for his matter of fact humorous lines.

So what are some of the big changes in 2? For starters there are three tiers of guns compared to the 2 tiers in L4D1. Additionally, there are some new SI (Special Infected) which were added mostly for versus games and very tough coop difficulties but I think they were mostly created for versus games. There's also a Scavenge section which is all about filling up generators with scattered gas cans while the other side (playing SI) try to stop you and then there's also the Realism setting which can be played as a coop or versus. Even better the bots are smarter so unlike 1 your AI companions don't normally sit around while you are being killed (though there are occasional bugs in certain spots, especially if you play poorly designed additional adventures).


THE JOCKEY: a little guy like creature on all fours that rides your face like a jockey and leads you away from the group. Particularly devastating when the last person is jumped as the group goes through a choke point and cannot return (like dropping down a hole to the next level). They're harder to dead stop than hunters from L4D1.

THE CHARGER: something like a mini tank which looks like a bipedal buffer person with the upper body of an animal. If the charger charges and you're in its path the first person hit is taken away and smashed to the ground until dead and others in the way get bashed up and then come crashing to the ground. The charger is one of the vital SI used in versus games to separate tight groups and/or create confusion so that the other SI can move in for a total kill. It is also the hardest SI for players to master as there are special rules about charging. Note that on some maps the charger can get a death charge which means the charger charges you off of a high rise and rather than wound you greatly you are dead for that chapter (if it's a versus or realism game). It's a favorite of some versus players to try a death charge at the expense of an overall strategy to wipe out the survivors and it's sometimes overrated.

THE SPITTER: is a twisted looking human hag with clawed hands that's most important skill is spitting a pool of greenish goo that does damage to the survivors for as long as they are in it. Not that hard to avoid unless you're surrounded by Commons or more typically you are pinned by another SI and in the goo taking damage. Spitters are used in versus games with a combo attack or to separate companions who don't want to go through the goo and take damage (while they wait for the goo to dissipate other SI move in for the kill). They're likely the most intuitive SI for players to understand in a versus game and they typically have the lead in damage totals (per the chapter scores).

SCAVENGE MODE: this is something of a boutique specialty for L4D2 players. It doesn't have the larger following of versus and coop games. Sometimes you'll check the public games and there's one available and it seems to almost always be the “No Mercy” finale as a third of the cans are near the edges of the high rise and chargers want to do their death charges and other SI (if they do it right) can take a survivor off the edge or hanging from the edge. As I said above this is a game in which the rounds are far shorter than versus (you can do a match in a half hour or less) and the goal is to retrieve gas cans and fill the generators up with gas. Of course, SI will try to stop you near the generators or at vital choke points. In addition, the spitter has the added power in that it's goo will set cans on fire if said cans are sitting in the goo for longer than a few seconds. There are people who practice at this game regularly and can retrieve several cans in the goo, tossing them out in but a few seconds. Note that their mouse sensitivity is probably on high so it's not as magical as some people in the games think.

REALISM MODE: this is my new favorite to put on advanced when not playing with pro friends or when I just want to play by myself with the bots (who can't handle expert difficulty let alone realism expert). It's similar to coop except tougher. For starters you take damage from SI faster and you bleed out and die faster when incapacitated. If you die you don't spawn in the closet (you have to wait until next chapter and you lose all of your good stuff) and witches are completely devastating. In normal coop they incapacitate you but in realism one touch and you're just dead. Defibrillators are a vital item in this mode (especially in the Sugar Mill a la chapter two of the “Hard Rain” scenario in which witches are all over the place) and sometimes a survivor chooses it over a precious health pack. Lastly, Commons take a lot more bullets before they drop unless you go for the legs or head. As a result you have to conserve bullets or switch guns a lot.

SCENARIOS/MAPS: if you've only played L4D1 you will recall that the finales for almost all of those maps were holding out in one spot until the rescue vehicle arrived (called “camping” by the gamers). But in L4D2 most of the finales are scavenge style or mad rushes to the rescue vehicle. As a result you get punished for camping it out in one spot rather than fighting and pushing to the escape vehicle. That said, if you're on Steam they ported the L4D1 maps over (not sure if they have done this everywhere else but probably so, I would think).


In closing this is an awesome game for FPS fans, especially if you want an action horror video game. Unlike a lot of other video games the achievements are unique and sometimes entertaining. A nice thing about them is that you get to show them off to your friends on Steam. These days I typically look to whether a particular player has achieved the expert status achievement. If they have then I know they're likely going to be a tight player. BTW, playing this on Steam and other multiplayer sites make this a lot harder than your Xbox. A couple of friends who played it on the Xbox jumped on to Steam with me and couldn't even handle normal difficulty until they practiced some. Just a fair warning.

MUSIC/SOUND: A minus ; EASE OF CONTROLS/USES: A minus to A ; GRAPHICS FOR ITS YEAR: A minus to A; DIALOGUE/VOICE ACTING/CHARACTERS: B plus to A minus (even though it's limited as to be expected for a FPS); ATMOSPHERE: A to A plus; REPLAY POTENTIAL A to A plus (on MP); GENRE: Horror Action Adventure; OVERALL GRADE: A.

The Bad
For an FPS nothing.

The Bottom Line
See above.

Windows · by StorytellerShannon (14) · 2012


1001 Video Games

Left 4 Dead 2 appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.

Australian version

The game was banned in Australia on September 15, 2009 due to excessive violence. Valve submitted an appeal against the RC decision, but submitted an edited version which was rated MA15+. Valve did this merely as a backup in case that the appeal would fail. On October 22, 2009, Left 4 Dead 2 was banned a second time. The edited version of the game includes no depictions of decapitations, dismemberment, wound detail, or piles of bodies lying about the environment.

Cover art

The U.S. game cover originally had a hand with two fingers and the three others torn off (whereas the first game had only the thumb missing). The ESRB ruled that 3 missing fingers was too gory so the pinky and ring finger were re-added but tucked behind the hand. In the UK, it was further changed so it showed the palm side as the two-finger sign when pointed at a viewer is an insult. German and Japanese covers show no missing fingers due to censor rules.

German version

The German version features the same changes as the Australian version described above. However, if you have the German version of this game, or are playing with someone who has it, you can find the MP5, Scout, AWP, SG552, and knife from Counter-Strike: Source.


Rochelle is wearing a Depeche Mode T-shirt.


  • 4Players
    • 2009 – #6 Best Viral Trailer of the Year
  • AceGamez
    • 2009 - Best Horror Game
  • Cheat Code Central
    • 2009 - Xbox 360 Game of the Year
    • 2009 - Best Horror Game
  • GameShark
    • 2009 - It Never Gets Old Award
    • 2009 - Best Use of Frying Pan
    • 2009 - Worst DLC* GameSpot
    • 2009 - Best Cooperative Multiplayer (Editor Choice)
    • 2009 - Best Cooperative Multiplayer (Readers' Choice)
  • Gamespy
    • 2009 - The Broken Controller Award
  • IGN
    • 2009 - Overall Best Multiplayer
    • 2009 - Best PC Multiplayer Game
    • 2009 - PC Award for Excellence in Sound
  • Spike TV
    • 2009 - Best Xbox 360 Game
  • Steam Awards
    • 2016 — The 'Better With Friends' Award — Won

Information also contributed by Big John WV, Nelson340, Scaryfunand [TwoDividedByZero](http://www.mobygames.com/user/sheet/userSheetId,162983/)

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Sicarius.

Linux added by Foxhack. Macintosh added by Kabushi.

Additional contributors: Katakis | カタキス, Havoc Crow (formerly JudgeDeadd), Patrick Bregger, Starbuck the Third, FatherJack.

Game added December 3rd, 2009. Last modified September 29th, 2023.