Posts Tagged Valve

Left 4 Dead 2 – The Passing DLC Review

The latest DLC for Left 4 Dead 2 is out. We waited patiently all day, and here it is. Normally the release is too late to play and I end up waiting till the next day, but the download started around 11pm (UK) and after some slow transfer rates due to my ‘new’ connection it finally completed, along with most of my L4D2 buddies.

We just finished the new campaign ‘The Passing’ which is the main bulk of the free DLC (free for PC, 560points for Xbox 360). There were plenty of us online waiting for this DLC so four of us hit the servers quick, finishing the campaign in around 30 minutes or so. There are some great scenes, without spoiling it and revealing too much, all I will say is wow, the sewers are great! I’ve not touched L4D2 for a while, but coming back to it after all this time with the new DLC really brought back some fond memories of first playing the original Left 4 Dead. Good times!

What I was expecting to be the highlight, left me a little disappointed. The dialogue between the old L4D characters and the new the first time round was just not as hype as I thought it would be, but on a mass team death, repeating the final battle there was some witty banter aimed at Rochelle from the original L4D characters, nice touch Valve. Although playing as Coach (I always try to) I was subject to some stick being accused of being her dad? All in good jest, no stereotyping at all Valve?!

The Passing DLC for Left 4 Dead 2 is a great freebie, offering some new weekly modes which look interesting, but most of all an entire new campaing which is well worth playing. The final scene is the usual epic battle, but with a little help from some old friends and laser sights, and the sewers, the sewers are wow! What more can you ask for, and all for free? Valve keeping up the good work and keeping us customers happy, long after putting down our hard earned cash.

9/10 For DLC, sorry for free DLC, what more can you ask for? Valve hit the nail on the head again, great campaign!

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Team Fortress 2 WAR – choose your side

My TF2 WAR contributions, 86 demomen down so far

My TF2 WAR contributions, 88 demomen down so far

Valve have come up with a creative pre class update, enticing hoards of TF2 activity before and no doubt after this double class patch for Soldier and Demoman. WAR was declared officialy, after a great teaser comic bringing life and character to the previously anonymous announcer’s voice. Pitting The Soldier against The Demoman in all out war, whilst Steam accurately logs every kill of each class, Valve is offering an unknown weapon for the side that tally’s the most kills. Since this announcement,  I have picked up my rocket launcher determined to fight the good fight for The Soldier.

A favourite class of mine, which I have put the most time into playing, picking a side was therefore easy, killing The Demoman however has proved to be a lot harder. The grenade spam that comes out of this Scottish, eye patch wearing, now declared sworn enemy is difficult to dodge and appears to be on endless supply as we patiently reload after 4 rockets. I found 2Fort to be the most efficient place to kill Demomen, and will continue to play here untill I rack up enough kills despite my love of payload maps Badwater and Goldrush.

As of yesterday night we appear to be in the lead, 1,429,578 dead Soldiers to 1,555,745 dead Demomen. Despite these confident figures I await today’s results, with the never ending sticky bombs from The Demoman I fear my mere 88 war contribution is not enough! So I am off to 2Fort, I must continue fighting through tonight and the rest of the week if that’s what it takes.

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Left 4 Dead 2 – PC vs Xbox 360

On the left PC - On the right Xbox 360

On the left PC - On the right Xbox 360

Left 4 Dead 2 runs like a tortoise on the Xbox 360. On the PC its as fast as a hare, and despite how the once upon a time story of The Toroise and The Hare ended in fairy tale land, in the real world PC L4D2 is the only way to win (or in this story, the only way to play). I setup both versions side by side for some in game comparisons. The first thing I noticed was the difference in load time, the PC version loads much quicker and gets you on the ground ready to kill zombies first. I managed to capture this load difference on video below, bare in mind the PC is on maximum settings whereas the Xbox, well, it has no settings.

Whats more difficult to show is the difference in graphics. Compared to the PC, the image quality on Xbox is obviously very poor, running at a sub ‘HD’ resolution with little or no anti aliasing. But what makes the Xbox version of L4D2 suffer the most is the frame rate, which in my opinion is unacceptable. I maxed out all the video settings on the PC, including AA and AF, and the game flies along perfectly with a constantly smooth frame rate. The Xbox however is extremely jerky, chugging along at nowhere near a steady 60fps, with motion blur at the slightest turn of your head, probably to cover up the slow frame rate.

First person shooters have gradually moved from the hardcore PC gamers to the mainstream, with titles like L4D doing well on console and of course Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 breaking sales records of all time. Do console gamers even realise what they are missing out on graphically on the PC. Is image quality and frame rate important to them and do they even know what these terms mean, terms that have been the foundation of PC gamers every hardware upgrade and driver update since Doom? Do they even care? Probably not. As first person shooters continue to be released across all the platforms, its clear that if you are hardcore, PC is the only way to play, after all, how can a game pad possibly provide the level of accuracy and control of the traditional mouse and keyboard.

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