Posts Tagged ‘Chet Faliszek’

PAX ’09 Coverage: Left 4 Dead 2

Friday, September 18th, 2009
Left 4 Dead 2 is a bit more wide open than its predecessor

Left 4 Dead 2 is a bit more wide open than its predecessor

It’s almost impossible to mention having been at PAX without someone familiar with the event asking if we were able to play Left 4 Dead 2. It seems to be on a lot of minds lately. Some of the most common questions I hear when I say I did in fact have the opportunity to play the demon are things like, “Is it all new characters?” or “Shouldn’t this be DLC for the original?”  Fortunately, not only did we play the game but had the opportunity to speak with Chet Faliszek, writer for Left 4 Dead.

To answer one of the questions, yes, it is completely new characters. From what I could gather from the demo, the second tale of the zombie apocalypse appears to be based on several individuals from a high school. There’s the gruff gym coach, who I played as, and what may be three students. It was hard to determine the history behind the new characters from the level we played through but there appears to be very little mention of the previous characters, if any, in the sequel.

In regards to the fact this will indeed be a seperate game and not DLC for the original, Chet had this to say:

“We wanted to do a different cast of characters so we could give a different perspective on the infection. We’re in a different place, we’re in Savannah, we’re down south, we’re heading across the southern part of the States. It wouldn’t make sense for the other four to be here, they’ve already experienced the zombie apocalypse from before we meet the new characters and been through it and now we’re seeing it from a fresh cast so we can experience through their eyes. The old characters aren’t dead yet.”

From playing the demo and Chet’s comments, it’s a safe bet that we haven’t seen the last of the original four zombie survivors but those hoping to make more fun of Francis’ name may just have to wait a while. And while we enjoyed playing as the new characters, we also asked Chet about if there would ever be “customizable” characters, player created models to shoot our way through the game with:

“One of the things is that each character has about three thousand lines of audio that’s created specifically for that character based on the attributes of that character, where they’re from, how they interact with other people. The characters are a really important part of these games. There are games that are more wide open in general but this is more scripted. You could make new models but to do the characters is a ton of work.”

"All we wanna do is eat your brains..."

"All we wanna do is eat your brains..."

There are also new special infected to contend with, among them the Charger who has a nasty habit of catching lagging players off guard, tackling them and driving them away from the group. While waiting our turn to play the demo and watching another group, one player was caught by a Charger and pushed into a mass of undead around a corner away from his teammates. The resulting carnage was impressive to say the least. Beaten nearly to death before being rescued, the Charger had proven his effectiveness.

Another special infected is the Jockey. While small and rather easy to kill, the Jockey often came out of nowhere and landed on one of our backs and then attempted to either steer us away from the group or into a much meaner, nastier special infected. Our group had the unfortunate experience of having one teammate steered into a witch who then proceeded to trash the party. Not easily dispacthed once he latches on due to his small stature and the danger of hitting a teammate while trying to shoot him of, the Jockey proved nasty comes in small packages.

The third new special infected was the Spitter. As the name suggests, he spits venomous phlegm that will continue to burn a player unfortunate enough to get hit as long as they stay in the area the spit covers. Shooting a spitter also results in a large splash of acidic goo which can often be fatal if done too close to the group. While we didn’t have much trouble with this one, I can imagine the implications of the Spitter in versus mode.

I've been trying to tell people clowns are evil for years now...

I've been trying to tell people clowns are evil for years now...

Speaking of versus mode, Chet confirmed there return of it in the sequel as well as the usual co-op, survival, and an as yet unannounced game mode which will be revealed some time in October. With the addition of new weapons, including melee weapons, new unique infected aside from the special infected, and new environments, it’s going to be hard to say that L4D2 should have been DLC for the original game.

Before leaving, we asked Chet who we owed an ass-whooping for what we here at Busy Gamer consider to be the insanely difficult Lighthouse level. He merely laughed at us and called us n00bs. Thanks, Chet.

Gritskrieg – End of Line