When feeling the need to play a run ‘n gun style shooter, it was a pretty easy choice – Left4Dead 2.
One of the reasons why this game (and the original Left4Dead) is so much fun to go back to is the short campaigns. By not having a heavily scripted story or missions that by themselves make no sense, it nicely allows for repeat gameplay. At ~45 minutes a campaign it also provides a good length session.
Each campaign has a nice gentle beginnning then along the way a few set pieces followed by an exciting ending. The same could perhaps even be said about the individual chapters. The set pieces, especially finales, allow you to experiment with tactics.
What I especially like is that unlike say Call of Duty, you aren’t always sure whats coming next. It isn’t written in stone that a smoker will be around a certain corner or even where the witches and tanks will be. You have to be constantly alert and each run through is ever so slightly different. This does mean that sometimes things can go a little wrong or you can feel screwed over, but that can be a good thing. The next time will be different.
I’ve actually been playing it on Xbox 360 having previously only really played on PC. It is quite odd playing a game that doesn’t auto aim. It can of course be a bit trickier but I think I slightly prefer it, especially when all hell is let loose. That said, I do prefer a trusty mouse-keyboard combo!
Final thing that crossed my mind when picking up the game again is my word the AI is annoying. I was playing single player (its been ~2 years since I played any game online) and having to rely on the bots for help is infuriating. Move quickly and they’ll be left far behind. Take a slower speed and they’ll run and stand in front of you as you’re unloading a clip. Then there’s the frustration of getting them to defend at set pieces but more than anything, they are surprisingly bad at helping you.
It is odd really. You would think that the AI would look to give you the best backup possible and their first instinct should be to help a human player, however it isn’t. The amount of times I cursed Coach as he stood right by me shooting every zombie in sight, aside from the hunter who is shredding my skin ready for pancakes.