Left 4 Dead 2 – The Passing Review

The first DLC for Valve’s Left 4 Dead 2 was released last week. Being a big fan of the game I downloaded it on the day. So what do you get for 560 microsoft points? As it turns out, quite a lot! The Passing includes a brand new three-level campaign, a new melee weapon and gun, a new enemy and a new multiplayer mode. Not bad! But the best thing is that these new additions are all hella good.

The Passing campaign brings the original 4 survivors from Left 4 Dead into contact with the Left 4 Dead 2 survivors. One of the original survivors kicks the bucket at some point. It is unclear how this occurs but it is my guess that Valve is being deliberately opaque on this plot point due to the upcoming release of new DLC for Left 4 Dead. The level design is pretty good. It borrows from some of the other campaigns (thunderstorms from Hard Rain, collecting gas cans at the finale from Dead Centre) but also has some nice original moments like making your way through dark sewers and coming across a wedding. It also introduces crates which can contain a multitude of pills or handguns and a new enemy called The Fallen Survivor who can drop first aid packs, molotovs and pipe bombs when killed! My favourite new addition though had to be the M60. It might not have much ammo but it really packs a punch and makes taking down those zombie hoards feel all the more satisfying! Expect to fight with other players for this weapon when playing online.

Alongside the new campaign is the new multiplayer mode called Mutations. Mutations gives different gameplay modes on a weekly basis; the first being “Realism Versus” – this new mode gives a massive advantage to the zombie team and a tense, difficult fight for the survivor team! The zombies can see the survivors but the survivors are in “realism” mode which means no player or pick-up highlights and you have to be much more accurate to do damage to the zombies. I’ve played quite a few games of Realism Versus now and I die an awful lot. But that’s okay because so does everyone else! This might not be fun for everyone but I think for players who enjoy a challenge the extra tension and risk when playing the survivors is very entertaining. Same goes for when playing the zombies – it’s kinda satisfying to take down a survivor and watch the others run around desperately trying to locate their teammate in the darkness!

Realism Versus is not the only gameplay mode that Mutations will offer. It will change on a weekly basis! Valve have already released the names of some of the other Mutations modes: Chainsaws, Four Swords Men, M60s, Ultra Realism and more. I think that this alone makes it worth downloading The Passing – a new way to play every week. Some for fun and some for extra difficulty. Personally, I can’t wait to be running around with all 4 of us chainsawing zombies. I’m also looking forward to seeing what Ultra Realism is all about.

The Passing is very reasonably priced for all that it contains. It also sets the stage quite nicely for the Left 4 Dead DLC that should be coming in the next few months. If you’re a fan of this game I think you would be missing out not to download it.

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