Team Fortress 2 is pretty great, but you know what would make it even better? Did you say “one or more zombies”? Yeah, us too. But instead, you’re getting a hat.
“For the first time in history, two separate Valve universes collide. That's right: it's a Left 4 Dead/Team Fortress crossover! This is not fan fiction! This is not a dream sequence! The characters from Team Fortress 2 will team-up with Bill's hat from Left 4 Dead 1!” reads a post on the TF2 Blog.
There’s a catch, though: Bill’s ridiculously regal Head Enhancement Item is only available to those who have preordered Left 4 Dead 2.
Honestly, though, to make such a strong fashion statement – nay, a fashion exclamation – we would’ve shelled out the full fifty smackeroos even if Left 4 Dead 2 weren’t involved at all.
It’s Tuesday! Woohoo! Oh, you’re wondering why we’re donning our party hats on this most mundane of days? Simple – the Left 4 Dead 2 demo’s available to Steam pre-orderers today! We’re just gonna queue up our download and… well, that’s odd. We’re sure the demo’s around here somewhere. Just, uh, hold on a sec. No, no – that’s Killing Floor. Hey, Valve, what’s the deal?
“The Left 4 Dead 2 Xbox 360 Demo is now available for those who pre-ordered and obtained early access to the demo," read a release from the company tonight. "The PC Demo is currently targeted for release on Wednesday, October 28."
Well, what are we going to do with all these party supplies now? Quick! Theme change! Now we’re celebrating, er, uh, Boss Tweed’s arrest on October 27, 1871. There’s something everyone can drink to.
Sorry, Gabe Newell and co. You gave it your all, we’re sure, but in the end, Left 4 Dead 2’s true form proved too gore-splattered for Australians’ delicate palettes. Or at least, that’s how the Australian government sees it. Said a note from Australia’s Review Board:
“In the Review Board’s opinion, Left 4 Dead 2 could not be accommodated within the MA 15+ classification. The computer game contains a level of violence which is high in impact, prolonged, repeated frequently and realistic within the context of the game.”
“In addition, it was the Review Board’s opinion that there was insufficient delineation between the depiction of general zombie figures and the human figures, as opposed to the clearly fictional ‘infected’ characters. This was a major consideration of the Review Board in determining the impact of this game on minors.”
It’s true! We totally have friends who – if you squint really hard – are the spitting images of Boomers and Tanks. Oh, there’s also that one guy with the crazy-long tongue. But we don’t really talk to him. Wait. You say the Review Board was talking about "general zombie figures"? And here we thought our colossal, bile-spewing buddy had finally found a country that would accept him with open arms.
Ahem. Anyway, Australia’s still on track to receive a heavily censored version of Left 4 Dead 2, which is better than nothing, we suppose. Oh well. Aussie gamers, if our site hasn’t already been censored, better luck nex—[content blocked because we’re pretty sure it had a knife].
Is some Left 4 Dead 2 better than none at all? We’re thinking “yes,” but that probably won’t stop Australian gamers from wishing they could tear whoever censored Left 4 Dead 2 limb-from-limb.
See, while decapitation and dismemberment are apparently physically impossible over in Australia, neutering isn’t – as evidenced by Left 4 Dead 2’s sterilized state.
“The board notes that the game no longer contains depictions of decapitation, dismemberment, wound detail or piles of dead bodies lying about the environment,” said a note by Australia’s Classification Board. “No wound detail is shown and the implicitly dead bodies and blood splatter disappear as they touch the ground.”
Valve still hopes to eventually release an unedited version of the game as DLC in good ol’ Oz. That is, if it can find a way to sneak past the big, bag Classification Board.
For now, though, all those kangaroos, koalas, and Wizards Of are going to miss out on the Violence Orgy. But don't worry about it too much, Aussie readers; the violence was only there to hide the real meat of Left 4 Dead 2: the racism. Good thing the Classification Board missed that. It was so blatantly obvious to everyone else, too. Close shave, that.
Zombies are nature’s griefers, it would seem. Or at least, they are if Left 4 Dead 2’s new “Scavenge” multiplayer mode is to be believed. See, here, the shambling jerks aren’t even looking to get their fill of juicy, succulent brains anymore. Nope. Instead, they’re actively seeking to knock out survivors’ power generators for -- what we can only assume to be -- fun. After all, if those pesky zombies were hurting for a heaping helping of brains, why wouldn’t they just chase down the survivors like always?
So here’s how it works: players are divided into the usual teams of survivors and special infected, just like in versus mode. Levels are littered with a grand total of 16 gas canisters, which survivors must collect in order to power a generator. The mode is played as a series of two minute rounds, though more time is added to the clock each time survivors manage to haul a can to their generator.
The infected team, of course, is out to make life difficult for the survivors by playing keep-away with the cans. Apparently, Spitters and Jockeys really shine here, as they can set cans on fire and “steer” survivors away from their objectives, respectively.
Left 4 Dead 2 will launch with six Scavenge maps – one for each campaign – on November 17. There's a video of the new mode in action here.
We usually use this space to write about videogames. We’re hardly advice columnists. But believe us when we – as your friends – advise you to quit dilly-dallying and just preorder Left 4 Dead 2 already. Valve’s sweetened the pot time and time again, and we’ll be damned if it isn’t starting to smell mighty fine.
Early bird gets the worm, so they say, but Valve’s taking it a few steps further. Here, said tech-savvy bird will nab an exclusive melee weapon (the American baseball bat), early access to the Left 4 Dead 2 demo, and 10% off the game.
If more purchases came with free baseball bats, this world would be a much more zombie-free place. Granted, our planet’s tree population might also suffer a bit, but as we all know, if the zombies win, deforestation won't be far off.
If you’ve played Left 4 Dead to death, Valve’s just made a pair of announcements that are sure to brighten your day.
First up, Left 4 Dead’s “Crash Course” DLC will finally walk among the living on September 29. It’s free, of course, and includes a new campaign, new survival maps, and a few other tweaks and balances.
Then, just in time to catch you on the rebound after you’ve kicked Crash Course to the curb, Valve’s dropping a Left 4 Dead 2 demo on October 27. Preorderers will apparently gain early access to the demo, though, and since you’re probably already going to buy the game anyway, you might as well.
As for what the demo actually contains, it’s anyone’s guess at this point. We’ll let you know as soon as Valve finally spills its guts. Our highly advanced torture techniques – known as “extreme nagging” in some circles -- break everyone eventually.
Some of you, we’re sure, are probably exercising your God-given right to boycott Left 4 Dead 2 for whatever reason. Australia, though, totally has us Yanks beat. Over there, no one’s buying the game! Oh, what’s that you say? The game’s been “banned” in good ol’ Oz? That’s why they’re not buying it? Well then, that’s no good at all.
As it turns out, Left 4 Dead 2 was refused classification by Australia’s ratings board, the OFLC. Why? Because it’s too violent, apparently.
“The game contains realistic, frenetic and unrelenting violence which is inflicted upon ‘the Infected’ who are living humans infected with a rabies-like virus that causes them to act violently,” reads the OFLC description of the game. “Attacks cause copious amounts of blood spray and splatter, decapitations and limb dismemberment as well as locational damage where contact is made to the enemy which may reveal skeletal bits and gore.”
“We were surprised to hear of this news yesterday,” Valve’s Doug Lombardi said. “Obviously, everyone at Valve is pretty bummed. It would be a shame if folks in Australia, or anywhere else, are unable to purchase Left 4 Dead 2 because of a ratings issue.”
Bummer indeed, Doug. Guess it’s time to start stuffing those zombies with marzipan and kittens instead of blood and bone. And maybe replace gunfire with the sound of children’s laughter. Yeah, that ought to do it.
Valve has released the first screenshot of Left 4 Dead 2's third campaign, Dark Carnival. Following The Parish and Swamp Fever (revealed at E3 and Comic-Con, respectively), Dark Carnival will be playable at this year's Penny Arcade Expo, taking place September 4th through 6th in Seattle. Valve will also unveil a few more of Left 4 Dead 2's 20+ new in-game items at PAX.
Ever since Valve announced Left 4 Dead 2 at this year’s E3, it’s been in the doghouse with many fans of its first undead slaughterfest. Believe it or not, though, Valve never intended on ruffling any feathers. Crash Course, as it turns out, was on a crash course with Left 4 Dead right from the start. Extenuating circumstances, however, prevented the L4D DLC from sealing Valve’s promise of free updates with a nice, crusty zombie smooch in the nick of time. And by then, well, it was too late.
“I think in this case we just didn't message correctly. We didn't make it clear that Left 4 Dead was still going to be updated. We just didn't think to mention it, we were focusing on other stuff. We, internally, always knew we were going to do cool new stuff, so we didn't say anything about the original game,” Valve’s Chet Faliszek told Offworld.
“Of course we also intended to get the Crash Course DLC for L4D out before E3, but some things held us up. I think if we had that out before the Left 4 Dead 2 announcement, then it would have been clearer for our intentions. Losing the opportunity to get that right hurt us, but I think we made the right choices otherwise.”
Well, that’s that, we think. The case of Valve vs. The Fans is officially adjourned.