Shortly after Payday devs, Overkill, announced that they were working on something with Valve, rumours began to pop up suggesting that that something could be a prequel to Left 4 Dead. That might sound like a promising idea, but it isn't happening. Valve developer Chet Faliszek put a swift "woah, nelly!" on those rumours in a chat with PCGamesN.
"I want to make sure that people don't think the prequel is coming," said Faliszeck. "If that happens, then it will make this other thing we're doing feel uncool, when the thing we're doing is really cool."
Chet described Valve and Overkill's new thing as "kind of akin to how in TF2 you might see some other games' weapons get translated and put into that game."
"We're doing something similar to that, but it's a little bit more involved," he explained.
A character crossover perhaps? Criminal clown masks for Left 4 Dead survivors? Tanks in cop hats? Valve are being discreet. "We're trying to be a little coy and a little fun because we want the communities to discover it," said Chet, "but those guys are still making Payday: The Heist, we're still making Left 4 Dead."
We'd previously heard that Payday: The Heist developers Overkill are working on a game with Valve, but details were scant - all we knew is that it was Left 4 Dead related. Our megapals over at CVG cite a source as saying that it's going to be a Left 4 Dead prequel which details the genesis of the zombie uprising.
"As perceptive gamers will have noticed, several hints have recently been dropped into Payday: The Heist, which has led to various rumors," the original statement from Overkill read. "We are excited to be able to confirm that an in-depth collaboration between Overkill and Valve is currently in production. We are working on a very cool blend of Payday and Left 4 Dead."
It's a really nice idea for a collaboration. In Left 4 Dead you're the good guys. In Payday, you're the bad guys. Combining of the two, you could be a bunch of morally grey guys. Also, it's a prequel, and everyone loves prequels, right? If not, don't worry: Overkill are also working on a sequel to Payday: The Heist.
In many ways, Payday: The Heist is very similar to Left 4 Dead. You team up with three friends, you fend off hordes of enemies and try to stay alive. But, in a few important ways, they're very different. In Left 4 Dead, a throng of zombies are trying to keep you out of a safe room, in Payday, you rob banks, take hostages and mow down legions of cops. According to a post on the Overkill blog, spotted by VG247, the Payday devs are working with Valve on a collaboration that will bring both concepts together.
"We are excited to be able to confirm that an in-depth collaboration between OVERKILL and Valve is currently in production." says Overkill director Ulf Andersson. "We are working on a very cool blend of PAYDAY and Left 4 Dead."
A "cool blend," eh. Time to indiscriminately mash Left 4 Dead and Payday's premises together until something works. Zombies robbing a bank? Survivors robbing a zombie bank? Tanks robbing a bank? Crims robbing a bank staffed by Tanks? This isn't working. What do you think it'll be?
We've seen some impressive fan-made Portal guns in the past, but they've been rare, costly one-off projects. Valve are giving us the chance to get hold of our own Aperture Science Handheld Portal Devices without having to burn ourselves horribly putting together an injection mould. Joystiq mention that, at Valve's request, toy manufacturers, NECA have put together a life-sized Portal gun. It'll hit the shops this summer with a $130 price tag attached.
There will be lights and those lights will change colour, but will it make the "pwung" noise? There's only one way to find out, and that's to buy at least five. Perhaps ten. Maybe more. More. MORE.
NECA will also be releasing a line of Left 4 Dead, Team Fortress 2 and Half-Life action figures, a few of which were shown off at the NYC Toy Fair. The Team Fortress 2 wiki has a snap of the new figures, you'll find that below along with a few shots of that Portal gun. Baggsy the Heavy.
This is the full length version of the Left 4 Dead fan film that was teased two weeks ago. With Bill's tragic demise, the Left 4 Dead crew are a member short. On the way to a safe room three blocks away they find a replacement. And then another one. And then another, until everything's gone a bit mad. Which one would you pick to become the crew's new fourth member?
Of the pile of custom L4D2 campaigns I've played, Questionable Ethics has stuck with me most. It's filled with surprise; a white-walled gauntlet of mystery and torture that you must, must, must download. I introduced Tyler and Chris to the four-stage campaign, then we sat down to talk about it.
This is just a sneak peak of a longer fan film that creators Airsoft GI are planning to release soon, spotted on RPS. It's been a great year for classy fan films, from the Fallout 3 film, Nuka Break, to Beyond Black Mesa and Infectious Designer's recent Half-Life inspired short, Origins. From the looks of the trailer, this Left 4 Dead film could top them all. Look, Zoey's even clutching Bill's discarded beret. Poor Bill :(
A 304 page collection Valve comics is set to be released in the US later this year, according to listings on the Dark Horse site, spotted by Kotaku. The tome will be called Valve Presents: The Sacrifice and other Steam-Powered Stories, and will contain all of the promotional comics Valve have released online over the last year or so, including Left 4 Dead comic, The Sacrifice, the recent Portal 2 comic, and the excellent Team Fortress 2 shorts. The collection will cost $29.99 and is out on November 16. You'll find the cover art below, click to view it full size.
The production values of fan films seem to have shot up in recent years, and this Left 4 Dead one is no exception. The second part in an on-going series, the film is well shot and not badly acted. It does seem to fail in capturing the tone of Valve's zombie shooter, feeling more like 'The Walking Dead' with it's sombre mood and snippets of profound dialogue, instead of L4D's all-out Hollywood action/horror blockbuster atmosphere. It's nonetheless a great homage to the games, with a terrific finale and a nice pipe-bomb throw for good measure. You can catch up on the series' first part, but expect to wait a few months for the third instalment.
Whilst not yet in full feature-length form, a fan film is on the way from a group of Dragon Age obsessives. The Dragon Age Malevolence trailer looks more true to BioWare's games than the official upcoming web-series Dragon Age Redemption, mainly due to the copious amounts of blood that is splattered over every cast member.
Moving from the world of reality impersonating games to one where games impersonate reality, there have been some awesome gameplay trailers this week. DICE continue to show off their incredible new Frostbite technology in the third entry in their Battlefield 3 'Fault Line' series, here demonstrating the new close combat mechanics, and an awful lot of very pretty shooting. Then Adhesive Games went and impressed us even more with some video ripped straight from a Hawken multiplayer map. It may be from a small indie team just a few men strong, but Hawken already looks to be one of the most exciting titles of the year (so long as it hits this year - we all have out fingers crossed). But with incredible mech combat, wouldn't incredible mech gear be awesome too? Who wouldn't want a bunch of expensive, pointless peripherals to use when playing Hawken? Razer or Logitech need to get building a mech cockpit controller like the one used for Steel Battalion NOW!
Just a few weeks ago we showed off the trailer for Lego Star Wars: The Clone Wars. Now we have yet another trailer for a Lego game: Pirates of the Caribbean. With the Lego games coming out with far more frequency these days, you'd expect their charm to start to wear thin. But no; this latest trailer is full of Lego sweetness, and the inevitable little joke at the end of this one still brings a smile.
You may or may not know, but back when Half-Life 2: Episode 2 launched, our own Tom Francis set himself a little challenge. When Valve PR master Doug Lombardi told him about the gnome achievement, he became obsessed with it. Tom carried that gnome; carried it across the WHOLE of HL2:E2. Well, the gnome is back, with a great nasty looking chainsaw and the obligatory Invaders Must Die soundtrack.
If you boot up Left 4 Dead 2 today you'll notice a new addition to the campaign list. The modder made map, Cold Stream, has been added to the line-up as a beta campaign. It looks a lot more polished than you might expect from a beta map, but Valve expect players to find a few bugs. To help people report problems, they've extended the in-game bug reporting feature, and asked that fans post feedback on the Cold Stream Steam forums. For more information, check out the Left 4 Dead 2 blog.