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.
A while back we highlighted Mines of the Dead, a map dedicated to bringing Minecraft's cuboid world to Left 4 Dead 2. The map's creator is still working hard on finishing the project. The first stage of the campaign is complete and ready to download, and a survival map is also available. You'll find a video of the new survival map below.
The first stage of the campaign, The Caves, can be downloaded now from Left 4 Dead maps. Most of the action is underground, but future stages will take the fight outside. The survival map provides a glimpse of what those stages will look like. It's called The Village, and is also available now on Left 4 Dead maps. Here's a video of the survival map in action.
Valve have announced that they will be releasing a set of maps for Left 4 Dead 2 once Portal 2 is done and dusted. The three remaining maps from the first Left 4 Dead will be ported over to Left 4 Dead 2 as part of the pack, and there will be a fourth map from modder Matthew Lourdelet, who made the excellent 2 Evil Eyes campaign. Instead of quietly finishing work on the new map, Valve are throwing its development open to the community, asking for ideas and feedback to help them develop the campaign.
Valve made the announcement on the Left 4 Dead 2 blog, where they say that they've been playing Lourdelet's new campaign, Cold Stream. "We love it so far but it isn’t done. We were tempted to have him quietly finish it with our help and release it as part of an upcoming DLC."
"Tempted… but we decided against that. Instead, we think we have a better idea. We want you the community to be part of the process of taking his unfinished campaign and releasing it as DLC on the Xbox 360, PC and Mac."
Valve's latest experiment is looking to crowdsource development on the map, taking feedback on each aspect of the campaign as it's developed. Valve also say they'll be giving the community feedback on the changes they decide to make, which should provide an interesting insight into the way they develop their levels "we will also share some data we collect on player experience and show how we put that data to use. We will include you with regular posts, polls, and updates."
There's a new section of the Steam forums dedicated to Cold Stream where you can leave your own thoughts and suggestions. Do you think opening up the development process will result in a better map? What would you like to see from Left 4 Dead 2 DLC?
That sound you heard was December 7 being circled on 12 million calendars at once. The PC Gamer crew, joined by Chris Perry of MMOReporter.com, ponders the release date of World of Warcraft: Cataclysm.
Then we reconsider OnLive as a non-subscription service, and take a better informed look at the TF2 Polycount update. Chris jumps into Left 4 Dead's new DLC, Evan recounts his Medal of Honor beta experience, and our jaws hit the floor when we hear how much 3D Realms spent not making Duke Nukem Forever.
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If you've ever bought Left 4 Dead 2, or if you buy it before 4pm Pacific Standard Time today (that's 11pm, UK folks), you'll get Ellis's hat and a skillet in TF2. Look, a picture of the soldier threatening three tiny, quadriplegic Michelin Men that he's keeping in one!
Oh right, they're maggots. My items haven't arrived yet, anyway, but you know how these things go. One day you'll die and get a hat and a skillet. It's a classic tale of rags to death to riches and frying pans.