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Left 4 Dead 2

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Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Alec Meer)

Man, it seems like half a decade ago that we were getting all scared by the Witch. Oh wait, it was. I AM SO OLD

Seems a trifle odd to be saying this given 2009′s foremost angry internet man-generator was the perceived too-soon release of a sequel to Left 4 Dead, but Valve’s zombathons seem to me to have been left a little fallow of late. Team Fortress 2′s ongoing transformation into QVC, Portal 2′s awards-hogging and fever-pitch speculation about Half Life has been the order of the day for the last couple of years. You could – aheh- say that Left 4 Dead has been – aheh – left for dead. Aheh-heh-heh. Just my little joke, there.

Something is suddenly stirring, however (editor’s note – I really need more elegant alternatives to ‘however’ and ‘though’, which I know full well are often seen to be cludgy writing. Suggestions?>), and it comes not from Valve, but from Payday: The Heist devs and recent Starbreeze acquisition Overkill. (more…)

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Alec Meer)

Over the last few years, Valve have been quietly honing the fine art of viral marketing in an online age, and comics have been a big part of that. A cartel of in-house writers and the excellent pencils of Michael Avon Oeming (and others) have created some rather splendid words’n'pictures. Of course, they were merely digital. HOW DARE YOU INSULT OUR EYEBALLS WITH YOUR CRUMMY JPEGS? Why, that’s for philistines> and people too damned lazy to turn paper pages. This horrendous oversight and offence to everything that some angry guy somewhere probably holds dear is about to be corrected, thanks to a hardback compilation of Valve’s various Portal, Left 4 Dead and Team Fortress 2 comics due from august comic publisher Dark Horse later this year.
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Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (John Walker)

You know what always goes well? When Valve offers to release something early if only customers do something for them. That’s something with a solid history. Leaping onto this unwaveringly endorsed theme once more, Valve have announced plans on the Left 4 Dead blog to release Dead Air from community-co-created Cold Stream DLC pack early if enough people bug test the new campaign for them.

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Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (John Walker)

If you were to restart your Steam account, you’d notice that your copy of Left 4 Dead 2 would start updating. This is to add in the beta for a new campaign, Cold Stream. It has a few bugs, but that’s why God gave us betas. Wow, that’s such a succinct news story I need to add another.

If you were to restart your Steam account, you’d notice that it would have updated to change its voice chat technology. As anyone who’s ever used Steam Voice will know, it wasn’t exactly as good as it could have been. It’s now been replaced with SILK, an audio codec developed by the Skype peeps, with what I like to call a “dynamic bit rate protocol”, meaning it can vary its bandwidth up to 30kbps (twice as much as Steam Voice would use.) Valve adds that the voice chat connectivity and reliability has also been improved, which is mighty fine news as we were increasingly finding ourselves opting for using non-Steam chat when playing together. Isn’t that all smashing?

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Quintin Smith)

Curious. Following The Sacrifice and The Passing, Eurogamer‘s got word that Valve will be releasing a third piece of downloadable content for Left 4 Dead 2 with a new Cold Stream campaign. Cold Stream is actually a work in progress fan campaign by Matthew Lourdelet, creator of the acclaimed 2 Evil Eyes campaign. According a post on Valve’s official Left 4 Dead 2 blog, Valve have seen Lourdelet’s work so far and decided to release it in a non-story driven pack containing the other three Left 4 Dead 1 campaigns not currently in L4D2.
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Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Jim Rossignol)

Valve send word that The Sacrifice, the DLC for both Left 4 Dead and Left 4 Dead 2, is now available on Steam.

“The new DLC is available free of charge to all Steam gamers who own a copy of L4D and/or L4D2. And, for a limited time, L4D and L4D2 (as well as their respective Steam bundles) are available for 66% off the regular price.”

That said, my Steam doesn’t seem to be updating. Hmm. Oh, now it is.

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Jim Rossignol)

Welcome to October, via more zombie drama for Friday morning. The Sacrifice, the latest DLC for both Left 4 Dead and its sequel, is arriving on PC on 5th October. Rather looking forward to this one, I have to say. (more…)

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Alec Meer)

But which safehouseman? Or safehousewoman? That’s your problem, bucko. Your problem to solve as you play the latest DLC for Left 4 Dead on October 5. Or! As you play the latest DLC for Left 4 Dead 2 on October 5. Yes, yes, they’re doing that. >All is fair in love and released-slightly-too-soon-zombie-sequels. (more…)

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Kieron Gillen)

Thank you, Zoe, for not having an umlaut. That's very annoying.

The first part of the previously announced Left 4 Dead comic is out. It’s coming out in four weekly parts, leading up to the release of the actual The Sacrifice pack. It’s also a hefty creature. The first part is over forty-pages, so the whole thing should be getting on for 160 and actually includes details to the background of the plague itself. It’s also drawn my Michael Avon Oeming, who’s a fantastic visual storyteller and worth looking at generally. I especially like the BLAM! apocalypse. If you want to investigate further, I’ll suggest the first Powers trade. Anyway, you can read the first part of The Sacrifice here. Go! do so!

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Jim Rossignol)

…who lives and who dies, apparently. As it stands Bill dies in The Passing, and there’s going to be comic that explains how and why that happens. But it turns out that in The Sacrifice, you can – in keeping with the game’s own moment-to-moment decision-making – choose who dies for yourselves. This comes via Kotaku, who point out that in this GameTrailers’ chat with Valve, Mr Faliszek reveals that this next bit of free DLC for Left 4 Dead (and also Left 4 Dead 2, it’ll work with either) enables us to experience what happened in the events of The Passing from the perspective of the original cast. The events of this new expansion will, therefore, allow you to choose which of that original cast winds up dead. The Sacrifice also gives Left 4 Dead 2 owners a version of No Mercy, which seems like a splendid little bonus.

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