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Left 4 Dead 2

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Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Nathan Grayson)

Don't look down don't look down don't look down.

I preemptively think I’m gonna be sick. Don’t get me wrong: there are few things in this world I want more than Oculus Rift virtual reality for my mad dash through Mirror’s Edge‘s theme park of parkour, but now that it’s probably going to happen, I realize that I should probably bid farewell to any lunches I’ve had in the past couple months. And who will I have to thank for my sudden bouts of violent nausea? Interestingly, it won’t be EA. Instead, a third-party toolset called Vireio Perception is primed to add Rift support to Mirror’s Edge and other older titles.

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

To celebrate Halloween, say Valve, they’re making Left 4 Dead 2 free this weekend. And by weekend, they mean from today (Thursday) until Monday. And by Halloween, they mean stopping days short of Halloween. Ladies and gentlemen: Valve Time.

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Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Nathan Grayson)

OH GOD. It's a lot colder than I thought it was going to be.

‘Twas more than a year ago that Left 4 Dead 2′s Cold Stream DLC first stirred beneath the grave of Valve’s nearly immortal undead sequel, and then – as though cast in the world’s most anticlimatic horror movie – it just kind of sat there. “I’ll rise and kick off the end of all human civilization tomorrow,” it thought to itself. But tomorrow never came. Until now! After gobs of testing and fine-tuning, Valve’s finally deemed Cold Stream fit for public consumption.

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

Is it possible to hate streams? I can't imagine anyone being offended by one.

Left 4 Dead 2′s Cold Stream DLC has been through more tests than a guinea pig that just survived a nuclear blast. As well as the new map, the DLC contains Blood Harvest, Crash Course, Dead Air and Death Toll from the first game, but that’s not new news. The fresh meat on this data morsel is the availability of all mutations at all times and Valve promise “other surprises and details” soon. July 24th is the release date. That’s the release date for the DLC, by the way, not the guinea pig. The guinea pig is too uncanny to release into the wild so top scientists have sealed it in a lead box which is currently being dropped into a furnace.

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Nathan Grayson)

Maybe we'll all get cameos!Well, this is odd. We’ve known about an upcoming Payday: The Heist-Left 4 Dead crossover for about a month now, and – as is often the case with these things – it materialized earlier today via YouTube’s eyebeaming ethers. “”Have you ever wondered how the Left 4 Dead series began?” the video’s description asked, forcing me to realize that I’ve never actually wondered that. “It started with a heist!” Intrigued, the Internet looked on as Payday’s band of mask-loving hooligans shot its way through a very un-zombified version of Left 4 Dead’s Mercy Hospital. And then the trailer disappeared.

Happily, Eurogamer managed to upload a roll to its own Internet-powered projector machine, so you can still watch the trailer and remember it as it was before its mysterious disappearance. Perhaps Valve and Overkill (now known collectively as Valverkill) stole it. From themselves>. This may just be a heist caper for the ages. I, however, will work tirelessly to get to the bottom of it: Oh look, here’s the answer. It’s just a Left 4 Dead cameo (character and hospital setting) in a Payday map.

Hooray! Sort of, eh?

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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