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Left 4 Dead 2

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Shacknews - Jeff Mattas
Left 4 Dead's new DLC, 'The Sacrifice,' launched today, and in a move that's as much awesome as it is likely to cause some Xbox RAGE, Valve is selling both titles on Steam for a deep discount. The Mac version of Left 4 Dead 2 went live today as well, for the same ultra-low price.

If you still haven't experienced the joys of shooting the undead with friends, the latest Steam sale is an awesome excuse. For the duration of the sale, Left 4 Dead and Left 4 Dead 2 can be purchased for a mere $6.79 each, or bundled together at an even deeper discount of $10.19. And of course, you get all of the delicious DLC with the PC and Mac versions for no extra charge, including 'The Sacrifice.'

Those playing the game on the Xbox 360 are also able to download 'The Sacrifice,' but it's 560 Microsoft Points ($7). In fact, when compared to the current Steam sale, it's more expensive to buy all of the console-based series' DLC than it is to purchase both full games (which include all DLC for free) for either PC or Mac.

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Shacknews - Xav de Matos
The latest downloadable content for Left 4 Dead 2 (and presumably last for the original) is set to launch next week. "The Sacrifice" DLC follows the original Left 4 Dead cast as they journey South, losing one of their own team members along the way.

While there is one real conclusion to the story, as evidenced in the previous DLC "The Passing," players will have the opportunity to re-write history and select which team member will fall in "The Sacrifice." It won't change the franchise's canon, but it'll make you look totally badass.

Watch the video on Shackvideo.

"The Sacrifice" will be available for free for PC users and for 560MS Points ($7) on the Xbox 360 when it launches on October 5.

While Valve has kept silent on a previously reported Mac version of Left 4 Dead 2, the trailer lists "OS X" as one of the DLC launch platforms. Looks like it's happening after all.

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Shacknews - Brian Leahy
Valve has confirmed that 'The Sacrifice', DLC for both Left 4 Dead and Left 4 Dead 2, will be released on October 5 for the PC and Xbox 360. It will be free for both games on the PC, while the Xbox 360 DLC will cost 560 MS Points ($7).

"'The Sacrifice' is the prequel to 'The Passing,' and takes place from the L4D Survivors' perspective as they make their way South," reads the press release. "In addition to advancing the story, 'The Sacrifice' introduces a new style finale featuring "Sacrificial Gameplay" where players get to decide who will give their life so the others may live."

In L4D, 'The Sacrifice' will include the campaign and maps playable in Versus and Survival. In L4D2, the DLC will yield the same campaign, which is played using the L4D characters, and the first game's 'No Mercy' campaign as an added bonus. Both campaigns will include L4D2 weapons and Special Infected. The maps will be playable in Versus, Survival, and Scavenge modes, as well.

PC Gamer, which correctly placed the DLC's release on October 5, also reported that 'The Sacrifice' would launch alongside the Mac version of Left 4 Dead 2, but Valve made no mention of this in its release. Shacknews has asked Valve for more information on a Mac launch for L4D2 or L4D.

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Shacknews - Xav de Matos
The original Left 4 Dead crew are about to make a big sacrifice, and the long promised prequel comic that delves into the past of the zombie killing squad is launching very soon.

To prep for the October 5 release of The Sacrifice downloadable content for both the original Left 4 Dead and its sequel, Valve is releasing a hefty 150-plus page comic detailing the original cast's backstory and the events leading to one of the team's death. The first part of the four part series hits the web on September 14 (that's tomorrow!).

The Sacrifice Comic Covers

Valve also revealed it will bring back the week three mutation "Follow the Liter" for Left 4 Dead 2 players. The originally unpopular mutation--according to Valve--limits teams to scavenging one gas can at a time, forcing them to also wait for a fresh can to respawn once destroyed or used. Let's see if second time is a charm for this mutation.

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Shacknews - Xav de Matos
[Update: 08.22.2010] Valve has reportedly told PC Gamer that "The Sacrifice" will launch on October 5. The PC and Mac version will launch for free while the Xbox 360 version will cost 560MS Points ($7). According to PC Gamer, the Mac version will launch on October 5. Shacknews has contacted Valve to confirm the Xbox 360 version of the DLC will release alongside the PC and Mac.

[Original: 08.21.2010] Last night on GameTrailers TV, Valve's Chet Faliszek revealed info on upcoming downloadable content for those still waging war on the zombie threat.

(Note: The GTTV video contains spoilers on "The Passing" DLC.)

Faliszek revealed a new downloadable content pack, dubbed "The Sacrifice," is coming to both the original Left 4 Dead and its sequel, Left 4 Dead 2. A precursor to the previous DLC "The Passing," the upcoming pack will tell the story of how the original Left 4 Dead team lost one of its team members to the zombie outbreak.

Since Valve was already busy bringing the original team to Left 4 Dead 2 in order to tell the story in "Sacrifice," Faliszek said the team decided to bring a fan favorite campaign from the original game into its sequel. "No Mercy" will be included in the upcoming DLC for Left 4 Dead 2 players, adding the sequel's game mechanics to the popular original campaign

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Shacknews - Xav de Matos
With a dozen Left 4 Dead 2 "Mutations" released in as many weeks, Valve has collected a detailed breakdown of the modes developed to tweak the zombie-infested title's gameplay.

According to Valve, the most popular Mutation has been Realism Versus. The mode, which is now a permanent fixture in the game, captured the attention of 41% of all players the week it was initially released, making up for 22% of the each player's minutes when it launched. As a comparison, Survival Versus was only played by 25% of players for a total of 4% of their time with the game the week it was released.

Chainsaw Massacre was the most tried Mutation, netting 52% of Left 4 Dead 2 players during the week of its release and making up for 14% of game their game time.

Valve promises more Mutations are on the way and says they will continue to tweak past Mutations as well as bring back some old "favorites."

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Shacknews - Brian Leahy

The Left 4 Dead 2 mutation for owners of "The Passing" DLC for the next week is "Headshot!". In this mode, only headshots and decapitations will drop enemy zombies.

"Shoot them in the arm, shoot them in the leg, shoot them in the chest - it just doesn't matter! The only way these zombies are going down is with a head shot. Other hits will stumble them back, but only a head shot or decapitation will kill them." This mutation is available for the campaign.

Additionally, a patch has been applied to the PC version of the game via Valve's Steam digital distribution service. The Xbox 360 version will eventually see these changes implemented.

Valve describes the changes on the Left 4 Dead Blog:

While not removing Defibrillators, we have made some changes to them

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Shacknews - Chris Faylor
Our "Show Us Your Left 4 Dead Art Contest and Giveaway" has come to a close--the votes tallied, the commenters randomly chosen--and now it's time to announce the winners.

Simply narrowing the one hundred twenty eight images we received--located here and here--into twenty finalists was a tough task. The votes submitted by our panel of judged reflected how difficult it was to pick the five winners out of those twenty finalists--in fact, we had to call in additional "tie-breaker" judge.

So, without further ado, the winners (and prizes) of our Art Contest:

Shacknews - Brian Leahy
The next mutation for Left 4 Dead 2 has gone into effect and will last until next Friday. This week, players can play "Last Gnome On Earth", which is playable in campaign mode. It requires the gnome to be carried from start to finish in order to win.

Be careful, though. Whoever is carrying the gnome will be swarmed by common infected as they "hate the gnome".

Players can now vote on which past mutation will return for an encore week. Your choices are Bleed Out, Follow the Liter and Last Gnome on Earth. The first mutation, Realism Versus, has already been made into a permanent game mode.

"The Passing" DLC is required to play mutations and vote in polls. It costs 560 MS Points ($7) on Xbox 360 and is free on PC.

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Shacknews - Brian Leahy
On Monday, Valve began polling Left 4 Dead 2 gamers if they would like to see the recent multiplayer mutation "Realism Versus" become a permanent gameplay mode.





The results are in and nearly 500,000 voting gamers have ruled in favor of Realism Versus becoming a regular multiplayer mode in L4D2! Democracy rocks!



Additionally, a new mutation has gone into effect today titled "Follow the Liter", which changes the rules to the Scavenge gameplay mode:


Only one group of cans spawn at a time, so survivors know exactly where to go. There is only one problem; the Infected know exactly where ...

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