Valve's sequel-spanning digital comic that explains just what happened to Left 4 Dead's original Survivors, dubbed "The Sacrifice," is yours for the reading. How do things go so horribly wrong between the original game and "The Passing"? Well, Tanks.
Part one of "The Sacrifice," part of Valve's new cross-game story arc plans, offers us plenty of blood and guts, plus a peek at a few new characters. I won't spoil it, just read it yourself, if you're a Left 4 Dead fan.
The digital comic version of "The Sacrifice" runs once a week until October 5, when "The Sacrifice" DLC will be released for Left 4 Dead and Left 4 Dead 2 on PC, Xbox 360 and Mac.
The Sacrifice [L4D.com]
Valve will be injecting life into Left 4 Dead 2 in the form of featured community maps for the PC. The developer says it plans to begin hosting bi-weekly community campaigns on its own servers, starting with "Two Evil Eyes."
Valve's Chet Faliszek writes on the official Left 4 Dead blog that the company will provide official dedicated server support for select fan-made maps, making it easier for players of the PC version to get their hands on some fresher content. And while that's great, what about the company's plans for giving Left 4 Dead players new content developed by Valve itself?
We'll have to wait until next week, when Valve will address the (very) late downloadable content for the original Left 4 Dead, future plans for Left 4 Dead 2 and the still-missing Mac version of the zombie shooter.
Next Friday, August 20th, we'll know, thanks to Spike's GameTrailers TV.
Here's Looking at You [L4D Blog]
After teasing the first statue in their Left 4 Dead 2 line on Wednesday, Gaming Heads sends us detailed pictures of their grotesque Tank statue, along with a $300 price tag, and that's the cheap version.
The blurry picture released earlier this week did not do Gaming Heads' rendition of Left 4 Dead 2's Tank any justice at all. Now that we see it in its full 15-inch glory, we can easily see how a hardcore fan might lay out the $299.99 asking price for one of these terrible beauties.
Of course a truly dedicated fan would spend an extra $25 on the exclusive version. Limited to 300 pieces worldwide (the standard version is limited to 750), an extra $25 scores you a pump-action shotgun and slightly rarer giant zombie statue.
Wouldn't this look lovely on your mantle, covered by some sort of velvet cloth?
Valve is making some noteworthy changes to the way Left 4 Dead 2 plays, the way it scores and the way it can sometimes infuriate players. When Valve polled zombie apocalypse enthusiasts on their rage quitting reasons, this was why.
The official Left 4 Dead site outlines some, but not all, of those impending changes to the Charger, the Tank and how friendly fire between Survivors is handled. In short, the Charger will be better rewarded for utilizing his special skills to take down humans, some friendly fire will be ignore, and you'll be switched to an already flaming Tank a lot less.
Here are some of the specifics.
The Invisible Tank [L4D Blog]
To go with Team Fortress 2's Heavy, due out later this year, collectible company Gamingheads will be relasing another Valve-inspired statue. Only this one's a zombie.
It's Left 4 Dead 2's formidable Tank, and while you can't make much out in this frustratingly blurry teaser shot, what you can see looks suitably detailed (and decomposed).
Preorders will kick off on July 30, and while no further details have been revealed, TF2's Heavy had a price tag that said "$250".
Were you wrongfully accused of cheating and summarily banned from the PC version of Modern Warfare 2 recently? You weren't the only one. Valve's anti-cheat software goofed and they're offering free copies of Left 4 Dead 2 as an apology.
Many players of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 were surprised to find their Steam accounts banned this past weekend by Valve's anti-cheat software, more succinctly known as VAC. Valve president Gabe Newell says that was mass banning a mistake and offered an apology to those affected.
In addition to restoring players' access to the game, Valve is giving players a copy of Left 4 Dead 2 and one to gift to a friend, along with an explanation of how even players exhibiting good behavior were hit with the banhammer.
Read Newell's message to Modern Warfare 2 players below and take comfort in the fact that you totally did nothing wrong and you're not crazy.
Recently, your Steam account was erroneously banned from Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2.
This was our mistake, and I apologize for any frustration or angst it may have caused you.
The problem was that Steam would fail a signature check between the disk version of a DLL and a latent memory version. This was caused by a combination of conditions occurring while Steam was updating the disk image of a game. This wasn't a game-specific mistake. Steam allows us to manage and reverse these erroneous bans (about 12,000 erroneous bans over two weeks).
We have reversed the ban, restoring your access to the game. In addition, we have given you a free copy of Left 4 Dead 2 to give as a gift on Steam, plus a free copy for yourself if you didn't already own the game.
To share your extra copy of Left 4 Dead 2 with a friend, you can 'Manage Gifts and Guest Passes' from the 'Games' Menu in Steam, or visit this article on the Steam Support site for detailed instructions: https://support.steampowered.com/kb_article.php?ref=4502-TPJL-2656.
To access your own copy of Left 4 Dead 2, visit your library of games in Steam. If you didn't already own the game, it will now be listed among your others there, and is available for download immediately.
Thanks to everyone who flooded the tips@ inbox this weekend with their banning story.
The latest playlist in Left 4 Dead 2's mutation mode breaks out the katanas - "Four Swordsmen of the Apocalypse" is easy to figure out from the title alone: swords only, versus the horde.
The Left 4 Dead blog says the mode pits survivors against "near continuous streams of Special Infected ready to be sliced and diced." And look, it still cuts a tomato like this!
The update teases next week's change - something called "Hard Eight." Is that a spiteful response to the last poll, which found the Hard Rain boat wait as the least favorite finale of the game? Who knows.
Week 12 [Left 4 Dead Blog]
Disneyland attraction "Indiana Jones Adventure: Temple of the Forbidden Eye" has been recreated by a modder in zombie first-person-shooter Left 4 Dead 2.
The name? You guessed it, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Zombies. It does feature zombies, but the walk through in the video does not.
It's part of a modded map pack for the game and as a map itself, it doesn't look like it would be that exciting to play as it's linear. However, as a work of digital art, it is extremely impressive. The map has been lovely created with acute level of detail. Some parts of this map actually look better than the real deal. Some don't, but those are the breaks.
Temple of the Forbidden Eye is a favorite of mine. Honestly, I enjoy standing in line for it as much as the attraction itself! It opened at Disneyland in 1995 and even features John Rhys-Davies as Sallah.
Co-op shooter Left 4 Dead 2 was developed by Valve and released in November 2009.