A long while ago I was going to write an article about the Left 4 Dead 3 game that all fans of the L4D franchise wanted to see happen. I was going to write my complaints about the first two games and suggest those things be fixed before the third game came out, if it was ever going to. I started to write it and I just kept writing and writing, because there were so many things that needed fixing, and I realized I had more of a book than a blog post. I stopped writing it because I suddenly became overwhelmed, and I never went back to it.
(EDIT: Ironically, my first draft of this was so long I almost lost interest and had to force myself back to it. EDIT 2: OK, it’s still long as hell. Sorry.)
Because I play L4D2 all the time, it has given me ample time to see all of the issues with the game. It has gotten so bad that I now actually hate the game because of all the dumbass problems surrounding it. I still play it, but man oh man it could be such a better game.
And then just about a year ago news broke that Valve was working on part 3. Whether they are or not is still unknown, but every day it seems as if new images and new websites are popping up, all from sketchy sources, as legit L4D3 stuff.
Naturally that got me thinking more. Never mind WHO the four survivors of this game are going to be, that doesn’t matter. I do think about where they’ll have them go this time around, places that haven’t been done yet. But what I’m really concerned about are those things that need fixing. I found my old article I had started working on and I’m going to try my best to keep it to the most important things. Otherwise I’ll just keep writing and this will never get posted.
First of all, the zombies don’t want to eat you. No, they just want, more than fucking anything, to beat you to death. I’m kind of sick of this. If you’re at full health you run just slightly slower than the zombies do. In other words, at a long distance they will catch up to you. And when they do, they will throw a punch at you and it will actually knock them off balance because they’re throwing the hardest punch they can while running at full speed. Is it that serious? Every time I see it I laugh, cause it’s so ridiculous. They don’t try to tackle you, or bite you… they throw themselves off balance with a fucking punch.
In various parts of the games there are rooms you go in with a lot of blood and half eaten people. Who was eating those people? Zombies from another game? Because these zombies sure don’t want to eat you. Never mind they have blood around their mouths!
I swear to you, I was playing the game one night when my wife’s then 5-year-old godson came into the room and watched me play. He pointed out, at 5-years-old, that it didn’t make sense the zombies had blood around their mouths and they weren’t biting you.
Fix this please. I know it won’t be, but damn. It’s kind of goofy to be beaten down so much your character is laying on the ground and you watch as zombies get down on their knees to punch you and kick you. I even watched one jump up in the air before coming down with a boot. I wasn’t sure if I was playing a zombie game or a WWE game.
If you’re moving forward in Left 4 Dead 2, never mind coming across a really strong amoeba or a blade of grass that will keep you from moving forward (seriously, seemingly nothing is there but you won’t be able to move forward) if a zombie is BEHIND YOU, you won’t be able to move forward.
They have created a game that doesn’t want you to progress. Not because of difficulty, but because of invisible objects in your way and zombies behind you. I’m not sure how that works, and I don’t know what law this is breaking, physics or gravity or whatthefuckever, the fucking law of moving forward, but in real life if something is behind you, it doesn’t keep you from moving forward.
Also, the zombies are zombies, and zombies are historically stupid. You can watch these zombies meander along aimlessly until they see you. You can watch them stumbling around, walking as if drunk… BUT THEN, they always know where you are. Hiding is impossible. It doesn’t matter if they saw you run into a closet or not, they’ll go to that closet and break that door down to get you.
Sure, maybe they SMELL you. Ok, I can live with that. But what I can’t fucking live with is how they know where to run. Let’s say you’re in a huge parking lot and you are running straight ahead. From your left is a zombie or even a horde of zombies and they are coming after you. They will run to where they can intercept you, not to where you are. So instead of eventually being behind you because they’re constantly running towards where you ARE, they run to where you are GOING. That takes thought, something zombies are not supposed to be able to do.
Speaking of homing zombies, when The Tank comes after you and rips up a huge chunk of concrete (from anywhere, parking lots, the ground, a roof top, it’s always a huge chunk of concrete) and he throws it at you, it’s almost impossible to get away from it because it will change its flight pattern after it is thrown, to hit you. It’s a heat seeking chunk of concrete, apparently.
One last thing on the zombies. They are attracted to noise. Follow me for a minute, if you can. In the game there are pipe bombs that you can throw to clear out a bunch of zombies. It beeps for a few seconds to attract a group of zombies around it (which they will then try to beat up the pipe bomb because that’s what they do) and then it will explode, killing them all. Awesome.
Now, go set off a car alarm and run away from the car. What’s that? The car alarm attracted the zombies and here they come… right for you, nowhere near the car! They’re so smart… when they want to be, apparently.
So during the game, the four survivors talk, fucking constantly (and that needs to be fixed, do they need to talk at all?) and sometimes they yell. Especially Coach. He’s always fucking yelling, yet that doesn’t attract any zombies, even if there is one nearby. Never mind the guns being fired all throughout the game, those get no response from the zombies either.
The jukeboxes randomly throughout the game used to attract a horde when played, but now they don’t. That means someone actually changed it. Oh, and in one part of the game you have to summon a ferry to come and get you so you can cross a stream. When the motor is started to pull the ferry to you, the noise attracts zombies. But once you’re on the ferry and the motor is pulling you to the other side of the stream, no zombies.
Now, how about the playable characters? They love to talk, as I mentioned. When they’re reloading their guns they have to yell “RELOADING!” As if anybody gives a shit. If something is in your view, they’ll mention it. And as long as it is in your view, they’ll continue mentioning it every few seconds. “Pistol here… hey, there’s a pistol… we got a pistol here… pistol… weapons here…” Do you know how fucking annoying that is? Especially since your characters constantly have weapons. Mention it once, great. Mention it twice, and if nobody turns and picks up a gun, nobody wants the fucking gun. Stop mentioning it. Holy fuckballs.
The worst is when they constantly tell you where to go. This isn’t an open world game. Eventually you’ll fucking figure out where you’re supposed to go because there’s only one place to go. That ferry I mentioned, when it arrives the characters will say to each other, “Get on the boat. Ferry’s here, get on the boat. Time to get on the boat. Hey everybody, get on the boat. Time to get on the boat. I need you to get on the boat.” Seriously, play that level and just stand there in front of the boat for a minute. In 60 seconds you’ll hear them say something about getting on the boat around 10-20 times. SERIOUSLY. Is that fucking necessary?
Here’s a video, and of course unless I make a video of exactly what I’m talking about (which I can’t really do right now) then you’ll just have to take what you can get. If you watch this starting at around 1:45 you’ll see two characters on the ferry, and for the next 20 seconds you’ll hear them say something about getting on the boat, multiple times.
Sure they only say it a few times, but they got right on the boat. Usually when the horde there is done my wife and I look around for stuff to collect and take on our way. That could be anywhere from a minute or two and we hear it over and over and over. It’s enough to make us play the game on mute.
I tell you what Valve, if you insist on making your characters talk, give us the option to turn them off. Holy fuck. Especially to those of us who have played the game more than once, and we know what we’re doing, we don’t need to hear the characters tell us what to do over and over.
And I know that’s why it’s in there. For those new players who don’t have a clue, the characters in the game are talking to each other with those little in-game hints. Well, those in-game hints suck. I learned what to do by playing with other people, not the characters in the game.
And could we get the computer controlled characters to not be complete fucking idiots? Let’s say you DO throw a pipe bomb. It’s going to attract all the zombies in the area to it, and then it’s going to blow up, killing them all. So what do the computer controlled partners of yours do? They shoot all of the zombies running to the pipe bomb.
You’re supposed to be in a zombie apocalypse, yet they want to use your resources like you can afford them (which really you can but it’s the mindset). Except I’ve noticed many times I’ll be getting hit from behind by a zombie (I noticed because I couldn’t move forward) yet when I turn around to kill the zombie I’ll see one of my computer partners standing there looking at me, watching that zombie kick my ass. Fucking thanks, dude.
Sometimes you find laster sights for your gun. After you get them, you can see where everybody is pointing their guns. Walk into a new area with a bunch of zombies and you’ll see your computer partners pointing their guns at the zombies, but not shooting them. WHA?
Lastly, all of their jokes were funny the first bazillion times I heard them. Now they’re not. No more talkie.
I could go on and on, seriously, but those are my biggest problems. While I am excited to have a third game, and I will buy it and I will play the shit out of it, I really don’t want a third game if it’s going to be the same shit as the first two. The second game isn’t much different than the first overall. All they did was add new characters and new levels, maybe a couple new weapons. But really, you’re playing the same shit. I don’t mind the mechanics of the game so much, but holy shit, those things have got to change. The series is already a huge fan favorite. Just think about how much bigger it could be if they fixed those dumbass problems.