There's a new expansion to Left 4 Dead 2, "The Passing". It inspired me to play some L4D, so it's doing something right, at least. It also inspired me to do some blogging about L4D, but my blog is so obscure that when I write about things, it actually becomes less known.
First, "The Passing" is alright.
The new gun seems cool, although I haven't had the chance to use it. El_Dawg used it for a while, and it was very powerful (He describes it as "absurd[ly]...good").
Survivor zombies are clearly a return to Valve's old idea of "a zombie that runs away, and you have to follow him and kill him before he wrecks you." Instead of wrecking you when the Survivor runs away, you are rewarded if you kill him. He drops items like health packs and pills. Seems odd to have Survivor zombies, though. The game implies that certain people are immune to the zombie virus, which is why the players haven't turned. These survivor zombies must have been very agile, since they managed to last long enough to become hardened survivors without getting hit once.
Lured by the idea of items items that reek of zombie, I ran down a stairway in hot pursuit, only to fall down a hole right next to a Witch. I approve. Anything that makes people run headlong into zombies is always good.
The titular Passing is an idiot. The guy, (Bill*), died before you even get there. They should have titled it, "The Guy Who Does Bill's Voice Wanted More Money". Bringing back the old characters does provide some hilarious dialogue though. It's fun to see what the different survivors think of each other after only recently meeting.
I think "Mutations" is going to be the real winner of all this. A new mode of gameplay every week is exactly what I needed to draw me back in. When I think about playing L4D, there's so much shenanigans** to playing that I generally just don't play.A new Mutation is novel enough to make the stupid crap I have to put up with worth the effort.***
I'm thinking of writing a brief guide to playing as the Infected. Everyone (including me) wants to run headlong at the enemy all by themself, and that's just assisted suicide.
** Too many to list: Griefers can ruin the game, (I recently played a game where a survivor just stayed in the first spawn, and typed politically incendiary remarks into general chat. That game is still going, as far as I know.) Even one bad survivor on a team can lead to disaster, (also true of Infected, although not quite as mutually dependent.), and servers generally have unacceptably high ping. (155 is not a middling ping, Valve; it is 60 too high. 50 is a middling ping.)
*** Also, if I do 6 mutations, I get an achievement!