Let me make one or two things clear right at the start. I’ve never actually played Left 4 Dead 2 before. I’ve played a few campaigns of Left 4 Dead along with the rest of the Final Boss Fight crew, and you can watch the hilarity on our Youtube channel, but this is the first time I’ve played the second game. Also, I’d just discovered you can use a controller instead of a keyboard/mouse, so I thought I’d give that a try. Oh, and I was banned from going anywhere near a Molotov – something about not wanting me to set the team on fire. So those are my excuses for what happened.
The campaign we were going to take on was Swamp Fever. Our four heroes – Coach, Ellis, Rochelle and Nick – have survived a helicopter crash, apparently the result of a previous escape attempt. They must now battle through a swamp teeming with infected and reach the relative safety of a large house, from where they can summon a boat and hopefully have more success with the whole escaping thing. Oh, and apparently we were playing on a modded server, which we didn’t find out until after the game started.
The journey started… well, poorly would be an understatement. Owing to my unfamiliarity with the controller setup I spent the first few minutes waving a first aid kit around, having experimented with pressing a button to see what it would do. My efforts to switch back to my gun were then interrupted by a hunter which jumped at me from behind and started pummelling me. My fellow survivors made quick work of the creature, but it was a definite sign of things to come.
We then killed a spitter – who vomited gobs of acidic green goo in our direction – and ran to a nearby petrol garage, where John was soon set upon by a jockey. I would have helped him by shooting the thing but I found my controls to be quite clunky, especially when it came to aiming. I resorted to firing in the general direction and hoped for the best. After a couple of warning messages – as well as a bunch of zombies attacking from behind and lots of prompts to shove them back – the crisis was mostly resolved and we carried on.
We battled through a charger and another bunch of zombies, during which I put my newly acquired cricket bat to use, quickly followed by a machete and a fire axe, and we eventually reached a mechanism that would summon a ferry to take us to the other side of the admittedly rather narrow river. Great. Only problem was that as soon as we activated said mechanism we attracted a horde. Lots of bullets were spent, lots of blood was sent in all directions and lots of bad things happened. We finally managed to get on the ferry, only for Sean to get hit by a smoker from the bank we’d just left.
Things didn’t get much better on the other side. We tried to cross the wooden walkways – fighting off zombies, boomers, more hunters, jockeys, spitters, and the occasional dropped connection. It all went reasonably well – despite lots of warning signs about not shooting teammates and warning us to heal up – until we heard the unmistakeable moans of a witch. Now I’d seen these in the previous game. I knew enough to know that if they were startled they would make short work of us. Sure enough, John startled it and was almost instantly torn to shreds. Nicely done.
We pressed on and eventually had to abandon the wooden path for the actual swamp itself. I’d seen signs warning of crocodiles and alligators but they turned out to be the least of our problems. I’d picked up a hunting rifle with a scope – as I love sniper rifles – but of course had trouble using it, again due to controller woes. I managed to get a few shots off, missing most things, and then I was hit by a charger who started to pummel me. At this point we were busy cursing the server itself as things weren’t normally this punishing.
After an incident where I tried to heal while being hit by a zombie and wound up having to be revived, along with more dropped connections, we finally made it to the safe house. Woo! Too bad it was only the start of what turned into a fairly long night. I won’t spoil what happened next but you can watch the rest of our misadventures on our Youtube channel – look out for the Left 4 Dead 2 videos coming out soon. Maybe next time I’ll stick with the mouse and keyboard.