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Left 4 Dead 2 has broken into the zombie genre and defined what co-op game-play really is in this new era of online gaming. As you explore the zombie infested southern America, you quickly learn that smart tactics and accurate playing should, and will, be brought to the table. The special infected enemies use abilities to wipe cheap and run-of-the-mill playing out of the equation. With some forgettable maps, the setting may become drab for some players, but playing through the innovative and intelligent obstacles littered throughout the imaginative campaigns more than make-up for this factor.  

Traveling through five different campaigns, is Coach, Ellis, Nick and Rochelle, all of which offer different personalities to the mix, and are wonderfully written and played. As you traverse across the zombie torn environments, you will quickly notice that the game implements some very interesting mechanics.

The entire environment affects how you play, setting up scenarios that make every moment captivating. These instances are very prominent during climaxes and finales. Some climaxes may force you to keep mobile while others may emphasize sticking together. All of this is very refreshing but it jumps to a higher level of refreshment when you throw in special infected who frequently attempt to overwhelm the survivors.

The infected have special abilities that all work together to eliminate some easy tactics that got survivors by a little too well in the first Left 4 Dead. For instance, the newly added Spitter does away with corner campers waiting out a climax set piece. This factor really ups the anty when it comes to the game-play. It presents a refreshed and more exciting experience that promises to offer something truly original.

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And, with the AI Director 2.0 in charge, the enemies really know what they are doing. But the single-player is only one quarter of this title. The multi-player is extremely captivating. A variety of game modes and a quick and easy interface allows for intense, one-of-a-kind game-play experience that will leave you in a zombie tizzy. And since the AI Director cancels out traditional online tactics, the players are forced to work together to create and improvise their own tactics and creates a more varied and constant rate of game-play refreshment. And because this factor of refreshment is so apparent, players will be forced to keep up with their team and think strategically.

These factors come out flawlessly in modes such as Versus and Scavenge, where the game revolves around a team on team player slot. This allows any player to have the opportunity to play as infected. Playing as the infected drastically varies the game-play and offers a completely different experience that constitutes a fresh thinking process and strategic comprehension required of the player. And, all of the environments are very carefully mapped out to tend to this online factor.

From tightly wound corridors to wide, outside sets, relying on your friends will never get old. But, some of the maps are somewhat forgettable and serve almost like a port to the finales. This time around, the finales deliver objectives and set pieces that end every campaign with a fantastically memorable bang. From enormous rock concerts, to heart pounding thunder storms, the underlying distinctive mechanic sticks true throughout: this game hates you.

While the game throws you the usual bones (i.e. wonderful weapons, wide variety of items…) the overwhelming majority of the experience will cook up some dastardly surprises that have much varied and improved over the first installment. This includes how the environment may affect the player negatively, forcing them to take a route that goes out of the way to get around said obstacle, or the much welcomed addition of melee weapons.

At first notice, players assume that the game-play wouldn't offer much differentiating nature with the addition of melee weapons, but on the contrare. This new class of weapons strongly varies and packs loads of fun. Because there are a large amount of them, players constantly have the option of adding or subtracting them from the load-out equation, so if you find zombies closing in on you, you might want to buy yourself some extra time with some close-range fighting techniques, but if there is a boomer around you're going to want to stick with a long-range weapon. My point being: the varying amount of weapons causes some strategic game-play options that really refreshes and captivates.

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In summary, Left 4 Dead 2 is an incredibly innovative shooter. Gore and explosions are entertaining, but the real show lies beneath in the metropolis of refreshing game-play mechanics proving time and time again that playing with your friends leads to interesting strategic decisions and tactics. Audio, visuals, mechanics, and zombies never came together so seamlessly. Playing through is a must-try for any zombie or shooter enthusiasts alike.

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