January 22, 2014

Left 4 Dead 2: Full Review

Those zombies never saw that frying pan coming...

Reviewed By: Kyle van Rensburg (Head Writer)

Verdict: MA (Mature Gamers Only)

Release Date: October 2008 (Left 4 Dead 1), November 2009 (Left 4 Dead 2)

Developer/Publisher: Valve Software

Platforms: Xbox 360, PC, OS X, Linux.

Genre: Cooperative Shooter

Areas of Concern:


Mild Moderate Heavy Very Heavy Extreme Offensive

--Very quick, but very frequent gory violence:

-The game features a very realistic gore system: When Infected are shot/sliced/bludgeoned, their skin tears off to reveal rib cages, neck bones, lungs, intestines, brains, etc, in full detail.

-Infected can be shot; blood sprays out in massive amounts, staining the screen. Heavier weapons like shotguns blow limbs off, with ribbons of blood being shown. Heads can be partially blown apart, exposing the skull and brains. Intestines also fall from gunshot wounds.

-You can use melee weapons (swords, crowbars, axes...) to hack apart Infected; blood sprays out, splattering all over the environment and screen in huge amounts, slices, thuds and splats are heard and limbs are cut off, with lots of gore spurting out.

Heads are sliced in half, ribcages are torn open and stomach linings fall out on the ground. Players can use chainsaws, which graphically peel the zombies torsos' in half from the top down, rib cage and intestines being shown.

-The Hunter is a Special Infected which jumps on players, tearing at them with his hands. Lots of blood is shown, but no gore. Similarly, the Witch is a highly aggressive Special Infected who shreds the player with her long nails; lots of blood is shown but no gore or skin tearing.

-The Boomers are disgustingly large fat creatures who vomit all over you to attract other Infected. Shooting them causes their upper torsos to explode in a shower of blood and guts.

--We see several blood splattered environments after acts of violence. In one sequence, we see an extremely large pool of blood with severed limbs lying all over the room.

--You can use explosives to destroy enemies, with limbs, intestines and blood flying everywhere.

Context of Violence: Shock Value (The game uses the gore for sensational purposes, although it may be somewhat realistic because of what these weapons would really do to the human body).


Mild Moderate Heavy Very Heavy Extreme Offensive

--Some of the Infected women are clad in only boxers and tank tops. However, since they are grotesquely mutated, this is NOT done for fanservice.

-In a hospital level, we see several Infected patients in hospital gowns, bare buttocks showing.

-We see graffiti mocking an organisation in the game: "CEDA blows!"

Context of Sex/Nudity: Shock Value (seeing two of the scantily clad female Infected types certainly count as shocking).


Mild Moderate Heavy Very Heavy Extreme Offensive

Very Frequent Uses of S**t, D**k, B**ch, A*s, H**l, and D**n.

--God and Jesus' names are used in vain.

Context of Language: Grittiness (The language is used to enhance the game's already tense atmosphere. Nothing about the language really sets it apart as being necessary, though).

Spiritual Content: 

Mild Moderate Heavy Very Heavy Extreme Offensive

--A certain kind of Special Infected in the game is called a "Witch", so named for her creepy appearance, NOT because she has supernatural abilities.

--A graffiti sign on the wall reads "God is dead", obviously left by a disgruntled person who lost faith during the apocalypse.

Context of Spiritual Content: References Only


Mild Moderate Heavy Very Heavy Extreme Offensive

--We see advertisements for beer.

--Bill, a character in the first game, is constantly shown smoking a cigarette. 

Gross Stuff/Gore:

--The special infected have grotesque mutations. Click the following to see pictures of the most grotesque looking: (Smoker) (Spitter) (Boomer)

-Additionally, the Boomers pukes all over the environment and your characters to attract zombies. Let's just say that a lot of unsavoury fluids are shown.

-The Tanks are zombies with huge arms and torsos, tiny heads, and lots of gross, bulging muscles.

-The Infected are covered in blood stains, and are sometimes shown standing still, puking blood on the floor.

--A man makes an incredibly lame pun about "passing gas", after passing a gas tanker.

Scary Stuff:

--The game in general is pretty tense, especially when Infected mobs begin chasing you and swarming all around you. Several of the Infected jump of nowhere and may scare the player. The Last Man Standing game mode only features one character and is nerve-wracking because of Infected having the potential to kill instantly.


--A song contains lyrics about "bad girls" and "getting freaky".


Abysmal Bad So-so Okay Good Very Good

Players are required to stick together and help each other in order to survive.

Morality Type: Black and White (Kill zombies and stay together as a team. Help your friends when they are hurt, and never try to abandon them or else you're gonna be in a world of pain).

Review of Game:

Ah, Left 4 Dead 2. How many hours have I spent with thee? Thy glorious organic gameplay and crushing difficulty! The many hordes of Infected---okay, okay enough of that. What I'm trying to say is, I like Left 4 Dead 2.

Left 4 Dead 2, like it's predecessor, places you in the shoes of one survivor in a group of four desperately trying to survive the "zombie" apocalypse.

Players are required to work together in order to survive. Believe me, trying to be a Captain Awesome in this game will only result in your gruesome death. Instead, you have to rely on your homies to help guide you through the various tensely populated levels.

You can choose from a variety of weapons, divided into three categories: Sidearms, Primary Weapons and Grenades.

Pistols are immediately useful because of their infinite ammo, being able to take out enemies from afar or up close, and ability to dual wield a weaker pistol for increased ammunition. The Magnum happens to be my favourite, because of it's high firepower and quick reload speed. Plus, I feel like a cowboy whilst using it. The only downside to using Pistols is their lack of effectiveness against Special Infected.

Primary Weapons are made up of Assault Rifles, Shotguns, and Sniper Rifles, all of which are highly effective for taking out Special Infected and swarms of Common Infected. The downside is that they have long reload times, which can be a real handicap in the midst of battle. Which is why you always have a Pistol or Melee weapon handy when that inevitably happens.

Grenades are made up of Molotovs and Pipe Bombs, and the second game introduces bottles of Boomer Bile to redirect Common Infected attacks. Molotovs are useful for slowing down Special Infected and the always pesky Tank. Pipe Bombs are good for destroying swarms of Common Infected, as they seem to like bright and shiny things, until their organs are spread halfway across America by the ensuing explosion.

Melee weapons are useful for clearing out enemies at close range. The first Left 4 Dead featured none of these, but the second, crazier instalment, gives you a wide range of morbid tools to dispose of Common Infected with: Katanas, Baseball Bats, Fireaxes, Electric Guitars, Police Batons and even Frying Pans. The obvious downside to them is that they are only effective in close range, and only against Common Infected.

Speaking of enemy types, the game gives you a wide range of Infected to fight against, divided into Common and Special Infected types in the first game, with the second game adding an Uncommon Infected type.

Common Infected are your average Joes and Janes, who caught a flu and never fully recovered. They are pale, bloodied and extremely aggressive. They don't do a lot of damage, but their attacks slow your movements down significantly, especially when you are swarmed by them. Thankfully, if you stay in groups, they are pretty easy to kill.

Uncommon Infected are fundamentally the same as Common Infected, but they sport several variations based on the locations. For example, you may run across Infected in hazmat suits in hospitals who happen to be fireproof, riot guards who can only be killed by being hit in the back, or "Mudmen" who splatter you with dirt as a blinding attack.

Special Infected are the really pesky guys, who make the worst of days even worse with their presence. The most intimidating of them are the Witch and the Tank. The Witch is a crying woman with a bad attitude, who you have to very carefully walk around, unless you want to make her mad. Hint: You don't.

The Tank is an large, gorilla-like monster with an insane amount of health, able to hit you and send you flying several meters. He often spawns near the end of levels, particularly at the Finale of each individual campaign.

Speaking of which, Left 4 Dead 2 and it's predecessor don't have hundreds of levels, but they are specifically designed to feature different Infected attacks and challenges every time you play them. By doing this, Valve created a hugely replayable game, and since it's a really fun game, you'll be coming back for months to come.

Quality Verdict: Amazing (A)

For story seekers, this game holds nothing, but for everyone else, there's months, even years, of fun to be had. Highly recommended! 


Well if you don't like gore with your video games, you may want to stay far away! This game is very graphically violent, with a realistic gore system exposing innards, lots of blood, intestines, etc. It also features a lot of swearing. Not the worst of language but still pretty strong, so if you're turned off by bad words you may want to skip this game too.

Otherwise, Left 4 Dead 2 offers a rollicking good time which you can share with friends. You'll be thrilled, scared, and just have fun all round. If you have a strong stomach, that is.

The Preacher: Hahahahaha! I beat a zombie's head in with a frying pan! How can you not like this game?

Trent: I give up...

Verdict: 16+

For Strong Bloody Violence.


Apologies for the delay and lateness of the review. It has been a hectic first month of the year. I'll see you guys Friday with a new article and then next week with whatever I find to review/do a Content Rundown of. See ya then!

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