Valve released new downloadable content (DLC) for its popular zombie-infused cooperative first-person shooter, Left 4 Dead.
Dubbed “Crash Course,” the new update brings a new campaign, taking place between the events of “No Mercy” and “Death Toll,” and features fresh locations, dialogue, refined item spawning and more.
“Crash Course DLC is here! Find out what happens to Bill, Zoey, Louis, and Francis after their rooftop helicopter rescue in the No Mercy campaign.”
The DLC is available to PC gamers for free via Steam and to Xbox 360 owners at a cost of 560 MS Points on the Xbox Live Marketplace. The Xbox 360 version was originally priced at 800 MS Points but as reported by Xbox Live’s Major Nelson, the DLC was priced incorrectly.
“Crash Course had was priced incorrectly. It’s being updated to be 560 points…so hold off until you see that price before you purchase.”
Additionally, to celebrate the release of Crash Course, Valve is offering a 50% discount on the PC version of Left 4 Dead, which brings the game down to $14.99.
“To celebrate the release of our second DLC for Left 4 Dead, we are offering Left 4 Dead for 50% off until Oct 2nd.”
Left 4 Dead 2 is set to hit shelves on November 17.
“Crash Course” finds the survivors stranded in the middle of a small Northeastern town overrun with the infected.
The environments feel much more open and organic than the four original Left 4 Dead campaigns. Where the early campaigns kept to corridors, sewer tunnels and tightly hemmed passageways, the “Crash Course” landscape feels more wide open.
Survivors must navigate exposed stretches of asphalt and are presented with more than a couple alternate routes — some end in dead ends, but others pan out as shortcuts. Vehicles and wreckage are used, effectively, as obstacles.
In “Crash Course,” you can also see some changes in Valve’s approach to multiplayer. The campaign is half the length of a typical campaign. Versus matches last about an hour. The special infected don’t have as many high rooftops to snipe from. They’re forced to come much closer to the survivors’ level — leaving them much more open to attack. The survivors will find more guns, pills and grenades scattered about. Valve seems to want the survivors to have better access to their tools (and a better shot at making it to the big finale).
Through new achievements, Valve encourages players to learn better strategies for playing the special infected. “Jumping Jack Smash” rewards a hunter for dealing 25 points of damage on a pounce, which can be achieved by connecting a leap from great height. “Car Pile Up” encourages players controlling the tank to toss cars around so that they incapacitate the survivors.
Left 4 Dead 2 will transform the game significantly. The new special infected and weapons alone make the sequel unique. But the subtle changes we’re seeing here offer a fascinating look at Valve’s iteration process and a taste of things to come.