They take forever to save you from special infected, usually running all the way up and shooting instead of shoving them away like a human player would. Or they dick around outside the safe room while you scream “GET IN THE GOD DAMN DOOR FUUUUUUUUUUUUU” for 30 seconds. Or, in this wonderful scene, they fail to do anything when a witch incapacitates and kills us.
The rest of our concerns are slight, but do add up. There’s a grip of new weapons, most of which are forgettable and nearly indistinguishable from one another. They do have small pros and cons, but we play that shit on expert and rarely found a need to stray from the tactical shotgun/assault rifle combo from L4D.
Above: But the grenade launcher is badass
Level design is somewhat confusing too. The maps are expertly laid out so there’s a few different ways to tackle them each time, but the first trip through is unnecessarily labyrinthine. We know to run up these stairs or through that alley, but what clue was there that some random door, that looks like every other door, was the one and only way through this area? Meanwhile, the horde has spawned, a Jockey pulled someone away and a Charger smashed Ellis up against the wall. Game over.
Finally, and this is definitely subjective, L4D2 feels considerably harder than the first game. Specials spawn more frequently (we feel) and coordinate better than they did in the first title. The zombies themselves tend to run in front of you and surround faster and more efficiently than before too, making even a regular group a hazard if you’re playing on Advanced or Expert. Then there’s the Realism mode, which takes away highlighted objects and cranks the damage levels from “wow, really?” to “OK I quit.”
Fun for some, ruthless for everyone else.