Left 4 Dead Survival Pack - hands-on

Versus Mode
The Survival Pack will also open up Dead Air and Death Toll to versus play. We had a go at the Dead Air campaign, and it was a blast. Dead Air’s combination of tense corridors and wide open areas made for brilliant versus play. The baggage area was particularly brutal on the survivors, and a nice touch was that a smoker could grab a survivor and pull him through the airport’s metal detectors, thereby setting off an alarm that brought the horde.

Above: These survivors are sooo screwed!

Like the other versus maps, tweaks have been made to allow for more competitive play – survivor camping spots have been removed and new infected spawn areas have been added. In Death Toll, the woods around the town have been thickened to make them a darker, scarier, and ultimately deadlier place for survivors. By analyzing hours upon hours of play test data, Valve is balancing both scenarios to perfection.

Above: A perfectly laid trap

Additional Updates
A patch with a few minor matchmaking fixes will deploy shortly before the Survival Pack becomes available to download, some time this month or next. At an unspecified point thereafter, Valve will launch “matchmaking 2.0.” This will have more impact on Steam than 360, since Valve maintains the PC servers in-house and has mountains of data on rage quits to cull through. Chet was vague when pressed for details about the new matchmaking system, saying only that if you look at the game’s forums you can get a pretty good idea of what needs to be done. “We still play our games, and we want to keep them updated,” he stated. In case you hadn’t noticed, Valve is a shop that takes deep pride in the workmanship of its products.

Above: When in doubt, set everything on fire

Xbox 360 players will be disappointed to hear that there will be no Achievements in the Survival Pack. Microsoft’s official policy is that new Achievements can only be included with paid DLC. As Chet sardonically described it, “Otherwise, the economy of Achievements would become broken.” While Survival Pack Achievements would definitely be cool, Valve took the highly defensible position that it’s more important for the content to be free. Yes, we thanked them for you.

Mar 5, 2009

Join the Discussion
Add a comment (HTML tags are not allowed.)
Characters remaining: 5000
  • Flatrace - March 21, 2009 10:50 p.m.

    DLC is For PC Versions Also. It Will be delivered for free on Steam accounts automatically.
  • beaux - March 16, 2009 2:20 a.m.

    So, I'm this DLC for PC gamers like myself or only for 360 gamers?
  • GamesRadarJoeMcNeilly - March 11, 2009 7:59 p.m.

    Yeah, there's definitely a trend toward free dlc happening. RE5 and MC:LA are two that leap to mind. Keep it coming! corretction: a press release from Capcom today says that the RE5 Versus DLC will be a paid download. Balls!
  • jjcooll335 - March 10, 2009 9:57 p.m.

    The survival mode looks sweet! Thnx Valve. It'd be cool if there was a.. Versus.. Survival Mode thing haha.
  • controlledchaos - March 10, 2009 2:25 p.m.

    Woohoo! Can't wait for this to come out. Love Left 4 Dead, but it gets a bit redundant after a while.
  • TheCorpulent1 - March 9, 2009 5:24 p.m.

    Man, I thought I'd seen pretty much everything in L4D until that last video. Two tanks... simultaneously? That's just cruel. But I will get this, play it, and love it, I'm sure. Gotta love Valve's commitment to quality and keeping stuff free now that pay-DLC has become the standard.
  • noobeater - March 8, 2009 4:50 p.m.

    companies can learn alot from valve im so glad they treat the customers with enough respect to give out free DLC well itll give me a reason to leave cod for this for a bit longer
  • Backfire001 - March 8, 2009 7:27 a.m.

    Hate the game,but this may help. One of the main reasons i didnt like it was cause of the two maps that werent versus in the first place (LAZY). Survival may be cool on the new map,and the endings.
  • Yellowhat17 - March 6, 2009 10:25 p.m.

    Yes! I can't wait for this! I hope they release some new mini-movies soon though. Also, some time after the DLC, they should think about L4D 2...
  • chester_spartan - March 6, 2009 6:03 p.m.

    I truely LOVE L4D and them throwing out this free DLC is just so awsome, Valve <3
  • GamesRadarJoeMcNeilly - March 6, 2009 3:22 p.m.

    @erreip199: survival doesn't have difficulty settings. it is its own difficulty, so to speak, as it just continually gets harder and harder until you die. Valve is still tweaking the way the difficulty ramps up, but they fully intend for it to be a brutally short experience. no one has ever lasted longer than 10 minutes!
  • TENAXIS - March 6, 2009 2:56 p.m.

    yay!!! :D thank you valve!! you guys r teh best (even though you dont support PS3 =_=....) but since i have steam, its fine i guess steam FTW!!!
  • maedene - March 6, 2009 2:26 a.m.

    gamerdude77, why are you even here then?
  • ThunderMuffinsMcgee - March 6, 2009 2:18 a.m.

    can't wait for this! Horray for Steam! I am also glad that 360 peps are getting it too. I have a 360 but I don't have L4D for it! More people to play. Nice article and I love you Valve!
  • Pyro240 - March 6, 2009 1:18 a.m.

    Ahh I get it now. Disregard that.
  • Pyro240 - March 6, 2009 1:15 a.m.

    I'm confused. Are there totally seperate levels for the Survival mode?
  • Leeman - March 6, 2009 12:16 a.m.

    Glad I have an XBox!
  • xXUltrosXx - March 6, 2009 midnight

    Hmm, GoW made free achievements with its updates. What kinda excuse is that the Chet guy is making. Broken achievement economy? Achievement wise SUX..but this content looks great >:D
  • GoldenMe - March 5, 2009 11:43 p.m.'s free. God thank you Valve. And great article GR! And I'm glad I decided to go with the Xbox........really glad........PS3 can suck it. L4D WOOOOOOOOOOO
  • Snarf - March 5, 2009 10:09 p.m.

    When does this come out again?