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Left 4 Dead Survival Pack - hands-on

Want to see the brand new map Valve’s created for Left 4 Dead’s free Survival Pack DLC? Thought so! We got Chet Faliszek, the game’s writer, to give us an exclusive guided tour of the new map, “Lighthouse.” Click play below to check it out, then we’ll regroup for further details and impressions from our hands-on session.

Valve has also announced a new Critic’s Choice Edition of Left 4 Dead, which will ship on April 21 and contain the full game and DLC on the disc. The downloadable Survival Pack will be released for download at some point before that, adding survival mode and the two new versus campaigns (Death Toll and Dead Air). Survival mode will be playable on 16 maps, 15 of which are culled from the existing campaigns’ crescendo moments and finales. The final survival map is the new original creation, “Lighthouse,” depicted in the videos above.

Above: The view from midair – if you see this you are flying to your death

The new Lighthouse map has several defensible positions, each with strengths and weaknesses. Climbing up to the top of the lighthouse offers great line of sight and common infected are easily repelled, but you’re like a treed cat with nowhere left to run. There’s no cover, and you’re highly vulnerable to smokers and tanks. Down below, there are a few rooms and a garage, but invariably the mob comes crashing in through walls and doors, and the ever-destructive tank quickly wrecks shop in the narrow spaces. Rather than camp in one spot, a successful team must rove about the map, flowing along the path of least resistance to eke out every last valuable second of life.

Above: The other big danger atop the lighthouse is being dragged off by a Smoker

With Chet and a rotating cabal of Valve staffers as chaperones, we dove into several additional survival maps and then played through a versus campaign on Dead Air. Read on for the gory details and more videos!