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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Left 4 Dead is without a doubt one of, if not the best pure multiplayer games to be released in 2008, with some tight gameplay, brilliant enemy design and with such simple rules for each weapon and enemy type, placing them and us as players in some truly great level design, means that the whole experience is nothing short of brilliance. There are a few things that hold it back though and I think that it can be rectified with a nice sequel:

Expand the Story

The 4 chapters are extremely short, and with good reason as to have incredibly long levels could incite boredom and ruin the desperation element that it so elegantly achieves. That being said, having a story mode to go along side it to give a bit more insight into the 4 main survivors and how they came to be together could open some new doors and allow a new found appreciation as to why we must work together as a tight unit, apart from the fact that the world is crumbling around us. It could also open up several new possibilities for increased tension and expand beyond the run and gun mentality. No doubt have another set of 4 chapters, but on to of that, a nice story mode with a slightly different approach to surviving the inevitable zombie apocalypse.

New weapon types

While the few weapon types are brilliant, giving all kinds of great checks and balances to the experience, it can be said that a few different types could be introduced to create a new and exciting experience. Sure, keep the existing weapons, but perhaps add a few new types, such as trip wires or the ability to create some traps for the horde behind us, some makeshift weapons, like a bull horn that can be deployed to attract a whole group, while the survivors sneak around behind them.

Grander Setpieces

Two of the set pieces (the last stronghold in each chapter) were rather samey, with the survivors holding out inside a house, whereas the helicopter and waiting for the plane to fuel up were nice and tense positions to hold out in, but why stop there? Perhaps introducing some more environmental damage, or ending set pieces that could change as walls collapse, or areas become cut off, or even on a moving train could introduce some new challenges.

Introduce a new enemy type or two

Left 4 Dead had an enemy type removed called the screamer, a guy in a straight jacket that looks rather menacing like the witch, which only says to me that at one point an insane asylum was perhaps considered for a mission. Having a few types of zombies, while maintaining the existing set would be a nice addition.


The Screamer, what sort of trouble could he get up to in a sequel?

Make the AI director a little more random

The AI director is great and all (especially with frustrating the player on the hardest difficulty) but patterns begin to emerge, especially with Tank placement and when to expect special zombies. This must be partially due to level design, but having everything as more random would be greatly appreciated. Also, the survivor AI on the hardest difficulty becomes a little unbearable at times, as they never throw grenades, have a habit of putting their faces in the middle of your crosshair and never duck when in front of you. If they can tighten this up, then the whole experience will be much more enjoyable, especially for those without online capabilities.

These are only a few examples that I can think of right now, but for those Left 4 Dead veterans around, how would you design the sequel?
 

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Nice points there snicko, those all sound like things I would enjoy. Listening to developer commentary though, it sounds like the screamer wasn't quite meant to be. They could always redesign him though.
 

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Some choices to be made in between the game

Like, will you take the lift ? or take the stairs ?

A long single player mode

Day and Night missions, more hidden equipment to be found, vehicles to be found, etc.
 

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things to add, hmm a real plot (like having the basics like a beginning, middle and an ending... not just the middle) in the single player with real cut scenes and remove the generic/predictable cast, more enemy varites, lots more guns plus to have premade traps (like in halflife 2) and the ability to setup different traps as well have explosives to have buildings and structures topple over to either kill or hinder the movements of the enemies

add limited use items as well like a sound emitting device that works for 10 seconds due to poor design and limited battery life which pushes back the zomibies but it interferes with communication between players so it prevents precise coordination on attacking the zomibes

Make the different people play differently, like have one with fast movement speed to act as a decoy, one that is more athletic so it can jump and climb out of danger more quickly, and one that has good senses like can pick out weapons and items from a distance and can know where the enemies will emerge, like a scout... lastly have a guy as the commander which can give pricise commands like setup waypoints and manage and distribute the equipment beween players

also setup the acton where there are instances where the team is forced to split up, and things like pick up objects like a bottle, or a rock and throw it to grab the attention of the enemies

the thing is cant believe people still think left 4 dead is a good game, ok its good if the things in the game is new to you but there were lots of multiplayer games that offered the same or at least much more content for both in single player and in multiplayer, well except the zombies still does the zombies allow a game with so little content be sold at afull retail price? The additions i mentioned above should have been in the first place, at least the game wouldve have some original gameplay

truly i hate left 4 dead there is nothing original about it except the zombies, i thought it would be but boy i was seriously dissapionted.... oh yeah the ai director has been done before, play swat 4, the stages play out differently every time, like one time the terrorists decided to take hostages to the toilets (the last place i looked) and as soon as i entered they shot the hostages failing my mission, next time around i dont go gun blazing at least its an entirely different situation not just where the enemies will be because its still just a run and gameplay which is just doom gameplay
 

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Great ideas and thread snicko. I with all your points.

I'd say double the enemy roster.

a couple of ideas: took me 1 minute to think this up: (and im not a veteran game designer, and not paid to spend weeks upon weeks thinking up creative enemy ideas with an entire design team, doing popculture research, brainstorming..etc)

- infected Undead soldiers, (ocassionally perhaps even crudely using some weapons awkwardly (almost always missing)
- an zombie where if you shoot off its limbs those limbs come crawling towards you, if you shoot off the head the zombie still lurches forward
- hordes of undead zombie children [fodder (ala easy to take down)]... imagine going into a infested school and walking down the hallway and all of a sudden the school recess bell rings and hundreds of waist high zombies come streaming out to gnaw you in the ankle (not literally but figuratively bite your ankles)

- a psionic mind controlling zombie that attempts to inject a tiny organism into you via projectile or locally injecting it via its mouth into yours.... to mind control you or a teammate. For 5 seconds or so your character/teammate grasps his head in agony. During this time you have an opertunity to prevent the infection via a means i haven't thought up yet. While you or the teammate are fighting for control of your mind or are under its mind control it temporrily blocks their/your ability to type in chat and via steam voice chat (preventing you from warning teammates from realizing you have been subverted). There are only minor signs the individual has been subverted/infected perhaps an auditory sound they ocassionally make or they occassionally have little flashes of red in their eyes. Then when you least expect it the team mate suprise attacks your group.

- a massive slow lurching powerful enemy that cannot be killed. Only slowed down or temporarily stopped for a minute or so. It is very slow but powerful and is slowly chasing you through out the level, Your bullets can slow it down and temporarily knock it back, even temporarily incapacitate it for a minute, but you have to flee from him before he revives and continues his chase. Creating a sense of urgency, like "oh *&^* how far behind is he....?" "hurry up guys... move move!!! I can hear him approach!!!"


those are a couple that pop into my mind,

- battles in graveyards where rotting hands tear out from the ground and grab ahold of you.

Huge and scary Bosses (resident evil type bosses).

Vehicles. You can drive in vehicles.

As lagunareturns said, Valve really dropped the ball on enemy variety and content.
 

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I'm pretty sure it was a conscious decision. They had a plan.
oh yeah your right for sure. But i still think they dropped the ball intentionally chosing to limit content to bring out in paided content packs/expasions/sequels yada yada... sales/profits could have been higher with more content.

perhaps the worst decision of all was to hold off on their idea of an undead maggot forum poster monster with a dry wit and massive e-peen. :p
 

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They would have given that sexy maggot green stars right when he changed his avatar.
 

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oh yeah your right for sure. But i still think they dropped the ball intentionally chosing to limit content to bring out in paided content packs/expasions/sequels yada yada... sales/profits could have been higher with more content.
Haven't they already announced that the packs are free? It looks like they're following the same formula that they've used for TF2 : Free DLC every once in a while.

They don't look like the kind of developer who sells DLC, instead it looks like they use it as a marketing device. (since free dlc looks nice and when they release it, it can bring in new players)
 

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They would have given that sexy maggot green stars right when he changed his avatar.
hmm i dunno, in the pilot test runs public appeal of the undead maggot was mixed. Seems player got annoyed with the fact that the purported friendship request feature for befriending/allying the undead maggot never worked. That and the fact the maggot would not partake in the merriment of street fighter revelry with the other undead. :p

Haven't they already announced that the packs are free? It looks like they're following the same formula that they've used for TF2 : Free DLC every once in a while.

They don't look like the kind of developer who sells DLC, instead it looks like they use it as a marketing device. (since free dlc looks nice and when they release it, it can bring in new players)
good point thanakil. But still they could have had more content for when the all reviews are done and all the initial opinions are formed.

or at the very least bought some glowing reviews from websites, look at Kane and Lynch by gamespot or PC Gamers review of the GTX280 giving it 98% their highest review ever in the history of their magazine for a videocard :rolleyes:
 

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hmm i dunno, in the pilot test runs public appeal of the undead maggot was mixed. Seems player got annoyed with the fact that the purported friendship request feature for befriending/allying the undead maggot never worked. That and the fact the maggot would not partake in the merriment of street fighter revelry with the other undead. :p



good point thanakil. But still they could have had more content for when the all reviews are done and all the initial opinions are formed.

or at the very least bought some glowing reviews from websites, look at Kane and Lynch by gamespot or PC Gamers review of the GTX280 giving it 98% their highest review ever in the history of their magazine for a videocard :rolleyes:
:lol: @ the fact that Exodus has nobody on his friends list. I think I sent him a request around 2 or so years ago or something and it's still waiting, lol.
 

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:lol: @ the fact that Exodus has nobody on his friends list. I think I sent him a request around 2 or so years ago or something and it's still waiting, lol.
There is no need to mix up emotion and friendship with those you are eventually going to eat.

Its like they say on the farm, don't form an emotional connection with the live stock/food. Jody Foster/Clarice discovered that in Silence of the Lambs when as a child she bonded with a baby lamb when she was staying at her uncles ranch. Then one morning she woke up to the sound of crying and screaming. She went to investigate and found it was the baby lambs crying and screaming from the morning slaughter. It scarred her for life.
 

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Ya'ver drink Brazilian bold from fkn dunkn donuts!
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
You guys have come up with some great ideas and I very much want to see them in the next iteration (I especially love the ones you came up with pickle).

A few more ideas from yours truly:

Banter

The way the 4 survivors talk to each other is something that adds charm to L4D, from Francis' sarcastic demeanour (I'm coming Bill, keep your beard on) to the the desperation in their voices when under attack, the voice work and banter is really something else. This should be expanded upon, preferably with more comments for different set pieces to help reduce repetition on repeated play through.

More evidence of previous survivors

Safe houses are littered with comments on the walls with people trying to contact love ones, or hippies trying to place blame of the apocalypse on the general populace and these are fantastic additions to the game, but why stop there? Gears of War 2 added additional layers of depth and history to the events going on by having journals to be collected. I think that Left 4 Dead can add a touch of humanity to the game if they came up with a similar system, as the story is just begging to be expanded with tales of other survivors experiences with the undead.

Inter-zombie/monster fighting

In the intro video, we see the Tank smack aside and brutalize other zombies to get to the 4 human survivors, but this never happens in the game. Occasionally we will see two zombies going the biff, but never are they all just at each other. To think that a tank would rush his way through a horde just to get to the survivors in real time, or for a smoker to push aside other zombies to get the best point of view to lash his tongue would add a bit more depth to the mindset of these creatures and add a new level of strategy to the game (baiting the tank to carve through the horde just sounds like too much fun).
 
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