First off, I’d like to make this clear up front before going into detail. If you’re reading this review to help decide if you really want to dish out some money for this game, do it. Unless you hate FPS or RPG games with a passion, you’ll enjoy it. Although, truthfully, if you don’t have anyone to play it with you’ll likely be a bit turned off as the real fun is from co-op.
With that out of the way, let’s get to the first thing I loved about the game. The opening introduction. I watched it and the first words out of my mouth were “This game is awesome.” Keep in mind I had yet to play the game while sounding confident in saying this.
To be perfectly honest, I didn’t pay too much attention to the story, or what little bit it had. The story wasn’t gripping, basically saying “You are here, looking for a treasure that comes out every so often. You need people to trust you so you help them out.” While that doesn’t sound too interesting, the journals; which were essentially just audio logs, caught my attention a bit and added more to the story I had already known. That and the woman who talks to you from time to time to update you on where you stand on finding the treasure of which you seek.
Difficulty wise, the game wasn’t that hard. At least, on the first playthrough. While the game had it’s tough points, unless you did a quest that was levels above you, it wasn’t that hard. However, the real challenge is the second play through. Basically, the first playthrough is just you learning the game. The second playthrough is much tougher. On a side note, every now and then I found a gun that seemed a bit overpowered and it became kind of easy. Again, that as only on the first playthrough. Also heard about a third playthrough that has all level 49-51 enemies, all equipment being 48 to use. I myself didn’t beat the second playthrough yet and can’t confirm this, but I don’t see why it would be a lie.
For the most part, the guns felt different. A concern of mine, and many other people’s was that all the guns would be the same and wouldn’t add much to it. However, that wasn’t the case, many of the guns had different feels to them and I was using them differently in certain scenarios. While some classes handle certain guns better, you’re not restrained to use a certain type of weapon by the class you choose.
Boss battles certainly added more to it, the first boss being tough for many; including myself. It was basically the game’s way of telling you “Alright, now that you learned the basics, good luck with this.” It wasn’t extremely difficult, but it did make you think differently about the game.
Missions ranged in difficulty, a lot of the time you would be doing side missions levels below you and you could get through them without too much hassle. Still, every now and then you came across some that were more difficult. There are also different kinds of side missions, ranging from finding items, to collected the journals mentioned earlier; even killing enemies and just getting to new places or talking to new people.
Co-op is where the real fun came from. You weren’t restrained to staying right near people; although you couldn’t go to a new map completely without teleporting the entire party. I was using the Hunter during the first playthrough, and we had 2 soldiers and another hunter joined who we began playing with. So, I switched over to the Siren. Gotta say, kind of glad I did, on those tough parts I could phasewalk and flank a group of enemies while they turned my party could get closer. Hell, at times I was facing groups by my self because of this and getting checkpoints further ahead.
The only disappointing thing about this is the final boss. To put it simply, it was way too easy. I managed to beat it alone without dying once just by hiding behind some boxes and jumping up to shoot at it. Getting there was harder than the actual boss, lots of beefed up enemies to fight along the way.
Another cool thing about the game was that different groups of enemies would fight each other, and every now and then you’d run into a group of bandits fighting some skags.
I didn’t really run into many glitches, and the achievements were pretty simple with the exception of a couple that were time consuming or needed certain requirements to be met. Specifically, “My Brother Is An Italian Plumber” is one of the more difficult ones unless you get it earlier in the game. Even then, it can be a pain as you’re weaker, so I recommend going back later in the game to the first area you fought skags.
All in all, this game is loads of fun and something that took me away from L4D for a couple of days, I’ll be playing this regularly until L4D2 and even after. Plus, with that DLC being about zombies, maybe it will be out around Halloween time. A man can dream.