I just went through the L4D2 demo a couple of times this morning. Felt like visiting an old friend. An old friend that’s had some cosmetic surgery and genetic modding done. From the precious little Valve has released in the demo, it seems there’s enough new stuff here to keep most of us happy.

One thing I noticed right off the bat was how much more gory the sequel will be. Limbs fly off; holes show up in zombie bellies, more than few keep coming at you even after losing a limb or two. There’s blood everywhere. Nice! The weapons handle pretty much the same way and seem to have more “oomph” although why there’s a silenced SMG in there is anyone’s guess. The real fun begins when you pick up a melee weapon. I had tons of fun going ape with a machete. Take that stupid undead! I must stress here that ammo did seem to be in short supply. This could, however, just be because I was making no attempt to control my bursts of fire (I was having too much fun).

Being limited in carrying capacity does force you to take more tactical decisions. No longer are your choices limited to either pipe bombs or molotovs. Now, it’s more like choosing between frying pan or magnum, pills or adrenaline, med kit or defibrillator (revive dead team mates FTW!),  pipe bombs or hmm… what’s this? Toxic goo?!?! Oh yes please.

Of the new special infected, I found the “Jockey” to be most interesting. I foresee this one becoming my favorite in versus mode. The “Charger”, however, seemed very under whelming in that it had very little health (in normal difficulty). The new additions are certainly going to open up a world of possibilities in versus mode.

The demo did not feature any incendiary ammo, grenade launchers or fire proof zombies that will make it in the final game. The thing I missed the most was the chainsaw. Aaaw! Leaving that out of this little treat was just unfair.

Judging by the demo, L4D veterans will likely breeze through the campaigns in their sleep. Versus mode, however, is going to need some serious team tactics. Closet camping is going to be tantamount to suicide.

On the whole though, the game promises to be a lot of fun for newbies and vets alike. Now, excuse me while I go sharpen my machete in preparation for launch day.

(This is a link to a game play video of a console version if you don’t want to bother with downloading the demo.)