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  1. #1
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    Left for Dead 2: Cold Stream DLC



    The recent Cold Stream DLC for Left 4 Dead 2 was finally released for the Xbox 360 not long ago, and is currently available for 560 Microsoft Points. This article will briefly run over everything the DLC offers, the quality of it all and will allow you to decide whether you think it’s for you.


    Firstly, some background information on this particular DLC. The meat to the DLC comes from the map where the DLC pack title derives from: Cold Stream, a map that was made by a community member on the PC version of the game using that version of the games custom map maker, and was adopted by Valve for a full port to the Xbox 360, along with all of the maps from Left 4 Dead 1 (bar one which came with another DLC for Left 4 Dead 2). After a years worth of stumbled progress and delays, the DLC suffers from one main thing: expectations, for two reasons. One thing the 360 version of the game doesn’t have is of course the Custom Map Maker that the PC version has. The PC version of the Left 4 Dead games community made maps are known for having a strong feel of variety and quality to them, so one had to wonder why this map was the one Valve decided to adopt for a port. Of course the other reason for why expectations were so high for this DLC is because of the years worth of delays. If you didn’t have these expectations, it’s obviously not as much of an issue. One subjective issue the DLC has as well though, is that there are no achievements for it. For you completionists, this means that the DLC will have no achievements, meaning that this DLC should solely be bought for the experience that it offers alone, take that into consideration while reading about it below.

    The bulk of this review will cover the main attraction to this DLC: the Cold Stream map itself. The Cold Stream map is set in a backwoods-based area, vaguely touched by civilisation. The bulk of the map has you navigating woodland areas and vague touches of civilisation. Considering this DLC is only a map-pack, the Cold Stream map itself is very bland. The areas are very samey with little variety or interesting landmarks/components, they tend to consists of a very low, dull colour scheme and they also offer little to the table in terms of interesting events. It runs along the typical Left 4 Dead map scheme of a straight-forward linear path way with a few horde sequences, with a few crossed paths and rooms to inspect for supplies, while fighting off the hordes of infected to reach the end of the one of the levels campaigns. This is instantly the first issue with the map, it’s very empty. As I said, the Left 4 Dead map formula maintains bonus, albeit easy-to-access areas to rummage for supplies. This map had that of course, but, for a long amount of time, particularly in the woodlands area that is very samey, there is a lot of empty space where things could have been placed, or where interesting set-pieces could have been placed. The fact that there’s little to look for makes this map all the more uninteresting to move through.

    The second issue the map has is that is was obviously designed with the games Versus Mode in priority. Often through the map you see certain points that you know were designed in mind for Players on the infected team to use. I’d say this makes good for the Versus mode lovers but I’d actually say it only makes good for the Infected playing versus mode lovers, as giving so many advantages to the infected players in Versus mode obviously makes the team who are playing as the Survivors less likely to enjoy themselves at a fair level. Also, when I say the map was designed with Versus mode in priority, it’s plausible to say it was the only priority, as there truly is no unique, or interesting event that happen within the Co-operative or Single Player campaign mode. Even the Horde Sequences, the events that break apart the monotony of simply travelling through levels killing zombies, fail to actually break the monotony, as there is little variation for the areas in which the events take place, making for basically the same experience. It’s either activate the element that creates the path in a flat open area and fight them off until they’re all dead before moving on, or activate the element that creates the path and then fight through the path that gets you to the levels end. These are good events, but they’ve been done in other maps, and with far more variation to them.

    As for what makes the Left 4 Dead games, the Special Infected and how they work in this map, I’d honestly say there’s not much for them. In the maps from the core game, there are many areas that make you dread certain Special Infected, as you know the way that particular infected behaves can make the certain area more dangerous than another. Here, that didn’t seem too prevalent of a challenge, other than for one infected: The Charger. There are a few areas where the Charger infected, an enemy who lives up to his name by ramming into the survivors and taking them far away from their team mates, can take you over the edge for an instant-kill. That’s about the only enemy that the map had elements designed around it.

    So, the Cold Stream map: If you didn’t have high hopes for this map it may make it more bearable for you but the fact remains that the map has little variety in it’s levels or their design and makes little use of space or of the Enemies the game is famous for, making it a very flat experience.

    As for the maps from Left 4 Dead 1. These maps are pretty much as they were before the port, with a few level tweaks here and there, for example the removal of fences so that survivors can’t hide in corners. How ever, that being said these maps have one major issue, and it’s the Special Infected that were added along with Left 4 Dead 2. As I previously said, the Special Infected make this series. In Left 4 Dead 1, the Special Infected (bar of course The Tank) were easy to handle, and weren’t much of an issue if you were trying to hold back into a corner. The Smoker is the only exception to this as he could move you by pulling you to him, but the pull is slow, and so your team mates could easily save you.

    In Left 4 Dead 2, the new Special Infected were designed to affect every team mate: The charger travelled team mates away for long distances, and if they hit other team mates while carrying someone else, it would temporarily knock down said team mate making them unable to save the team-mate being carried away. The Jockey has a similar effect, by jumping onto a survivor to steer them away, and if any players were nearby when the jump was made, they would stagger giving the Jockey time to move. The Spitter creates a pool of acid, in which you need to get out of. Now, these infected worked in Left 4 Dead 2, as the maps accommodated the effects they had on the survivors. The Maps in Left 4 Dead 1 did not accommodate these effects, and have many open spaces that you may easily be taken off of by the new infected, and many areas that were designed for holding out in a corner, which the new infected were designed to combat. So, in themselves the maps don’t work any differently in Left 4 Dead 2, they’re the same, other than with the New Infected not meshing well with the design choices of the previous Maps.

    My overall Verdict: The Cold Stream map is passable, not working hard to offer anything interesting to the table. Even if you’re up for the experience of doing a new map in Left 4 Dead 2, this doesn’t offer anything that will satiate that hunger. As for the Left 4 Dead 1 maps, I’d say this is where the strength of the DLC comes from. While they don’t do anything new and suffer from the poorly meshing design elements of the Left 4 Dead 2 special infected, a good sense of nostalgia with a kick of difference can be attained from them.

    4/10

    -INTY

    Last edited by Midnight Panda; 16-08-2012 at 11:57 PM.

  2. #2
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    Hmm, few typo's here and there. I'll watch out for them in the future

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    Yeah, the typos aren't that big of a deal, great review nonetheless.

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    Thank you =). I'll be sure to check more carefully for typo's come my next review. I'll be honest, I was somewhat expecting this to be rejected. I put my all into it don't get me wrong but, I just always assume the worst, and I think that might have partly been why I was less careful with the typo's. Having had it accepted and with positive feedback, I think I'll do more of these ^^

    And I promise I'll try to be more wary of typo's, though I do apologize for any grammatical errors I may not be aware of

  5. #5
    Prosecuting with style Vyse the Legend's Avatar
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    Did enjoy reading this Inty, though I guess being a part of the team that experienced it with you firsthand does make me a little biased haha. Think you summed it up really well, not much else I could touch upon.

    Personally I thought it was a reasonable map, but obviously very orientated around Versus play. The lack of Witches was disappointing, as having played through a second time, are the Tank spawning points which are always the same each time you play.

    But yeah nice review. If you did want to do some more of these though can I ask you make sure you include some pics next time please. Outside that good job!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vyse the Legend View Post
    Did enjoy reading this Inty, though I guess being a part of the team that experienced it with you firsthand does make me a little biased haha. Think you summed it up really well, not much else I could touch upon.

    Personally I thought it was a reasonable map, but obviously very orientated around Versus play. The lack of Witches was disappointing, as having played through a second time, are the Tank spawning points which are always the same each time you play.

    But yeah nice review. If you did want to do some more of these though can I ask you make sure you include some pics next time please. Outside that good job!
    I'm not really one who slams pictures in there for the sake of it, but, I can definitely put some in when commenting on the visual presentation, and maybe just to put in the game's cover like Panda put in too =)

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    Quote Originally Posted by INTY View Post
    I'm not really one who slams pictures in there for the sake of it, but, I can definitely put some in when commenting on the visual presentation, and maybe just to put in the game's cover like Panda put in too =)
    The requirements used to be the photo of the case, plus an extra 2 others. More or less should be fine, just gives something for people to look at. You wouldn't read a magazine with out pictures, would you?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vyse the Legend View Post
    The lack of Witches was disappointing, as having played through a second time, are the Tank spawning points which are always the same each time you play
    I'll agree the lack of witches is very annoying. Really hope they patch that at some point. As for the Tank spawn points being the same ever round, we've seen that in past L4D DLC's. Can't remember if it was the Sacrifice or the Passing but the Tank spawn in's never alternated in that DLC. It's a shame really because it takes some of the unpredictablity out of the maps.

    On a side not, good review Dan. Very detailed but I do agree some pictures would be nice. Keep up the good work

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Midnight Panda View Post
    The requirements used to be the photo of the case, plus an extra 2 others. More or less should be fine, just gives something for people to look at. You wouldn't read a magazine with out pictures, would you?
    I'm not being difficult here =P, but I would if the article was interesting enough. I'm not saying I won't include pictures in my next review though, just that I don't see the use to them, outside of the one example I gave of show-casing the presentation, which yes would be very useful.

    And Han, I think you're thinking of the Sacrifice, but that you're thinking of that one sequence where
    Spoiler!
    Last edited by INTY; 17-08-2012 at 03:52 PM.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Midnight Panda View Post
    You wouldn't read a magazine with out pictures, would you?
    That's called a book

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