When it comes to analysing Left 4 Dead 2, the three lenses I aim to investigate through are replay value, the teamwork focus and the improvements made from the sequel.
When it comes to replay value, there may be loads of reasons for why a game or any form of media may be watched again and again, in spite of the viewer or player knowing the outcome of the story. One such reason is a well-executed plot twist, which may make viewers re-watch or replay the media to catch signs of it in the film. A good example of this is the film Fight Club, which has a major plot twist that had signs throughout the film alluding to it. Viewers may go back and watch the movie again to see the signs. Another reason may be the unique experiences provided through each viewing or play-through. Left 4 Dead 2 falls into this category, as the A.I. director ensures each play-through is totally unique. It controls how many common infected spawn, what and how many specials infected spawn, including the Tank and the Witch, where items spawn, ammunition, new melee weapons and guns and even summoning hordes depending on various factors.
The second lense is the multiplayer experience. Online play in first person shooter’s is often focused on making the player feel really powerful, so they can individually play with a team and be successful, even if they do not work together as a team. Games like Call of Duty, Battlefield and Halo all can be played as individuals in team games. That doesn’t allow for true multiplayer experience, as players can play alone and still win. Left 4 Dead 2 punishes players who go out on their own, as the smoker, charger, hunter and jockey all ‘pin’ survivors, making them unable to kill them unless they get outside help. This forces players to communicate and work together as a team, which is the point of creating online play in multiplayer first person shooters.
The third lense is improving a game in it’s sequel. This idea isn’t just set in the video game media, but in films and books as well. How an author, creator or studio continue their story or video game in a sequel that excites and intrigues the people who are invested in the original source material and even people outside of that core group. Films such as Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back and books series such as Harry potter show the successful franchises, continually evolving the plot and it’s characters. In terms of video games, Left 4 Dead 2 has many innovations. Firstly, brand new special infected (the charger, the spitter and the jockey) melee weapons, new survivors and new maps as well. All of these changes changed the gameplay and experience in a positive way.