REVIEW: Left 4 Dead 2: “Cold Stream” DLC
Title: L4D2: “Cold Stream” DLC
Platform: Xbox 360 / PC (reviewed on Xbox 360)
Developer: Valve Software
Publisher: Valve Software
TL;DR: ZOMBIES. ERMAHGERRD ZOMBIES. PILLS.
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Zombies. Like, lots of zombies. These aren’t shufflers that we’re used to. Who are we kidding? When was the last time was saw any shuffling zombie? It’s been a while, but we do like the raging “I’MMA GET YOU” zombies. Right?
After a long year of beta testing through the Steam community, Xbox players will finally get to see the first DLC based off of a user-created map. Yes, Cold Stream began life as a community created campaign, and it impressed the devs so much they had to make it an official add on.
So what’s the draw of Cold Stream? For those of us who like that adrenaline rush of “Oh my god, oh my god OH MY GOD OH MY FUCKING GOD THEY’RE GONNA KILL ME,” well, yes, we expect to see you online playing this with your friends. If you thought the rushing instances in Dark Carnival were a bleepity bleep and a half, this is ten times as much, and even more.
Cold Stream doesn’t necessarily take on any cannon part of the story from Left 4 Dead 2. I hope you’re not staring blankly at your screen trying to remember 2009′s gib festing, but here’s the low down: Nick, Ellis, Rochelle, and Coach are survivors of the epidemic from the south. Looking for a CEDA outpost and a safe zone, the four survivors make their way through an obligatory mall, an abandoned fairground, marshes, a sugar cane mill, and finally a bridge to freedom. Or so it may seem.
Cold Stream takes place after a helicopter crash drops the survivors in a forest. Because of a fireball that goes up when the chopper goes down, the survivors are threatened with death by smoke inhalation or dying by fire. No, there won’t be any getting into choppers with funny-accented body builders.
The Cold Stream campaign itself is decently long — a four part campaign — that takes you through a river, a drainage pipe, and a race down more rushing water to snag a military transport that’s about to leave you behind.
All four chapters see a mish mash of elements from L4D2‘s campaigns, including a nod to The Passing. There’s an area reminiscent of the swamps, as you wade through knee-deep waters and face mudmen. There’s a CEDA truck whose alarm you’ve got to set off in order to move into the next area. There’s a dark tunnel where you have to wade through water, and an opposing flow of zombies, to get away from said alarm. And then there’s the finale. Oh, and what a finale it is.
The new Olympic sport should be Zombie Swimming.
If you can get through the flow of zombies at the end without dying once, you win the gold medal. Just watch out for the three Tanks that might come at you at once if you’re not paying any attention at all. Or it might be two. You might get off easy and just encounter one. That’s all it’s going to take though, as the River of Zombies won’t stop at all. From the moment you gear up and start heading towards the helipad… Zombies.
Just. Zombies. Everywhere.
They won’t stop either until you’ve climbed up the ladder and are whisked away to seeming safety. Until the next time the luckless chopper pilot decides to get bitten or crash land. In the world of Left 4 Dead, no helicopter will ever last long enough to get you where you need to go.
If that isn’t enough to satisfy your inner-zombie killing machinations, then perhaps this will: Cold Stream also comes with the original survivor crew of Zoey, Francis, Bill, and pill-poppin’ Louis and all of your favorite Left 4 Dead maps.
Revamped with enemy spawns and new weaponry from the second L4D title, you’re also given Death Toll, Dead Air, Blood Harvest, and Crash Course in the package. If you’re wondering where No Mercy is, it was included with The Sacrifice DLC.
It’s almost like this DLC is a whole new game in itself, if you really love Left 4 Dead and shooting zombies. Seriously. Are you a fan of the series? Then why haven’t you downloaded Cold Stream yet?
ALL OF THE PILLS, ALL OF THE TIME.
- New campaign of Cold Stream is intense and offers a great challenge.
- Adds just about every single campaign from original Left 4 Dead. What’s not to love about that?
- Seriously. You’re getting two whole games for the price of a measly DLC pack.
Turn off your l–THAT’S A WITCH.
- It’s more of the same, if you really want to get down to it.
- Difficulty might borderline “frustrating,” but you can always turn it down.
- What, no achievements?
The Cold Stream add-on is currently available on both Steam and XBLA for a cool 560 MSP.
Considering that this game is actually quite scary if you’re not used to it, it’s not recommended to play it with kids. There’s also a lot of visceral wounds.