Left 4 Dead Addiction Reacquired

After giving up on L4D a while back due to the familiarity of the campaigns, I was reinvigorated by the upcoming Crash Course Campaign that Valve was releasing free for PC users. In my relapse I decided to tread back into the L4D community maps that were, back then, abysmal. To be fair, map makers were just starting out so brilliance was not expected but I had to wonder if authors even played their own maps. My fear was soon alleviated though as a feast of new content was waiting.

Gone (mostly) were the orange walls and empty rooms and in their wake came large, detailed and sometimes atmospheric campaigns. Many rivaling and sometimes surpassing the original campaigns in size and concept if not design. I never felt more in the spirit of a zombie apocalypse as in the opening level of Heaven Can Wait, my pick as the best campaign in the mod community. No secondary guns magically awaited you when the first swarm assails the team, you fight for every inch until you reach a long highway strewn with empty cars. The night is clear and the feeling alone, that's all in the first few minutes of play. The rest of the campaign will feel familiar but strange to George Romero fans. There are some bad spots in mapping such as the fire escapes and some areas are copied from the original campaigns, but it manages to hold it's own.

Crash Course was released and I, like many others, felt shortchanged by the half size. Valves committal to "shorter campaign" demands by users is nothing more than convenient market scope and does not reflect the majority as can be attested by the map community; If anything gamers want more, not less. The CC campaign is not especially good either, in fact I would hold a number of homemade campaigns against it. While the design is solid and tested for playability, it speaks blandly and without saying anything. Some would argue that it fits perfectly with the rest of the game and I suppose that is the best review.

I won't go into the L4D2 debate as I wasn't expecting it as DLC, I bought L4D with the same foreknowledge that I bought the Neverwinter Nights series, Oblivion and Fallout 3 : Community Mods. I'll buy L4D2, play it to death and later revel in the creations of the then more experienced map maker's vision.

Some great Co-Op Campaigns (in order of preference):
They are not perfect or without problems, but they are fun to play.
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