So in a little more than a week Left 4 Dead 2 is being released. Left 4 Dead 2 is a sequel to Left 4 Dead, a game developed by Valve that was released a year ago next week. So assuming Valve immediately saw how successful the first Left 4 Dead was and started development of Left 4 Dead almost immediately, Left 4 Dead 2 took one year to design, develop, test and tweak before it’s final release. So keeping that in mind lets look at Valves other major franchise, oh who am I kidding, their only major franchise, Half-Life.
A while ago…I can’t remember when exactly, probably about a year ago, I bought The Orange Box and for the first time got a chance to play through Half-Life 2 and it’s two episodic follow ups, as well as Portal and all three games are fun and worth the $50 I spent. Oh and Team Fortress 2 is in that set but who gives a shit especially when the sniper gets you before you can take two steps?
Anyway for those not in the know, Half-Life 2’s episodic follow-ups are supposed to be a trilogy which means there will be an Episode Three. All we know about Episode Three is what we learned in Episode Two. Gordon Freeman and his lovely sidekick Alex are to go visit the Borealis which is stuck in the arctic…and thats it… Little information has been released beyond: There’s a deaf character.
Also, there is also supposed to be a sequel to Portal, latest news is it will be a sequel, not a prequel, with a new character, the AI encarnation of Aperture Science’s insane former CEO and beyond that all we know are some of the lines from the game. First official news was released in February of 2008. Apparently it’s not going to be simply a new set of puzzles, they are going to add something else…I’m not sure what, maybe new objects to play with. The original Portal was so incredibly simple and so incredibly fun. There really isn’t a need to do much more than expand the story and create new puzzles.
No news of casting or trailers had been released for either game and that is quite perplexing considering we’ve been waiting for two years for these games. I’m sure it’s hard to make a game, but considering it took them a year to make Left 4 Dead 2, which as far as I know doesn’t seem to be that different from Left 4 Dead, the whole thing seems kind of odd. Why release a sequel to Left 4 Dead after the original game has been out for only a year and Half-Life 2 Episode Three and Portal 2 are still in development? Here’s an idea Valve: Put more effort into the games have kept us waiting for the past two years instead of giving us a game we already have.
As a great man once said, “I can’t help feeling that Valve have missed the point of episodic gaming somewhat. The whole idea is to mix up the usual rigamarole of game publishing by having shorter games at lower prices released more frequently, and while they have aspects one and two down, they continue to struggle with three.”
I’m sure Left 4 Dead 2 has some awesome new features that I don’t know about but I’d prefer it if those new features were a part of Half-Life 2 Episode Three or Portal 2 instead of a game that doesn’t need to be out yet. There is more demand for those games than there is for Left 4 Dead 2 I can guarantee you that.