Release Date: October 5th 2010
Genre(s): First Person Shooter, Survival Horror
Publisher(s): Valve Corporation
Developer: Turtle Rock Studios
So, after the disturbing revelations of The Passing’s DLC, many have been wondering just how one particular Left 4 Dead survivor died before you reach the remaining three survivors from the first game in the campaign’s finale. The latest content for both Left 4 Dead 1 and 2, The Sacrifice, puts you in the role of the original survivors leading up to the events of The Passing, and tells you just how the survivor died. While it may give you answers, the ride to the truth is not an overwhelmingly exciting one.
You start off as everyone’s favourite team; Bill, Francis, Zoey and Louis, at the docks after your train comes to a standstill. The conditions are dull and misty, as you make your way through junkyards and warehouses to reach safety. It’s definitely one of the more dull campaigns in the Left 4 Dead saga, with not much variation on scenery or overall enjoyment. However, there are some very sneaky Infected placements that on the first playthrough of the campaign will scare the living daylights out of you. One highlight was opening a container to clear the way only to find a Tank waiting for you inside; on the higher difficulties, you’re in for a fright.
The finale will return you to a familiar area for players who played the previous content, and the lack of action for the majority of the fight is made up by the inconvenient fact that one of the generators powering the bridge powers down, and fitting the title of the campaign, one of you must make the deathly decision to power on that generator – which is a one way trip – whilst the remaining three survivors attempt to aid your sacrifice by taking out the massive three or more Tanks that will accompany the hordes to prevent your task. Valve were unclear when saying that you get to choose who dies, because unless you are playing the campaign online with three other people, whoever you are playing as will have to make the sacrifice – as none of your AI teammates will do the task for you, the lazy gits unwilling ones.
In terms of gameplay and graphics, nothing is out of the traditional Left 4 Dead style in this content, but it’s nice to see the return of the original survivors for a change. But what sweetens the deal, and makes the Left 4 Dead 2 version of the content more worth your while, is the return of one of the most popular Left 4 Dead campaigns, No Mercy. Although there is nothing different this time around, it was great to play through the campaign once more, especially with the Left 4 Dead 2 weapons at your disposal and the L4D2 special infected to fight off. If anything, I enjoyed the No Mercy campaign more than The Sacrifice campaign, because it was longer, more intense, and was overall a more enjoyable experience.
New mutations are included in this content, the first being an insane, impossible task of playing Versus mode where the Infected team are all tanks, and spawn every time as tanks. You would have to be very fast on your feet to reach the end of one level alive, but it does feel more fresh than the repeated mutations we have had recently. However, this content only includes 5 achievements as opposed to the last content’s 10, however each achievement will score you a hefty 50 gamerscore each, which does feel like they either ran out of ideas for achievements, or are trying to eat away gamerscore, which is never a good sign.
Overall, the content offers value for money, that is, for the Left 4 Dead 2 owners. Owners of the original campaign unfortunately get the short end of the stick, with only a three part campaign that isn’t offering anything entirely new, and players won’t be able to understand the link between The Passing and The Sacrifice. If you have Left 4 Dead 2, I strongly recommend you get the content for this and not its predecessor. Fans of the series will enjoy the content, as it is offering more of the same that people have come to know and love.