I would have covered this DLC add-on later, but between my trip to Hawaii and my Xbox dying immediately after, I wasn’t in the mood to wax nostalgic about gaming.

But L4D2‘s “The Passing” is too noteworthy to pass up.

It is largely fanfic crossover, but in a good way. You know something is immediately wrong when you see the immediate group, and the interactions between the two teams are diverse and vary more than I expect. There’s a lot of new chatter.

There are only three levels, but there are more than a fair share of random factors: For starters, weather effects happen sporadically, so you never know what the condition of the skies will be like. “Hard Rain” is easily my favorite campaign of the sequel, and having moments like that in a new setting are pretty awesome.

There are other events, such as seeing the Midnight Riders’ bus drive by, giving credence that the band is still alive. There’s also new music, new Infected, new weapons, a Dead Rising and Plants Vs. Zombies nod as well as other mentions of classic zombie flicks…. I felt “Crash Course” from the first game didn’t provide as much as it could have. In three short levels, “The Passing” brings a lot to the table.

There’s also all of the new “Mutations” which are cycled weekly, and provide all sorts of new variables for gameplay. The number of changes really do help distinguish the sequel from being just a little more than the original game in a Southern setting.

There’s talk of a new campaign for the original Left 4 Dead game (which should help to silence critics that Valve “abandoned” the first title). This will tell what happened to the original Survivors and how they ran into the Southern Survivors during “The Passing’s” content. With the changes that happened within their group, I’ll be curious to see how that particular scenario played out.

“The Passing” is definitely worth the investment.

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