There are also new Special Infected evildoers, adding to the original rooster of the first game’s mini-boss zombies. Beyond the Tank, Witch, Hunter and Smoker varieties, there is now the Spitter, a rather attractive southern ‘gal’ who spits a pool of acidic goo; the Jockey, an impish tyrant who jumps on player’s heads; and the Charger, a lighter version of the Tank but with more of a penchant for, well, charging. These new Infected go a long way to shaking up the gameplay and will make seasoned players think twice about the tried and true tactics they used in the first game. They also inject the Versus mode (in which two teams face off as infected and survivors) with new life, making the whole experience a trickier affair – there is far more to be wary of for those playing as Survivors and far more to inflict for those playing as Infected.
Beyond these deeper gameplay changes however, there is simply more here to warrant the money spent then the first time around. All the old game modes return, including the aforementioned Versus mode, but with new additions such as Scavenge - in which survivors must fill up an object with fuel canisters whilst players as Infected must stop them, and Realism – essentially the campaign levels with certain helpful things like player and item indicators turned off. There are also five campaigns instead of the original’s four, and they are far more varied in locale, ranging from New Orleans to crypts and a carnival. There’s also zombie shootin’ in the warm light of day on a few levels, which acts as a nice change in mood from the first games never ending night.
There are also a brand new batch of survivors in Ellis, Coach, Rochelle, and Nick, all of whom have far more character and presence than the original trigger-finger four and more frequently exchange context-sensitive dialogue that is both witty and real thanks to the superb voice acting. The story itself is also beefed up a bit more, at least to the extent that it can be in a game such as this, with a more cohesive sense of place and a greater realized narrative goal – to reach the military-led evacuation which forgot them in the game’s opening cut scene. Additionally, the campaign stages link in more tightly with one another. It all feels more like one big story that the player creates as they play, rather than snippets of one.