As I mentioned in another thread, for the last three days I've been going to a media convention and each day I've had a couple of playthroughs of the xbox L4D2 demo. Last night I asked if people wanted any pictures and the only real request I got in between people speculating on whether or not I was breaking into Valve (from where I live in New Zealand somehow) was some shots of the new Boomer Bile grenade. So I got a bunch of photos, most of which didn't show anything new, I was sadly unable to get a shot of the alley that is sometimes blocked or unblocked, but you'll see that in the demo anyway. No sense ruining every surprise. So, to walk through it in an abridged manner, the game was being showcased in the R18 section along with a number of other unreleased in New Zealand titles including Avatar: The game, COD6: Modern Warfare 2, Brutal Legend, Assassin's Creed 2, the new God of War game and Uncharted 2. I got a go at Avatar which I'm extremely excited for, though the game is a bit of a gears of war clone with a healthy dash of Far Cry 2 exploration thrown in. I also played Brutal Legend, though not for long, the only other I was really interested in was Assassin's creed, but there were always people on it. looks like some of the gameplay takes place in the future though so that's interesting. But anyways, L4D2 was the centre piece, despite being advertised absolutely gorram nowhere else, go figure. It took place on four giant screen TVs, each playing splitscreen xbox 360. When playing I noticed a bunch of dfferences almost immediately, including a subtle motion blur on fast moving objects like pouncing hunters, and swinging guitars. Similarly, the gibbing is REALLY good, like "I can't believe it's not procedural" good. Slash a zombie in the back with a machete, a gash appears, hit him in the head or arm and the thing comes off. it must've taken so long to create all these gibs, it's really realistic and has a great effect, particularly when using the magnum to blow holes in things. the shotgun also has that Doom like effect where the entire torso falls apart as you blow it off, it's fantastic. The viewmodels on the xbox are fairly large and I didn't notice any repeated from L4D1 - the animations seemed all new. The melee weapons are satisfying, and have noticable differences, and actualyl work differently to standard right-click-shove. The hitboxes are different and primary fire is much more precise than say, using a propane tank in L4D1. They also get covered in blood. always a +. The pipebombs too were use frequently and the gibbing makes for a great effect. The differences int he special infected is also really noticable with them all seeming to have a bad case of sunburn, particularly the tank, seen here covered by a tooltip in what is actually the best shot I could get of him (2 second shot delay) incidentally, I did take a bunch more pictures, but the shot delay meant I often missed the good stuff, so they're really all fairly similar - you're not missing anything. Anyways, the female boomer made an appearance, lookign as unsettling as you may imagine, as well as the smoker who's head now resembles a raspberry crossed with an octopus. He tended to die before I got any good pictures, but as with the boomer, you can find proper pictures on the internet, it's not that new. Hunter is also sporting short sleeves and bare feet. Finally the new special infected made plenty of appearances, no photos, you can get them elsewhere. The jockey was really difficult to handle for a lot of my teammates who were mostly terrible and kept splitting up. this meant the jockey had no trouble riding his victim far away and doing a ton of damage. It's not like a hunter where you can just run up and hit, by the time you've noticed you have to run a fair distance to get him. The spitter was probably the easiest to get used to - like a molotov that deploys at inopportune times. The charger meanwhile always did some damage, and frequently had a survivor pinned before we could react. He was also a candidate for the new motion blurring effects, used to show if he's charging or just running. The wandering witch appeared from time to time, and caught a number of players off guard - she blends right in when she isn't sitting down. I had a few near misses myself after being too hasty with the combat shotgun. Indeed at one point I turned a corner to her right there, before running back only to find a boomer with hoard awaiting. Something I noticed and it could've been the noise from the convention is that the special infected's themes were a lot less noticable, many of them had no trouble sneaking up on us, particularly the jockeys, and we ended up paying more attention to their unique vocals than anything else (charger sounds like a disgruntled cow). We were of course playing the Parish, the demo encompassed the first two levels of the campaign. The new loading screen looks more like a wall with bits of graffiti, descriptions of achievements you might like to get. Didn't seem to have the same "starring x as y" things as L4D1, but this is however the xbox 360 version. This inexperience combined with the difficulty of an xbox controller for people such as myself who were used to a mouse and keyboard (I, at least got better, not many others did) meant that people died a few times, mainly during the gauntlet crescendo which, if you stopped to shoot infected could be deadly, particularly with SI spawning every so often. It made for some fun times with melee weapons though as you pretended you were a drunken rock star, dashing to a limo, carving a swathe of gore through rabid fans with an electric guitar, wielded like a battle axe. Like that simpsons episode with homer at rock and roll fantasy camp, only they weren't cardboard cutouts, they were zombies. (did I mention if you disembowel them, you an watch them stumble around and die as their intestines sting out behind them. Magic) But luckily, in addition to rescue closets, you may swap your health pack for an orange defibrillator, which you can use to revive a dead survivor once. After a couple of seconds they get zapped (with visible electric arcs), bringing them back to life with 50hp. If, however your less scrupulous teammates decided to nick their weapons, they won't get them back - they get up with no equipment besides their pistol. Luckily for the ones we played with, their gear was left strewn around them most of the time. We saw a lot of the riot cop infected who gave the newer players a bit of trouble, but oddly no hazmat infected. turns out a good machete to the neck can get through their armour, though not as spectacularly as an unarmed one. it takes a few swipes with the melee weapons to take them down. they do die fast from behind though, but you can unload entire pistol clips into their front to no avail (something I learned to my chargin as the guy playing Ellis forgot to make sure one was dead before attempting to revive me, then, as he was being set upon by a few stragglers he turned away while I was nearly bled out and the cop took the opportunity to finish me off with a few good stomps. On the other hand, killing them drops their batons, meaning each is a free melee weapon waiting to happen. Finally, there were bile bombs and we did get to try them out The bomb takes the form of a glass canister (CEDA issue no doubt) sealed with red tape. The effect upon throwing it much like jarate - whatever you hit (and you can hit a group of enemies) is outlined purple, disoriented a bit and every common infected or UCI makes a beeline for them to start beating the hell out of them. good times. however, unlike conventional bile this stuff appears to have gone off slightly and so leaves a cloud of dark green gas for around 10 seconds which any remaining infected will gather around for even after the targets are dead. it's basically like a pipebomb that doesn't explode. Instead, myself and my colleagues took the opportunity to unload our magazines into them, making the bombs an easy way of clearing out a large group of spread out stragglers. It's also handy during the gauntlets when you need them off your back for a while as you try to deactivate the alarm. Finally I want to say, L4D2 was awesome, great fun to play and in a mere two days or thereabouts, you guys should be able to experience it firsthand. In the meantime I think it might be an idea to organize a few teams to have a go when it comes out. I didn't get a lot of time with the bots (though I didn't notice any overt issues with them) but it's more fun with people. Also if anyone would like some further information (I got a go with a bunch of other things, like the magnum, the AK47, the half life shotgun etc that I could also talk about, though no special ammo, and the melee weapons were limited) feel free to ask. P.S: I also have a bunch more pictures if you guys would like some probably extraneous media with little to no new information, but a bit of curiosity value. I have a bunch of gameplay and some miscellaneous things like a shot of opening fly in onto the docks on the first level. there were no subtitles so I couldn't tell you what the boat owner was asking the survivors to do. If you're interested an any of the other games I mentioned I have a couple of shots of most, though not nearly as many.