good level design. That's not to say that there aren't issues, however.1: ForestStarting from a campsite in the middle of the woods, your objective is simple:Get out.The path to the end is as clear as ever, as this campaign adheres to the strict standard of point A-to-point B set forth by Valve's official works. It's not necessarily a bad thing. It may be more of the same, but at least you know where you're going. Of course, what kind of horror game would it be if you weren't surrounded by trees that block your view of the zombies around you? This map takes the tense forest atmosphere element from Blood Harvest and pulls it off with reasonable success. It's nice to look at, though the edge of the map becomes painfully evident early on.Bot navigation setup on this map is horribly done, in places. For example, I went up to the second story of the first house you come across, then went downstairs and out the door, only to be vomitted on by a Boomer. I was incapacitated, but they were still on the second story. I had to use a console command just to get them to move. The Survivor AI in general is extremely incompetent on this entire campaign. Instead of using their weapons during a horde, they'll switch to their pistols, and only use their primary weapons if there's a Special Infected nearby. This needs some serious improvement.Another problem is the crescendo event. While I don't want to spoil too much, I can say that what you're supposed to do isn't established too clearly. I figured it out fairly quickly, but it might be difficult for some people. You definitely want to stand back once you trigger it, though.Performance-wise, this map was 50/50, for me. At times, it was good, and at others, my framerate was noticeably chugging. It clearly needs some optimization before it can shine at its brightest, but what's there is above-average.2: Train stationFirst thing's first:If you own anything below an nVidia GeForce 9800 GTX, your framerate is going to suffer. I was running 2x anti-aliasing with high effect, model, and texture detail, and my framerate dropped from 60 to ~40. The difference is pretty noticeable, and to have an impact that large on performance is embarrassing. This map is in dire need of optimization fixes for its next release.Performance issues aside, this map maintains the straightforward level design with a nice "something went wrong here" atmosphere to it. The wrecked train and surrounding area are good indicators of just how much damage the infection has caused in the town. The path to the safe room is a bit unclear at some points, though. There also need to be more places to get ammunition, as I ran out of shotgun shells by the time I cleared the warehouse.While still above-average, this is easily the worst map of the three due to the large impact on performance, too few ammunition stocks, and unclear objective path.3: TownThis is the last level available in this release. The performance is much better than the previous maps, but it's not as smooth as it could be. I don't really have anything against this map other than a shared complaint of poor item placement and a hard-to-find event trigger. The first-aid kit spawns are too few and far between, and it's still a pain to find a place to restock your ammo.One unique thing I liked in this map was its use of unused audio files from the original game, but it definitely could have been pulled off better. The NewsChopper 5 pilot dialogue fits the situation, but it should be edited to match the radio-like distortion of the other lines.Outside of the campaign, this campaign causes a few problems with Left 4 Dead itself. After playing the campaign, the menu background will become pink-and-green boxes in a checkerboard pattern, and it also causes a strange noise to completely overwhelm the rest of the game's sound while playing Crash Course. The only way to fix said bugs is to disable it in your add-ons list or remove it entirely.In conclusion, the level design presented so far certainly exceeds my expectations when it comes to community-developed campaigns, but the performance issues and bugs it generates when not playing it make me not recommend this campaign for download. Until the campaign is finished or those issues are fixed, I suggest you find another add-on to entertain yourself with.--Odyssey1319
There are no comments yet. Be the first!