April 23, 2010

Review: The Passing DLC

So I just played through "The Passing." Yup, I actually completed it since my last post. How is it? Is it worth 560 Microsoft Points? Find out ahead.

"The Passing" takes place after L4D2's first campaign, after you steal the car from the mall and before you arrive at the carnival. A raised bridge is impeding the survivors' progress but, luckily, the survivors from the first game are there to help you out. Well, three of them, anyway. Somebody dies. Anyway, you have to take a detour around and through the sewers to the other side of the bridge so you can fix up the lift, lower the bridge, and be on your way. Unfortunately, the previous four survivors feel like being assholes and never leave their perch up on top malfunctioning bridge lift (As far as I could tell, they were perfectly capable of getting down. I'm pretty sure the busted generator only operated the bridge. The generator you have to refuel is ground-level and the other three survivors are apparently reluctant to come down and help because they went through great trouble to get up there in the first place, losing one of their own in the process. But one must wonder, they have to come down eventually, right? Why not help?) so your interaction with them is very limited. Disappointing.

The campaign is three chapters long (also disappointing) and each chapter is fairly short. Basically, it doesn't take all that long to beat. And I did it by myself. Without dying. On normal, which is usually fairly tough. Disappointing. There's some new weapons thrown in, though. The first is a golf club and the second is a chain-gun whose ammo you can't replenish. Disappointing. There's also new uncommon zombies that drop items, but I only encountered one once. Disappointing. After working your way through the sewers, you come out on the other side of the bridge and have a very brief chat with the other survivors who tell you to refuel the lift while they cover you from up there. From up there. Disappointing. Anyway, this time you have to get 10 fuel jugs which sounds like it's going to be tough, but it's actually the easiest finale I've ever played. Not sure if that's because the area seemed really open or if it was because you had backup, but needless to say it was disappointing. After you achieve your goal, the two groups of survivors say goodbye and L4D2 crew makes their way to Withering Oaks. And that's it. Disappointing.

Overall, I feel really mislead. Valve made it sound like some epic crossover event and it's just not. It's short, easy, and there's almost no interaction between the old characters and the new characters (though there is some nice new dialog for the L4D2 crew). "The Passing" can best be described as disappointing. I can't recommend you buy it, as I think it's overpriced for what you get. I do believe, however, that the PC version is free (why!?) in which case you should definitely check it out. It's not much for the Xbox, but even at a tad over $5, it's a pretty big letdown. I'd save those 500 points for this week's deal, "The Zombie Island of Dr. Ned" for Borderlands. Or, hell, put them towards something else if you want as long as it's not this. My advice: skip it.

If you'd like to know who dies anyway, highlight below:

It's Bill. When you exit the sewers, you'll meet with Zoey, Francis, and Louis. I noticed Bill was suspiciously absent and thought it was strange because I was expecting, as Valve stated, for him to "sacrifice himself" in some sort of epic battle. I found a trail of blood, however, which lead to Bill's body. It looked like he'd been the victim of a Charger or Tank attack, so he was already dead when I got there. Disappointing.

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