Review: 'The Sacrifice' For Left 4 Dead & Left 4 Dead 2

The original beloved Survivors from Valve's zombie-packed shooter, Left 4 Dead, return for another dramatic, bloody and brief adventure in "The Sacrifice," the add-on that's playable in both Left 4 Dead and Left 4 Dead 2.

The expansion adds three new chapters, events set immediately before "The Passing," to the original Left 4 Dead. It adds the same content to Left 4 Dead 2, but lets players enjoy the added features of the sequel, which include new guns and melee weapons, new Special Infected zombies and gameplay modes not available in the original. The add-on also brings the popular "No Mercy" episode to Left 4 Dead 2, making "The Sacrifice" a better deal for owners of the second Left 4 Dead game.

Ideal Player The Left 4 Dead fan who doesn't really care for Ellis, despises Rochelle or ever grumbled that Francis, Louis, Zoey and Bill really should have been in the game's sequel. Anyone with Steam installed on their computer.

Why You Should Care The four original Survivors of the zombie apocalypse are now playable in Left 4 Dead 2, more firmly bridging the stories of the original game and its sequel. The climactic "No Mercy" campaign is also now playable in Left 4 Dead 2, which feels drastically different when infested with the zombie mutants introduced in the sequel.

How are the new maps? They're great, with some tight corridors for more claustrophobic moments, new scenery and wide-open spaces that the original Survivors didn't see too often. They also get to see a little sunlight on their trip south, with The Sacrifice taking place during dusk. The new chapters are stuffed with uncommon common infected—mostly CEDA agents in rubbery biohazard suits—and feature a few new tricks.

New tricks? Like what? Nothing major, but at one point you'll have to let a Tank out of his cage (a train car). The finale, which takes place on a modified version of the finale map from The Passing, introduces the Sacrificial event, in which one player is forced to die for the group. There's nothing wildly different or game-changing about this expansion, unless you consider exploding barrels truly exciting.

How's "No Mercy"? Just as great as it ever was. Valve has made a few tweaks to accommodate the new Special Infected, which make playing through No Mercy, well, a little nuts sometimes. It's cool to see the "uncommon common" infected who wear ear protection in the construction zones in Mercy Hospital. It's also great fun to use the Spitter against campers on this level. It really gives players a great sense of how radically Left 4 Dead 2's new additions affect gameplay.

What's the downside? There are no new weapons, one map is essentially recycled from The Passing and you can't play as Zoey (or Bill or Francis or Louis) in any of Left 4 Dead 2's campaigns. But you can play with Zoey while she wields a chainsaw.

Buy It If you have a copy of Left 4 Dead 2 on the Xbox 360. And if you've waited this long to invest in either Left 4 Dead and Left 4 Dead 2 for the PC or are just getting it now for your Mac, don't hesitate. Buy it now. You'll get all the currently available DLC for free.

Don't Buy It If you only have a copy of Left 4 Dead on the Xbox 360. The content in The Sacrifice is awfully thin for that game.

The Bottom Line The Sacrifice advances Left 4 Dead's story more so than its gameplay, which fans will likely appreciate alongside Valve's digital comic of the same name. This brief, three chapter campaign is a no-brainer download for anyone who already owns the PC or Mac versions of Left 4 Dead 2 (or Left 4 Dead). As for Xbox 360 owners, grab the download if you own L4D2. But if you only own the original game, you really should join us Left 4 Dead 2 players. We've got Francis now and he still hates everything.

The Sacrifice for Left 4 Dead and Left 4 Dead 2 was developed by Turtle Rock and Valve and released on PC, Mac and Xbox 360 on October 5. Retails for 560 Microsoft Points on Xbox 360, but is a free download for PC/Mac users. A copy of the game was provided by the publisher for reviewing purposes. Played through The Sacrifice (Left 4 Dead 2 version) on Mac and tested the game's single-player and Versus mode (Left 4 Dead version) on Xbox 360.


    Considering Left 4 Dead 2 is now actually cheaper than 'the sacrifice' costs on Xbox 360 (it's $7, $5 if you buy it in a pack with left 4 dead 1) i'd actually recommend AGAINST buying the DLC on xbox.

    Instead, just buy the whole damn game on PC, and get the DLC (plus the previously released 'the passing') for free!

    Seriously, it's poop like this that makes me question why people still buy multi-platform games on consoles - the PC experience is often several times better and cheaper.

    That behind us, I was kind of dissapointed with the DLC. I haven't tried out the no mercy port yet, but 'the sacrifice' was a bit lacking for all the hype they gave it. It felt like, as well as re-using the finale from the Passing, a lot of the maps leading up to it were re-used from crash course.

    It also bothered me that they cut a lot of corners when porting the new survivors into the L4D2 engine. The biggest one being the voice files. Whenever a survivor comes across one of the new weapons or items, he'll just say 'weapon here,' or even worse 'yeah!'. On that, there seems to be very few new voice lines in this game, as opposed to 'crash course', which had a boatload! The reloading animations of old survivors with new weapons is also a bit shoddy.

    I did like playing with the old crew in L4D2, I have always been a MUCH bigger fan of the original 4 than the new guys (Especially Rochelle, who has the personality of a brick wall)

    I'm pretty mad that you have to buy it twice if you want to play it on both L4D and L4D2.

    ahhh sooo pumped to play this on a non 'low voilence copy' :P

    I already have both L4D's for 360 but have no1 2 play them with and i find the PC community a bit.... nicer? any1 think i should get L4D 1 and 2 for PC. and i am aussie

      This shouldn't even be a question. The PC community for both L4D's is still very strong, and at $10 for both games, it's a steal!

    I just bought left 4 dead 2 over steam, only I forgot that the piece of crap is censored.
    Way to ruin my evening moral guardians.

    You need to get it gifted from someone overseas to get the non-gimped version.

    Anyone want to buy an uncensored copy of L4D2 for 360? It's the English-language Asia copy - works in Aust.

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