As most of you know by now, Valve announced the Left 4 Dead Crash Course DLC on the Steam news blog. I apologize for being this late, but we decided against posting the announcement due to the ghastly, nasty genericalness of the PR available:
[Crash Course] delivers new single-player, multiplayer and co-operative gameplay to both platforms. … While containing both Survival maps and a Co-operative Campaign, the primary goal of “Crash” is to deliver a complete Versus mode experience in just 30 minutes…
All this changed earlier today, though, when we had Destructoid jump to the aid in the form of an exclusive preview of the new levels. There are good news and bad news.
The good news: According to Jim Sterling, “Crash Course is designed purely for Versus Play”. The bad news: According to Jim Sterling, “Crash Course is designed purely for Versus Play”. He continues: “It can of course be played in a straight Campaign mode, and it works with Survival mode, but the shorter length and more intense combat situations are geared toward competition.”
To briefly paraphrase the rest of this exclusive, the campaign is barely half the length of the currently available campaigns, with two maps and a finale to it, and due to Valve’s focus on the Versus playability, the special infected have been given some extra leverage in the overall level design. While the lack of length does sound like a potential PR catastrophe, especially in the wake of the boisterous Left 4 Dead 2 boycott movement, in an interview with Edge, Chet Faliszek explains Valve’s decision-making a little further:
We look at our statistics and we see that players ideally want to play between 20 and 30 minutes. So we wanted to create a Versus campaign which you could play through in 30 minutes.
While I personally feel that the decision to focus primarily on Versus undermines and takes away from the game’s original concept (simply put, “for”, not “against”), players who do enjoy playing competitively will surely be extremely delighted to hear the campaign is, in the words of Sterling, “…an incredibly worthy campaign, perfectly designed for Versus”.
Elsewhere, including Fidgit’s Tom Chick, feel that Valve is finally running out of puns. This is bad news for Left 4 Dead 2.
I jest, I jest. The rest:
Left 4 Dead: Crash Course is targeted for release in September and will be available free of charge on the PC and for 560 Gamer points on Xbox Live.