Left 4 Dead DLC: Crash Course Available, Really Short

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Left 4 Dead Crash Course DLC

If you like killing zombies (sorry, Infected, but they’re basically zombies!), you’ll be happy about this. Valve finally made their next campaign available for Left 4 Dead on Xbox Live, with the PC version following for free. The campaign only sports two chapters, the second chapter includes a finale, as the Left 4 Dead team opted to create a much tighter Versus experience, and one that can be played in about 30 mins. I gave the campaign a test drive this afternoon, and so far, I’m a bit mixed.

On one hand, OMG! A new campaign in Left 4 Dead! Crash Course helps bridge the gap between No Mercy’s helicopter launch ending, and Death Toll’s opening on foot to Riverside church. Lots of cars and trucks block your way to salvation, there’s a nice defend and stand moment in the first chapter, and a grueling finale in the second that has you starting (and restarting!) a generator to beat the level. I’ve yet to try Versus, but already I can see a ton of places to wipe the Survivors out. It’s fun, a little glitchy in parts but entertaining nonetheless.

And then on the other hand, I’m a little disappointed. It costs $7 on the Xbox 360 and is two chapters. Valve has supposedly all along intended to support Left 4 Dead 1, and Crash Course was part of that plan, yet their first original content release after the Survival Pack is 2 chapters? People who don’t work for Valve have been using their tools to create campaigns for months now and they’ve been able to design original and unique 5-chapter campaigns. According to the Left 4 Dead team, the idea behind the short campaign is to facilitate faster Versus sessions. Part of my brain cries bogus, but whatcha gonna do? I’m happy to have new DLC on the Xbox 360, even though there are mounds of it free for the PC (part of the reason Crash Course is free for PC is that there’s no way Valve could justify charging for it compared to what’s already available).

I just hope Left 4 Dead 2 is better supported…unless there’s a Left 4 Dead 3 next November.