Generally favorable reviews - based on 55 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 55 out of 55
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 55
  3. Negative: 0 out of 55
  1. 100
    L4D2 delivers multiple improvements over its predecessor, and I get to keep all my fingers and toes.
  2. Left 4 Dead 2 is better than its predecessor in nearly every possible way. It’s more demanding, more varied, and more entertaining.
  3. When the storms kick up on Hard Rain making it really easy to startle a wandering Witch, escaping the mall in Dead Center, running around a rollercoaster track in Dark Carnival, running a gauntlet of abandoned vehicles across the bridge in The Parish, reviving a dead Survivor in Swamp Fever as a Tank could be heard somewhere behind me and managing to down the Tank with the guy I just saved. Even just writing about it makes me want to jump in and play some more.
  4. 100
    Left 4 Dead 2 is the Empire Strikes Back of zombie games. The momentum has clearly swung in favor of the bad guys. But also much like Empire, this is clearly the best of the bunch and is a required purchase for fans of the genre.
  5. Left 4 Dead 2 is swollen with action that will leave your controller sweaty and worn, and emerges as one of the most powerful online co-op experiences I have ever had.
  6. The master of it all that changes things for the game as it progresses is the AI Director 2.0. It's what makes Left 4 Dead 2 have such dynamic reactions to what the player is or isn't doing. The AI Director changes weather effects, world objects, lighting effects , and even pathways!
  7. 94
    It's better than the first game, then. The biggest achievement, however, is that Valve - who are known to take their time - have managed to put such an enormous wealth of content out in a single year. Left 4 Dead 2 doesn't just add a few new levels and features, it fiddles and increments a formula that few thought needed changing in the first place. The team have managed to infuse their sequel with the exact same kind of nuanced creative energies that usually takes them years, and in doing so they've made last year's accomplished Left 4 Dead look like a simple mod in comparison.
  8. PC Zone UK
    A triumph. [Jan 2010, p.58]
  9. PC Format
    Gory, thrilling and this year's essential play. [Christmas 2009, p.84]
  10. Those of you who had doubts about this being just another glorified expansion need to stop yelling at Valve and give Left 4 Dead 2 a try, as it is incomparably better than the first game by a large margin.
  11. L4D2 may be more of the same, but in a thoroughly pleasing sense.
  12. With five campaigns, more enemies, better weapons, and plenty of challenges, you will probably still be playing this game well into 2010. There are a few issues, but these are easy to overlook when the gameplay is so fun and satisfying. Once again, Valve has made the zombie apocalypse one of the best experiences of the year.
  13. Left 4 Dead 2 is better and bigger than Left 4 Dead. It’s a sequel that builds on its incredibly stern and ludicrously fun foundations, expanding in all the right places and scrubbing out all the little problems that existed in the original.
  14. Gorier, chainsawier, co-opier, and more infectious. A refreshed stack of content for the best zombie game ever.
  15. With more modes, weapons, health items, special infected - you name it! - L4D2 feels like a massive upgrade from the original L4D.
  16. For Left 4 Dead fans, there's more zombie killing fun in this one and it does feel different from the first game. The many additions really help expand the game and almost makes the first game seem like a beta.
  17. Pelit (Finland)
    Don't like forced humor and bright colors, but do like everything else. Especially Spitter. [Dec 2009]
  18. 90
    It remains one of the most distinctive co-operative titles out there, and allows for some of the most nerve-searing team-based multiplayer gaming on the market.
  19. Whereas once we treated Left 4 Dead as a stopgap between Half-Lifes, this is no longer a weird little side project with modest expectations, and Valve is confident enough to play around with it, safe in the knowledge that you can trust your players. Left 4 Dead proved it. And whereas that game had a personality, this one is overflowing with it.
  20. If L4D2 is sometimes over-complicated by its glut of small innovations, then it also substantially rewards the player with its few large ideas: confusion gives way to depth and dynamism, grander thrills and starker dramas. We’re still interested in the fate of the original game’s heroes, but this sequel affirms that the way ahead is due south.
  21. The co-op works better than ever, the atmosphere is dense and the scale is more massive than expected.
  22. Although the game's a brain splattering good time, we still don't understand why Valve refuses to allow users to aim down the sights of a weapon, instead of always shooting from the hip. It gets the job done most of the time, but we feel everyone's accuracy would improve if they could line up their shots.
  23. More maps, more enemies, more weapons, more glorious spectacle than the original, and that’s just the co-op. Fresh versus modes and intense violence make this the apocalypse to beat.
  24. With exciting new content across the board and plenty of it, Left 4 Dead 2 outdoes its predecessor and makes the zombie apocalypse an absolute blast.
  25. A top-quality shooter with oodles of style.
  26. Left 4 Dead 2 is a perfect example of what happens when a competent developer takes an existing game and adds just enough to make it better, without subtracting from its initial appeal.
  27. 90
    Left 4 Dead 2 takes the best from the first game and improves it. Despite the few technical advances, Valve has make the most of its time these months and has improved, when possible, every aspect of the original game.
  28. Left 4 Dead 2 is better than the original in virtually every way and every bit as replayable. I would say there is enough new stuff to justify it being released as a sequel, but on the other hand I agree with many that say this is what L4D should’ve been.
  29. It is just more of the same, but however minor the improvement this is still co-op gaming at its best.
  30. If the player were disappointed by this scenario in the original, he'll probably be disappointed now too. However, with a wealth of new content and lots of other welcome additions and tweaks, Left 4 Dead 2 continues to focus on what it does best, and it's damn good at it.
  31. 90
    Left 4 Dead 2 is – despite the same formula – a big step forward. People who have played the first game, will feel a little cheated, as there aren’t many changes. Following the umpteenth adrenaline rush with your friends however, you will have forgotten all about that. The many extra’s in this second installment justify it being a stand-alone version. Hours of gameplay await that you cannot find in every co-op shooter. Simple but deep, it’s not a given in every game.
  32. 90
    When it was first announced, I thought Left 4 Dead 2 was nothing more than a glorified expansion. After having spent hours with it -- and many more to come -- I appreciate the sequel's major and subtle differences.
  33. Left 4 Dead 2 is simply a must-have for all survival horror enthusiasts. The new game modes and the usual mix of adrenaline and co-op gameplay is the living(dead) proof that a sequel doesn’t always have to change its original nature to be enjoyable, very enjoyable!
  34. Left 4 Dead 2 manages to recapture the strong points of the first game while improving on them too. If the real zombie apocalypse is going to be as fun as this one, you have nothing to worry about.
  35. Better than the first game in every aspect, not only technically but also in its core gameplay.
  36. Valve has done it once again. Left 4 Dead 2 takes everything that was amazing about the first installment and puts it on steroids.
  37. Despite the new changes and how much they add to and improve the overall gameplay, it still feels like the same fun zombie killing game at its core.
  38. This is Valve trying to better L4D1 in every way, succeeding but never really breaking away from what did work first time, taking creative risks and really pushing the series forward. In any case play it, love it, it’s one of the best multiplayer games I’ve ever played.
  39. Total PC Gaming
    New modes and special infected have transformed the original into an especially gratifying experience. [Issue#28, p.48]
  40. Left 4 Dead 2 is a great sequel. Bigger and more variation in the gameplay – it is how it should be.
  41. Left 4 Dead 2, like the first one, is a fun and replayable co-op experience that can be tons of fun with a group of friends. Unfortunately somewhere during the drive to add more and more weapons, enemies, maps and game modes, that magic Valve iterate-polish-polish cycle got cut short and the end result, while still good, is not quite as magical as the first one.
  42. On the one hand, this could have been a less expensive DLC for Left 4 Dead, just like it was done for Team Fortress 2. On the other hand, we don’t really care, once we’ve chocked someone to death as a Smoker or hit someone with our fist as a Charger. That’s only possible in Left 4 Dead 2.
  43. The new weapons, Infected and graphical update is the shot in the arm players were looking for to expand the PvP experience.
  44. Five new campaigns, two multiplayer modes and many new features are big deal for everyone who loved the first Left 4 Dead. It's still the best cooperative experience you can find out there, so be a good boy and get yourself into some good ol' zombie creaming. On the other hand, whoever didn't get involved with the first one won't have any reason to get this sequel.
  45. 85
    The PC version mirrors all of the good stuff and can be confidently defined as a title that is going to be hours of fun to PC gamers the world over.
  46. Looking back at Left 4 Dead 2’s offerings, it’s hard to call it “just a $50 expansion pack.” All worries and boycotts were in vain; you can’t go back to the original Left 4 Dead after playing this one.
  47. It may have been a close call, but to us L4D2 really did manage to become more, then just a "full-price-addon". It's a definite must-have for fans and the best co-op experience money can buy.
  48. What makes L4D2 a great game is what made the original so popular: exhilarating co-operative action with three buddies… and zombies.
  49. Anyone telling you that this game isn't different or changed from the first game is flat out lying to you. L4D2 isn't going to change your mind if you thought it was just okay or didn't care for it. On the other hand if you and a handful of friends enjoyed joining up to defeat the land of the dead and surviving the thought of being a smorgasbord for the flesh eaters, then you will have nothing short of a blast with L4D2.
  50. Left 4 Dead 2 is again one of the most intense, visceral and violent co-op shooters of this holiday season, but to be honest we were expecting some more additions. The game improves in every area its former game, but this is not enough to justify just 12 months of gap between the first and second iterations.
  51. There is simply far more content by volume in this package than in the original. The core of Left 4 Dead may have lost some of its newness in the last 12 months, but the wealth of additions in this sequel ought to keep you blasting zombies and munching on brains for a good long while.
  52. LEVEL (Czech Republic)
    L4D2 is a splendid cooperative mayhem with an excellent performance ratio. We only expected it to be more innovative compared to the previous chapter. [Issue#186]
  53. PC PowerPlay
    Dripping with style and generously packed with content, Left 4 Dead 2 refines every aspect of its predecessor. [Jan 2010, p.82]
  54. It is a much more refined game than Left 4 Dead and an improvement in every way.
  55. Left 4 Dead 2 may have lost some of that new zombie smell, but its cooperative play is still among the best.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 3383 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Aug 24, 2010
    All I can say, is that this game is a **** awesome sequel to Left 4 Dead, ticked all my boxes, nothing negative comes to mind. Awesome! TheAll I can say, is that this game is a **** awesome sequel to Left 4 Dead, ticked all my boxes, nothing negative comes to mind. Awesome! The gameplay is awesome in multiplayer, had tones of fun, the new infected are fun to kill and are fun to play as! Very very verry good game :D Full Review »
  2. DickS
    Dec 18, 2009
    This expansion is horribly overpriced and obviously rushed. I got sick of seeing the same zombie model over and over again, I barely noticed This expansion is horribly overpriced and obviously rushed. I got sick of seeing the same zombie model over and over again, I barely noticed the uncommon common, the level design is atrocious, and the AI is pants on head retarded. I had my full team of AI players stand next to me and watch a hunter rip me from 80 health to dead. You can no longer enjoy the environments on anything above easy because the game spawns the mini hordes like the Director is having a seizure on his spawn button. While small, the posters don't show your player names on them like the old one. All of the new items are stuff that you can get in the first one with a simple script set. YES the first one has incindiary ammo, lazer sights, ect. The extra guns are just different designs with no difference. All melee weapons do the same thing and could have easily been a dlc into the first one. The worse part of all is that its near impossible to navigate on half the levels. I got stuck on every other friggin stage because the level design sucks. I didn't go into this game expecting to hate it, but after playing it I cant stand it. It doesnt even have the same feel as the first game. It's too goofy and not dark like the first one. Full Review »
  3. Professor
    Mar 16, 2010
    Yeah, ok, the game is not perfect and its just too reminiscent of the first game - but it's NOT bad, in fact - it's absolutely Yeah, ok, the game is not perfect and its just too reminiscent of the first game - but it's NOT bad, in fact - it's absolutely GREAT. L4D2 (as L4D did) combines simplicity, teamwork, and of course - the sheer pleasure of killing hundreds of rabid people. To answer some things people have complained about: Why isn't there a radar? Why can't they just highlight my teammates? Well, first of all - the game (as I see it) was made to be realistic. Do normal people carry a radar (or for that matter have access to one?) and also - it's not hard to discern your teammates from zombies, they do highlight them when you mouse over them as friendly AND as I have mentioned before - the game is supposed to be realistic, giving a radar or always highlighting your teammates just makes the game less ... well - real.. and would definitely dumb the game down if such was done. Then theres, "omg friendly fire is soooo bad." Well, let's be real. if you get shot in normal mode it isn't so bad - but as the difficulty is raised, it only makes sense that you and your teammates would be better players and AVOID shooting each other, with the addition that greater damage = better deterrent for shooting each other. This also promotes better teamwork which is crucial as you go up in difficulty level. If you're complaining that friendly fire sucks - get better teammates or shoot better maybe? The realism in this game may be too much for most people - the water slowing you down makes sense (have you ever trudged through water and mud before? It's not a fast paced activity) - though I completely agree to when the water is just up to the ankles, it shouldn't be a tough walk (If Valve wanted to be more realistic, they'd have people slip, but people would cry and whine about that being lame as usual). To reflect upon the weapon damage though, I totally agree that the guns do less damage than melee - and it's unrealistic that melee should be that great in comparison to a gun (not everyone has superhuman strength after all) - and I agree that that needs to be adjusted. Other negatives are that even if you do play on expert - the original game is too short and that I suppose the pvp makes up for it... though I'd rather see more story too. All in all, L4D2 is a great game - there are different difficulty settings for a reason. Need a stress reliever? Play on easy and go berserk. Want to play with others without screaming about friendly fire? Play on normal. Got a good team of friends and want a challenge? Then advanced and expert is for you. The difficulty scale actually makes sense in this game - so heed it well. If you're crying about how other people suck - well then you're probably unlucky with team match-up (i've had a couple of those before, don't feel like it's a reason to hate on the game). I mean, yes it's not that different from the first - but it's solid, it's good, it's definitely a keeper. I'm not a fanboy/girl whatever you want to call it of this game, but I feel like people aren't taking this game for what it is (like Quentin Tarentino films). It's NOT COD, it's NOT Borderlands - it's a totally different game from those - so give it a try before turning it away based on what other people have said because it's worth a shot (zing!). Full Review »