Valve set out with a very simple goal in mind when creating the new Crash Course download content pack for Left 4 Dead: to create a simple, short, all inclusive campaign that all types of gamers can enjoy.
If you’re a PC gamer, you can snatch this content up absolutely free of charge. For all of those poor souls whose Left 4 Dead console of choice is the 360, be prepared to fork over 560 ($7.00). So is Crash Course worth your hard earned cash? To be blunt, it depends.
The new campaign starts out in a fairly comical way, with Zoey shooting the helicopter-pilot-turned-zombie, causing the gang to subsequently crash land into an infested area: cue suspense! After that bit, the progression is fairly standard as you make your way through the streets of Crash Course’s city-like layout.
The actual map layouts are basically a combination of the best parts of “No Mercy” and “Blood Harvest”, including a healthy doses of open combat and maze-like corridors. While the actual difficulty of the maps are a bit above average, Valve has really stepped up the amount of pickups found during the course of the campaign.
While playing a standard campaign level, you’d probably only see a few weapon stops tucked away in a corner somewhere: you might even miss them. But in Crash Course, they’re all over the place, and sometimes right out in the open. In fact, you’ll find a second pistol upgrade, and various grenade pickups almost immediately, which is usually uncharacteristic of the game.
Other than a small area that requires you to shoot an artillery gun to access a bridge, Crash Course’s first stage is pretty standard fare, but the second level happens to be extremely challenging. In order to escape, you have to power up a generator in the middle of a zombie rushdown, making teamwork essential. In fact, I’d go so far as to say this finale is tied with “Blood Harvest” as my personal favorite.
While the two included levels are decent, they only took me thirty minutes to complete. Now, while Valve has already stated it would be this short, its a bit different to actually drop $7 and nearly be finished with it faster than it downloaded.
Thankfully, where Left 4 Dead shines is its replayability thanks to versus mode, and I have confidence that fans will enjoy the various hiding spots to utilize as infected. There are a whole host of nooks and elevated spots that would be excellent for a Smoker in wait, which makes for a ton of fun. As the survivors, you’ll also find there’s more spaces for you to climb up and defend yourself against the infected horde: an addition which is greatly appreciated.
All in all, Crash Course is about what you’d expect. It doesn’t do anything absolutely spectacular, and is more of a summation of various parts of Left 4 Dead’s other campaigns. If you’re a hardcore Left 4 Dead fanatic, you’ll want to grab this pack with no questions asked, but casual fans may be put off at the lack of value for a $7 purchase.
Gamer Limit gives Crash Course a 7/10.