Amazing environment and exploration, however horrible optimization and poor balance
First, if each chapter is going to be long, then this should be 3 different campaigns (1-5 6-10 11-15/16), now everyone has this chunk of time to commit so we just were able to do first 5, and rest I am getting from another reviewer that I trust
Second, try to optimize your maps better, instead of load all at once, load it in segments so it does not drop fps so often
Third, learn how to properly code in rolling hordes, you do not jus spam call horde functions, thus increasing the common count to a TREMENOUS amount, look at how parish or dead air does it and mimic that way so it is more balanced.
For the finale , holdout is fine but you need to learn to pause the rescue script so survivors can kill the boss and once that is dead then resume rescue script, infinite tank and horde at the end of a long hour campaign is poor design, though not properly doing rolling hordes is poor design in itself.
The bosses itself were interesting, some just needed some balance instead of jus all out
If this campaign does get fixed optimization and balanced way then I will try this again and revisit this.
Long campaign with many features in one, but don't play it with bots
Well, this is a very long campaign. I took more than 4 hours to finish this campaign with bots in normal difficulty (it would have taken longer if I had played in Expert, especially in map 8 & 15). As the title said, it's not recommended to play this with bots, as bots can't survive at most areas especially during boss fights. Supplies are more than enough. For bot navigation, well, at least they can follow players at normal areas. They will fall from long ladders quite often & can't avoid trap areas (that's why I said that it's not to play with bots).
In overview, this campaign consists of several elements: missions of finding items/ switches, battles during riding transportation units (from truck, train, airplane, to helicopter), platforming, traps with hints, & custom boss battles. If you've ever played "Counter Strike Online" in "Zombie Scenario" or "Human Scenario", probably you'll feel familiar with fighting custom bosses & doing some missions as those are also available in scenarios I mentioned. As for the traps, though the traps are not as cruel & as unforgiving as those in "hehe" series, bots can't survive most traps so you'll be left alone most of the time when playing with bots. The difficulty on boss fights will be greatly increased too if you play with bots, as you'll be the only one shooting the bosses while bots just stand still as they can't detect custom bosses. So, play with at least with one or more players.
As for the specific reviews on each map, map 1 is the easiest among the rest of the maps, as survivors only need to look for paths leading to the trainyard area. The map is explorable, so players can try to explore for supplies or simply just proceed to the trainyard. The only problem here is the lag spike. Compared to the rest of the maps, map 1 cause quite much fps drops, probably it's because of lots of trees & plants & also many objects like corpses.
Starting from map 2, players can't depend on bots. Map 2 goes from normal exploration inside the train to the first introduction to custom boss fight. There are 2 bosses, humvee & helicopter. Snipers might be the most recommended weapon for the high damage & accuracy if the bosses are out of minigun range.
Map 3 is actually playable with bots as it's mostly about exploration in forest area, at least until reaching near saferoom. This map is also fully explorable, like, players can choose to follow the trails or just go through forest. In my play, I went through forest as I had a habit to explore a map by sticking to the walls/ invisible walls. I also got the clue about the scavenge event because I explored through forest. There's a patrolling boss here, a humvee. I had no idea of what triggers the boss because it just appeared when I explored certain houses. For the scavenge event at the end of map, it's kind of a bit unfair to those who play with bots as the gascans are scattered very far, & there are some explosive barrels near the generator, so if bots shoot the barrels by accident (most likely they'll shoot as bots love shooting barrels for fun) & there are gascans nearby, players have no choice but to collect again. & bots are also bugged near the generator, because they will try to go to the saferoom though it's still blocked (so they will take hits from zombie & waste their health). So, when scavenge event starts, don't expect much on bots to cover you during filling up the generator.
Map 4 takes place in tunnel & some factories. Map 4 has the introduction of platforming & traps. In the platforming mission, players need to jump on platforms that move to certain direction as soon as they land on it. It's simply just jumping on platforms, but if players fall, they have to start from the first platform again. As for the traps, the introduction of the traps starts from the movable box puzzle & trap. The boxes can move to certain direction when players pressing E & after few second, the boxes return to the default position. There are many boxes with different moving directions, & they also work as traps because if players don't move immediately, they'll get pressed & take damage (not instant incapacitation or instant death though) depending on how long they are pressed. In my play, I got frustrated after trying to think & memorize each of the box movements, so I kept pressing E on any boxes & see while running & luckily I passed. After this puzzle, there are red rolling door traps. These rolling doors keep opening & closing in certain interval, & unlike the previous trap, it causes instant death when pressed. Some bots will die here. These traps will stop automatically after players enter the rooms inside the red rolling doors. The next one is a spinner puzzle. It's not a trap, as the spinner machines only spin either survivors or zombies to the direction they're spinning. They don't cause damage, but players will suffer some misdirection/ confusion of where to go after getting spun. In my play, I gave up as my head also spun & I lost direction, so I just did some "air dash" jump from my mod to pass it. It would be more fun if played with other players, as there would be lots of laughters at this area, seeing how other players & zombies spinning so fast. The last thing awaiting near the end of map is a laser trap. There are several lasers blocking the way, & at certain intervals some lasers will shut down for few seconds. The lasers cause damage but not big enough as long as survivors don't stay at where lasers are shot. Even bots can survive by running blindly, though they'll take damage more than a half of the full health. In my play, I also got frustrated here so I used a special command to warp myself to the location in crosshair & skip this trap. Well, I'm not a fan of traps that are too difficult to avoid damage & not good at avoiding traps, so, that's why.
Map 5 starts from military base with endless horde, at least until the door opens & there's a green glow from afar for the next mission. After leaving the military base, there's underground area. The underground area has explorable rooms so it's considered as a maze. There's a mission to send a rescue signal. Somehow, there's endless horde too at the underground.
Map 6 is a long holdout event in the helicopter. There are many supplies in the helicopter. I don't know whether the helicopter has health or not, as in my play I simply just defended until another helicopter arrived. Bot has navigation problem when the other helicopter arrives with armored vehicle carried below it.Survivors have to jump to that vehicle, but bots are too lazy to jump unless they get warped via commands. & even if they jump, they'll die sooner or later by falling from the armored car.
Map 7 is quite long, starting from the shore where the helicopter lands. This map is not friendly to bots, as survivors have to climb up the cliff & bots often fall from the long ladder during climbing, & not to mention that there's a tank waiting on the top. There's a mission to find 3 switches on the top of the cliff, & it shouldn't be difficult. There's also toxic water trap that causes continuous damage when stepped on. The damage isn't as big as spitter's acid, but bots really can't detect where the wooden planks to walk safely so they take damage for no reason & even some get incapacitated. There's a chopper boss trying to attack survivors several times. There's also a sentry robot carrying m60 as an ally that floats & follows certain survivor, though I'm not sure if it's useful as I didn't see it helping shoot zombies when it followed one of the bots during my play. I think the custom weapon "Handmade Sentry Turret" from a mod is much better as an ally in sweeping zombies.
Map 8 is the second rank of the maps I hate the most here in this campaign. Why? Because I hate excessive traps. Actually there are hints provided in this map about where the safe locations during walking to the corridors or traps, but I still lose my mood fast enough when there are too many traps (well it's just my personal opinion, as other people might see these traps as fun challenges). Various kinds traps are available here, from different kinds of block press traps, floating block traps, laser traps, electricity traps, toxic water traps, to pressing machine traps. In my play, I gave up at the pressing machine traps so I just warped in crosshair & skipped it to proceed to the toxic water traps. I also used warp command many times to keep bots alive while at the same time ordering them to stop moving with my mod so they wouldn't follow me when I was trying to avoid traps.
Map 9 is playable with bots as it's only a maze tunnel. The tunnel has many explorable rooms & routes, but there's a hint about how to find the right path. In my play, as I wasn't good at solving a maze either, I just kept walking to the left & exploring slowly until a notification popped up.
Map 10 is also playable with bots, though some bots will fall from long ladders here. This map is mostly about exploration through maze vents. There's a holdout event in the maze toilet. There are fragile floor traps here, but they're easy to pass as players can break them by shooting or swinging melee to see which floors are safe & which are breakable.
Map 11 is also playable with bots, & it takes place inside an airplane. It goes from normal to several boss fights against chopper boss. The route is slightly confusing, as new players won't find out that they have to go out of the plane from the window in order to reach the pilot. The boss fights here might be a little difficult as players have to shoot from windows or go out to the wings to shoot. In my play, I was too tired to go out & fight the chopper boss, so I used my mod "Celestial Melee Weapon" & use "explosion type" melee to deal damage to the boss from inside the plane.
Map 12 is playable with bots, but it's a really long map at a plane runway. It's long because it's a maze of fences & blockades, like, survivors need to go around the blockades & fences to proceed. There are also some missions, but they're simple missions to open some gates.
Map 13 & 14 are maps specialized in boss fights. From map 13, survivors have to destroy some vehicle & chopper bosses. Some vehicles can't be destroyed but they transport zombies instead. There are 6 waves of boss fights, which make map 3 long enough to clear. In my play, I was so tired in shooting alone (as I ordered bots to stay in the vehicle as they're useless & just burdens except for clearing zombies) so I activated a special bullet specialized in killing custom bosses by dealing damage equal to certain percentage of the remaining health no matter how much the health was, so any bosses died in like 3-5 shots. Normally it should be a long & challenging long fight if more than one player helps shoot the bosses, but if played with bots, it becomes a tiring long fight.
Map 14 also a boss-specialized map, & in this map there appear gigantized zombies as special bosses with health bar HUD, & also some robots. Some normal bosses like vehicles & choppers still appear several times until the special bosses appear. Again, in my play, I used the special bullet, & one shot took like 25-30% of the health bar (normally it should take longer). I didn't check boss' abilities as most bosses died in 3-8 shots, but the robots had laser attacks & severals parts to destroy before it's completely destroyed. For this matter, I used "explosion-type" melee of "Celestial Melee Weapons" to deal area damage to several parts at once.
& map 15 is the 1st rank among the maps of this campaign that I hate the most. Why? Because it's a map with a "Donkey Kong Tank" game. If you've ever played some old games about "Donkey Kong", you'll be familiar with a gorilla throwing some barrels & then Mario (or Wario?) has to jump to avoid the barrels. It's the same here. Survivors have to avoid the barrels that the tank rolls from the top of the building. What I hate is because the barrels are unbreakable & cause from instant incapacitation to instant death. Normally it's still beatable with bots if the barrels either deal continuous damage (not instant incapacitation) if survivors don't jump, or the barrels are breakable by shooting. However, because they're unbreakable, bots will die first, leaving you alone jumping over the barrels & it's a game over when hit as nobody but you is alive. Not only barrels, the zombies also keep coming, making the jumping attempts feel harder due to the distraction of the focus. In my play, my frustration reached maximu & finally broke my patience after dying more than 5 times, so, I used "Air Dash" on my mod to jump in the air until I reached the top (actually noclip would also do, but I'd rather use "Air Dash" as it's more fun to still have gravity afftecting the jumps) & left the kingkong tank speechless. Well, in my opinion, of all maps in this campaign, this map is the only one that can't be beatable by normal means unless the survivors consist of expert players that are good at jumping over obstacles/ traps & I'm sure that some of them still get incapacitated or killed by the barrels even with their expert jumping skills. Well, I just hope that this map would be slightly "nerfed" someday, by reducing the barrel damage or making them have health & breakable after several shots, so that normal players can also beat this map.
Then, map 16, the finale, is a holdout finale in a small island. The finale has 2 phases, holdout finale & boss fight finale. Boss fight happens after holdout event ends & rescue music is played. In my play, that's what happened. Even after 2nd tank wave ended & rescue music was played, I still had to defend for more than 5 minutes until the final boss showed up from the depth of the sea. It's a robot with several parts to destroy. The difficulty was greatly increased because horde & tank also kept coming during that boss fight (because rescue music was played). As I was already tired after playing a long campaign in one go, I used a feature of my mod "Awp Readjustment" & set awp damage to instantly kill a tank with one shot from awp no matter how much health he had (100% health-based damage) while using "explosion-type" melee of "Celestial Melee Weapons" mod to deal area damage to several parts of the boss' huge body at once. After defeating the robot, survivors celebrated the victory by relaxing & Rochelle doing headbanging near the music box, but there's no credit screen showing stats (I wonder if this is a bug or it's intentional).
Well, in short, play this campaign with other players for the best experiences & results. Playing with bots will make you get frustrated really fast just like what I did, as bots will die very early & leave you alone in most maps. Probably it would be nice if there's a "safe"/ "nerfed" version that reduces damage on most traps especially the barrels on "Donkey Kong Tank" game. Or a version with puzzles instead of traps like "Residen Evil" series. Though solving puzzles/ mysteries also takes time to think, there's no time limit or danger when failed to solve puzzles.
(Just reposting this from the unofficial ver)
Wow, this is a long campaign, might be one of the longest I've ever played, apart from the Half Life 2 campaign. There's a lot to talk about, this is gonna be a long one. Chapter 1 settles us in quite nicely, and kind of gives you a feel of what you're getting yourself into, all the maps will follow this pattern of not having much direction on where to go, so you will be spending a lot of time exploring the open ended chapters. The mapping right off the bat is quite janky and doesn't really follow the usual.. "logic" shall we say of a typical L4D2 map, not everything in these maps is collided the way you'd think they are; the objects I am talking about, you can walk right through a lot of objects in this campaign, thankfully in some cases it will prevent the survivors from getting stuck which is nice, but it leads to a rather.. odd or immersion breaking experience, if you care about that that is...
Just going to get this out of the way right now; do NOT play this campaign with bots, a very unfriendly bot campaign with some chapters becoming very challenging due to bad navmesh at times (complex level geometry) and others being flat out unbeatable due to damage-sponge bosses, which I'll get to later.
Anyways, chapter 1 is a fine chapter and one of the nicer ones I have to say. Chapter 2 is where I was really impressed, and honestly, definitely my favourite chapter without contest. (Can I just say I love the comic-style transition cinematic you got goin' on between levels, really awesome.) Chapter 2 has you fighting your way through a moving train, and where it introduces the very... unique concept of the infected being able to use vehicles... Yeah, pretty crazy alright.
Chapter 3 is definitely a you like it or hate it chapter, a super open ended dark forest. In which; you'll have to complete certain objectives which aren't that difficult at all, just takes a very long time to traverse the map and you have no clue where you're going most of the time due to being at night.
Chapter 4 is an underground.. base or facility. This is the chapter where you can say goodbye to useful bots, as they will probably commit suicide off the ladder at the beginning or later on.. Still a pretty tame and enjoyable chapter though, pretty crazy level this one, I quite like the mysterious feel to it.
Chapter 5 is a huuge facility map, a whole underground bunker that spans a long distance and everything. i died so many times on this chapter but I have to say I had a lot of fun on this chapter, you get a pretty cool adrenaline rush hauling ass throughout the facility. The director can screw you over real bad on this chapter so get ready to start malding as the director throws a special at the worst possible time..
Chapter 6 is a really straightforward defend chapter, you're just holding out against the infected for a while on a chopper, a really cool cinematic feel to this chapter as you're circling an island.
I finally had to take a break on chapter 7 as at this point my playtime was well over 2 hours.
Chapter 7 is a brutal chapter with bots, but absolutely possible, very wonky geometry and navmesh on this chapter in particular (you can definitely get stuck in some places). You can cheese a tank spawn or two if you just retreat to a point to where they cannot follow you anymore.
Chapter 8 is where the BS factor definitely steps up a notch... A brutal obstacle course with a huge emphasis on trail-and-error based gameplay. I wouldn't be surprised if many people get impatient with this one, I wasn't bothered to beat it legit after a few attempts so I just god-moded my way through.
Chapter 9 is a labyrinth. Pro-tip for those who don't know: just follow where the director spawns the special infected (excluding smokers) and it'll put you on the correct path.
Chapter 10 follows the same labyrinthian style, although not as much. A large underground facility that you must escape from.
Chapter 11 is absolutely crazy, you must navigate through a flying place and attempt to escape. This chapter is impossible with bots and one of the more frustrating ones. For the final shootout with the enemy chopper, I would've added a lot more supplies or a healing station of some kind, it's quite difficult to dodge their attacks, and just ended up being un-fun.
Chapter 12 is yet another maze like map, this time outside though, you're just looking for a vehicle to escape with.
Chapter 13 is a really cool shootout chapter, again impossible with bots, where you must defend your truck from enemy vehicles. If you're familiar with Glubtastic 3, this and the next chapter follow the same formula to that campaigns train chapter.
Chapter 14... the finale. My least favourite. The epitome of filler/padded content right here, you take on the same custom enemies over and over again, which are absolute damage sponges by the way, an absolutely brutal chapter that I would be impressed to see a group take on honestly. I must've been playing for around 30 minutes (not counting the other fail attempts), and I was still going! I decided to call it quits early as I was just extremely bored.
So, after just over 2 hours yet again, I "finished" the campaign, totalling almost 5 hours of gameplay I'm pretty sure it was. What a mess this campaign was, I have to say, the first 2 hours were quite a blast and a lot of fun, following chapter 7 however, the BS factor was increased to such a degree that I stopped having as much fun as I did in my first play session. I feel like L4D2 absolutely was not made for having boss fights, and this campaign might be the epitome of my opinion regarding that.
I'm not going to call this campaign bad, because it certainly is not, a lot of love and time and effort was clearly put in here, I guess it just isn't for me, and certainly not for everyone, but I am curious as to what others think.
If you feel up to the challenge... get a group of 4 and take on this 5 hour beast of a campaign, and see how you fare...