Left 4 Dead 2 DLC 'The Passing' Announced

By Chris Faylor, Dec 14, 2009 11:35am PST

The first downloadable add-on for zombie shooter Left 4 Dead 2 is slated to hit PC and Xbox 360 in the "early spring," developer Valve announced today.

A crossover of undead proportions, "The Passing" sees the original Left 4 Dead survivors meet up with those of Left 4 Dead 2, with players taking control of the L4D2 crew.

The download will include a new campaign, set in a rural Georgia town after the events of L4D2's Dead Center campaign, along with a new firearm, a new melee weapon, a new type of "uncommon common" foe, and new arenas for Survival, Versus and Scavenge plus "a new co-operative challenge mode of play."

Valve noted that "pricing will be announced closer to launch." The company is known for its extensive free post-release support on PC--see Team Fortress 2--but has lamented that Microsoft forces it to charge for some Xbox 360 add-ons.

"The Passing will become the most important campaign in the Left 4 Dead story, as all the Survivors are being called together in one campaign," said Valve marketing VP Doug Lombardi. "It will also be a huge offering of new gameplay content, with something new for every game mode plus a new uncommon common and weaponry."

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  • The debate over whether they'll wind up charging for DLC on PC raises an interesting question, though: how could Valve keep for-purchase content out of custom campaigns running on third-party dedicated servers?

    Like the baseball bat that was only available to those who pre-ordered. As far as I'm aware, there's absolutely nothing to stop a custom campaign author from just dropping it into their map and having it available for all who play that particular campaign. Or am I wrong about that?

    It seems to me that trying to stop that sort of thing would cost Valve a lot more as far as resources and man hours and public relations than they could possibly gain from restricting content in this manner. That's why I'd say it's unlikely that they will be charigng for this DLC.

  • I doubt Valve will charge (on PC, at least) for a single campaign with a single melee and ranged weapon. If they were revealing two or more campaigns, I could certainly see them charging. Also, I see this partly as an attempt to at least partly mollify the concerns of die-hard L4D1 fans who have been demanding more of the original cast. Charging for it would nullify any goodwill they may engender by bringing the characters back in the first place.

    But still, even though I hate to admit it on the chance that it might encourage them to charge, I'd almost certainly pay for it if they did.

    The question that interests me the most is what this move may mean for custom campaigns. If they allow modders the ability to bring in the old characters and the new ones on the same maps, that opens up all sorts of creative doors, and is potentially very exciting. I guess we'll see and we'll have more information when the SDK is released.

    Which reminds me: the fact that they haven't mentioned the SDK in this press release is kinda worrying. Where the hell is it already?