||Here we are roughly one year after the release of Left 4 Dead, and its sequel is already out. For Valve, Left 4 Dead 2 represents an unusually speedy turnaround time considering the delays and release date fuzziness generally associated with its games, notably in the years leading up to Team Fortress 2 and the still mysterious status of Half-Life 2: Episode 3. Despite that history and the potential concerns associated with how soon this game is showing up after the first, Left 4 Dead 2 is very much a complete game, much more so than the original, and is without a doubt the better product. If you're still in the mood to group up with friends and slay packs of ravenous undead, then it doesn't get any better than this. However, if you're tired of Left 4 Dead's gameplay formula, the sequel, as good as it is, may not be enough to warrant a purchase. It's a game that's more about refinement and augmentation of existing features instead of offering something dramatically new...Whether or not Left 4 Dead 2 is for you really depends on your level of exposure and affinity for the style of hardcore team-focused gameplay Valve is offering here. If you're still interested in the gameplay, then you're going to enjoy every aspect of the sequel since it's improved in all areas, from available game modes to strength of character and personality to replayability and its visual style. After playing, you'll find it impossible to go back to the first game. Though plenty of other games offer co-operative gameplay against mobs of computer-controlled foes, no other game emphasizes teamwork as strongly as this, and few other games are as satisfying when you're able to pull through successfully, particularly when competing in Versus mode against four human-controlled boss zombies. If you saw the original and were always curious to try it out, then by all means get the sequel. It is, without a doubt, the better game. Yet despite all the advancements and additions, it's still very familiar, and something meant to appeal to those who are already sold on the concept. If you're someone never cared for the game, Left 4 Dead 2 isn't going to change your mind. Even so, 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.