Crash Course is good. Very good. I'd go so far as to say that, with the exception of certain moments in the other campaigns, it is the best versus campaign I've played so far. It combines the best elements of versus and compresses them. This does a number of things. For one, it obviously means the maps are more concise. You can play a round of versus and not feel obligated to play and play until your infant children have starved or your family members physically pull you away in a fiery commotion of tears and psychiatry or maybe that's just me.
The less obvious side effect is that it allows overlap between the memorable moments of L4D, which is definitely a positive. A witch attack will be lined up side by side with a car alarm, which is right next to an errant gas can that a smoker is going to pull you though. Instead of each moment being a separate event, everything is going on at once. The peaks and valleys are still there, but they are swifter; amplified by the campaign's length.
Things I liked about Crash Course.
- The level design. There are plenty of cars, alarms, high roofs, tight corners and precarious ledges that make the jobs of each special infected more accessible and increase the risk to the survivors. At the same time, there are now more routes to take, with subtle sandbox elements that prevent overt camping and stacking.
- The atmosphere. This campaign feels to me like a better representation of the Zombie Apocalypse (capitalised) than the other levels. Crash Course is brimming with history and implied story.
- The humour. The dialogue has been expanded upon for Crash Course with additional writing on the walls and survivor remarks, which are fucking awesome
. I won't spoil this for you, but you'll appreciate the detail.
- It's free. This isn't something I'd explicitly pay for. It's good, but it is
only two chapters. It's appreciated content and the reason why Valve is the only company who ever gets my money on day one.
Things I didn't like so much about Crash Course.
- The art style. The levels are still very blue, and sometimes they are orange. I'm kinda sick of that colour scheme. I liked the green and brown pallet of Blood Harvest and the rich oranges of Dead Air. When I saw the live stream, I thought I was watching No Mercy.
-The humour. Yes I know I said I liked it. But there are a few jokes that jar with me. The "I love Helicopters!" exchange is the perfect example of how not to roll with a meme.
- The length. I really wanted three chapters. I was holding out for an announcement that there would be a third, but unfortunately that didn't happen. There is plenty of content to warrant replay, but hopping back and forth between the two chapters will get old.
- The connection problems. I didn't much like spending an hour downloading from the Tiwan, Polish, Irish and Singapore servers because all the UK bandwidth was being used. To eventually get into the game and realise that there were no servers available except local hosts was little comfort. Every game I have played, I haven't gotten under a ping of 150.
In conclusion, Crash Course has some issues, but trumps them by being awesome, and who gives a shit anyway you malicious bastard. It's free and brilliant so shut your whore mouth. Unless you have a 360, in which case, don't buy it, unless you really don't have anything else you want to spend the moon money on.