Left 4 Dead 2 Campaigns

The L4D2 community is quite a thriving one. There are a lot of custom campaigns, probably more than an any other single player game (apart from Half-Life2) in the last 15 years. The Source engine is an easier beast to map for than most games, so it means many of these campaigns are of good enough quality to play through, some better than what Valve themselves have done. But it also seems to mean that many designers haven't really pushed the boundaries. Most campaigns consist of the same sort of themes - even the best ones. So there aren't any true 10/10 campaigns for L4D2, in my opinion. Also L4D2's gameplay is very repetitive. Just about every single campaign plays the same as the last, there's not much variety. Maybe some will have more hordes or special infected, but overall, it's the same thing. So the only real way to differentiate one from the other is going by the level design. Personally, I got a bit tired of the gameplay after playing about half of these, so I won't be playing any more for quite a while. But anything above about 7.5/10 is worth playing. I decided to do this, partly because I find L4DMaps.com' ratings system to be flawed. Far too many average campaigns are rated 8, 9 and above. Also gimmicky campaigns (based on existing franchises) that are badly designed are often rated far higher than they should be.

 

Level
Author
Levels
Score
Drop Dead Gorges

It might be only three levels, but they're large, non-linear, and oozing with detail and design that is of a professional standard, better than anything in L4D1. It is a pleasure to play such a well-made campaign. My only complaint would be the lack of arrows in the first map, I got lost for a while. It's almost too non-linear. Pity he hasn't released anything else, because I imagine Cincinnati could create some really unique work.

Cincinnati
3
9.5/10
Death Aboard 2

Finally, a set of levels that surpass the design of the original game. Which actually isn't difficult, because L4D2's levels didn't blow me away at all. So many mods full of dark, bland and repetitive environments, but while Death Aboard 2 has a slow start, the last few of levels are fantastic. If I had to make a criticism, it's only that this is slightly easier than most mods.

Diputs
5
9.5/10
I Hate Mountains

There's really nothing to fault here. The level design is fantastic, with five levels of differing themes but all professional and detailed at every turn. Easily the best underground level to date. This is the kind of level design that gets people jobs. If I had to nitpick on something, it's only that the campaign is one of the easier ones out there. Although others have commented on it being hard, so perhaps the difficulty settings have just been properly done, which would make a nice change in L4D2.

IHM Team
5
9.5/10
Suicide Blitz 2

It's good when you come across a campaign of such professionalism, which comes through in the design of each level in every area. Some real visual highlights and set pieces mixed with gameplay that was nicely balanced, although there are a lot of special infected.

R.T. Frisk
5
9.5/10
Back To School

This a good 1.5 hour campaign with six quite large levels. Decent level design all throughout, with particular attention to detail and high-contrast lighting. There was a slight shortage of health early on and sometimes it wasn't completely obvious where to go, but those are minor. Overall a very good campaign.

100_o/o_f@ke, romasm
6
9/10
Day Break

Started out average with the same old themes, but Dannbo's level design skills clearly improved throughout the development to some fantastic looking last levels with a bridge and lighthouse. It's a shame the first half wasn't as interesting.

Dannbo
5
9/10
Dniepr: Life Is Not A Bed Of Roses

Visually, this is possibly best L4D2 custom campaign. I almost felt like I was play S.T.A.L.K.E.R.. The claustraphobic indoors, intense detail, gritty texturing and fantastic lighting. But the gameplay prevents this being a 10. Sometimes it was very boring walking around trying to find that tiny crevice to slip through, or the objects to collect in the complete opposite ends of the map. Then the finale. While I didn't experience any bugs, it still took me several minutes of wandering around almost on the verge of quitting before I realised you just have to keep shooting the barricades. Following that you get a several Horde waves that just goes on, and on and on. Far too long. There are also far too many specials.

Bendix8, Ankou, Khelben
4
9/10
Napalm Death

This is an interesting short 20 minute campaign. Some things are very half-assed, such as the sloppy loading screen, some thrown-together layouts, too many weapons, two doors on a single door frame to the name being full caps without even a description. But despite all that, visually, this is one of the best L4D2 campaigns out there! From jungle scenery to a destroyed village, it has a very Call of Duty feel to it.

THORFINN
4
8.5/10
Warcelona

For a small filesize, Warcelona sure packs a punch. Great design, some real epic scenes especially the final level. The only let was difficulty - the first couple of levels very easy, but then a finale gauntlet just was too difficult. Three tanks in a row in a tight area where the bots do nothing but run into the fire and fall off ledges means you pretty much have to go at it alone. I got to the end with all 3 bots dead, and 4% health - and that was on easy! So that last level brings it down half a point.

Warcelona Team
4
8.5/10
Dead Series

While off to a slow start, this has some nifty gimmicks such as craning your safe house in or blowing up a well to escape through great looking underground caverns, or blowing a tanker. Good level design. Only problem is a bit too many special infected make it a challenge.

Bloue
4
8.5/10
Yama

Great level design, from the Chinese village, mines to a hotel returned to nature. Yama could have been one of my favourites, but it's let down in places. Firstly, the layouts are far too confusing. There's non-linear, but then there's "I have no idea where the fuck I am". Special Infected often come together. And the odd bug - I had to restart one level because the bots just wouldn't get into the safe room (gondola).

the0rthopaedicsurgeon
5
8.5/10
Fall In Death

This campaign really shows some promise and it pains me not to give it a 9+, because CastorJudo is clearly a very good designer, particularly when it comes to lighting and atmosphere. Unfortunately there are too many issues. First, it's very hard to navigate with quite non-linear layouts. The Horde event halfway through was too difficult, then the finale was the nail in the coffin. Running around for ages trying to figure out the confusing route to each cog, then standing there button mashing the "place" key to try to get it to work. Then you can't actually finish the level with bots, because someone needs to stay behind to flick the switch and as soon as you get off the fucking tram the button disappears! Although the level design is vastly improved over Wan Li, the authors' attempts at creating different puzzles, fails again.

CastorJudo
4
8.5/10
One 4 Nine

Kev also created the next one down, The Bloody Moors. One 4 Nine has some nice scenes such as the very unique tomb (temple) and some appropiately dark and moody outdoor scenes. But some other areas can be a bit bland and corridorey. Also not a difficult campaign - I mostly stood there in the finale watching the bots do it for me, even after they all manage to miss the ladder and fall to their deaths at the start of the level one at a time. There are a lot of hordes though, but for some reason didn't cause much difficulty because they don't last long. Ticks for the strangest ending in a L4D2 campaign too!

Kev Edwards
5
8/10
The Bloody Moors

I'd like to have given this campaign a higher score, perhaps even 9. But it just needs some polishing. The first three levels are all very nice, although dark and sometimes confusing, it's great to stick to the Yorkshire theme. Then level four is a hideous underground cavern, almost as if it were designed by someone else. It was long, maze-like and really brings the campaign down. Then the fifth level is really what this entire campaign should have looked like - I beautiful but cold beach and harbour. Unfortunately level 4 and 5 really increase the difficulty. The bots weren't able to make it through the thick hordes of the finale, despite being quite short, leaving me to deal with more hordes and two tanks. Obviously, I wasn't going to survive that. Ditch the caverns, increase the lighting on the earlier parts, then make the finale slightly less challenging and this would be a 9. Others have commented on constant hordes, but I didn't really notice that so much.

Kev Edwards
5
8/10
Haunted Forest

Great atmosphere, but not always consistently good design as some areas are a bit plain.

Dr Boo
4
8/10
Dead Echo 2

Just a good 5-map campaign. Nothing spectacular, level design good but a bit plain sometimes. Easier than the last few campaigns I've played which is a good thing.

1SG_heartless
5
8/10
Deadbeat Escape

Not too bad, really. The first and last levels are the highlights. It's quite dark and non-linear, so can be slightly confusing where to go sometimes, but I managed okay. Not too difficult either.

Mendaxyz
4
8/10
Journey to Splash Mountain

I've been critic of theme park campaigns, but this is probably the best one to play. While far too much of it is made up of dark, plain, non-public corridors, when you are in the theme park areas it looks good. The river ride is the highlight, although it did take a while and could have been better. Improved navigation is also needed. But I have to admire the attention to detail in the little models and graphics. I'd like to see what someone can do with a fictional theme park, instead of replicating one. Make the mountain ride a mile high, huge rollercoasters, etc.

Dives & SM Sith Lord
5
8/10
Beldurra 2

Bit of a lack of health throughout, but it's not too difficult anyway. The finale is more of a scenic boatroad with an impressive giant Tank than anything too challenging. Some decent levels, but nothing too spectacular.

SaveYourNeighbors
4
7.5/10
Escape From Valencia

Four levels, three of decent quality but one that is quite bad - the mall. The problem is a bad layout and pitch black areas. The final level is also a bit average, but at least the first two outdoor levels have some interesting visuals. But overall, Marc needs to work on lighting and layouts.

Marc Machi Gil
4
7.5/10
Redemption II

I remember these levels, so I must have played the L4D1 version. I remembering not liking it, with some nasty sections to it. But the sequel was must fairer. There is some good design here, but then also some ugly sections. I couldn't finish it because at the very end one of the canisters landed on an inaccessible ledge.

Morloc
5
7.5/10
City 17

A good bit of variety in the levels, although no real set pieces. At the same time some good fun gameplay without being overwhelming. The highlight is the outdoor area that goes from sunny to a thunder storm.

Mixmedia
5
7.5/10
Tour of Terror

Nice and long but layouts can be quite confusing.

Novalin
5
7.5/10
Undead Zone Public Beta

Bonus points for doing something different, with an underground level (just about ruined by no lighting) contrasting a few very overexposed, yellowy desert levels. Layouts can be a bit confusing though.

No Pixel Left Behind
5
7/10
Highway To Hell

Just another generic L4D2 campaign full of dark streets and bland buildings. The good: just a fun campaign that's not difficulty. The bad: layouts can be quite confusing and there's really nothing here that stands out.

Unlawful_combatant
5
7/10
Dead Destination

Just a quick half hour squirt. Nothing really wrong with, though nothing spectacular either. The only issue is no health at the start of the second level, followed by two instant deathtraps, followed by two SI's at the top of a ladder and then a witch being chucked in my face behind a Spitter. Which meant I'd died 4 times in as many minutes. Restarting the level cured that issue as I avoided the traps and the placement was different.

ForthWardstudios
3
7/10
Downtown Dine

Not sure why this one is so highly rated. Four levels that are tight with a lot of debris and dark, plain, indoor levels. By the time it got to the "find 12 cans of fuel" finale and I sat there dying from a Hunter while the bots fuck around not saving me, I really didn't feel the motivation to repeat it to finish. Don't think I missed much.

GShock and Xipo
4
7/10
Damit It 2! The Directors Cut

Not a bad set of levels all based around a dam. A bit confusing sometimes what you're supposed to do and a finale that dragged on, but otherwise decent.

Tom Baldry
4
7/10
Blood Tracks

Some nice environments throughout, though it looks best in the beginning.

Christopher Collini
4
7/10
Blood Proof

A little bit shorter with just three levels, all which looked decent. The third level was a long gauntlet, which I never enjoy much but it seems the author does.

Yanzl
3
7/10
Death Strip

What is it with the obsession of naming L4D2 campaigns with death, dead or blood in the title? Anyway just another unimaginative 6 map campaign. Nothing special, just plain night time levels - same old thing I've played 100 times now.

Draxonfly
6
7/10
2019

I went into this expected an exceptionally designed Mirrors Edge, minimalist style experience. Unfortunately what you see in the screenshots are the best areas. The rest are made up of dark, bland corridors. If only the authors had put as much effort into every part of the levels, instead of just a few nice set pieces. Gameplay, there's no finale, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, but also no melee weapons.

Mckelio23/Levi E.
3
7/10
Infected City II

Starts out a bit ugly but there are some improvements throughout, I guess as the author improves. But overall, pretty average campaigns. I got lost a couple of times with poor navigation (a microscopic ladder on a pole had me stumped for ages).

Super Fly
5
6.5/10
Lost

Lost started out really well. The design was decent and I was really wondering why it's not ranked higher. The changing weather conditions was a nice feature. But then came the fourth map and a poorly done Horde event that last forever. I escaped on 11% health, the bots all in the red zone. Come the next map, you're in a completely different place with no health or ammo refills for a long time. So I trudged around the level on 1% health, managed to finally find a single health pack right before a Tank. Straight after that... another poorly done Horde run with far too many special infected. The bots were hopeless at it and eventually it was game over. I didn't bother with the third level. A campaign with great potential but poor needed beta-testing to fix the gameplay.

TRANE
6
6.5/10
Wan Li

I applaud the author for trying something different, but it didn't really work. Level 1 is an airplane where you have to find four parachutes - it's over pretty quick. Level 2 mostly takes place along the Great Wall of China, but nearly had me quitting because it was very unclear where to go. Level 3 has you collecting fireworks to melt ice, which was a great idea. But, the fireworks didn't work properly and the slippery ice was nothing but frustrating to try and walk on.

CastorJudo
3
6.5/10
Vienna Calling 2

While this is a long 6 map campaign, coming in at 1.5 hours, it suffers badly from being far too dark, and layouts that are confusing. Often I was heading in a direction that I had no idea was correct or would result in a dead end. There's also a slight lack of health throughout. Frantic, but survivable ending. It does feature some good visuals a few times, but more often they're average.

44Vmapping
6
6.5/10
Urban Flight

Not a bad campaign, just decent although with a very repetitive finale.

The Rabbit
4
6.5/10
Dead Before Dawn

Great design, but poor gameplay with too many respawning zombie sequences such as "hold this button for 2 minutes" while they spawn and hope you survive. Also a bug halfway through where I couldn't complete the level and a very messy finale. Shame as it could have been 9+.

Darth Brush
5
6.5/10
Carried Off

Average level design, then a long, ugly final gauntlet level as you ascend a building.

Yanzl
4
6.5/10
Blight Path

A few different features here such as humans that can shoot at you, though there were only a few. It's quite challenging most of the time, I was on my ass a lot, I guess because there are a lot of special infected. Overall the human enemies didn't work because you had poor innaccurate weapons and only one melee weapon (the axe) throughout! Also too dark and a finale that dragged on forever. Pros: I loved the 9/11 airplane crashing into the building idea.

Lou Saffire
3
6.5/10
Detour Ahead

I gave up on the 4th or maybe final level in what is an endless horde as you go down a long, linear road, babysitting the bots the whole way, then have to run all the way back. Eventually on top of constant horde, two tanks appeared in fairly quick succession and had the team dead as the shit spray of cars everywhere got in my way. Very fucking annoying and not fun. The level design was average at best anyway.

boogada, inigo montoya
5
6.5/10
Heaven Can Wait II

After a very bland first level, halfway through the second level I was sick of the progress being confusing. Eventually I jumped in the river because I couldn't find any other way to proceed. Instant death, no desire to restart. There were far too many special infected in this.

Romka, AGRESSOR, Rustem4ik, Gemini Saga
5
6/10
Indiana Jones and the Temple of Zombies

Why is it that when Valve does a rollercoaster level, suddenly everyone wants to make theme park ride replicas? They're gimmicky, not all that interesting, and frankly Painkiller's rollercoaster level was far better than Valve's. Anyway, this one actually has the ride from Disneyland, so I won't need to bother doing that at Disneyland - I don't think I'm missing much. Nice try though, it's just a bit short (sub-20 minutes!) and outside of the ride itself, quite plain and, well, ugly.

Dives
3
6/10
DeadCity II

After the first three levels I quit playing this one. It was just too boring. Poorly lit levels (indoors are pitch black), bad layouts with more dead ends than any other campaign I can remember, and overall just below average looks. The author also likes hordes and tanks.

ilcannibal
6
6/10
Deadly Dispatch

Just your usual 3 levels of street/indoor scenarios. The early going is littered with Witches, then a finale that just drags on for too long. Not really anything special.

CaptainWinky
3
6/10
Death Mountain

Another example of L4DMaps rating system being completely unreliable. I only got 1.5 levels in. The second level I tried to twice, the first time the bots couldn't handle the lava room and basically all killed themselves. Then going to the top of the lift finding I don't have a key I had no choice but to kill myself and start over since you can't go back down. This time verify there are no keys anywhere, go to the top of the lift thinking maybe I missed something... nope, no keys. Who makes a fucking lift that you can 't return from, that requires a hidden key somewhere previous in the level? What a fucking joke. Then the third level just crashed the game. Don't think I missed out on much as the level design was pretty ugly up till this point, with only some nice terrain-work standing out. 6/10 is being generous.

NickNak
6
6/10
GoldenEye 4 Dead

Some interesting settings, from jungle, temples, harbour, space port. An eclectic mix but at least it's different. Unfortunately some poor brushwork, since when is natural terrain and trees a solid rectangular brush. Another highlight are some cool explosions and an airplane crash (which killed me when I already had no health. Unbalanced gameplay - especially the long second level which could have done with some health packs. The finale would have been difficult (two tanks at once) but I got lucky and rushed through it pretty quick between hordes.

David "marshmallow" Gibbons
3
6/10
Death from Above

Four levels of very average level design and odd routes. Still I stuck with it for 2.5 levels until getting to a timed section where you need to figure out a code and input it, while facing zombie respawns. That was enough for me to quit.

Meowstopher
5
6/10
Overkill

Just okay design and a couple of good first levels, one where you follow an ambulance driver. But it turns to custard in the final two with a defence level in area with long pauses between gameplay and then a long gauntlet final level with almost invisible gas causing hits on your health. None of the bots could make it through. I never bothered replaying it after dying.

Boing & Soup Toaster
4
6/10
ZMB-13

Couldn't complete first level because it wasn't obvious enough where to go. There's only so many times I'm going to walk around the same building looking for a hidden exit. Level design was ugly up to that point anyway, and where's the health?

Army of Sarcasm
3
5/10
Resident Evil Outbreak : File 1

My entire team died on the first level. Mainly because the bots repeatedly fell of ledges so in the end it was just me on my own. That level was too long, not enough health when you've got bots killing themselves. The navigation was terrible, even illogic with paths that go nowhere. The visuals looked bad - HL1 build quality. Maybe things would have picked up if I kept playing, but I doubt by much. Needed more time spent on quality instead of quantity.

Richy221
7
5.5/10
Resident Evil: Last Escape

I got this because it was highly ranked, but it's really only a single level, which is a little confusing at that. The second level was also confusing and over in a couple minutes.

Outatime
2
5/10
Dark Blood 2

First level was average at best. Second level - I walked around for several minutes unsure where to go. Eventually realised there was an underwater section, but it was hard to see where to go and I didn't realise I was losing health till I drowned. Got ressurected while all 3 bots drowned. Went back down to save one only to get nailed by a Jockey with no one to save me. Terrible, terrible sequence and was enough to not continue. Underwater sections could be good if done well. This wasn't. And the rest of the levels were of average detail.

CastorJudo
4
4.5/10
Military Industrial Complex II

A lot of people on l4dmaps clearly shouldn't be reviewing when something like this has a critic score of 9.2. The level design is atrocious, some of the worst I've seen in L4D2. Just really amateur with terrible, confusing, layouts, non-existant lighting at times. The almost on-rails tram ride at the end of level one as three tanks chase you and hundreds of infected scramble to get on the tram. It's not fun or creative, it's just a mess. But level 2 is where it gets really bad. Oddly designed traps that don't make sense and kill you instantly, Tank-monster-closets. Then a copy/paste railway line with an alarm which hasn't been positioned logically at all - you get to the end of the horde run and there's nothing there! Combined with bots that couldn't navigate the levels (because they're too messy). That was enough for me and I quit. Again, how the hell does this get a 9.2 after over 100 reviews?

Garbage Boy
5
4.5/10
Deathcraft

The fact this campaign is so highly rated just proves how many people don't care about looks. I don't care if it's supposed to look line Minecraft. Minecraft is ugly too. But Deathcraft is so bad I could only play one level, it was actually hurting by eyes just trying to navigate around. The blocky design makes it quite difficult to see where you're supposed to be going, along with copious snowflakes, combined with what really isn't good design or a good layout anyway. Doors that don't work properly, infected that have all be remodelled and now you can't even tell the different between your team-mates, the infected and special infected. This is for Minecraft fans ONLY.

Special KBS/Splinks/Mojang/C418
6
4.5/10
Crash Bandicoot: The Return of Dr. Cortex

Nice idea but horrendous level design. So highly rated for such bad design, I guess some players just don't care what a game looks like.

James Davis (LordShoot2Kill)
7
4/10