Left 4 Dead 3 has a solid release date of ... maybe. Fans have been clamoring for another edition in the franchise and although the latest DLC for Left 4 Dead 2 released in August it's not enough to satisfy the cravings for frantic zombie violence. The solid "maybe" on Left 4 Dead 3 comes from Valve's Chet Faliszek. Faliszek is one of the main writers for Valve and has worked on numerous projects for the company. According to Valve's official website "we are all still trying to figure out exactly what it is that Chet does at Valve, but at the very least he occupies office space on the 11th floor as self-proclaimed Mr. Awesome."
Mr. Awesome recently gave an interview to Eurogamer where he discussed, among other things, the future of the Left 4 Dead series including a release date for Left 4 Dead 3. And, unfortunately for fans, the release date for Left 4 Dead 3 is as solid as a fart in the wind. It exists, but you don't know it's there except for a faint whiff. That's about all Faliszek offered fans when asked if he would do another Left 4 Dead game.
"A 3? You know, some time down the road. Like anything, I would say that to all of our games. So that's not a promise of when or where," Faliszek said in the interview. "I really love working on that series. It's one of my favourite series. It's just so much fun with the characters and the world. I love zombies and I love horror. So, yeah."
Falizek talked extensively about the role the Steam Workshop will play in the PC version of Left 4 Dead. Mainly, that the software will allow users to create items without cheating and, eventually, creating customized game modes inside the existing campaign maps. Faliszek also said that the minds at Valve have discussed the possibility of letting players be the "dungeon master" but that creating a player-controlled experience would require a tremendous amount of work and testing.
Based on the interview, it sounds like the team over at Valve has a lot of irons in the fire but won't rule out developing a sequel for the franchise, which has sold more than 12 million copies worldwide. Since they're so busy, I thought I'd help and offer a few suggestions for the (eventually, hopefully maybe) upcoming Left 4 Dead 3.
#1. Player Ranking
This is by far the most frustrating element of playing Left 4 Dead online. Unless you have three friends on hand to form your own brain-bashing squad then prepare to run through a gamut of jackasses, jerks, noobs and idiots before getting a half-decent squad together. I have wasted countless hours of my life going through game after game of Left 4 Dead while searching for a Goldilocks level of gameplay - not too hard, not too easy but juuuuust right. A player ranking system would put players of the same experience level in games together, making it easier to separate the gamers from the goons.
#2. Voting Limits
Unlike the Republican Party, Valve believes that everyone (including the elderly and minorities) has the right to vote. But, unlike the Republican Party, they put no rules in place to stop people from being able to do so. The online play for Left 4 Dead is too often marred by a-holes who vote to kick a player incessantly. Like, at toddler-tantrum levels of incessant. They call for votes over and over and over, which means that your crosshairs are blocked by a stupid "vote to kick player" window over and over and over. This is such a small tweak but would make such a huge difference.
#3. Better Servers (Xbox LIVE Servers anyway)
The servers for Left 4 Dead on Xbox LIVE are far and away the worst of any game I play online. I can't vouch for PC or PSN server quality, so maybe its isolated to Xbox LIVE. But far too often I have games just drop out of nowhere. Letting players create lobby after lobby can't help, and after being dropped from a game it's a pain to have to cycle through a half dozen empty lobbies with one unresponsive host until you land on one that has players in it.
#4. More BILL!
Sorry, but I love playing as the grizzled, cantankerous war veteran. Left 4 Dead 3 should center around a Resident Evil-style cloning experiment in which dozens of copies of Bill are created for wiping out zombies. Then players can have an all-Bill squad which would be SOOOOOO badass.
If you're one of the many fans of Left 4 Dead then you're going to have to be patient while Valve applies their general brilliance elsewhere. There is a glimmer of hope that somewhere, someday, a new Left 4 Dead title will grace the world.