The Left 4 Dead 2 announcement at the Microsoft press conference gobsmacked us this morning (didn't they just release Left 4 Dead like last November? What is this, Madden?), but apparently the sneaky folks at Rock Paper Shotgun weren't surprised: they've already seen the game in action. We're hoping to see it this week ourselves, but until then, here's a few juicy zombie tidbits to hold you over: the game takes place in the Southern United States, and the five campaigns will take you on a Southern odyssey from Savannah to New Orleans. There are four new characters also: a rough high school coach who's used to taking charge, a female cable news reporter, a rustic Southern mechanic type, and a Sawyer-style con man. The characters keep the snappy dialogue, and the campaigns will tell an overarching story as you move through them.
The zombies have gotten beefed up as well: the Witch gets to move around a little bit, pacing and groaning until you bug her with your silly Survivor problems. There's one new special revealed so far: the Charger, who can pound and flatten you with one giant, deformed arm. And the zombies will also corner you into gauntlets, where instead of holding out for a certain amount of time or surviving waves, you'll have to push forward through a maddening crowd of infected towards a target. Sounds like fun -- whether you think it's too soon or not, Left 4 Dead 2 is due out this November.