Left 4 Dead 3 - News and what we'd love to see

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A clown mutation from Left 4 Dead 2
Credit: Steam
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Despite being released back in 2009, Left 4 Dead 2 still enjoys a healthy player base even today. In fact, its average concurrent player count is almost 30,000 on average, which puts it in the top 30 most active games on Steam. You may be wondering then, why there has been no official Left 4 Dead 3 release date announced. This is a tricky one, and there aren’t a whole lot of clear answers.

It has to be mentioned that Left 4 Dead 2 is made by Valve, the same company that quite famously refuses to make the third entry to any game series that is critically and commercially successful. It’s not only Left 4 Dead that suffers this but Half-Life, Team Fortress and even Portal.


For more hubs like this, read up on what we know so far about the Dark Souls 4 release date and Valheim 2 release date. We've also got a list of the best free FPS games to lock and load.

Left 4 Dead 3 news

According to sources both inside Valve and from Turtle Rock Studio, Left 4 Dead 3 was a project that was started and then dropped several times. This led Turtle Rock Studio to eventually begin the development of a spiritual successor themselves. In 2021, they released Back 4 Blood, a game very similar in gameplay and atmosphere to the original Left 4 Dead games.

However, as for a direct sequel, Valve has confirmed that it's not working on it. In 2020, Valve released a statement saying that it hadn’t been working on Left 4 Dead 3 for many years by that point. Thankfully, there is a solid community dedicated to continuing Left 4 Dead 2’s legacy, so hopefully, we can find all of the features we’d want to be released there instead.

What we'd love to see in Left 4 Dead 3

A solid conclusion to the story

It’s somewhat surprising to find out that the Left 4 Dead series actually has quite a solid story. The zombie hack-and-slash game is based on the idea of the Green Flu, a virus that spread across America and caused the outbreak that we see in the games. Each of the characters has backstories and their relationships with one another develop across the campaigns.


There has even been official Left 4 Dead comics released. These explore the stories of the characters in more detail, as well as giving us valuable lore. Most of this information is given quite subtly in the games though, and they can be very easy to miss.

One of the things fans would love to see most in Left 4 Dead 3 would be a solid conclusion to the story. The group could finally beat the virus, and at the end of the game, we see the possibility for the survivors to rebuild a future for themselves. This would be in line with the optimistic story that Back 4 Blood tried to tell, too. A more unlikely route would be for each of the survivors to succumb to the virus.

Either way, Left 4 Dead 3 would be in the perfect position to wrap up the story that fans have been following for almost two whole decades now.

Break into the abandoned Irons Family Mansion!
Credit: Kyle H. McCloud
The snow always looks so nice in the source engines too

New map types

The maps in Left 4 Dead 2 can be summarised into one of two categories; either a city map or a woodlands map. This wasn’t so bad when the game was released in 2009. In fact, the environments were considered quite diverse back then.

However, it wasn’t until the Steam Workshop maps were created that fans really understood what they were missing out on. Left 4 Dead 3 could have a lot of fun creating a campaign that goes through different biomes and countries. This could even tie in with the new story. Perhaps Left 4 Dead 3 would follow a few different groups across the globe as they try to overcome the zombie outbreak.


Another change to the maps could be branching pathways. The Left 4 Dead games are well known for their one-route-only style of map creation. This makes subsequent playthroughs predictable though, even verging on boring. If Left 4 Dead 3 introduced a few different pathways through the levels, it would make it more interesting to replay maps in order to explore the other ways. There could even be ways to balance it, such as a shorter route being more dangerous, or parkour elements that run the risk of you falling from a ledge.

A versus mode screen from Left 4 Dead.
Credit: Steam
Sometimes Versus just doesn't feel very fair.

Skill-based matchmaking online

The Left 4 Dead 2 online community doesn’t have the kindest reputation when it comes to multiplayer experiences. Even back in 2009, you would find yourself kicked from lobbies if you didn’t want to talk in game chat, or if you didn’t know the same high-level strategy as them. This made it difficult to experience things like the Versus mode if you didn’t have a dedicated group of friends to play with.

To make multiplayer better for everyone, Left 4 Dead 3 has to introduce some level of skill-based matchmaking. This reduces the risk of having a new player in with a lobby of seasoned veterans, which isn’t a fun experience for any of them.

They could also have a queue option for more casual games. Not everyone wants to play Left 4 Dead with strict tactics high levels of communication. In fact, a lot of players would love the opportunity to play in a multiplayer game with other unranked, casual players.

Rochelle, a survivor, standing in front of a Charger mutation in Left 4 Dead 2
Credit: Steam
I swear they refuse to come inside the Safe Rooms on purpose sometimes

Better AI for single player

Left 4 Dead 2 is a great cooperative experience, running through zombie hordes with your friends as you try to survive the apocalypse. That being said, not everyone has a group to play with, and quite a significant amount of players tend to play on their own. This is often hindered by the other AI survivors though, as their capabilities haven’t aged too well since 2009.

With advances in bot technology, Left 4 Dead 3 could make some really competent AI survivors. Even simple things like being able to give and take items from the respectively would drastically improve the quality-of-life of playing with them. This would make it easier to manage inventory in regards to things like throwables, and help strategise med-kit use.

Better bots would also open up the possibilities for Versus single-player. Not everyone wants to play online in a competitive game, especially if they’re new to the Versus mode. This would give more players the chance to experience more of the game, which can only ever be a good thing.

Bigger lobbies

Finally, Left 4 Dead 3 would have the opportunity to introduce bigger lobbies into the game. Nowadays, servers are much more powerful and can handle a lot more at once in comparison to servers back in 2009. This means that there could be games with ten, even fifteen survivors at once. This has the chance to be very chaotic, especially when considering the Versus modes. Of course, it would be best if this was a separate game mode and not the default for the game.

For more horror game content, make sure to check out our list of the best free horror games to play in 2023. We also have an article about the best horror games in VR.