November 17, 2009.  Officially confirmed at E3 today!  According to those awesome dudes at Dread Central, “details are on the slim side for now, but we do know we’ll be getting a heaping helping of zombie goodness in New Orleans and we’ll be armed with chainsaws this go around. A teaser trailer was shown, and we’re trying to get our hands on it as we speak.”

Left 4 Dead 2!
Left 4 Dead 2! Courtesy of Gizmodo. Click the image for more info.

UPDATE: Check after the jump for more information!

Left 4 Dead's new cast
Left 4 Dead's new cast

So, based on some promotional art from Kotaku, it looks like we’re once again going to have four survivors, and this time we’ll be battling the undead in the American South, including Georgia, Bayou Country, and the French Quarter in New Orleans.  There will be an expanded AI Director that will actually allow for weather changes and changing level layouts.  More co-op campaigns, and the addition of melee combat (which will include weapons like chainsaw, frying pan, axe and baseball bat).

I’m a bit surprised that they opted to go with a sequel to the game so soon after the original, given Valve’s typical process of going with years of expansion packs instead.  This sounds like, and I hate to be negative, what should have really been an expansion pack.  Even with the new technological advances (and how much more advanced can they possibly be in such a short time), it seems like we’re getting, essentially, more levels of the same type of game, but in a different location.  Still, I’m excited for any more Left 4 Dead however I can get it, so you know what’ll be on my Christmas list this year!

Check out some game screens on Kotaku!