Valve offering 'Left 4 Dead 2' free until 1 p.m. ET Thursday

While many may still be unwrapping Christmas presents today, Valve is offering a surprise gift for its millions of Steam users. Earlier today, the Windows, Mac and Linux ports of its zombie co-op shooter "Left 4 Dead 2" were made free, and it will stay that way until 1 p.m. Eastern time on Thursday.

Those who redeem the offer will have access to the full version of the game from their Steam accounts. Or, as Valve puts it, "It will be free as in, grab it now, pay no money, and it is yours to keep forever – FOR FREE!" Apparently a lot of people are jumping on board this offer as the Steam storefront has been offline for parts of the day today, most likely due to heavy traffic.

Anyone who already owns "Left 4 Dead 2" can also benefit from this offer with a new achievement that's been added to the game: "Ghost of Christmas Present." Those players can claim the achievement by helping a player who got the game for free through any of its campaigns.

The free "Left 4 Dead 2" game offer is part of the annual Steam holiday sale, with significant discounts on more than 2,000 PC games.

Source: Valve | Image via Valve

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Unfortunately I doubt I'm gonna get the achievement for leading a newbie through a campaign - I jumped into a "public" game and found the same old stuff - uncoordinated play, people rushing off and getting killed and then turning on one another in safe rooms.

I normally only play "friends-only" games because there are so many people in the public ones who don't know how to play co-op games.

Cha-CHUNG! A free game I hadn't tried yet (at all) - kudos to Valve (again) and their developer partners. (Why "Cha-CHUNG" as opposed to "Cha-CHING"? Simple - no money changes hands on my end.) Because I also have SteamOS installed (separate drive) it should show up there as well.

Try this way to purchase the game, install the Steam App and purchase the game through it(since its free) and download it when the offer is over. I'm sure the traffic will settle when the offer is over.

cyrl said,
Try this way to purchase the game, install the Steam App and purchase the game through it(since its free) and download it when the offer is over. I'm sure the traffic will settle when the offer is over.

No, unless you install it, the game won't get tied to your account. It will go back to normal price tomorrow.

JJ_ said,
No, unless you install it, the game won't get tied to your account. It will go back to normal price tomorrow.

You can't install the game unless it's tied to your account. You are more than free to buy games and not install them.

Part 1: Own game
Part 2: Install game

You can do 1 without doing 2. Since the price is "Free" you can buy the game NOW and install it years from now... why would this game be any different?

I'm just going by the official announcement @ http://store.steampowered.com/news/12151/

"To claim your L4D2 gift, all you need to do is install it.

If you don't install, it goes back to its regular price and you miss out! The zombie apocalypse is more fun with friends so make sure to tell all your mates to install it as well."

So as I said it doesn't get tied to your account unless installed, probably because it's free. This is unlike when you complete checkout with a paid where you can choose to download it later.

JJ_ said,

No, unless you install it, the game won't get tied to your account. It will go back to normal price tomorrow.

Like wernercd said: You don't need to install the game to have it tied to your account. I just went to the steam website > logged in > L4D2 page > Click on "Install Game" and now its tied to my account. Don't have the steam client installed on this computer.

I confirm that you don't need to install the game to own it. Once it is claimed, it is in your game library, as any other game you would buy. It won't disapear afterward.

I think you've got confused here, in Steam when they mean to "Install" the game is that you need to click the button which says install on the page, notice here usually when the game has a price it says "Add to cart" but in this case "Install". So I'm sure when you click on "Install" it is already tied to your account regardless you download it or not.

You only need to click install now/Play Now on the storefront page. You don't need to actually initiate a download. As soon as you refresh the page or go to the accounts page, it shows up as purchased.

If you have problems with steam, try: win+r -> cmd -> ipconfig /flushdns -> enter.
Retry to feed your steam hunger in steam application.

Surprised nobody is complaining and wishing they were giving out [insert other game here] instead. Oh wait, this isn't Xbox Games with Gold.

Valve don't charge people for Steam subscriptions, just the games that they buy. No need to complain when Steam already offers you everything free that you pay for with xbox gold.

Never had that trouble myself, sometimes the inbuilt browser can be a bit slow but if not the web interface almost always works. Their multiplayer gaming servers are solid, never had trouble there.

Grabbed it! the servers are getting hammered though, at the current rate should have it downloaded this time next year! I've paused it and will try again another time, hopefully will be little faster...

I just grabbed it not fifteen minutes ago, only used to play it in internet cafes in the past. Very nice surprise from Valve this holiday

Good deal. I wasted about 200 hours of my life in that game, in addition to about 500 hours in the first game. Great game to play co-op and the versus mode is great fun too.

i really hope they make linux popular enough for it to become an usable platform for an everyday user

if steam os has good driver support, then its all good

It's at least as easy as Windows, if not moreso since you don't have to manually install drivers. The only difference is it doesn't ship pre-installed or w/recovery images so it isn't as brain dead to get started on it.

The only thing lacking really is games and that's what valve is working on.

Geezy said,
It's at least as easy as Windows, if not moreso since you don't have to manually install drivers. The only difference is it doesn't ship pre-installed or w/recovery images so it isn't as brain dead to get started on it.

The only thing lacking really is games and that's what valve is working on.

steamboxes ship with steam os pre-installed though and a recovery image partition too.