Judging by everything you’ve said, he turns into a boomer <.<
And Pommy, the awesome fine-tuning comes in the way the levels flow. If you’ve ever tried to design a map, you’ll notice that it’s difficult to make one big level that doesn’t feel like a series of rooms. All of the levels feel like a real world that you travel through, no loading times, no paths that you feel like you should be able to take but can’t (with maybe one exception on mercy hospital), no obnoxious dividing lines between encounters (except maybe inside/outside transitions). It’s fluid and fun to play through.
As for the audio cues, I don’t understand how it’s even remotely possible to dislike them. They give you something to pay attention to aside from what’s on your screen. “SUPRISE ZOMBIES” isn’t fun, “Get ready… everyone goes ‘oh fuck!’ LOL ZOMBIES!” is. Walking into a Witch wouldn’t be entertaining either, but trying to work your way around her is. When you hear a Tank from a few rooms away, and go “OH FUCK ME IT’S A TANK” into the mic, that makes the game exhilarating. Smokers are fun to hear because they’re always behind you, and half the time, you’re the only one that hears the cough. Then you have to run backwards, search for floating specks of… whatever the fuck, and try and shoot him around whatever obstacle he’s hiding behind. Boomer cues are kinda lame outside, but indoors, they tend to hide just on the other side of a doorway, behind the wall. If you just walk into that, it’s no fun. But when you hear him belching, and go “AHA!”, and shoot him through the wall, that’s satisfying as hell. And, of course, hearing the Hunter scream before he hits you and starts tearing your ribs out is quite exciting.
Point is, if there weren’t audio cues it’d be more difficult, and more frustrating. Valve added those so they could make other parts of the game difficult, and keep it from being frustrating. Everything I’ve seen about the game points to the idea that they want to make a fun experience anyone can enjoy - the pick up and play game mechanics (WASD + click to shoot), the small weapon/zombie variety, the ease of adjusting your gameplay (votes for kicking players, changing difficulty), and, for more hardcore players, the tiny details that let you become an expert survivor without relying on your team, like the audio cues.
PS Post your frickin’ steam ids, people.
PPS Yeah, CMC, having a 360 will give you glitchy levels. Yay reduced patching capability.