The influence and legacy of Left 4 Dead have never been questioned, but there is a view that Turtle Rock and Valve’s classic cooperative zombie shooter has an inexpressible vague quality; a formula that no one can copy.
Before starting 4 blood back, A new game from people who co-created the sub-genre, I went back to experience Left 4 Dead again. I was not impressed. Left 4 Dead is still fun, but like a PS2 game: it’s quite fascinating for an hour or two before you realize how difficult it is to give up years of design, visual, and production value advancements for nostalgia.
Back 4 Blood is and is not the successor to Left 4 Dead you wish. This is the most modern interpretation of these principles, but it is also a game that will be launched in 2021—with as much consideration as possible of our modern expectations without disrupting the process.
The game flow of “Back 4 Blood” is fundamentally different from its predecessors. This is a zombie shooter game, with stopping and blasting as the balance point, encouraging identification and response to long-range threats.
The level design, the changes and encounters of the enemies all include this. Almost all game areas will open up, revealing a large and open section, encouraging you to explore different paths, look for hidden loot, and investigate as many targets as possible before triggering the big tribe.
There are all sorts of eye-catching environments, all seemingly based on the clichéd United States—restaurants, noisy greasy bars, brick houses near the city center, suburbs, small town churches, foggy woods—there are everything. Scattered around these levels, another key component of Back 4 Blood stands out.
This is a game with a fairly long list of weapons, divided into the usual categories. Weapons have different rarities, and their attachments are random. You are always looking for a more powerful version of the gun of your choice, or something radical enough to make you give up what you have.
Maybe you found the SMG you like, but it has a long-range range inexplicably. Maybe the reload speed of the shotgun is slower than you want. Or, this purple M1 rifle is so good that you decide to become a key figure in your team and embrace the long-distance lifestyle. In the level of Back 4 Blood, you will never fail to find something, and weapons are only part of it.
The location of each room and storage room is also random. Some require special tools to open, some trigger an alarm when you open, and some are easy to access but don’t always hide some interesting things.
The harder the room is to enter, the more likely it is to have valuable loot. Usually, you will look for different attachments for your weapons. These attachments may change their gameplay, especially when they rank higher on the rare ladder. You will also encounter ammunition, grenades, and single-use items such as propane tanks.
Before you leave the safe room, there is basically a buying stage where you can carefully consider where to spend your copper. Copper, a currency found across levels and obtained at the end of each section, can be used for weapon attachments, weapons themselves, grenades, ammunition, and team-wide upgrades to increase the effectiveness of your various toolkits, or to improve you The amount that can be carried.
Back 4 Blood doesn’t have many quiet moments, but this is one of the more obvious moments. With a coordinated team, we will pool the excess copper to get more team upgrades, heal teammates in need, or buy the range they have been struggling with.
I think Turtle Rock doesn’t want to make the process of exchanging attachments too cumbersome or time-consuming, but it is a missed opportunity to be unable to remove any of them before other things take the place.
Many moments of “Back 4 Blood” revolve around finding danger from a distance, and scrambling to come up with an effective way to deal with it. This is not a running gun shooting game, when you book at Mach 2, you can take away anything thrown to you.
This is where the zombie design (called Ridden) in the game really comes into play. It makes encounters memorable and varied. Each special zombie has several different variants, and the game will randomly throw these variants at you in the form of corrupted cards (modifiers). These variants have a similar appearance, but each variant essentially has a different function. Crucially, their weaknesses are located in different locations, so you don’t always rely on gold strategies to deal with them.
For example, Tallboy is a tall monster with unnatural arms, and you really don’t want to hit you. The standard version is slow, but its weaknesses are hard to hit because it is only visible on one side. There is another variant that is faster and will hit the nearest player, but is easier to hit weak points. The game director determines the different combinations of variants you encounter. If the difficulty is higher than Recruit, things may become unfair.
It seems that nothing can stop the director from really trying to disrupt your operation. I think a balanced hand is needed to prevent certain situations from disappearing due to bad luck. In general, the frequency of special zombies is another area that Back 4 Blood needs to control. It is not exciting to encounter three in a row and dive into the level for a few minutes again. This is a problem that Turtle Rock has solved, but I haven’t played it after the patch was released.
Sometimes it comes down to simply not having enough ammunition to handle all of this, and since most of these battles cannot be avoided, the game will often seem to force you into trouble unnecessarily.
Cards against normalcy
Back 4 Blood’s claim to fame is its card and deck building system. It’s almost dishonest to call it that way, because when you think about deck building, it’s not what you really think of. The decks in Back 4 Blood are more like a set of arranged benefits than a bonus pool randomly selected by the game.
The system may seem disorganized at first, but you will quickly get the hang of what it wants you to do. The cards are pulled out the way you arrange them, so the order in which they are selected is key. You can play cards in every safe room, and this always happens after you see a corrupt card that your supervisor is going to play against you, so you have some chances to respond. These modifiers can change everything from the time in the level to adding fog, generating certain zombie variants, increasing the number of trap doors, and even dropping some tank-like bosses at a certain point in the level.
You can see that some of these enemies are designed to take advantage of certain players’ weaknesses or penalties. A zombie will explode when shot in the head, creating chaos for players who like accuracy. When dealing with them, I had to take special body photos.
This is just a small example of the different situations that the game wants you to adapt to. My team and I encountered a particularly difficult combination of Sleepers-enemies like hunters will stick to the wall and bounce on you, and there is thick fog. It took us three times as long to navigate this level because everyone must be extra careful.
Cleaners constitute the final pillar of Back 4 Blood. Their personality and personal emotions are vividly reflected in their conversations and their reactions to the different situations in which you find yourself in. Of course, many of them are clichés, but they work well and add variety to casual conversations.
Cleaners are also a key game element because they are essentially all classes except the name. Each cleaner has a unique ability to help them and some ability to influence the entire team. Many of them are standard, but bonuses are still welcome. Increased ammunition capacity, better healing efficiency, the ability to spot special zombies from a distance, and similar gifts are what you see.
I haven’t seen a person who has nothing to do. The style of play you want and the composition of the other members of your team will ultimately determine which of them to choose. You can go further by building a deck around everyone’s strengths.
You can see that the game is pushing you to turn Doc into a healing-style class, and Holly into a melee demon with a vampire baseball bat. Spend enough time to play the game, and you will unlock more cards that really make specialization more rewarding.
Even if it is not released on Game Pass, Back 4 Blood is a simple recommendation. In an era where every cooperative shooting game requires an exhausting progress system, reward track, and limited-time activities to attract players, seeing the cooperative game so well determine its core goal and not like another clone of fate, this Surprisingly.
Back 4 Blood uses old-school methods where it makes sense, and modernizes it where it doesn’t make sense. Participating in the game purely for gameplay and diversity, rather than setting up a progress bar somewhere, is exciting.
Disclaimer: The PC Windows 10 version has been tested, and the code is provided by the publisher. Also suitable for Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, PS4 and PS5.