If you like shooting zombies, dreaming you were in an episode of the Walking Dead, or some not so wholesome first-person shooting, Back 4 Blood is here for you!
It has been over twelve years since we got another instalment in the series, and it was worth the wait! Zombies are back, and they're better than ever, so grab your guns and ammo and get ready for some intense gameplay. But, first, let's look at what you can expect from this latest zombie-filled FPS!
What B4B does well is that it takes the L4D elements but doesn't necessarily want to be L4D. You are in a familiar environment, four friends placed into a safe room choosing their starting items and getting ready to surge out a door to hordes of smiling zombies. You must fight your way past obstacles, objectives, and special zombies with specific abilities within linear levels. These abilities range from zombie suicide bombers to spitters & chargers. Of course, these are similarities to the original franchise, but it then takes it a little further.
Each level has specific scenarios throughout, introducing more challengers to the players, whether it is waiting for a particular element to finish while at the same time, you fight off hordes of zombies so that you can progress; or plant bombs on a boat to eliminate the zombies; it allows players to break up the monotony of just running & shooting. Each level has its unique storyline and challenges and, of course, end with an epic battle. Resources can be scarce, especially as you climb the difficulty level. Still, we think it adds that extra bit of strategy required, forcing the player to feel a little more about when to use melee over guns or take a hit instead of using your health pack immediately. Whatever your choices, they cannot be replicated each time you run through a level, ensuring that tactics need to be considered, usually within a fast-paced environment.
The Classes & Cards
Back 4 Blood has introduced a unique card & roles system. Although there is a little more to be understood here as we delve into the game on release, it feels like it adds even further strategy and thought process. Each character has certain perks, and each role in the card system is crucial to ensure that your group will succeed. For example, there are "Support" style roles to team and offensive-based, which means that you need to ensure that your team is well balanced in order to progress. For example, you can utilise support cards to have better healing effects, whereas team-based cards may help hold more ammo or better accuracy.
What is also interesting is that you can create card decks for different situations that you choose each time you enter a new game. On top of that, you also get the opportunity to develop PVP focused decks, providing a whole other level of strategy.
Of course, the PVP element of the game is just plain fun. Four vs four scenarios where you alternate turns as the surviving four members, trying to fend for your lives or as the attacking four special zombies, accompanied by the zombie horde. But, again, what extends the game is the card and buff system. Defending teams have similar abilities, cards that buff their healing and survivability; the zombie side also allows you to hone your skills and your regular zombie hordes, increasing their damage output as well.
What we didn't get a glimpse of in the beta was any level oriented PVP, only scenario-based. In L4D, the PVP was focused on using the same linear levels as the PVE gameplay. We very much hope this was just a beta exclusion and that the B4B team intends to introduce it into the final release.
Back 4 Blood is out today worldwide; it has some excellent gameplay, great graphics and will get your heart racing!