Back 4 Blood is Even More Like Left 4 Dead Than You Think
I’ve never been the biggest Left 4 Dead fan, despite the huge impact it and its sequel had on the world of gaming. Since then, gamers have asked for a third game as Valve kept the IP and developer Turtle Rock moved on to the asymmetrical PvE game Evolve, released in 2015 as a disastrous reaction.
At this year’s Game Awards, fans’ prayers were finally answered to some extent with the reveal of Back 4 Blood. Turtle Rock said it was returning to a multiplayer zombie game and not ashamed to draw parallels with Left 4 Dead on stage, saying Valve was doomed.
This weekend is the game’s pre-alpha preview, giving players who have signed up for a taste of the title. I’ve worked with it for a couple of hours, and not only is it more like Left 4 Dead than I expected, but it’s an absolute blast that should position the endgame as a huge hit in 2021.
Similarities to Left 4 Dead
The player is a member of a team of four. After selecting a character as well as the difficulty levels for matchmaking, players will begin in a safe room where they can purchase various offensive and defensive items in order to prepare for what is to come.
Each level is then marked with a handful of these safe rooms, and the group must work their way through a horde of zombies, from the normal standard dead to more monstrous creatures that spit acid or have overgrown limbs to smash you to pieces .
Players must make it to the nearest safe room to provide supplies and supplies. In the process, they must collect ammunition, resources and money to make their team more impressive, so that they can face the even more deadly challenges that lie ahead. As players progress, changes are made to the enemy’s resource drops and spawns based on how well or poorly the team is doing.
This is a Left 4 Dead game punch after punch, but with the glamor of a modern day marksman. The gameplay feels frenetic and is already very tight for a pre-alpha build of the game.
There was a moment when I got separated from my team and a horde had pushed me into the corner of a ledge. The rock formations above me cast a dark shadow over the room, which meant I couldn’t see the zombies grabbing me, but I knew they were there.
This was confirmed when the light emitted from gunfire illuminated my sight for small shots, revealing the undead climbing on top of each other to get to me, with the front ones falling on a pile of corpses. I literally yelled over my microphone to my teammates’ disapproval.
Fans of the Left 4 Dead duology will feel right at home, but it doesn’t leave new players like me out in the cold either. The improved access to multiplayer mode makes it easier to find a team to play with. I missed this when these original games were released. I just didn’t have anyone in my life to play her.
Now I’m surrounded by gamers and with Turtle Rock confirming crossplay in its official discord, my options have increased tenfold.
Differences to Left 4 Dead
There are two main differences that separate Back 4 Blood from its spiritual predecessor and improve gameplay: character attributes and decks of cards.
In Left 4 Dead, your character would look and sound different from the other three players, but they would work the same way. Back 4 Blood adds unique character traits, including various perks that offer a buff and a distinctive secondary weapon.
Card games add an entire metagame to Back 4 Blood. Players can create card games that offer either individual buffs or enhancements to the entire team. Perhaps healing a downed companion will also provide a health boost, or all melee damage will be increased at the expense of your crew’s stamina.
At the start of a round, you will be dealt three cards randomly, with players choosing one to add to the run. This process is carried out twice more, with a total of three cards per player being selected. If the team fails a run, they can choose another card for the next attempt to expand the pool already selected and give your team a little boost.
However, the enemies are also given cards at random and given their own modifiers. Players can build their own decks before each round so they have an idea of which cards are drawn.
The new character attributes and decks of cards bring the Left 4 Dead formula into the modern age and provide Back 4 Blood with additional layers of strategy that guarantee players a return to addictive gameplay.
At this point, some of the cards feel a little unbalanced, e.g. B. a card that heals when it deals damage, which makes the player who is bound feel a little overwhelmed. The gameplay overall feels tight and sophisticated, however.
Hopefully this means there are just a few more systems left to tweak, like the maps, so that when the game launches in 2021, players will have an addicting, polished experience. From my time with this preview, that seems to be the case.