- Total Score - 8/108/10
Tons of replay value and great challenge make Back 4 Blood a fantastic co-op experience that shouldn’t be missed.
Developer – Turtle Rock Studios
Publisher – Warner Bros Interactive Entertainment
Platforms – Xbox Series One,X/S, Playstation 4/5, PC
Back 4 Blood is the spiritual successor to the the classic that started it all. Left 4 Dead and it’s sequel are bonafide classics, and Back 4 Blood tries it’s best to bring back that classic co-op gameplay to a modern generation.
Since Left 4 Dead has been left by the wayside, this style of games is everywhere. However, only a handful are worth mentioning and even fewer are the ones that are truly excellent.
Back 4 Blood separates itself from the pack with it’s take on Left 4 Dead, using huge bosses and set pieces to complement hordes of zombies an recreating the combat balance. Instead of hero classes or loot system, Turtle Studios opts for a card and deck approach to keep game fresh and exciting even when you have played the same level multiple times.
It isn’t perfect by a long shot but the game has something unique to it due to this system. Refining your card deck allows for much more player agency, and all the work pays off after you out in some time.
Outside of the card system, Back 4 Blood doesn’t seek to reinvent the wheel, instead it opts for a more refined, honed and balanced approach and upgrade to the whole sandbox Left 4 Dead created. A large increase in weapons, 8 characters with tons of cards to customize, however it loses the incredible Versus mode for a bland and disappointing Swarm PVP mode in it’s place.
After an impressive opening sequence that introduces you to the heroes and world you will be cutting your way through, the game introduces you to Fort Hope. A hub presenting itself as a place to gather your party, tests weapons and even engage in the occasional boxing match.
The enemies have made some upgrades as well. The Ridden are the name of the horde, packed with more variety and skills then the zombies of their previous games. Special Ridden make frequent appearances, especially on the harder settings and add much needed variety to the minute to minute encounters. Huge boss fights are a massive upgrade over how similar most of games in this genre looked an play out.
No matter what weapon set you have equipped, they all feel unique. Turtle Rock has really enhanced the gunplay. Each weapon looks and sounds powerful, and the game features enough perks and attachments to make Call of Duty blush.The balance of staying back with ranged weapons and knowing when to dive in is present and more important than ever. Unique campaign cards add to the tactics and depth which is already deep and satisfying. Back 4 Blood is also bloody and gory in all the right ways.
Great sound design and visuals really bring the world to life. Every melee swing and gunshot sounds powerful, but the game isn’t quite as robust with the impact on the enemies as you defeat them. They don’t truly blow apart quite like they used too, and as crazy as that sentence makes me sound, veterans of Left 4 Dead will know what I mean when they play this.
I could go on and break things down to a the tiniest of details but at the end of the day, Back 4 Blood is fun. It’s on Game Pass on well, and despite initial impressions not being too hot, the game grows and I started to appreciate Back 4 Blood for it’s new unique features, instead of viewing it as Left 4 Dead 3.
Tons of replay value, great challenge, Back 4 Blood is a fun co-op experience that shouldn’t be missed.