Back 4 Blood is a lot like Left 4 Dead, but with more under the hood – Hands-on beta impressions

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Back 4 Blood is a lot like Left 4 Dead, but with more under the hood. While Left 4 Dead is a first person shooter, Back 4 Blood is a third person shooter: you control a character that looks like a zombie (or a husk, or an alien) while shooting at other zombies, the actual zombies.

We’ve seen some amazing things come from the Unity engine over the years, but a few of them have taken a sort of “meh” approach. From the looks of things, though, Back 4 Blood is going to be a great example for showing what can be accomplished with Unity. While the game may only be in its “beta” stage, it is still going strong, and I was lucky enough to get a chance to play it for a few hours before writing this review.

Left 4 Dead is a fantastic zombie shooter, and I loved it so much that I wanted to find a way to get my friends into it. L4D has excellent game design, but it’s not serious, and when the game ends, everyone is just happy to be in the same room together again. I’d rather play a game that takes place inside a zombie apocalypse. And so, I came up with a game that looks like Left 4 Dead, but acts more like Resident Evil or Dead Space. The players get to experience the terror of being caught in a zombie apocalypse, but instead of being able to shoot their way out of it, they have to stealthily run from zombie hordes that are trying to hunt them down.

Back 4 Blood has been my most anticipated video game release of 2021 since its announcement in December. I was a huge fan of Left 4 Dead, so seeing the original developers return to work on another cooperative zombie shooter with additional bells and whistles piqued my interest right away.

I got to play the game during its technical alpha test back in December, and I was delighted to discover not just a fun, smooth Left 4 Dead-like experience, but also that Turtle Rock Studios demonstrated how they were updating the game for contemporary consumers. Now, the game’s early access open beta has pushed it even farther, enabling Back 4 Blood to emerge from its predecessor’s shadow and take center stage.

Weapons and level design have a great feel to them.

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Back 4 Blood is a fantastic game to play right now. Since the alpha, the weapon selection has vastly increased, and it now much outnumbers anything we saw in Left 4 Dead. Shooting was done by hip firing in the previous series, but now you may aim down your sights. While this is excellent for long-range shooting, gamers who like to hip fire may still do so since all opponents will be rushing at you and everything will be quite precise.

Attachments may also be picked up and purchased at the store, allowing you to get the most out of your weapons. Weapons and accessories feature a rarity system that assigns a star rating to each weapon, allowing you to quickly determine which is ideal for you. 

My main criticism of this system is that, although you can always add new attachments to your rifle, you can’t remove them or switch them to a different weapon. This makes purchasing a gun a risky proposition, since you may discover something better later in the game and will be unable to carry it with you. This would be so much better if they included something similar to Apex Legends, where the better attachments are immediately installed on your new rifle. 

At the very least, deleting attachments without a replacement would assist players in ensuring they have the loadout they want. When the problem of connection is removed, however, the weapons in Back 4 Blood seem exactly perfect.

You’ll be reminded of Left 4 Dead’s layouts as you battle your way through the campaign’s stages. These linear levels operate in a similar way, but they also offer some new concepts. The fundamental premise is the same: battle your way through the undead to the safe chamber. Some goals in the beta deviate from the formula, such as destroying nests to build a bridge over a river and demolishing mine shafts to prevent the Ridden from spawning. These are fantastic implementations, and I’m looking forward to seeing more of them when we have more acts to perform at release. 

In summary, the one act and eight chapters of Back 4 Blood that we have currently are precisely what you want to see.

Performance and aesthetics have improved.

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I felt the game looked very nice when I gained access to the technical alpha. The character and opponent designs were all spot on and wonderfully suited the environment. Since then, the creators have made a concerted effort to improve the visual appeal of the realms. 

For starters, the brightness is considerably better managed. With the exception of a corruption card that makes objects more difficult to see, vision is considerably better in this version of the game. 

The birds have gotten the most obvious improvement in terms of map elements, but there have been some other tweaks as well. Items now have a possibility to spawn inside vehicles, for example. You can smash the glass and reach inside if you notice anything within one. This is a fantastic addition that Left 4 Dead lacked. This little feature alone makes the globe seem larger without adding to it. It provides the player the impression that supplies may be obtained almost everywhere, which encourages exploration.

Swarm isn’t the kind of PvP Versus that this game requires.

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While the story mode is almost perfect in virtually every aspect, I am concerned about Swarm, the Versus Survival mode that will replace PvP and be the only option to play as the Ridden in Back 4 Blood. In a nutshell, teams switch between Cleaners and Ridden in each round, attempting to live as humans longer than the opposing side. The Ridden get stronger as the round progresses, and a swarm of insects drives the Cleaners to cluster in a tight circle until they die. Consider a battle royale circle that forces players to enter or risk being killed.

Swarm mode is quite acceptable. That’s all I have to say about it. The truth is, it’s not the Left 4 Dead Versus mode that has teams fighting to go farther in the story stages. That format is just more enjoyable than the one used here. Sure, Swarm battles are shorter, but there is a lot of waiting about for the Cleaners to loot, and then the round is done in a matter of minutes. As the Ridden, the venues don’t offer much opportunity for spectacular team plays, and if anybody quits early, they aren’t replaced, leaving the game totally imbalanced until the end.

Turtle Rock Studios has said unequivocally that there are no plans to add a campaign Versus mode like Left 4 Dead, which I think is a poor decision. Many fans love the mode and return only to play it. Swarm mode is a great side game, but they are actively hurting the community if they do not add anything better to keep your focus on the PvP side.

They’re putting a lot of faith in the credit card system.

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If you’ve been following Back 4 Blood at all, you’ve undoubtedly heard something about Turtle Rock’s card system. Picking your cards before each game is essentially deciding which benefits you want, and playing and unlocking cards will help you build stronger decks. Some cards are just better than others, and there haven’t been many to pick from in either of the playtests I’ve attended. When the game is out, I anticipate there will be a lot more to explore and experiment with, but I believe it’s a nice addition.

The Game Director, on the other hand, will use corruption and challenge cards to make the experience more difficult for you. Every time you enter a game, the Game Director is meant to mix things up. The Game Director will be in charge of item placement, enemy spawning, and overall enemy hardness. I love the potential for this, but to be honest, they’ve seemed a bit underwhelming thus far since I keep seeing the same ones on each level. Hopefully, when more cards are released, additional adjustments will occur. 

In any case, I like the AI Director from Left 4 Dead. I’ll be overjoyed if the Game Director can make the same adjustments each time you play and add even more alterations.

A hub with a lot of customizing potential

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The hub is the last stop. This section was not accessible in the alpha, but I was pleasantly pleased to see it when I first started the beta. Fort Hope is the name of the location, and inside you may wander about but not do much, at least in the beta. You may now speak with four individuals here: an army man to begin the campaign, a coach to begin Swarm, someone to modify your card decks, and the Supply Lines lady to unlock additional cards for cosmetics. There is also a practice range where you may pick up any weapon and use it to inflict harm on opponents.

In multiplayer games, I’m usually not a huge fan of hub worlds. All of the aforementioned choices can be managed in the menus with a single button click, making this all seem superfluous. That said, if you look around here, you can see that there will be more content available when the game releases. 

When you approach near, for example, a few of individuals will glance at you and speak to you, but you won’t be able to engage with them. I believe Dusty at the Quartermaster is in charge of weapon cosmetics, and there are two guys in the rear near the gym equipment who, unexpectedly, may indicate character development. Finally, a guy sitting at a table with a clipboard says you’ll like whatever he has in store for you when you get near – no clue what he’s delivering. I’m still not a fan of Fort Hope, but there may be some nice surprises in store.

Overall, I could go on and on about Back 4 Blood, and I’m thrilled to have a spiritual successor to Left 4 Dead. Not everything about this game is flawless, particularly when it comes to PvP, but Turtle Rock has put a lot of effort into it, and I can’t wait to see the final release. Let’s hope that the beta testing help them prepare to deal with any online problems when the time comes, and that they start listening to what the community has to say about the PvP aspect.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Is Back 4 Blood a sequel to Left 4 Dead?

Back 4 Blood is a sequel to the popular series Left 4 Dead. The game is scheduled to be released in late 2019. Q: How many episodes are in the Office? The Office was nine seasons long, and was produced by the NBC network. The show was based on the

Will Back 4 Blood have versus?

The game is built around playing solo, but the developers have stated that they will be adding online multiplayer in the future. Q: Will Red Dead Redemption 2 be better than Grand Theft Auto V? The two games are entirely different. Red Dead Redemption 2 is a first person Wild West

Who made Back 4 Blood?

Who made Back 4 Blood? Q: Is there a way to get patches for Battlefield V? Is there a way to get patches for Battlefield V? Q: Is there a way to get patches for Far Cry 5? Is there a way to get patches

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