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Back 4 Blood review

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Back 4 Blood is a spiritual successor of the Left 4 Dead Xbox and PC series of the aughts. However, it deserves to be enjoyed as a standalone title.

We can’t think right now of any co-op game that’s as fun and enjoyable to play with friends. The game’s remarkable replayability is a testimony to the care and thought that went into its design and mechanics. Even if you’ve played it a few times, the game is still enjoyable to play.

Back 4 Blood is the best place to go if you just want to get in and play, shot in hand, without any thought about story context or progression system. There are plenty of levels to choose from and plenty of ‘Ridden to challenge you. You’ll also find mutations and other game mechanic chaos, which will keep you entertained, especially if Back 4 Blood has an online matchmaking system or you play with friends.

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You won’t be disappointed if you don’t like first-person shooters. However, the simple co-op action is simply amazing. You can play the game in many different ways.

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While Back 4 Blood’s core experience is very polished, with only one AI pathing problem in our 30+ hour play time, there are still parts that feel a little neglected. While the solo campaign is great fun, the AI teammates are competent and very capable. However, the final acts of the campaign will see your squad almost disappear.

Perhaps more importantly, our most frequent complaint from players about the PvP mode is its simplicity. It lacks the same level of complexity as the Online Co-op Campaign, and, to a lesser degree, the Solo Campaign modes. This might prove to be a problem for Left 4 Dead 2 players. We wouldn’t blame them.

Left 4 Dead 2 is no different. It has been popular for many years thanks to its active modding group. Back 4 Blood does not support modding at the moment, and may never. This could be enough reason for many players to give up Back 4 Blood.

Even with these problems, we think missing out on Back 4 Blood is a big mistake. Although it is not the Left 4 Dead 3 we were hoping for, it is the best co-op experience outside of MMORPGs. We can attest that it was worth the decade-long wait.

(Image credit to Warner Bros.

  • Back 4 blood at Amazon for US$0.99

High quality, with a little bit of tarnish around the edges

Turtle Rock Studios’ online co-op campaign is an example of the care that was put into it. It also shows that this game is meant to be played online with others.

You can still play the campaign solo, with bots acting as your team members, but this comes with its limitations. As you progress through the middle acts, you will soon encounter these limitations. Turtle Rock is right to admit that videogame AI can be frustratingly difficult to master, but Back 4 Blood’s AI team are highly skilled. However, a human is always better than a robot.

Back 4 Blood’s weapon upgrade mechanism is one of its most impressive features. However, your AI team members don’t actually update their gear with you. This should be an easy feature that can be used without any difficulty. We are certain you will notice it when you get killed by a particularly powerful boss or in a crucial set-piece firefight with a large horde Ridden.

You will be given the opportunity to take control of one of the remaining characters. They are equipped with common starting gear, which is not up to the challenge you face. You can choose to die, or continue fighting.

While this adds to the challenge, it also draws you out of the experience. These 3 friends have been through hell together and nobody bothered to get a better weapon.

You can’t finish a game with your last character if you reach the end of the game. It’s better to start over from the beginning than to try to finish it with your remaining squad members.

(Image credit to Warner Bros.

We must stress that guns matter. Back 4 Blood offers a Card Deck System, which allows you to add perks to your character. This gives you a lot more customization than just cosmetic.

It is possible to change the game’s gameplay by using informal, class-based distinctions between slow, but tankie shotgunners and glass cannons with submachine guns and 75% faster movements. However, this is where things get a little messy when it comes Melee builds.

Holly is able to take down entire hordes Ridden, just as she can in the final few levels. This puts the Persians to shame at 300. Until she suddenly stops, then. You don’t have the appropriate perks to allow you to pick up a shotgun or finish the game.

You’ll need to make sure your friends are able to handle the Big Bads at end, while keeping them safe from the hordes common Ridden. One instance is that it’s impossible to melee your opponent through a boss so it blocks the melee build from the action. You will need to replace a deck around a gun if you are playing Solo Campaign.

(Image credit to Warner Bros.

Although Swarm mode can be fun, it is not a solution.

The PvP mode is also fun but doesn’t really stand apart in the end. This could be a problem for Left 4 Dead 2 fans. It does not have a PvP campaign. There is one type of PvP match and it works well.

Contrary to the strength of the PvE Co-op campaign, the PvP game mode almost feels neglected. The structure of the game mode doesn’t seem to have enough room for expansion unless Turtle Rock adds entirely new game modes down the road.

Back 4 Blood does not have mod support, but there might never be. TechRadar was informed by Chris Ashton, Turtle Rock’s co-founder and Back 4 Blood director, that they would love to include mod support in the game. However it is unknown if they will be able to do so.

Crossplay between PCs and consoles is a feature of Left 4 Dead 2. Although it is more difficult to implement than Left 4 Dead 2, mods have been what has kept Left 4 Dead 2 relevant for 12 years. Many Left 4 Dead 2 enthusiasts will have to overcome the hurdle of mod support in Back 4 Blood. We believe the game is strong on its own merits without mods. However, it is the metaphorical Bruiser inside the Saferoom.

Ah, Capitalism. Capitalism is the most difficult difficulty of all. (Image credit to Warner Bros.

There are many reasons to play with friends, from difficulty to unlockables.

Back 4 Blood is a challenging game, but it’s also very satisfying if you play on the standard difficulty level. You’ll be in the most difficult fight of your life if you increase the difficulty. Push it to the limit and you’ll be lucky if your first building survives, let alone the first level.

This means that the card system, weapon upgrade, and communication with your squadmates are essential. It also provides a solid foundation for replayability.

You’ll find plenty of reasons to return to Back 4 Blood over the long-term, thanks to unlockables and achievements.

Many Left 4 Dead fans loved the co-op campaign. Turtle Rock was certain of this, and made sure to put its efforts into making Back 4 Blood even better.

Although its problems are real, they keep Back 4 Blood far from perfect, we can now confidently say that it was well worth the wait.

 

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