The Expected Back 4 Blood is an impersonal zombie shooter

Back 4 Blood rolls out a harbor of zombies to kill, but nothing is remembered. The best thing about generic team shooting is the gameplay feel of the DualSense controller.

Date of issue: 12.10.2021
Developer: Turtle Rock Studios
Published by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
Available: PC, PS4, PS5 (tested), Xbox One, Xbox Series X / S
Players: 4-8
Age limit: 18
Game played for review: 8 hours

Is there a guidebook on how to make the most generic apocalyptic zombie world possible? – Because if there is, the developers of Turtle Rock Studios have read it carefully.

Left 4 Dead called the spiritual heir of the games Back 4 Blood takes place in a post-collapse world where survivors appointed as cleaners kill hundreds of zombies called ridden. Actually, there is no need to know more about this world or “story” because it has no relevance to the game.

Back 4 Blood’s central idea is familiar from many games. The four-person team grinds enemies in small missions that are rarely anything but pipe runs. Lead flies, blood splashes and boring characters fire a tired flap. Among ordinary zombies, there are a number of bigger monsters that are fired at glowing dots. Random weapons can be found in the boxes.

Really, everyone in this game feels seen a hundred times.

Underneath the dilute shell lies a really working shooter game. The mechanics are mostly polished and the gameplay feel of shooting is very good. The game doesn’t look very weird even on the PS5, but the DualSense controller takes pleasure. So far in no game have I encountered the use of adaptive triggers that feel so good – which weapon really feels a little different!

Slightly more original than the other parts is the Back 4 Blood card mechanics, where cards are selected from a pre-built deck during each game session. The cards bring a variety of boosts and additional features to the game character or the entire team, and are hugely important to survival in the game. Of course, the cards are opened with the points you earn by playing, which means you can settle for a few basic cards at the beginning.

Back 4 Blood is essentially a team game and is clearly not designed to be played alone. The campaign can be pulled through as a solo with the support of bots, but this quickly gets boring. When played with a friend, the shooter already has an atmosphere, but at best it would be with a full team of four. With random players and without communication, the gaming experience is lucky.

In addition to the linear campaign, there is Swarm mode, which is a kind of versus battle. The two teams find each other playing alternately with humans and alternately with zombies. This is a fun idea, but in my own test, players either constantly stopped in the middle or fell off the lines. This meant that matches often ended in an unfair 1v4 situation. Apparently, and for some strange reason, Swarm can’t join in the middle of the match because no top-ups came on the lines. So the implementation is a bit watering down an otherwise fun game mode.

Other sponsor solutions have been made by Turtle Rock Studios. For example, the game has a small hub area where you can buy cards, build coercions, and pimp weapons. However, it’s really completely useless and all the same things can be handled more easily directly from the menus. The hub doesn’t even meet other players, so why is it done?

The campaign itself is an insanely uneven experience, and artificial intelligence is the set that is often worth just fortifying behind a suitable door and unleashing enemies as they walk in line against them. Useful playing cards and basically useless cosmetic content are also intertwined so that the player is forced to waste their points on content they don’t want or need. This slows down the acquisition of new cards and progress in the game.

Back 4 Blood is basically a functional team shooter, but the enjoyment of it depends on the game club. With random players, the fun is often dilute, and the game requires a lot of replay anyway. Random Corruption cards bring variety to the fields, but basically the game repeats itself and after a few hours.

Back 4 Blood certainly has its target audience, and can easily be recommended as a joint shooter for a group of friends. If such games do not usually ignite and / or a game club cannot be found, Back 4 Blood offers no compelling reason to grab the controller.


Rating: 3/5

“Zombie shooter does exactly what it promises and nothing more.”

Source: by

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