There is something special about working cooperatively with other people to take down wave after wave of enemies in a video game. Some of these hoard modes are a small mode in a game, where others make this type of gameplay its entire focus. This is what developer Tripwire Interactive has done with its new game Killing Floor 2. The game is a first person shooter that focuses on co-op gameplay with up to six players online. It is simply beating waves of enemies with mini-bosses until the inevitable main boss appears at the end. This game definitely gets its roots from the Left 4 Dead franchise by Valve. There is nothing wrong with doing this, however, it comes off as ridiculously similar.
Killing Floor 2 features different classes to choose from. There are also different player models to select that can have their looks customized. It adds a bit of variety to the game without overdoing it. Classes consists of field medics, gunslingers, and weapon support. Each class offers different perks as experienced is gained through playing with specific weapons related to the class in the game. Dual wielding pistols, automatic rifles, sniper rifles, and even melee weapons such as katanas can be used in the game. The experienced that is put towards a class will unlock more perks over time, so there is a means of grinding in this game rather than just going through over and over.
There are various enemies that will be encountered in Killing Floor 2. The main enemies are called Zeds. These are basically zombies, but have bald heads and mutilated bodies. If they get a hold of you, you will be prompted to hit a button to counter act. Achieving a head shot will throw you and your teammates into “zed time”, which is basically bullet time. Everything goes black and white and slows down for a few seconds allowing you to unload some kills. In my experience, however, this zed time always came at the worst moment. The guns take forever to reload, and half of the time I would miss out on this aspect. It gets pretty frustrating. You can limit Zeds and other enemies by welding doors shut to help watch your blind spots. Other enemies will be very recognizable from the Left 4 Dead series. The “Boomer”, which is a bald fat guy that takes a lot of damage and oozes out acid; the “Witch”, who is a thin female that screams — however the affects are a bit different; and the “Tank” which is large, fast, and takes a ton of damage. There are a few other enemies, but it seems to clearly pull from that older franchise.
In terms of game modes, there is not much to speak of. The experience is mainly online, and besides fighting waves offline and alone, there is only one other mode which is a versus mode. Here, players will be assigned to start off as Zeds and take down the humans. It is worth noting that players can create a party from within the game. So, besides grinding the classes online, there is not much else to do. One thing to note is that games were easy to find and I encountered no connectivity issues.
The game is visually appealing to say the least. It runs on the Unreal 3 engine, but it looks amazing and runs at a steady framerate. The detail of the player models are excellent, and the detailed body physics involved certainly stand out. The environments are large and varied, ranging from the forest to a prison. There is not a superb amount of detail in the environments, but they also look great. The game also features dynamic and destructible lights and objects. Lastly, the game is optimized for PS4 Pro, as well.
While Left 4 Dead might have set a creepy mood with its ambient sound, Killing Floor 2 just plays Metal. The only mood Tripwire Interactive wants you to feel is the mood to mow down enemies. There is not much of a horror element to this game, but rather monsters and gore. The game is purely adrenaline based, and the licensed soundtrack helps add to that. Licensed through Solid State Records, the game features music from artists that the label has signed. In addition, the game features voice comments from the characters which can get repetitive. Otherwise, the sound effects are nothing special and are sufficient enough to complete the audio experience.
Killing Floor 2 feels like a mix between Left 4 Dead and the Payday series, and there is nothing wrong with this. Tripwire Interactive succeeded in what it tried to accomplish. It offers an extremely fun cooperative experience with enough content to keep you coming back for more. More importantly, the game retails for $40 and is certainly worth that. It looks great, and most likely even better if you own a PS4 Pro. While the inclusion of taunts would have been nice to have for the downtime in between waves, it is one of the few minor gripes I have from an extremely good looking and well playing game. If you were a fan of either of the above-listed titles or are looking for an excellent, fast-paced cooperative experience, Killing Floor 2 offers just this.
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