Can I have some gore with my heavy metal soundtrack?
As can probably be deduced from the title, Killing Floor 2 is a sequel. The original Killing Floor began life as a mod for Unreal Tournament 2004 on PC, before getting a standalone release. Despite being around for quite a long time, and proving to be hugely popular among the PC shooter fans, Killing Floor will likely be unknown to most console gamers. However, Tripwire Interactive have now released the sequel, which has been in early access on PC for a while, and PS4 gamers will get to enjoy the visceral fun alongside the PC gamers.
Killing Floor 2 has a very simple premise, one that will be familiar to those who have played either Left 4 Dead or the Zombies mode in Call of Duty. There will be waves of Zombies, or Zeds as they are known in the game, and up to six players will have to survive each wave before moving onto the next, with the waves culminating in a boss battle. There is a story, something about some evil organisation and a virus, but no one really cares as this game is all about survival. Does it really matter where the Zeds came from?
The Survival mode, which is the core of the game, will see up to six players facing off against wave after wave of Zeds across a variety of different maps. The maps themselves are nicely made and create a great sense of panic in the game, but they all lean towards the dark side and, with the sheer number of Zeds that come flying towards the player, make it hard to see where the Zeds are coming from at times.
After a wave is finished, players are given a short break before the next wave. Mowing down the Zeds, players earn money, and it is during this break that they can head over to a handy shop pod and grab themselves some new weapons or extra ammo. There are loads of weapons available in the game, from your standard assault rifles or shotguns, to the more brutal like sof a rail gun and a microwave gun. There are also plenty of melee weapons, such as knives and swords. The variety of Zeds, simple grunts to toxic bloats and beasts with chainsaws for arms, will require different tactics to survive, but there is never any doubt of harm being done with limbs being severed and all manner of viscera flying around the screen. Occasionally, Zed Time will be triggered and everything will slow down for a couple of seconds, giving the player an advantage and providing them with a much easier to see smorgasbord of gore. Killing Floor 2 is a game that doesn’t shy away from blood and guts.
There are 10 different classes, known as Perks, in Killing Floor 2. Players are able to choose which Perk to play as to try and match their playstyle, although it is possible to change Perks between waves if they want to try something else. Each Perk has a different role in the game, although for the most part they all just aim at different ways to kill Zeds. The Berserker is all about close combat, while the Commando works better at range. There are support roles available, such as the Support or Medic, but they support they offer is limited. Then there are the more quirky Perks such as the Firebug and the Gunslinger.
Whichever Perk is chosen, the player is free to use whatever weapons they want. However, each Perk has certain types of weapons with which they get bonuses, and using other weapons will mean they are less effective. Perks level up through play, as the player uses them, and offer upgrades that will be essential should the player progress to the higher difficulty levels. Most player will find one or two classes that suit their playstyle and stick with them, to make them as powerful as possible.
All of this is great, and a lot of fun. But with only a limited number of maps, and only two bosses for the players to face, Killing Floor 2 does run the risk of becoming repetitive. There is plenty of replay value from learning the maps, and from leveling up a Perk or two, and the gameplay is chaotically enjoyable, but I am just not sure about the longevity of the mode. Mind you, I am sure that Tripwire will add more content over time, furthering the longevity and replayability.
Mind you, there is another mode in Killing Floor 2. This Vs mode pits teams of players against each otehr, with one team taking on the role of Humans, while the other team gets to play as Zeds. The teams then swap roles. The problem is that the mode feels very unbalanced at the moment and is simply not as much fun as the core survival mode.
Killing Floor 2 is a shooter with a very narrow focus. What it does, it does great. But it is limited in both appeal and content. However, if you are looking for a co-op shooter that offers both fun and viscera, maybe as an alternative to the Zombies mode in the latest Call of Duty, and have a bunch of friends on hand to team up with, Killing Floor 2 is an entertaining choice.