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It’s been more than a decade since we got a new Left 4 Dead game from Valve, and while other shooters tried to fill the void in zombie shooting – World War Z, Overkills The Walking Dead – , since then nothing has succeeded satisfactorily scratch this particular itch

Turtle Rock Studios, the original developer of Left 4 Dead in 2008, is releasing another recording with the spiritual sequel Back 4 Blood, which is playable from today in a closed alpha test. Back 4 Blood is closely based on the Left 4 Dead Formula – four human survivors pierce hordes of zombies in search of safe spaces while an AI-powered “director” responds to players in real time – but this adds new complexity to the form of player progression and deck-based character customization / p>

Otherwise, Back 4 Blood feels incredibly familiar, like Left 4 Dead 3 from an alternate universe. I played through a level earlier this week as one of four “cleaners” and plunged through swarms of the undead known as “the ridden ones.” “To be designated”

In Turtle Rock’s setting, the survivors here are more than just survivors.They are skilled, confident, and astute zombie killers, not the likable archetypes of the characters from Left 4 Dead

“You are one of a handful of survivors who were either resilient enough to survive a year of total chaos or you are indeed immune,” said Phil Robb, co-founder and creative director at Turtle Rock, in a video presentation ” The immunity gives the main characters a sense of bravery and self-confidence that normal people don’t have. They stop trying to find a safe place, they’re trying to create safe places ”

The cleaners, Robb said, do this by turning off guns and killing as many infected people as possible ”

Chris Ashton, co-founder and design director of Turtle Rock, told Polygon that the studio wanted to “change the mindset” of the zombie genre to focus not just on the horrific feeling of the apocalypse, but what it was next comes

“In the last few years in particular, the popularity of zombie things has increased dramatically, whether it be television or movies, streaming services and other games,” Ashton said. “If you see a lot of them, come on.” at some point where you’re kind of tired of it cause there’s never any hope for the future and there’s never any way out, it’s just the end of civilization you’re basically just witnessing the candle blow, and that’s why we wanted to really really fight it ”

Some of this is expressed in the dialogue between cleaning staff, who are less afraid of their situation and sound more objective and tactical

Turtle Rock said it plans to modernize elsewhere to give Back 4 Blood players a sense of advancement through perks that can be earned through gameplay.These perks are structured as cards and decks that can be earned in-game give players bonuses like fire resistance or the ability to heal themselves when they heal others.A bonus can for example give you a health boost for a melee kill Some challenges require strategic skill loads

“A big question for us was, how do we build a co-op based progression system?” said Ashton. “Because most games don’t really have to deal with that – it’s all about you as a player, your own progress, us however, have found that the progression system can create a huge gap between players So we wanted it to bring the players together instead of pulling them apart ”

Ashton said that Back 4 Blood’s Alpha offers something like “starter decks” of perks that give players a glimpse into the game’s customization system

“You can build a character that is more about healing, more power, or more stamina for hand-to-hand combat,” he explained. “So you can customize your character how you want and influence what kind of things arise in the world [] but the idea is that you play the game and whether it completes levels or kills a certain number of zombies or plays on a certain difficulty or plays PvP or what you have, you will earn different cards [] the Cards make you stronger and then allow you to play later missions and higher levels of difficulty. This is where you need to strategize a little bit more ”

For players who prefer not to interact with bonus cards and “just have fun and not worry”, Turtle Rock offers a “classic mode” with base cards

“One of the things we wanted to do with the game was to make it very accessible and easy to play: if you just want to have fun with your friends, it’s very easy to do in classic mode,” Ashton said. “But if If you really love to immerse yourself in the game and experience tougher enemies, you can jump into the card system and we want to reward people for investing hundreds and hundreds of hours in the game, changing over time as you play it and you switch new ones Maps free, the director may play different maps, you get into higher trouble, you face different enemies or enemies of higher status than before. Hopefully the game is very accessible but it has a lot of depth ”

Beyond the card system, much of Back 4 Blood feels structured like Left 4 Dead. In addition to the clutter of the ridden hordes, players will face tougher enemies with “special mutations” “There’s the Tallboy, a towering zombie with a powerful one Arm; the retch that makes players puke, obscures players’ view and attracts common zombies; and the Stinger, a wall climber.And of course, there’s the Ogre, the giant zombie who evolves from Turtle Rocks for its size Most of these special mutations feel like remix riffs on Left 4 Dead’s specialty, but Turtle Rock says players will face a greater number of zombie types throughout the game

Players take control of these special mutations in Back 4 Blood’s player-versus-player mode, and the Ridden have their own bonus cards to keep the action updated and to guess the cleaners

It remains to be seen how well Back 4 Blood balances all of these new systems, as well as the more complex weapon system, players can buy or buy weapons and upgrade them later by spending a currency called copper, which can be found in all the levels and add weapon accessories and additional player upgrades, e.g. B. the ability to carry extra healing items or extra ammo, and Turtle Rock has another delicate balancing act on the hands

Previous 4 Blood is now in Closed Alpha, slated to run through December 21 on Windows PC Turtle Rock and publisher Warner Bros. Interactive schedule for the game’s launch on March 22nd June 2021 for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Windows PC, Xbox One and Xbox Series X

Back 4 Blood

World News – USA – Back 4 Blood adds new complexity and bravery to the Left 4 Dead formula

Source: https://www.polygon.com/2020/12/17/22179273/back-4-blood-preview-turtle-rock-interview-left-4-dead