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Back 4 Blood Review (PS5)

That’s not Left 4 Dead 3. But it is is Left 4 Dead 3. But it is Back 4 blood. Four survivors storm through a co-op campaign broken into several acts, with safe rooms acting as checkpoints. Most of the Ridden (this game’s colorful alias for the Z-word) are your forage, but when they appear in large numbers it can get a little hairier. Aside from these exercise goals, however, you have Special Ridden that makes you and your team a lot harder; Creatures like the Tallboy, Reeker, Crusher, and the terrifying giant ogre – among many, many others to confuse things.

If you’ve played Left 4 Dead, you played Back 4 Blood, and that’s not a bad thing because the Valve classic (and its sequel, of course) are popular for a reason. Gunplay here is snappy and satisfying, with meaty sound effects and absolutely spectacular gore. The level design is strong too, but it’s the encounters with hordes of zombies that make the game what it is and while we often felt overwhelmed, we never felt that Back 4 Blood offered us impossible opportunities.

It’s all very familiar, but in a way that feels more cozy and calming than derivative and old-fashioned. It’s supposedly about getting from A to B, where A is a safe room and B is, uh, another safe room. Each scenario has multiple chapters with a variety of well-designed, broadly linear maps that contain numerous set pieces, secrets and – most importantly – an apparently (and Strictly speaking) endless stream of ridden to blast into fleshy pieces.

Replay value is the be-all and end-all here and is focused by the director system, which ensures that – according to marketing – no two sessions will ever be identical. Said director – through faceless, voiceless AI – will play corruption cards that change the rules of each mission, and another one will trigger with each new area you reach. These cards have different effects, such as: B. Increase the number of certain types ridden or just make them more deadly. You are also given maps that reduce your visibility, with a thick, pale mist covering the ground. It’s not all bad though – some challenges come with a risk / reward system, such as: However, it is worth being rewarded with more copper.

Yes, copper – the mission’s currency. Don’t panic, we’re not talking about microtransactions here: in every phase you will find small copper supplies everywhere and you will be rewarded for skillful play. It is used in the safe rooms between levels to buy you and your team weapons, items, and special benefits. That doesn’t necessarily mean you to need; Firearms and melee weapons are everywhere (as you’d expect from a zombie apocalypse), but it feels good to be rewarded for your diligence with a more powerful shotgun, for example. But copper isn’t the only collectible item that brings us to the rest of the card system.

You need to earn supply points to unlock cards for your own deck. a host of equippable and groundbreaking buffs and perks that make up the real meat and potatoes of the laudable customization of Back 4 Blood. These allow you to customize your play style to suit your deck by bringing in purchased cards (as well as those found in the missions themselves) to improve ammo capacity, healing speed, and all sorts of game modifications. This, along with all of the perks you get from your chosen survivor, is essentially a class-based format where you will find one particular character more useful than another in certain maps or scenarios.

All of this would of course be worthless without strong online performance. Fortunately, we had absolutely no problem starting a session, either with friends or with Randoms; The quick play options that are always provided and the setting up of a campaign – even in the late game – never kept us waiting long.

We wish we could tell you it was just as good in single player, but it isn’t. You cannot earn Supply Points while playing alone. a bizarre choice considering there really isn’t a valid reason for this limitation. However, it’s unlikely anyone will focus on soloing – especially since the bots that complete a (rare) incomplete team are so sluggish when it comes to resuscitating an incapacitated player. Stick with Randoms or your friends, shall we say; Back 4 Blood shines with friends and you will have an absolute turmoil regardless of your mutual skill level. However, we wish the Left 4 Dead 2 console split screen would return.

Speaking of which, the PvP in Left 4 Dead 2 was hugely popular, but Back 4 Blood’s implementation of a similar mode – called Swarm – almost feels insultingly naked. Players take control of survivors and an army of Ridden, but it lacks the nuances and tactics of Left 4 Dead’s popular Versus mode; it almost feels like an afterthought, and one that should absolutely will be addressed in future updates and / or patches.

At the very least, it’s a graphical treat that runs at the smooth 60 frames per second you’d expect from the PlayStation 5, with vibrant colors and lighting that we think (and whisper) outperforms the slightly more washed-out Xbox Series X looks – though both run at the same 4K resolution. Since we are cross genes, we are sure that it is possible in theory look better, but you won’t have time to complain about the aesthetics when you’re shoulder deep in Ridden Guts.


After spending a lot of time on Back 4 Blood we think it is well worth your time and most importantly your money. Just great fun blowing the heads off Ridden or smashing them with a baseball bat like a watermelon in an anime beach episode. It doesn’t really offer a compelling solo experience – the bots are just a little too dumb for that – but Back 4 Blood should become a multiplayer game for the rest of the generation to come. Unless they bring out Back 4 Blood 2 in about a year.

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