Review: Killing Floor 2
Making its way from early access on PC to now a fully fledged release, including console for the first time in the series, is Killing Floor 2. Sequel to the 2009 game the plot is very thin and is there only as a reason and premise for the killing.
It essentially boils down to the fact that there’s been a deadly release of a zombie-like creatures (called Zeds) that were created as a result of genetic manipulation gone wrong. These have spread across Europe and it’s your job to simply gun down anything that moves to help save the human population. Other than that there’s not much to discuss as it neither detracts or adds to the experience.
Much like the plot, the gameplay is simple. That however doesn’t mean it’s not deep or interesting.
It’s essentially a horde game where you work together with up to six friends and defeat a number of waves before the final boss battle that rounds off every game. You can play solo but you’d be crazy to do that as the most fun you get from these type of games is the joy of working well as a team to overcome the enemy.
The difficulty and the number of waves prior to the boss fight is changeable, allowing for some quick four wave battles of some long and very bloody 10 wave battles. As you work your way through each wave the enemy types start becoming more varied, all very generic such as little scurrying things to fat, bloated man who spews bile everywhere to big massive brutes that knock everything out of the way, plus the enemy count keeps increasing too.
After each wave you get a couple of minutes to top up your ammo, buy armour and weapons all with money gained from killing enemies and surviving the rounds. To stop you tooling up too much you do have a weight limit so you can’t go round like the T-800 in Terminator 2 and just be a relentless machine.
The other options you get for the game is character selection at the beginning of the game. There’s actually a large number to choose from but all boil down to the usual assault, medic and support traits. You of course earn XP from all your killing and over time you unlock various perks and bonuses such as increased damage and improved healing. These can affect yourself your help benefit your teammates too. It takes much longer than other games to level up though and that could be the reason why in these early days of release we’re struggling to kill the boss as most people haven’t got to the first unlock.
The boss you fight at the end is randomly chosen (which is a bit annoying as sometimes you can face the same one a few times in a row, even on different maps) is what I feel is the weakest point of the game. The difficulty spike increases dramatically. Of all the battles I took part in, be it with one other person or five, we never ever killed the boss. We got close but no luck. Perhaps with some more practice and more characters levelling up we’ll get there in the end but for now at least it does seem almost insurmountable. However the accusation of lots of games being too easy these days, at least Killing Floor 2 provide a challenge.
There’s also a variation of the above that introduces PvP elements. Six players fight the Zed in the exact same way however other players can play as the Zed too. It’s very much like Left 4 Dead however it’s no where near as entertaining or satisfying to play as the Zed. It also makes the game even more unbalanced against the human players. It’s far better to just stick to everyone being
Blood, blood and more blood. Think of Peter Jackson’s Braindead and you’ll be in the right area. Although all Zeds vanish once killed the blood is left behind, meaning come the end of 10 waves there map is more blood than anything else. It’s a strangely satisfying feeling, seeing you and your teammates facedown overwhelming numbers and seeing the aftermath of a long and bloody battle.
Scoring this carnage is the spot on music. Although not to my general taste the metal/rock (including some licensed tracks) music accompany the game well. There’s no pan pipes or acoustic guitars here, just full on metal music and you wouldn’t have it any other way.
The main negative here though is that it’s not the prettiest game around, being a little rough around the edges. However the sheer volume of enemies coming at you, you don’t have time to sit and notice the graphics. It’s not like Uncharted 4 where the slower moments of the game would be impacted by average graphics compared to what we’re used to.
To sum up
Killing Floor 2 is a very satisfying hoard game and one that will reward people that stick with it long into the future.
Killing Floor is out now on PlayStation 4 and PC.