Return 4 blood reviews
need to know
What is it? Cooperative FPS from the manufacturer of Left 4 Dead.
release October 12, 2021
Expect to pay 60 USD/50 GBP
Developer Guiyan Studio
Publisher Warner Bros
Review date RTX 2060, Ryzen 5 2600 3.4GHz, 16GB RAM
multiplayer game? Up to 4 people for cooperation, up to 8 people for competition
Associate Official website
Remember Left 4 Dead established the type of running gun cooperation we know, and then Valve stopped making them after reaching number 2? I like Left 4 Dead 2 and will still return to it because no other co-op game can catch the same itch. The Second World War is not my business. Payday 2 is meh. Deep Rock Galaxy is great, but different. Killing Floor 2 and Vermintide are good. Back 4 Blood was produced by the original Left 4 Dead studio. Valve swallowed and spit it out a few years ago. It is a very interesting shooting game. It managed to beat the zombie Left 4 Dead. I began to believe that it was impossible.
Back 4 Blood regained the rhythm of 2009, where I was in a row of headshots when I was shooting with my friends. Turtle Rock faithfully resurrected the fun and heart-pounding zombie killing that others have only tried. For me, just making Left 4 Dead 3 without ambition is enough, but Back 4 Blood is also a deck builder, a predator, a hero shooter, and even a bit of a rogue. This is a game that Turtle Rock could not make 10 years ago. It is the addition of these smart modern ideas that make it outstanding.
From the start of the jump, Back 4 Blood overturned the premise of Left 4 Dead. You are no longer an ordinary Joe survivor scrambling to escape the crumbling city. You are a mercenary who kills zombies. They hunt down pests, rescue trapped civilians, and collect supplies for the surviving settlements. Each level starts with your team, leaving the security of the Fort Hope hub world to find trouble. It’s a bit like jumping directly to the later stage of The Walking Dead, where everyone is still alive and is a superman’s murder machine.
This describes Back 4 Blood’s Cleaners, eight powerful characters that provide unique statistical rewards for themselves and the entire team. These are not Overwatch heroes with amazing ultimate abilities, but the cleaners did invite interesting, slightly different game styles-Holly is a melee expert who gains stamina with every kill, Hoffman carries one Additional grenades will provide more ammunition for the entire team, and mother will get a free resurrection for each mission. As I mentioned in my initial impressions, I like to maintain Doc in most operations. Not only can she use the medical kit faster and heal everyone for free, but she also started using the M9 pistol and MP5, which are my two favorite guns.
Choosing survivors in Left 4 Dead is mainly about making fun of whose voice you want to hear. Back 4 Blood’s Cleaners quickly conquered me, not because they have a lot of personality, but because it is fun to play a specific role in this game. When I started to combine the cleaning ability with the other great mechanics of the game-deck building, more depth appeared.
Between two runs, players can build 15 decks from more than 100 unlockable cards, with effects ranging from minor health rewards to major gameplay changes. Each player can pick a few cards at the beginning, but only one card can be drawn for each level thereafter. If the run ends with zero and continues to the left, everyone’s deck will be shuffled.
The entry card is a bit boring (+10 stamina, long live), but soon I unlocked transformative skills that encouraged me to specialize. For more than 20 hours, I made a set of auxiliary decks that perfectly matched Doc. When I draw all the cards, I can carry more medical kits, heal my teammates better than themselves, and take a lot of damage while I revive others. Another most popular card is Buckshot Bruiser, which provides temporary HP for every shotgun bullet that hits the enemy (the durable special zombie lineup against Back 4 Blood is very profitable).
Some of the coolest cards also have a significant drawback, such as Admin Reload, which automatically reloads the gun at the cost of 15% of the ammunition carrying capacity. Or the killer’s instinct, it will greatly increase the weak point damage, but will disable the sight. Here are some short examples of other cards, demonstrating the variety of builds:
- Headband magnifying glass: +125% use speed, but when you take damage, you have a chance to be blind for 1 second
- Ammunition mule: +75% ammunition capacity, support slots are disabled (medical kits, bandages, etc.)
- Combat knife: Turn your standard melee attack into a powerful knife attack
- Quick kill: +50% waist shot accuracy, downward aiming is disabled
- Average drunkenness: +75% melee damage, melee attacks will split the enemy, sprinting is disabled
- in front of! : When squatting, you neither accept nor cause friendly fires, +10 health
To be honest, when I first read about the card system, I was ready to hate it. This seems to be a way to artificially expand the replayability of Back 4 Blood. As an FPS player, I am worried that all these passive rewards will produce a lot of invisible math that bothers me. Who wants to fiddle with cards in an action game?
I am happy to admit that I was wrong and grumpy-I have spent at least an hour of game time building five different decks, and as I unlock more cards, I will keep going back and converting them. There are only 15 cards in a deck, which is definitely helpful, although it will be faster if the deck building menu is designed for the mouse and keyboard.
The goal is real
(Image source: Turtle Rock Studios)
Back 4 Blood is a beautifully optimized game suitable for all kinds of PCs. Check out our complete Back 4 Blood performance analysis to see how it runs on your machine, but it never caused me any problems on my RTX 2060. Using DLSS in 1080p quality mode, I turned on the high preset, enjoyed the average 80-90 fps, and never looked back.
If Turtle Rock does not master the basic knowledge, the card system is meaningless. Back 4 Blood’s shootout is very good-great, I hope most competitive shooting games can be played smoothly. The dull first-person animations of the Source engine have been traded for fast, gorgeous reloads that beautifully end a battle and still look good when card privileges are accelerated.
Modern styles, such as optional hit markers (white for hit, yellow for crit, and red for death), contextual ping system, and unique voice prompts for headshots, provide satisfactory information in every encounter. This week I returned to Left 4 Dead 2 to compare the two games. When I emptied a Uzi magazine into a large group, I immediately missed the hot markers.
The arsenal itself is more diverse than the predecessor of Back 4 Blood, thanks to the addition of accessory systems directly from Apex Legends and PUBG. 30 guns (pistol, SMG, assault rifle, LMG, sniper rifle, shotgun and melee) have all managed to fill different areas. During my first game, I kept switching weapons, but never shot them all.
In addition to guns and cards, players can also visit the store at the beginning of each mission to buy better guns, accessories, healing items, grenades-basically everything is Left 4 Dead. In the past, in every new safe room. And one more.
Accessories are particularly interesting because they have different rarities and can offset the inherent weaknesses of guns. I’m glad that everything you can slap on your gun is pure gain, not the giving and receiving that I am used to in the creative category of Call of Duty. Back 4 Blood is one of the few games where the use of suppressors will not reduce the damage of the gun. In fact, here it offers a lot of sneak attack rewards (tidy!) for any rider who hasn’t noticed you yet. The only disadvantage of one accessory is that you have to give up another accessory-expanding the quick magazine can speed up the reloading speed of the M249 Drowsy, but you will also lose the armor-piercing ammunition.
What to buy and when to buy became a major part of Back 4 Blood’s harder mode strategy. This is where I started yelling swear words at the monitor. Copper, the currency of the game, became more scarce outside of Recruit difficulty, and the temptation to squander the expensive laser sight for my M4 in a team-wide medical package upgrade was irresistible.
You can also discard copper and ammo for your teammates to pool resources, but I would not expect random players to be so generous-this is one of the countless reasons why Back 4 Blood is more enjoyable with friends.
Scrolling through dozens of cards can be intimidating, but a beautiful set of cards can be put together unexpectedly and quickly. (Image source: Turtle Rock Studios)
The main battle of Back 4 Blood is a fairly long period of about 30 levels. There are some annoying things, especially the short ending missions that end each scene, but most of them shine in the linear level design of Left 4 Dead. City streets and spooky forests are denser, and there are more ways to rest and explore. Spending an extra minute before leaving an area usually rewards us with extra copper, ammunition depot, or better guns. But we can’t linger forever-many missions will display a timer warning on the screen when the next tribe arrives.
The variety of Back 4 Blood missions feels like a direct response to the common criticism of Left 4 Dead that it’s not long enough. The card system makes the map look slightly different by modifying corrupt cards of the world and zombie behavior. A run may be foggy, or armored zombies, or zombies with head exploded, or more security doors that trigger alarms. I am a big fan of these random mutants, even though these Afro zombies have always limited my melee game style.
The more progress you make in the campaign, the more stingy they will be.In the third act, the AI director threw dashing zombies at us, causing double damage and Leave the acid. Not cool. So far, I have spent most of my time on the lowest default recruiting difficulty, usually playing with at least one friend. The first two scenes are very relaxing and fun-it is a perfect challenge when you just want to turn off your brain and let some Ridden go to the brain.
(Image source: Turtle Rock Studios)
A higher difficulty setting, veteran, is the opposite. Copper and ammunition are increasingly scarce, and medical stations now need to spend money to restore maximum health. The early task that we had done easily was to fight desperately for our lives. We can almost withstand standard enemy waves, but trigger a car alarm and we will be at a loss in a few seconds. It’s cool to have to worry about the danger that didn’t pose a big threat before, but the speed at which the most serious tallboy and Hawke’s enemies start to become absurd.
The appearance of these stronger mutations was supposed to be an event orchestrated by the AI director of Back 4 Blood, but at some point, it felt like Turtle Rock just flipped the “Oh, all explosives” switch, and we died. The game has only been launched for a whole day, and Turtle Rock is already adjusting its spawn rate, so I expect Veteran to improve over time.
Knowing how difficult the second half of Act 3 is, I shudder at the thought of moving on. The most difficult setting, Nightmare, turned the medium-sized zombie encounter into the hopeless slaughter of the amnesiad platinum Rainbow Six Siege player.
Speaking of pain, Back 4 Blood also has a PvP mode called Swarm. Just like the Versus mode of Left 4 Dead, Swarm confronts four human cleaners against four other players who control special riding species. But unlike the old Versus setting, which is basically a standard battle with smarter, human-controlled enemies, Swarm is a timed survival mode that reuses large battle maps for small arenas. The only goal is to persevere for as long as possible, when all the cleaners are dead, the team will switch sides and try to beat each other’s time.
In a highly competitive environment, the sadism of the elegant and balanced campaign disappeared. Every team I’ve encountered has the same idea, using Hawke to fix players in place, using…
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