It’s always interesting to see how the restarted series adapts to the new rules after a long distance from the game scene. Often, many things are forced at once to catch up, betraying the original look and feel of the game and moving the player away. It’s not a reboot in itself, but Back 4 Blood, a new multiplayer zombie game created by Turtle Rock Studios, the original developer of Left 4 Deads, isn’t trying to deny its roots. From the name itself to its basic structure, it is sometimes called Left 4 Dead 3. But how old is that format? The final Left 4 Dead game, the sequel to the release in 2009, has become hotter than the original in the 2008s, and the absence of more than a decade from the game scene has made it a bit sick, if not confused. rice field. Perhaps the lack of Left 4 Dead over the last decade has been timely, as zombie games are declining in popularity. But apparently there’s still an audience there, as some zombie series are still alive and kicking (a sequel to Dying Light will be released this February). What do players now expect from the game, as opposed to when Left 4 Dead was first released? How did Back 4 Blood adapt to these expectations?
At first glance, Turtle Rock Studios seems to have an instinct on how to make the series work for new viewers. Back 4 Blood is a comfortable mix of old and new. Like Left 4 Dead, players must belong to a team of four and endure the waves of hordes of zombies by moving between safehouses. The safehouse acts as a kind of resting place, where you can store your health and ammunition before the player departs again. .. Each level is loosely tied by this premise, pushing the character from place to place as the character seeks safety in search of other survivors. From fairytale door alerts to flock of birds, environmental hazards can upset hordes. Consumables are minimal and disappear from inventory between playthroughs. There is no stockpile or hoarding for those rough battle moments. Players need to keep moving forward and seize opportunities to survive.
Of the two most important changes to this formula, both seemingly add versatility to make the natural repeats of the game more tasty in the long run. There were a lot of new things to Left 4 Dead at the time of release, but the pace is where it was good. With minimal narrative assumptions, a lasting inventory system, and the simplest weapons and healing items, the experience was the same as the House of the Dead ancestors on that rail: don’t stop, look back. Don’t, just keep moving forward. This was suitable for games that focused primarily on getting through the zombie waves. But it can also be very repetitive. Levels were designed as an isolated shooting range environment rather than a storytelling setting, with important events and climaxes to gather, but most of the time I knew the heights of each chapter.
In Back 4 Blood, this is buffered at least to some extent by adding cards and can be divided into two classes: active and collapse. The latter is a specific gameplay tweak that adds additional challenges at the next campaign level, the former being awarded to the progress of the game and forming a larger deck that players can withdraw as they play. .. Building a deck offers both short-term rewards and long-term incentives. This is because the cards (selected between levels as the player progresses) add boost to everything from stamina to reload speed. Some of the more interesting top-notch ones offer pros and cons. For example, Mean Drunk deals 75% additional melee weapon damage, but also disables sprints. This element not only encourages players to continue playing and allows them to stack up the effects of active cards, but also creates strategic challenges that can be used for challenge runs.
Weapon systems, on the other hand, are inspired by the same color hierarchy loot systems currently found in games such as Division 2 and the Borderlands series to give some spontaneity about how effective or powerful a weapon is. Offers and nullifies the opportunity to rely on weapons in the long run. Most of them, from the weapon itself to the mods that change performance, are randomly purchased in the safehouse or found in crates. Ultimately, players can’t hold weapons or mods, so it’s only temporary. Therefore, the optimal configuration can only be found by sticking to several levels. Combining a game card system with a minimalist approach to inventory and consumables, the game ensures that each playthrough is probably a little different each time.
In most cases, Im is happy with how well Turtle Rocks sticks to the original formula. Levels have a similar climax decline and flow. But some throwbacks hope they took some more risks. The cohesive plot from action to action is an improvement (Left 4 Dead and its sequels never filled all these gaps), but the story isn’t that complicated or compelling. A light story promotes a speedy pace, but it’s a good idea to care about the Back 4 Blood character or invest a little in the game event. Most lines, especially the personal commentary on the characters, are clichés one after another, adding to the whims of the game’s B-movies, while rarely fleshing them out as people.
Special zombie types also leave a lot of demand. Many like Reeker (covering the player with a goo that attracts the horde) and Snitch (tilting the horde to your location if disturbed) are direct holdovers from Left 4 Dead. Apart from their appearance and name, they haven’t changed substantially. Strategically, this offers benefits to older Left 4 Dead fans, but it also adds an everyday feel. That one area where Turtle Rock should have sacrificed familiarity for novelty is that new, if any, could interrupt unknowing button mashing in the Back 4 Bloods core gameplay loop. It is a special zombie type. I wanted to see what they could come up with.
That said, Turtle Rock is paying attention to the current climate they are releasing. I appreciate the variety of characters (as an outdoor redhead named Holly, I of course play as an outdoor redhead Holly, screaming my name when hitting them with a friendly fire Is too good). And accessibility options are some of the more thorough I’ve seen, covering everything from caption text size to colorblind mode. They didn’t make all the changes Id wanted, but they did some of the most important changes in the scheme of things.
It’s not uncommon for players to really not know what they are looking for in the returning game series. Sequels and reboots can be blamed for too many or insufficient changes, and balancing can look like a magical formula that can only decipher elements after absorption. I have. What is the reason for the audience to reject some changes and accept others? Observing past releases, technical changes seem to be the most accepted, as opposed to significant visual and art direction changes (little changes outside the user interface and multiplayer chat capabilities). Diablo II: Think of Resurrected). Back 4 Blood isn’t a remaster, but I think it supports this case. Its most important changes are versatility and playability, more like a refurbishment than a complete rebuild. If the goal is to resume Left 4 Dead from where it left off, they’re doing well.
You can’t go back to the person who got Left 4 Dead. Since then, too many games have been built on that legacy. But as for what it is, Back 4 Blood has made Left 4 Dead a good thing, even if this new iteration doesn’t take advantage of all the innovative conventions that have arisen since the first release of the series. Prove that it’s still a lot of fun. And it is sometimes said to age gracefully and not to shoe horn all at once. Sometimes it’s best to keep it unremade, as the old plastic surgery maxim goes.
Back 4 Blood was developed by Turtle Rock Studios and published by Warner Brothers Interactive Entertainment. Our review is based on the PC version. Available for PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X and S, and Xbox One.
Holly Green is an editor, reporter and semi-professional photographer for Paste Games. She is also the author of an unofficial guide to Fry Scores: Video Game Grub. Her work can be found in news publications on Game programmer, Polygon, Unwinnable, and other video games.
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