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Back 4 Blood [Team Review] | A Game Pass Necessity



Back 4 Blood, Turtle Rock Studios’ new co-op team shooter, has been with us for just over a month now. In the spirit of the game, just reviewing the game from just one perspective feels unfair to the experience Back 4 Blood wants to convey.

Instead, we asked the whole team for their thoughts on the game after a month with it.

Back 4 Blood
Credit: Turtle Rock Studios

Brett – 8/10

I’ve spent a lot of time with Left 4 Dead over the years. Both the original and its sequel. It was always such a delicious chaos where every part was slightly different. Hearing that there was a spiritual successor created by the original team would obviously turn me on.

I played the betas and enjoyed it. Solid gameplay mixed with fun maps. They were a passable way to be entertained and, in the full game, that’s the kick-off for the campaign.

These are also arguably the weakest levels in the game. Once you get past those introductory levels it just keeps getting better, with some really fun times that I enjoyed even playing with bots.

Bots are finicky about their usefulness. They do a job but, just like other multiplayer-focused games, aren’t the best way to play them. Once you play a map with real people again, you’ll realize how much more fun it can be. Yes, even those earlier levels.

Cards add fun mixes to the game to help it always feel fresh and allow you to fine-tune your playstyle. If you’re more of a scrum person, there are some great cards for it that ruin your game. shooting, but it’s not that important when you’re quite close and personal. Building your deck as you go through a race is rewarding and it’s a nice extra layer to the game.

Speaking of shooter, I found it to be much tighter than L4D. Spotting enemies from a distance was fun. Just like picking up items to unlock certain rooms that may or may not be full of treasures. I even enjoyed the cleaners. They weren’t as instant a hit with me as the heroes from the Left 4 Dead games, but there’s no denying that they’re likable and sometimes make great lines.

Back 4 Blood has everything I love about Left 4 Dead type games and is arguably better in some places than the series that gave birth to the genre. Hopefully he can maintain a community and continue to grow, just like his predecessor did.

back 4 blood picture
Credit: Turtle Rock

Sara – 7/10

Confession time – I’ve never played Left 4 Dead. It was never really my cup of tea; I was definitely more of a “casual gamer” when it was released in 2008. In fact, shooters just aren’t my thing. That fact may be enough for you to close this review with contempt, but listen to me.

With great persuasion, I was convinced by my friends here to try this spiritual successor. It hurts me to say it, but they were right to push me. The over-the-top comedic gore, amazing sound design, and twisty maps were a riot – I had just as much fun laughing at our staggering group until the end as mowing down swarms of zombies. If you’ve never played a game like this before, I really recommend that you get a group of friends together and give it a try.

Return 4 Blood Hoffman
Credit: Turtle Rock Studios

Josh – 7/10

Like Sara, I don’t have much experience with Left 4 Dead games. This is partly due to the difficulty in organizing cooperative campaigns. There are so many other games to play this time of year. Combine that with work and family responsibilities, good luck finding four friends with schedules that line up each week.

As such, I was eager to try Back 4 Blood as a solo player. While it’s possible to play through the long campaign with AI companions, Back 4 Blood punishes you harshly for it. You lose experience points as well as new cards that modify the game loop.

It’s a shame, because the underlying gameplay and level stages in Back 4 Blood are really intriguing. It was a pleasure walking through some of the early levels, making my way through the riding hordes with my sympathetic companions. The comedic gore festival visuals and the game’s audio design make the shoot a horrific thrill. Each new stage offers varying locations and mission objectives, so I always felt like I was being kept on my toes.

If you were a fan of Left 4 Dead games then you will surely be spending your time with Back 4 Blood. Just make sure you have a group of like-minded players to team up with, or get ready to line up with random draws online. It’s not a lot of fun getting involved in a game when you know you are actively penalized for your gambling.

Back 4 Blood
Credit: Turtle Rock Studios

Olly – 6.5 / 10

Back 4 The blood is fine. It is perfectly usable. As a longtime Left 4 Dead veteran, I was interested to see how Turtle Rock Studios would provide a spiritual successor to one of co-op gaming’s greatest darlings.

The new systems and mechanisms introduced in Back 4 Blood; maps, wave-based PvP mode, and the weapon seller system separate the game well from its predecessors. But on the other hand, it undermines the philosophy of Left 4 Dead to be a game that we can enjoy just for the fun of it. Now when I start the game I try to unlock new maps or polish a loadout. I engage in game progression systems at the cost of enjoying the game for what it is. It’s entertaining.

I don’t really like the narrative either. The cleansers in Back 4 Blood all seem too artificial. It is wisdom after wisdom. I don’t really know these people personally, instead they feel like they rehearsed all of their lines in the bathroom mirror earlier that morning. The characters in Left 4 Dead can match specific archetypes as well, but at least they had personality!

The level design in Back 4 Blood is decent, however. There’s a mission where you have to defend a group of survivors as they escape, so you stand in a nearby bar and detonate the jukebox to distract the Ridden. It’s easily one of the coolest moments in the game and there really was that feeling of Left 4 Dead craziness behind it.

I don’t think I’ll be revisiting Back 4 Blood decades from now the same way I do with Left 4 Dead now, but it does a pretty good job of modernizing the formula for better or worse.

The Back 4 Blood code was provided to GameByte by PR.

Featured Image: Turtle Rock Studios

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