Killing Floor 2 Review

Blowing up Zeds on a half released game has never worked so well!

      “What have we here, more subjects to tinker with?

           – Hans Volter, Killing Floor 2

When the term early access comes up you generally wonder what kind of direction the game could go in – is it going to a full game full of no content, or half a game with a bulk of content? There are, of course, the releases that have a whole load of neither. You wouldn’t go into a restaurant, ask for a taste of the wine, and accept a glass of grapes right? Some developers really struggle to understand what to release during early access, and sometimes that’s obvious to see.

With Tripwire Interactive this wasn’t the case. From the get-go they had said that they wanted to do it properly and they’ve done exactly that. A minimum of £20 is all you need to place down to get a copy of Killing Floor 2, now, or at any point in the future for a copy of the game. What you get at this stage is 6 maps, 6 classes and a game that has a great amount of detail thrown into it.

I’m not just talking about some partial degree of effort here, this almost feels like a complete game. There are so few bugs you almost forget it’s in Early Access. You don’t feel like your play testing the game (a chore you can genuinely say you’ve had to do before) because it’s so ironed and polished that you feel you can jump straight in and not have to worry! So this is a review as about as much as it can be for a game that’s always going to be receiving new content, is mostly multiplayer and is still in Early Access.

The formula for this game as exactly as it was for the first one. Up to 6 people to can defend themselves for up to 10 rounds against a whole load of monstrosities called Zeds. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes, none of them particularly nice. You level your class up, you buy better weapons and you stick with your teammates mostly importantly of all. While the first game had the Horzine Biotech breakout happen in the UK, this one is set in France.

The key to get through these Zeds is aiming for the head. It doesn’t matter what difficulty you’re playing on, you find what gun (or sword, axe, etc) you can and you go for the head. If you aim for the body, you’re only shooting a bullet sponge, and when you get to Hell on Earth you need to spare every bullet you can.  

Now they’re called Zed’s because with the influx of zombie games over the last few years there was the desire to step a little outside of all of that (although having said that, the original started off as a mod for Unreal Tournament 2004), and have these act as experimentation subjects instead. They come in all glorious shapes and sizes. The ordinary ‘clot’ has a few more forms this time around, each with a different way to dig at your armour if you let them get too close. The classic bloat, gorefast, siren, husk make an updated return. The real changes have come with the Scrake and Flesh Pound. Now it was no secret that in a team survival game you don’t take on the biggest ‘bads’ on on your own, but this is even more apparent. Enraging a Scrake without really thinking it through will end up getting you killed, there is no doubt about that. Infact, in the latest patch, they’ve put a timer on the Scrakes so that they’ll enrage after a certain time anyway. So if you’re not ready, you’ll be dead!

Let us not forget the boss. The Patriarch from the first game was tough for his time, but he hardly instilled fear into you. This is where the new guy comes in; Hans Volter. He is every bit as mad scientist as you might expect. He wears an exoskeletal suit and has the firepower, toxic grenades and health regeneration that you’ll come to love. On some of the darker, tighter maps he is a real challenge. After looking into the game files people have apparently managed to find The Patriarch buried, which hopefully means one thing!

The Guns have a genuine kick to them. Not only is the sound design on point (get a pair of Sennheiser open back headphones and you’ll understand) but they feel incredible as well. The power of a shotgun, the burn of a flamethrower and the huge explosion of an RPG really make you feel lethal. A lot of effort has clearly gone into making you feel that little more immersed in the game. Naturally, it’s a great step up from the first game, and you can almost begin to feel as though they nurfed some of the guns (and I know that sounds bad, but just bare with it), to really drive the emphasis of team work.

Releasing this as an Early Access game was a fantastic idea. Many other companies can learn from the prime example that Tripwire Interactive are showing. At the centre of this is communication with the gamers. At the end of the day, the game is being made for us and them, and we can clock up so many more hours than they can! The feedback and updates are regular, and all of this comes directly from what we’ve said. With that in mind, this game is some serious fun even when you don’t have friends to play with. I can only see it getting better!

Genre: FPS / Survival Horror / Team Based

Age Rating: N/A

Developer: Tripwire Interactive

Publisher: Iceberg Interactive

Platforms: PC / PS4 (TBC)

Player Modes: Single Player / Multiplayer

– Bean



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