Review: Killing Floor 2

 

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This year seems to be brimming with much shooters that I can’t help to think we are being spoiled by many choices. The likes of Battlefield 1 and Titanfall 2 has gave gamers much awe-inspiring moments that we can glee away like little kids finally living the moment like a hero that we wished to be. However there are some whom just want to have a simple pick me up fun without needing to sweat on the details on how much you kills you rack up with a titan or how far you have shot with a particular sniper rifle. They just want to have pure and no brainer shoot em up glory. In comes Killing Floor 2.

The name Killing Floor is not entirely a stranger to many gamers out there especially those that have played the first release on PC. The game started out as a mod for the Unreal Tournament 2004 and then it gone retail on 2009. The game received generally positive response and in 2014 Killing Floor 2 was announced for the PC and from there on it gained a general favorable response. Finally in 2016, it has come to the Playstation 4 (PS4) to give console gamers a taste of bloodied zombie shooting and slashing fun with a tinge of goofiness added in.

The story set up by developer Trip Wire for Killing Floor 2 is pretty much the same from the first installment but just more extended in terms of area coverage. In a nut shell, A biotech company called Horzine went and created a bunch of horrible monsters which are named Zeds, and is now up to the players to clean up the mess. There is actually more to the lore but this is the gist of it plus how the game is set up, one can wonder where does story even show up.

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If you’re looking for a zombie game with some campaign elements in it, steer away. This game is not for you but if you want something where you can just immediately hop in, kill a bunch of stuffs and out you go without anything to hold you back, this is the game for you. In an essence Killing Floor 2 just follows a very simple loop. You and other 5 guys, kill and clean up loads of monster like zombies at each wave and prep up your gears with currency you gain by killing those monster at each designated shop or ZED-conomy within a given time and you’re up for the next wave. At the final wave you will be greeted with a boss fight. That’s what pretty much you go through in the game. On paper, it does sound linear and boring but wait till you grab that assault rifle and start shooting with a couple of buddies. That’s where the game shines the most.

The game currently at the moment has two modes to choose from, Survivor and Versus Survivor. The former puts you together with bunch of random guys or you can choose to invite from your list and you start shooting stuffs as soon game starts. Whereas Versus Survivor puts you in a 6v6 battle with one being the human characters against the zombie monster hoard whom are also player controlled. Both modes are pretty much similar in terms of how flow goes except on Versus it is harder since you are fighting off against another player whom react better than your standard normal difficulty AI. Apart from the modes, you do get to choose how many waves you wish to put yourself against by choosing the length that consist of Short (4 waves), Medium (7 waves) or Long (10 Waves). If you feel rather heroic, you can your difficulty as well that ranges from Normal, Hard, Suicidal and Hell on Earth.

Once you managed to survive yourself until the last wave, you will be greeted with a boss which currently at the moment there are two. You’ll fight either Dr. Hans Volter, an emaciated sadist in an exoskeleton suit, or the Patriarch, the former CEO of Horzine who’s now an abomination equipped with a rocket launcher and a gatling gun. Both bosses have different types of attacks each distinctive to themselves. The way the bosses played out puts players at their edge when they try to take them down and it goes without saying players need to have a proper strategy in order to able to survive the fight or they be punished by the bosses if they are too careless. These bosses do pack a punch so one need to stay on their toes to keep themselves alive as much as possible so they can dish out as much damage on the boss.

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In order to get yourself pretty prepared you start finding a match or start a match for some, the first you do is to actually choose a character. The game has 14 characters to choose from and each have their own background story – which you need to read their bio on text when you select them. Each of them have their own set of voices in the game and each of them do give out some quirky comments or some dry humor during the course of a game though I have to admit they are pretty forgettable. You can customized each character ranging from different head gears and body clothing to adding some extra accessories such as headphones or a tie depending on which character you choose. They don’t add anything to the core gameplay but just to act as a personalization choice to make yourself stand out from the other player whom likely is using the same character as you.

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Aside from characters they are actually 10 classes to choose from which are actually called Perks in the game. Each of this perks have different abilities which unlock on a specific level whereby you can configure them to your play style. Furthermore, each perks level maxes out at level 25 so there is plenty of unlocking to do if that is your thing. The perks themselves ranging from Commando to Field Medic shows there is plenty of playstyles to choose from and to add to that, each perks has bonuses that adds damage to certain weapons like example a Commando does more damage on certain rifles while the field medic has a better recharge rate for some healing weapons. There are no restrictions to which perks are allowed to wield which weapons. Every perk can use every weapon in the game but just without the extra bonuses that comes with the chosen perk.

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On the subject on weapons, this I personally feel where the game shines as well. There are plenty of weapons to choose from. Some based on real life ones like the SCAR-H Assault Rifle to some imaginative ones like the Microwave Gun. Each perks you choose from starts off with a set selected weapons which you can buy different set of gears through the Zed shop at each end of wave with Dosh which is the in game currency you earn by killing those wave of zombie monsters. What’s so good about these weapons is how each feel so distinctively different from another. From the handle to the sound, everything feels so authentic and Trip Wire definitely put in a lot of effort onto each guns in the game. No weapon feels the same like the other. Even guns of the same category feels different when you pull the trigger. I never had much blast in shooting down waves of stuffs in front and feeling the sheet excitement when I pull the trigger. Each clip that hits the target feels great as well and I just can’t stop shooting at them zombies. This is trigger happy on crack. Satisfaction was well served in this area. Kudos to the developers.

As mentioned this game started out as a mod for Unreal Tournament 2004 which of course it means that is using the Unreal Engine at that time. Same goes for Killing Floor 2 except it is using a heavily modified Unreal Engine 3 which goes to say, it has some limitations. Don’t get me wrong, the game has strong visuals from the scary faces of the zombie monsters to the bloody explosion of hordes of zombies with a grenade to the eerily lighting on some levels. It is still gorgeous looking. However, it is definitely not on the level on graphical prowess such as the Battlefield 1. One look you can tell that it is worlds apart. The engine is showing signs of aging in many particular aspects but this doesn’t at all hinder the experience in the game. The look around the area where you have painted a doorway with the blood of from huge hoard of zombies gives way a very satisfying feel to it. I have personally never seen so much blood being splashed around an area as much as this game does.

The design in this game definitely lends itself through many other classic zombie movies. To the clothing of some of the characters to some of the maps definitely show they were inspired by something zombie related. Each map is pretty well design in my opinion as some maps have good cover spots that provide some survivability options. You can tell there are some thoughts being put in on each map. Speaking of that, the game comes with 12 maps ranging from Paris to Italy and they quite closed to the actual thing as well. Each map has its own strong vibrant color which give each map a sense of identity. While it may still be overshadowed by many other games out there currently, the level design is more than enough to give players a good sense of story of the aftermath of the whole incident.

 

Pros

  • Simple fun without needing much knowledge to get yourself started.
  • Guns feel and sound amazing.
  • Loads of weapons to choose from. There are freaking swords man.
  • Challenging at certain difficulties.
  • Plays so well in a group.
  • Controls are tight and feels good.

Cons

  • Two modes only.
  • Two bosses, for now.
  • Not much variety in zombies to shoot at.
  • Visuals can look dated to some.
  • Solo offline gets boring real quickly.

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