There is nothing to wait for anymore. Since the release of Back 4 Blood, you no longer have to choose which cooperative shooter to play with your friends. Well, unless you don’t like zombie vibes, but even then give this game a chance – it’s good old Left 4 Dead in a refreshed edition.
In the past, you used to play demos of games that were fully functional products, just a stripped-down version. It does happen sometimes these days, but more often than not, the community that tries its hand at various alpha and beta tests laughs that players have become “free testers”. And actually, I personally last played the real Beat Cop demo from 11 Bit Studios. In turn, I check all “early accesses” at least once a month and they almost always lack something more than content. Sometimes they have a lot of mistakes that make you doubt the quality of the final form of the project.
Fortunately, the Back 4 Blood that I tested two months ago does not differ much from the final version in which I have spent a lot of time since its premiere. And this is very positive news – I just expected more great entertainment and that’s what I got. Of course, a lot depended on the community as well, but this one did not disappoint, which made the matches even more exciting, although the different modes created different impressions.
Back 4 Blood for a loner – because you can
When I am going to play online games, I first like to calmly explore the available maps. So naturally I decided to start the campaign in Back 4 Blood alone. It was only later that I realized that this way you can’t get Resupply Points, which you can and even have to spend on new upgrade cards and cosmetic items – banners decorating the profile and skins of characters or weapons.
But even with an army of bots, the next missions are quite interesting. And you have to plant bombs and escape from the ship, and then shoot the undead with a powerful cannon, who also want to escape from the sinking boat. And this is another time we will have to turn on a noisy machine, which, apart from unblocking the road, will attract a huge horde of Worms. After all, it’s all about shooting zombies, but Back 4 Blood has quite a bit of variety.
Add to this the fact that, unlike in Left 4 Dead, individual characters have a story background, individual skills and different characters, which can be seen, for example, in specific taunts. I enjoyed watching the next cutscenes, and unlocking the second set of four heroes was a real pleasure.
Discovering the available modes, I also really liked that wandering around a secure base that serves as a hub is completely optional. All options are available in the menu cards, but we can also go to the location that starts the campaign or provides card or weapon modifications.
I have never liked to force the open world. So it’s good that you can visit the base in Back 4 Blood, but you won’t lose anything by giving up this privilege. In practice, I would go straight to the menu without having to play from tent to tent.
The only exception was the shooting range that allowed you to check dozens of guns and their upgrades. It is this element of Back 4 Blood that I will turn on to every friend who comes to check whether it is worth buying a PlayStation 5. Testing new weapons lying on the tables in the camp and ripping them into the placed puppets, I felt incredible satisfaction, thanks to the DualSense controller and its adaptive triggers .
Revolver, MP5, M4A1 or shotgun – each of these weapons is an extremely different force that must be put into pressing the “trigger”. I recommend checking it out because it is really impressive. However, I suppose that later most players will turn off this option, because when fighting for life, you have to shoot as quickly as possible, and not bother with a heavy trigger
Back 4 Blood in co-op, which is what most have been waiting for
It comes as no surprise to me that people make more mistakes than bots. And this someone will shoot you in the back, and that will forget to pick you up when you fall down by the Worms. Other times, companions will rush and move too quickly to further mission objectives, or they will scare the birds away by summoning the horde when you are not yet ready for them. And the bots? Bots know better and don’t do such nonsense.
Nevertheless, it is much nicer to play with living people. Especially when you can talk to them. In fact, on higher difficulty levels, when healing at special points costs money and cash is like medicine, this is the only way to be successful. You simply cannot do without good coordination of activities. It is a pity that on PlayStation 5 I had almost all the time problems with connecting to the chat server. I was left with the party mode or PC game as part of the Xbox Game Pass package and communication via Discord. Hope this error is fixed quickly.
When playing with other players, the choice of roles is also more important. The key is to use the strengths and choose the deck in such a way that these elements match the individual style of the game. Because you know, one prefers to hit with a stick or an ax, and have a shotgun on his back, and the other will choose a sniper rifle, holding a revolver in a holster ready to quickly knock down the opponent at close range. Of course, each solution will need different skills, such as restoring stamina at the expense of speed or increasing accuracy at the cost of reducing the clip size.
Although many players appreciate this innovation, after prolonged exposure to Back 4 Blood, I got tired of the system of cards and deck building, from which advantages are drawn during the game. It’s a bit too much of combining, building the perfect kit and calculating. I just want to go ahead and have fun. No wonder that I rather avoided the two highest difficulty levels, in which you have to use all the available perks and tricks to survive.
It’s a pity, because in such, for example, Warhammer: The End Times – Vermintide, the level of the character rose more naturally and I approached the next challenges with joy when I properly “packed the character”. That development was perfect, the one in Back 4 Blood is a bit harder to learn and less noticeable if you don’t “bury” yourself with the cards.
We should also remember that the possibilities may be determined by the equipment of a given player. I myself, playing as part of crossplay on the console, did not catch up with my PC companions in the number of kills. Instead, I was able to lead the way in the number of resurrections, picking up fallen comrades.
Player versus player, which is not a trailer mode at all
I admit that while testing the beta version, I had mixed feelings about the “Swarm” mode. Two teams, which alternate between Cleaners and Worms, trying to survive as long as possible in the shrinking area, seemed to me a rather trivial idea and forcing the unbalanced PvP mode. It turns out, however, that I was very wrong.
Maybe the initial evaluation is the fault of the poor teammates, or maybe that I gave “Swarm” only one chance during the beta. It is important that nowadays, when I just want to relax with Back 4 Blood, I choose this option. Why? First, it is very fast. On average, each round lasts up to three minutes and you fight to two wins. Added to this is the selection of units and equipment, but it is just a few more moments.
Second, being one of the “bosses” among the Worms is really fun. When you manage to carry out a massive attack on one of the characters shooting with a rifle and supported by their companions, you can feel a real satisfaction and a sense of your own power. It’s worth mentioning that zombies can spawn while humans can’t. It is known that the latter will fall sooner or later and the only question is which team in this role will stay alive longer.
My positive feelings were also influenced by the fact that … I won more than I lost. Maybe I was lucky or I found a good team, but even without voice communication, I just felt good in the role of Worms. Considering that the campaign missions in Back 4 Blood last quite a long time, and a single match in the Hive is several minutes long, this is the mode for short meetings.
Back 4 Blood – is it worth buying?
As a person who played both parts of Left 4 Dead years ago, everything fits me in this sequel called Back 4 Blood for non-recognition. Okay, maybe the cards are a little overconfigured and the missions could be even more varied. However, the campaign is much longer than in the series released by Valve, and the characters are really different and have some interesting stories behind them.
If you like cooperative shooters, you should definitely try your hand at Back 4 Blood. This is a better version of Left 4 Dead – revised, improved, more modern. Sure, animations sometimes lame at times, but a handful of new solutions dominate the technical flaws. We are also happy that the creators promise to develop their work with new missions and equipment.
If it is good now, then it can only get better. There is no need to waste time, it is worth reaching for this title right away, as long as there are a lot of players on the servers. The corpse is thick there, and players fight to survive with a demonic smile on their faces!
Back 4 Blood [Playstation 5] review
- Playability and atmosphere of the iconic Left 4 Dead,
- Diverse enemies and powerful bosses,
- A system of cards successfully diversifying the game,
- In the PS5 version, brilliant use of the DualSense pad for various weapons,
- Good audiovisual setting,
- Quite successful PvP “Swarm” mode
- No progress when playing solo,
- Not everyone has to like to play with cards,
- Missions have too little variety,
- Some animations look pretty flimsy