Killing Floor 2 arrived on the PlayStation 4 recently after having an open beta weekend for gamers to try. When asked what Killing Floor 2 was, I would describe is quite simply as Call of Duty’s Zombie mode without the bull shit attached to that name. Unfortunately, when describing Killing Floor 2 in detail, it presents its own shortcomings and annoyances.
Killing Floor 2 is a wave-based horde mode similar to games like Left 4 Dead, Gears of War Horde Mode and the aforementioned Call of Duty franchise. You have options of either playing a short match of 4 rounds, a medium length match of 7 rounds, or a long match of 10 waves. After surviving the final wave you are faced off against one of two bosses. And this is where the shortcomings begin; How has Trip Wire managed to make a wave-based shooter without including the endless option? This is something the community has already brought to their attention through their survey about the game. The other is simple, two bosses are not enough for a game like this. A group of people can easily take out The Patriarch within 30 seconds if coordinated, with Dr. Hans Volter eliminated in even less time. For a game that separates itself from the competition by boasting 6 player co-op experience, 12 player PVP, only have 2 bosses to fight is a bit of a letdown. Hopefully, in future updates, we may see some new unique bosses to test our skills.
Some of the best gameplay I’ve experienced is when I’m having to fight the odds and survive for my whole team to come back. In some cases, I have seen what looked to be close to 50 zombies on screen, rushing towards me to take a bite out of my neck, or elbow, or whatever they can grab. Being cornered by the normal Zeds as the call them is a bit of a heart racer, but nothing to average player can’t handle. It’s when they start throwing in the more deadly Zeds at you that corners become the things of nightmares. The Zeds that are known as Scrakes and Fleshpounds on their own cause parties to run in fear, let alone when there are 2 or 3 of each after you. Each has its own vulnerability and resistance towards explosions and bullets opposite to each other, While the Fleshpound is resistant to bullets, his vulnerability is explosions, and the opposite for Scrakes is true.
With a strong team of varied perks, classes for this game, the 10 round waves become child’s play after not too long. The key to success is to have someone in a different role that will help the team. At one point I was playing with a random player who was complaining that he had to be Support because he wanted to be Firebug instead. When we tried to explain to him that our level 16 Firebug was much more capable than his level 4 he continued to complain and complain about not wanting to play that role, eventually getting kicked from the game.
The Perks include a Beserker who focuses on Melee and protecting the ankles of his fellow survivors using the only way he knows how, blindly swinging shovels and Samurai swords around us.
The Commando focuses on the Stalkers, which go invisible, at a mid to long range with assault rifles and has night vision too, trust me, it helps.
Support focuses on dealing damage with shotguns and resupplying teammate’s ammo during waves. Also, the only one who can repair busted doors.
Field Medic is the healer/buffer, need I say more?
Firebug is the pyromaniac of the crew and probably wishes friendly fire was available for the fire at grounds of the teammates… just one more burn.
Demolitionist is the team’s explosive expert and loves to make things go Boom!
Gunslinger is the pistol whipping cowboy from western movies, complete with dual magnums. Headshots are key.
Sharpshooter also focuses on the heads but uses marksman rifles instead of revolvers.
Survivalist can use any weapon more efficiently than the average person and starts the match with a random weapon. Sometimes an automatic Shotgun, sometimes C4. Do you wanna spin the wheel?
Swat is the SMG masters of the game, able to take out groups of weaker Zed before you can even read this entire sentence.
I normally tend to run as Field Medic or Boom Boom Bertha (Demolitionist) as I call her. Which brings me to my next issue with the game. While the explosions are amazing in the game, added by the dismemberment that available on nearly every Zed and every part of the body of said Zed, it has caused some frame rate loss at times, while not being consistently dropping frames, I have experienced it a few times while playing. having more than 2 Demolitionists aiming for the same group of Zeds put a lot of stress on the standard PlayStation 4. I’ve seen the frames drop to a near stand still on Farmhouse on a particular occasion. while most look to be a few frames. The party system could use some work as well, as the game sometimes kicks people from between matches and sometimes when joining a map with a party everyone ends up in different matches. these are major issues that are preventing this game from being a good one, but more of an annoyance that comes with the journey to greatness. In its current state, the game is far from greatness, but still a very good game. With 12 maps included there is always a variety when it comes to the next match, add the collectibles scattered throughout each map and there is always something to do when you have run out of bubble gum and there’re no more Zeds to shoot.
At the end of the day, This is a game about killing Zeds, and they put their effort into that feature above others. the focus time that slows down everyone for seconds blends the carnage and destruction into a sort of melodic trance where shooting Zeds that are falling is as much fun the first time as it will be on your last. I never have enough bullets because I’m too busy shooting heads of flying dead Zeds in slow motion. I wouldn’t have it any other way.
In terms of Audio and Sound, there are some excellent pieces that make the game flow better. The hard death metal rock soundtrack fits perfectly with gameplay and brutality that Killing Floor excels in. Unfortunately when explosions start happening and Zeds dying coupled with the death metal that the sound begins to distort until the game calms down. This may be something more on the Audio equipment side of things over the game itself, but it unfortunately takes away from the experience.
Overall, Killing Floor 2 is a great game to play with friends, and the selection of Waves help judge the length of time you will be playing for which is always a nice thing to have in our busy lives. With a lot of choices, there is a lot of replayability to the game, and if the community’s voice is heard, more features may arrive at a later date.