We're Back4Blood - Review
Posted By: James - October 11, 2021
Is Back 4 Blood good?
I played a lot of Left 4 Dead. I mean, a lot, back in 2008, and you're 21 years old, and this game comes out that blows everything dead including the pun. That game was stellar, and the thing over all these years that still makes it playable is - guess what - the PVP.
The PVP in that L4D was and is some of the best PVP you'll ever play, and long in the tooth has the industry been to not take that incredible 4v4 model of people versus undead and plough it into something new.
A familar safe room door, the genre makes them so comforting.
There have certainly been some contenders, lets talk Vermintide. A brilliant PVE experience, very enjoyable, but Fat Shark are just that, Fat Sharks. I can't count the time's my hopes have been raised and dashed at the thought of actual PVP, and to this day for about 3-4 years now, there is a forgotten splash page explaining to the community that PVP is coming. And guess what? It didn't. And they burned bridged with a lot of my friends after that, because we bought the game seeking our Left 4 Dead hit. Straight up, the promise of PVP Versus was a lie, and it still remains uncoded and uncared for.
It's probably easier to leave the awful AI bots trapped.
There have been some interestingly bad decisions from game's company's in the FPS genre recently, my most recent dead lover being of course the now infamous Battlefield 5. Oh lord, how I loved that game, still to this day pining over when they didn't change the perfect time to kill settings in what is now a legacy of idiocy from Dice as well. You play an FPS because it feels good, if you change the feel of the FPS - it feels different.
There is an immediacy that FPS players get in their veins when picking up a new shooter, the responsiveness, the control sensitivity, the customization, how the guns feel, how they sound, how dynamically can I run/play/think/shoot/co-ordinate - Suffice to say, it is a genre I have adored since the first sights of a gun I looked down back in Call of Duty (1). Infinity Ward, you have alot to answer for.
Experienced FPS Gamers are incredibly tactile when it comes to game engines.
But what is this Back 4 Blood thing then? Why you talking about all these other games James? Well dear reader, because I love this genre, I'm pretty damn good at it, and over many years I've taken the screenshots to prove it. Now I won't regale you with my tales of grandeur, we're here to talk about a new game. But, it's important we put this into perspective for the reveal, that's an important part of story telling, otherwise this becomes just another review.
Let me talk about FPS properly.
I can tell you now succinctly, after playing 6 hours of the Back 4 Blood beta last night, that this game - bug ridden that it is - has the bones of a giant. I - loved - playing this game. It is a brilliant first-person shooter, and if you're a fan of 4 player co-op shooters, the devs have done a fantastic job from the variety of weapons, iron sight shooting, re-jigged "down" mechanics from left4dead with some twists and a bunch of really nasty buggers that hurt like hell on harder difficulties.
We loved playing L4D on hardest mode to train for Versus mode, and B4B can go hard.
I enjoyed the special infected, the new mutated classes offer extra sophisticated gameplay. They can really stack up in crazy ways against your team and need to be handled with care, the mini-bosses are a nice addition that really pile on the pressure as well.
But you know what I was looking forward to most? The multiplayer, because I loved me some 4v4 multiplayer in L4D 1&2. And that dear reader, after months of hype, is where our fairy tale ends.
I love multiplayer, in particular 4v4... and B4B fails hard.
The multiplayer of this game is for want of a better word, tacked on garbage. And I love the team behind this game, but just like Evolve, they've totally missed what makes these games replayable - It's the damn PVP. And the PVP, is a joke.
Just imagine the campaign levels with versus mode, and B4B would be a hit.
Imagine a tiny little arena where 4 players fight against 4 other players who spawn in a tiny little arena. Your job is to survive for about 3-4 minutes as the survivors. And then it's the other teams turn. To really compound the issue of dragging it out, there is loading, reloading and an added 1 minute timer in between where you can call get setup. Which honestly takes seconds.
Sound fun? NO!? That's because it isn't, it's absolute garbage, it feels like someone took all the effort from the beautiful main campaign, and looked at the multiplayer, and said "yeah we aint got time to convert this, what do people like? I know ARENA!" And lo, we have a true abomination of a multiplayer game, which has left a real sour taste in my mouth for this title.
It offers so many improvements, but then takes it's own legs away with awful PVP.
Why so sour? Because of my gushing above, I love this genre, I love co-op shooters, and the best iterations of them ever were L4D1&2, why? Because of PVP. PVP made the games. 4v4 shooters are incredible, but there is only one, it has not yet re-entered it's grave, and unfortunately it's name is not Back for Blood, it is called Left 4 Dead.
I love this genre, and Back 4 Blood has left a real sour taste.
So bitter-sweet were my experiences, if you love co-op shooter - Pick it up immediately, on that front it's game of the year.
If you were expecting the same polished beautiful experience of a PVP Versus 4v4 that Left4Dead made you sink 1000 hours of your life into...Well, not yet my dear reader, not just yet.
Will the team put it in? Let's see, I, for one, think the damage has been done, particularly from a team that so heavily marketed this product as PVP. Look, it just aint.