Killing Floor originated as an Unreal 2004 mod in 2005. Four years later, Georgia-based Tripwire Entertainment created a stand-alone retail version of the FPS game. Six years after that, a sequel was born: Killing Floor 2.
I have played over 70 hours of Killing Floor since last February. My friend (who has 500+ hours into the game) bugged me to try the game for years. I finally purchased it from a Humble Bundle sale and played with a full team of six on Skype. After my first play through on the Mountain Pass map, I was addicted. I would come home and play it after work until midnight, go to sleep, wake up for work, and repeat. All I wanted to do was get to the level six perk in the Sharpshooter class. The game had me by the hand where I continued this schedule for the next month and a half. It seemed insane that a five-year-old-game reeled me in so much and still had an active community. I don’t think any other game besides Pokémon did that for me.
At New York Comic Con in October, I had the pleasure of visiting the Tripwire booth and watched community manager, Yoshiro, play a demo of Killing Floor 2. Since then, I’ve been ecstatic. Unlike the previous game, the newest installment is set in France instead of London. A whole set of new characters are introduced but at least we’ve still got good old Mr. Foster.
The new game feels a lot like a complete visual and mechanical upgrade – which is what you expect from a sequel and oftentimes, hardly ever get. For the first time, the series has an optional cross-hair function similar to shooting from the hip in Call of Duty games. The weapons were based off of testing real guns where the developers noted recoil, accuracy, and aspects unique to every firearm.
Since there’s no Sharpshooter in early access yet, I’ve been playing the Commando class as a close stand-in. The starter weapon, the Varmint Rifle, has a kick back that has me begging a Beserker or Medic for more Dosh so I can buy the next weapon. I’m not a fan of the recoil but that’s not to say that it’s a bad addition. The Tripwire team made these weapons as accurate as their real world counterpart. I’m just picky and frankly, not skilled at the weapon yet.
The developer team focused on maximizing bloodshed for the second game. Whatever blood you spill from the fight stays on the map. This means by wave two you’re trudging through a sea of red and by the final wave, you’ve painted the town. Characters also look charred and beaten to a pulp. Each zed has its own unique movement animation so you can clearly tell if a Gorefast or a Siren is charging at you from afar. The chainsaw wielding Scrake spins around while the Stalker does gymnast-inspired flips towards you. These new features make the game play realistic and much more frightening than the last.
When you’re grabbed, a short scene similar to a quick time event shows you duking it out with a low-level zed. You have to smash the V key and push it off of you. This is perfect for people like me who sometimes get tunnel vision therefore forgetting vulnerable points. This added features gives me time to push and go so I can kite the enemies.
Slow-motion zed time is still around! You can thank your Berserker Class friends for that. Zed time in KF2 has a bit of a Sin City noir feel where everything turns monochrome except for the blood. It’s aesthetically awesome.
The early-access boss is not the Patriarch but instead, a crazed Nazi named Hans Volter. As someone who currently mains the Commando class, I was able to see his health throughout each encounter. When it appears as if you’ve almost killed Hans, he’ll rush towards someone and suck a big chunk of their health, completely filling his own health bar. This happens several times, which is maddening.
There is rhyme and reason to Hans’ tactics and he is much smarter than the Patriarch. When he notices you hiding, he’ll throw bombs that emit toxic clouds which scatters your team into a frenzy. Eight out of ten times, Hans annihilated my party on normal mode. Due to there being no Sharpshooter cross-bow yet, I’ve found myself utterly helpless against him.
After I die, I move around the map in spectator mode, shouting commands to my friends and alerting when armor or ammo pops up on the map. Killing Floor is probably one of the few games that can be just as fun after you die. Maybe that’s one of the prime reasons I can’t stop playing.
Here’s what will be available for the Steam early access version of Killing Floor 2. Expect new updates as time goes on.
- 3 non-linear levels
- 4 perk classes
- 27 weapons
- 11 zeds (enemy monsters)
- 8 playable characters, including a female character
- 1 boss character (not the Patriarch)
- Mod SDK supporting custom level creation
At the moment, the pre-beta is only available for press, friends, and family of the Tripwire Team from April 8th to the 16th. The official Steam early access release date is April 21st where everyone can participate in killing clots, gorefasts, and sirens. What’re you waiting for? Head on over to Steam and add this game to your favorites. It’s a definite upgrade from the last game even if it’s not completely finished yet and well worth the buy.