Killing Floor 2 is the popular PC wave based shooter developed by Tripwire Interactive. Luckily for us Playstation gamers, we now get to have a PS4 port. This is Tripwire’s first console release, and we couldn’t be happier of their decision. Killing Floor 2’s goal is give you a fun co-op based shooter, and overall I would say they have succeeded in that.
Usually in a review I would have a section discussing story and characters of a game. Killing Floor 2 doesn’t have one. This is by no means a con, as this game isn’t intended to have a campaign. In simple terms though, you are a survivor facing off against genetically modified monsters called the Zed that have taken over the world.. Do we know who created the Zed and why? No. Do we care though? Not really, as all we care about shooting them in the face. The game does not take itself seriously whatsoever, which I can appreciate. You’ll have a selection of 14 characters. Each has their own fun personality, but overall they aren’t meant to be deep fleshed out characters. They’ll only spend their team giving cheesy one-liners, which is expected in a game like this. My favorite character to play as seemed to be the gas mask wearing Mr. Foster, as he had my favorite one-liner after you burn an enemy to death; “He seemed to have the hots for me!” Classic!
Let’s get one thing straight, Killing Floor 2 can be a deceiving game. At first glance, one might see this a Doom rip-off if they are not familiar with the series whatsoever. This is not the case at all. While this game is super fun and brutal, it’s essentially a game about survival. This game doesn’t hold your hand either. If you try reach for it’s hand, it’ll rip your arm off and back hand you with it. This game is relentless!
Killing Floor 2 is all about making choices in the heat of the moment. The game is designed to keep your own toes throughout every encounter. There are consequences to a lot of your actions. If you choose to reload, well you’re gonna be slower in your running which give the Zed a better chance to catching up to you. If you just go mindlessly guns-blazing, well you may run out of ammo and have to search for more, or at least until the round is over and you can find the weapon vendor. Just make sure you do it fast, as you’ll only have about 60 seconds to find it and load up, but you could also choose to spend that time fortifying the area by wielding the doors shut giving you some breathing room. The game is filled with these little dilemmas that affect your game overall. I appreciated how much I actually had to think and throw in some strategy to each round. The AI controlled Zed are ruthless as well. There’s no way to cheese these enemies as they’ll find any way possible to get to you. Boss fights are super intense, although there was a lack different ones.
The game has it’s own progression system through the perks as they level up, with each level up actually having a purpose (level cap is 25). There are ten perks to choose from, with each perk letting you specialize in a specific weapon type. For instance, the Commando is more skilled with assault weapons, whereas the Firebug is better with fire weapons (obviously) You can buy and play with any weapon of your choosing, but as you work your way to more difficult encounters, you’ll want to stay with your perk weapons as the increased stats will tend to focus on those ones specifically. When playing co-op, it’s nice to know that each class has their own purpose. The game lets you choose how you want to play. The perk progression is what kept me playing, as I’d rather level up and feel more powerful, rather than just ranking up as some other games would do. You can’t play the highest difficulty setting when you’re only a level 5. You will die. The game doesn’t care either, it warned you not to go but you didn’t listen! (Yes this happened to me but I have no shame)
The combat in this game is as fun as you’d expect. It’s brutal and gory, which is everything you want in a game like this. Headshots are not only required, but also completely satisfying as their heads will completely obliterate. Blowing up The Zed is awesome as they’ll break into pieces. All the weapons work as well as the next one. By far my favorite weapon I used was the Firebug’s Microwave Gun. You’ll shoot out a radiation laser which causes them to overheat and eventually explode right in front of you, which you’ll never get sick of. The first person controls may feel heavy, but that is also the point. You can’t jump high or you can’t climb up anything. While it would have felt better to be a more agile shooter, it made sense considering the difficult nature of the game.
One thing about this game that may turn some players off is the lack of game modes. Considering the game is $40, I would have loved to have more variety in the game. Each game mode is essentially just the Survival mode. Whether you’re doing it solo, co-op, or PvP where one team can play as the Zed. PvP wasn’t available at the time I was able to play so I can’t give an opinion on it at the moment. What also turned me off in this game is you’re just doing the exact same thing every time, just getting more of a challenge as you rank up. The gamer in me appreciated leveling up and feeling progress, but it became tiresome knowing that as I progressed, I was just fighting the exact same enemies in the same maps.
Visually the game looks pretty damn good. The way the moonlight reflects off the environment creates a great atmosphere. Some of the maps look broken down and disgusting, keeping you immersed in each map. The 10 maps are all diverse as well. Some are darker than others, or some will have more open space than others. This lets each session feel different than the other. One thing you’ll notice as you’ll play is how all the carnage you create stays within your game. Meaning that all those body parts that you blew up will still be in there as you go through each round. If you blew up a ton of Zed in one area, be prepared to see limbs and blood all over the place for the remainder of that play session. This attention to detail is impeccable and very much appreciated.
The framerate was typically always around 30 fps. Of course going from PC to console will cause a drop from 60 to 30, but it rarely ever dropped below 30. This is impressive considering how chaotic the game can get as hordes of enemies will fill your screen. I did, however, experience one crash. It also happened to be during an intense boss fight where I’d already spent a good 30 minutes in the session and didn’t get the full progression. That definitely rubbed me the wrong way.
One thing you’ll have to ask yourself is whether or not this game is for you. If you enjoy horde mode type games, then of course this is a game for you considering it’s $40 rather than $60. I will say for the fans of Call of Duty zombies, please go buy this. If you can soak hours into that, then you’ll have no problem playing this with your friends. Just remember that this game is as much about survival as it as about action. That perfect balance creates one very memorable experience.