Killing Floor 2 on PS4
When it all clicks Killing Floor 2 is a fantastic, thrilling experience that delivers tense gameplay moments in a brilliant bloody display. This follow up the 2009 PC exclusive tasks players with surviving wave after wave of angry, horrific monsters known as Zeds. While it lacks a direct narrative, you won’t worry be worrying about where these creatures have come from, only how to put them down as fast as possible. Even though developer Tripwire Interactive’s Killing Floor 2 emerges with a few wounds, it’s not enough to put down this macabre shooter.
Following the events of the original Killing Floor, the warped specimens have left London and are down spreading all across of Europe. Led by their creator known as the Patriarch and Dr. Hans Zolder it’s up to your group of 6 to survive and put these menaces down for good. The story itself is nothing terribly inspired, but it serves as a loose enough narrative to string the various maps together. Helping to tie the story together even more is the fact that all 14 selectable heroes receiving a backstory told in the form of text via character select menu. While these don’t lend a lot of depth to any of the events transpiring in-game, it’s enough to at least shed some light on who these people were.
Much of the story is told through the 12 available maps at launch that span a gambit of designs and layout. Levels such as Burning Paris showcases a ruined Effiel Tower in the distance while Infernal Realm is set in the bowels of a gothic horror reimagining of Hell. It’s the map design that is perhaps one of Killing Floor 2’s greatest strengths as each one offers something new or challenging for players to deal with. Farmhouse allows the Zed army to attack from virtually anywhere, while the confined halls of Containment Station makes managing their advances critical.
Each area feels lovingly crafted, as Tripwire Interactive has done a great job of making these places feel real. However, these details don’t just extend to the world as both the character and monster models look fantastic in motion. The Zeds are a terrifying foe to face with many of them missing limbs, having parts of their body exposed, or leaking some sort of fluid. There are 9 base Zeds that you will encounter, each one having their own strengths and weakness that need to be taken into consideration. It’s rare that hulking monstrosities such as the gauntlet toting Fleshpound will arrive alone, so understanding how to work around multiple types of foes keeps combat interesting.
This is bolstered by the 10 different Perks, Killing Floor 2’s version of classes, each one coming with a talent tree that can be upgraded over time. There are a wide range of classes that can cater to anyone’s playstyle, such as the dual wielding Gunslinger or the melee focused Berserker. However, not every class feels truly thought out or balanced as both the Firebug and Survivalist feel weaker in regards to their counterparts. While having a flamethrower class makes sense, in theory, the reality is the fire can typically do more harm than good since their weapon can obscure sightlines and cause enemies to enrage. The Survivalist on the other is a class that receives a random weapon at the start of each game and has a mixed talent tree that pools from other perks. It’s a jack of all trades that can become problematic since none of his passive skills have any synergy, which is crucial for some of the higher difficulties.
However, if you actually want to try the more challenging settings you will need to upgrade your Perk of choice to the max level of 25. This can be accomplished by using a variety of weapons within that Perks designation, which will award you with more XP towards that specific class. Thankfully, you are not bound to a certain weapon type and are free to mix and match different weapons from other Perks until your heart’s content. Doing so won’t come as a huge detriment to the player, as you will level up other classes by using their weapons or abilities even if said perk isn’t specifically chosen beforehand. It’s a great way to not punish players for wanting to switch things up and allows users the freedom to experiment with loadouts.
Many of these guns can be customized aesthetically via random drops after a match or in loot crates, however the frequency of these items is abysmally low. While I have no issue with microtransactions being placed in a game for cosmetic unlocks, that shouldn’t mean that it feels like an utter grind to obtain them. Given you can only unlock one item per an arbitrary time gate, it never feels like Tripwire Interactive is rewarding you for playing more than a handful of matches a day. What’s worse is that if you do get a crate you will also need a corresponding key to go with it, meaning it could take even longer for you to unlock something new. Though this is not a deal breaker for Killing Floor 2, it is something that should be addressed.
The meat of Killing Floor 2 is playing online, although s solo offline mode is available, but before the release, we were only able to play a handful of hours with some of the developers and other members of the press. Given we were limited in our time online pre launch due to a lack of actual players, we are happy to report that the servers held strong on the PlayStation 4 post launch. After playing dozens of matches following the midnight release, we experienced no real bugs, screen tearing, or hard crashes. This is a title that is meant to be experienced with others, so if you are looking to play solo then you might want to wait for more content to release.
If you do grow tired of wave-based gameplay Killing Floor 2 offers a slightly more competitive mode with Vs. Survival that allows players to take control of specific Zeds. Changing perspectives and being the aggressors does take some of the adrenaline out of Killing Floor 2, but successfully breaking an enemy line with one well-placed charge feels rewarding. Given your versions of Zeds to pick from are far more powerful, it never feels like the scales are tipped in the favor of one team or another.
Killing Floor 2 is not a perfect game, but the moment to moment gameplay makes up for some of its shortcomings. Most of the classes feel wholly unique from others and being able to level up multiple skills at once allows for experimentation. Even with some Perks feeling far less useful than others, it’s actually the broken reward system that stands out as Killing Floor 2’s biggest problem. However, if you can look past this there is an intense time waiting for those willing to fight through hell and back.
Score: 4/5 – Great