Gore, heavy metal, guns and more gore! That pretty much sums up Killing Floor 2; the highly anticipated sequel to the original gore-fest.
The game is currently in ‘Early Access’ on Steam, with the full release coming later in the year for Windows, Linux and PlayStation 4. Consequently not all features are showcased in its current form, not that it makes playing it now any less fun.
Killing Floor 2 is a co-op focused first-person shooter, created by American game developer Tripwire Interactive (the guys behind the Red Orchestra series), that highlights solid shooting mechanics and most importantly excessive amounts of gore. Killing Floor (KF) grew massively popular for its addictive wave on wave gameplay, and became renowned for allowing players to graphically dismember and explode enemies into a pulp. This is supported by the hundreds and thousands of hours that players have invested into levelling their skills. Killing Floor’s charm is delivered partly by its similar gameplay to Call of Duty’s Zombie mode, but also by its extremely exaggerated British accents. Seriously you should go on YouTube right now and listen to them, that’s a selling point just on its own.
Like its predecessor, KF2s gameplay consists of the same wave after wave format; however, ladies and gentleman, Killing Floor 2 now runs on a new and improved Unreal 4 engine (instead of the Unreal 2 engine used for KF). This means that the game has updated graphics and textures which look significantly better than they did before; Fleshpounds never looked so good! The 4 new maps currently available for Early Access are simply visual eye-candy for returning players. The apocalyptic burning Eiffel Tower, the creepy Volter Manor and the torch-lit French Metro are all presented with amazing detail. They won’t stay pretty forever though, thanks to the new complex gore system which allows entire areas of the map to be soaked in blood.
With the much more powerful Unreal 4 engine comes the M.E.A.T (massive evisceration and trauma) system. This system allows for a more dynamic and detailed depiction of gore, mirroring scenes from a Quentin Tarantino film. By the end of your tenth wave fighting Zeds (very similar to zombies, but not zombies) the map you’re surviving appears splattered in blood from each shot you make. It’s a very impressive feature and definitely adds atmosphere to the chaos. And it is chaos – with up to 6 players online (or single player if you’re brave) you’ll witness dozens of Zeds swarming desperate or skilled players, using a variety of means to dispose them.
The first Killing Floor provided a selection of 7 perks and Killing Floor 2’s Early Access contains only four from the previous game: Berserker, Commando, Support and Field Medic. However once the game reaches its full release it is rumoured that it will include a whopping 10 perks in total. That’s impressive, seeing as each perk comes with its very own skill tree, allowing for further customisation that benefits your character and fellow teammates. For example, whilst playing using the Commando perk, which focuses on assault rifles and enhanced vision, reaching level 5 gives you the ability to replace your tunnel vision flashlight for night vision – a substantial improvement. The perks have been more fine-tuned this time around to differentiate player abilities, in a way that encourages cooperative play to tackle the onslaught of Zeds. If everyone wants to go Berserker, the team probably won’t survive as efficiently as one that has a Field Medic who has the ability to heal teammates from a distance. No matter what perk you pick though, it’s going to pack a punch.
Killing Floor 2 offers a much needed update to an already addictive and great game. With its enhanced graphics and powerful new engine, KF2 is a solid shooter with all the joys of levelling up and progressing to become a better survivor. After playing this game for only a couple of hours, if you didn’t like heavy metal before playing this game, you will after. It undoubtedly fits perfectly with the over-the-top blood and gore. If the first game is anything to go by, I’m sure Tripwire Interactive will support the game by updating it often with free new maps and achievements, which extends the replay value considerably. For around half the price of an AAA game, and presenting continuous hours of gameplay, Killing Floor 2 is a great deal for any fan of bloody first person shooters.
- Great co-op experience!
- Superb shooting mechanics and attention to detail
- Tonnes of gore! (if you’re into it)
- Tonnes of gore! (if you’re not into it)
- Repetitive – Early-Access only has one game mode, hopefully more added for release