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Back 4 Blood Review: Will It Be Worth the Wait?

Back 4 Blood is Turtle Rock Studio’s latest immersive horror game. Adding to the business of zombie apocalypse tales, Back 4 Blood is also one of 2021’s most awaited games. With horror gaming’s immense following, many wonder if Back 4 Blood will be worth the wait.

There are many horror games that focus on zombies, so will Back 4 Blood bring anything different to the table? This guide breaks down Back 4 Blood’s gameplay features, system requirements, and prices. The jury is still out, but maybe you can see where the game is headed.

What Is Back 4 Blood?

What Kind of Game Is It?

Back 4 Blood What Game Is It
Photo from Steam

 

Fans of the iconic Left 4 Dead franchise can enjoy Back 4 Blood, a new first-person shooter game from Turtle Rock Studios. This game is a cooperative game that can accommodate up to four players.

An action game, Back 4 Blood finds its players in the middle of a war with the undead named the Ridden. Players can choose between playing as the Ridden or as a human being. Either way, all players get to enjoy dynamic gameplay all throughout Back 4 Blood.

Not only can people get hooked in Back 4 Blood through intense replayability, tackled later in the article, but players can expect a deep storyline too. The Ridden exists because of a fast-spreading parasite that puts the human race on the brink of extinction.

Through cooperative gameplay, strategy, and different weapon choices, players have to save humanity before it is too late.

As for Back 4 Blood’s rating, the game is not appropriate for all ages because it contains “violence, gore, and mature content.” More details about the game’s parental guidance ratings are on Steam.

Back 4 Blood Developer

Turtle Rock Studios
Photo from Turtle Rock Studios Twitter

 

Back 4 Blood is Turtle Rock Studios’ latest game currently being churned. For those who may not know, Turtle Rock Studio is responsible for gaming classics such as the Left 4 Dead franchise, released in the early 2000s.

Turtle Rock Studios also takes pride in its location, which is in Lake Forest, Orange County in California.

 

Left 4 Dead

Left 4 Dead 
Photo from Steam

 

While the Resident Evil franchise brought zombie-shooting games to mainstream gameplay, Left 4 Dead enhanced it. Like Back 4 Blood, Left 4 Dead is also a four-player cooperative first-person shooter game. It also finds itself in the horror post-apocalyptic genre. Pre-dating the coronavirus scare of 2020, the Left 4 Dead franchise finds the world in the aftermath of a global pandemic. It had four game modes and was one of the earliest games to use AI in gaming. Up until today, the Left 4 Dead franchise is part of the most exciting AI games you should play right now.

Still, it is important to note that Back 4 Blood is not a continuation of the Left 4 Dead franchise. Turtle Rock Studios may be developing a game with similar features, but Back 4 Blood is bringing new flavors to cooperative gaming. Learn more about this when you read on about the storyline for Back 4 Blood.

Evolve Stage 2

Evolve Stage 2
Photo from Steam

 

Another game Turtle Studios has produced is Evolve Stage 2, which is also a shooter game. In here, players see the developer’s creativity when it comes to storytelling. Set in a fictional place called Planet Shear, Evolve Stage 2 players are hunters that track down a Monster controlled by another player.

As the game progresses, so do the Monster’s abilities.

 

Back 4 Blood: Release and Availability

Back 4 Blood Release Date
Photo from Fredrick Tendong on Unsplash

 

Release Date

Back 4 Blood will be available to everyone on June 23, 2021. Like Resident Evil Village, it is one of the year’s much-awaited horror games. Developers for both games have established respected names in the genre of horror gaming, so many fans have preordered the games on Steam.

Pre-order on Steam

 

Back 4 Blood Price and Preorder

Back 4 Blood Price
Photo from Vitaly Taranov on Unsplash

 

There are different versions of Back 4 Blood. Each version offers different features and is at a different price point. In the United States of America, Back 4 Blood will have a Standard Edition, a Deluxe Edition, and an Ultimate Edition.

The prices for each edition are around $60–$100. For now, if you are in North America, you can preorder Back 4 Blood on Steam and/or the Epic Games Store. Make sure you know how to download games on Steam before anything else though.

Availability of the game will depend on where you are from. You can check Steam for more information.

 

Platforms

Back 4 Blood Available Platforms
Photo from Kerde Severin on Unsplash

 

As time progresses, so does technology. Games now cannot only be available on a few platforms, unless exclusivity is its main selling point.

For Back 4 Blood, it seems that Turtle Rock Studios is not aiming for exclusivity points. Rather, the developer has its eyes on getting to as many people as possible. This cooperative horror survival game will be available on the following platforms:

  • PS5
  • PS4
  • Xbox Series X/S
  • Xbox One
  • PC

Back 4 Blood System Requirements

Because of the game’s June 2021 release, there are still missing details about its system requirements. Minimum system requirements are yet to be announced.

However, Turtle Rock Studios and Back 4 Blood’s publisher, Warner Brothers, are Alpha-testing the game. Even though the signup period for this testing is over, requirements for this project are publicly available.

For those who do not know, Alpha testing is basically a company’s first run of their software. Here, the developers hope to discover bugs to fix before a game’s or software’s official release.

During its Alpha testing, Back 4 Blood required these of its testers:

  • Intel® Core ™ i5-8500 CPU @ 3.00 GHz (6 CPUs)
  • 8 GB RAM
  • Video Cards: GeForce GTX 770 or Radeon RX 480 or higher
  • Windows 10

Note that these might not be the final minimum or recommended system requirements for the game but are a rough estimate.

Do you already know how to add funds to your Steam Wallet?

Back 4 Blood Review: What We Know So Far

Gameplay

Gameplay Back 4 Blood
Photo from Steam

 

As mentioned above, Back 4 Blood will be a first-person shooter cooperative (coop) game. Priding itself on its multiplayer features, Back 4 Blood can accommodate up to four players in the online co-op and up to eight players in Player vs Player (PvP) settings.

In co-op mode, the three other players can drop in and drop out of the game.

This will be useful especially during a time where everyone is recommended to stay at home. However, Back 4 Blood does not alienate people who prefer playing alone. For those interested in solo playing, Back 4 Blood can also be played alone, with three AI teammates.

As for the game’s PvP settings, players can choose between two sides: humans or the Ridden. It may be natural to side with human beings, but playing as the antagonist of the game may be a lot of fun too. This goes especially for Back 4 Blood because the two sides have different weapons, powers, and features altogether.

Seemingly combining what makes its previous releases special, Turtle Rock Studios boasts a well-made world that is as dynamic as its players. Missions, like in Evolve Stage 2, get harder as players pass their levels. The Ridden evolves as the game is played, which is a feature borrowed not only from Evolve but also from Left 4 Dead.

Story

Back 4 Blood Storyline
Photo from Steam

 

Back 4 Blood will be using common horror tropes in its story. One may think that this is a bad thing, but it is in tried-and-tested tropes that people still find the nostalgia in horror games. The release of Left 4 Dead shows this, especially since it is still successful over a decade after its first release.

In Back 4 Blood, players will find themselves in the middle of what looks like an apocalyptic wasteland. After a deadly parasitic outbreak, humanity has been on the brink of extinction. Many humans have either died or succumbed to the parasite’s virus.

When all hope seems to be lost, a group of uninfected humans called the Cleaners wants to claim their world back. Veterans of the apocalypse, the Cleaners have survived hell and high water. Together, they want to battle those infected with the deadly parasite and bring peace to the world again.

This horror game does not only come with a strong story but also emboldened characters. All eight Cleaner characters are customizable, and you have a range of weapons at your disposal. One can even play as an immune survivor of the disease, spicing gameplay even further for players.

Features

Back 4 Blood Features
Photo from Steam

 

As mentioned, the base Back 4 Blood game will feature eight customizable characters and many weapons. Moreover, its features also include cooperative gaming of up to four players and PvP gaming of up to eight players. If that is not enough, the game is available on almost any major gaming console, minus the Nintendo Switch.

Still, there are other Back 4 Blood features that will only be available on the Deluxe and Ultimate Editions of the game.

For Deluxe Edition buyers, they get four-day early access to Back 4 Blood and an Annual Pass. This annual pass comes with three new stories to tell (and play, of course), more playable characters, and a special mutated Ridden character. Deluxe Edition players should expect more features as the game progresses, Turtle Rock Studios writes.

Taking it a few steps further is the Back 4 Blood: Ultimate Edition. In this, players not only get four-day early access to Back 4 Blood, but also the Annual Pass. Ultimate Edition players also get four character battle skin packs and many digital in-game items. These items include rare banners, emblems, and even spray weapons.

Turtle Rock Studios keeps Back 4 Dead interesting by offering many different features, including new characters and stories. For a game that adjusts according to its players’ habits, this is an unsurprising feature for Back 4 Dead. Still, players can all agree that this is appreciated, as it keeps the game fresh and interesting.

Replayability

Back 4 Blood Replayability
Photo from Steam

 

Back 4 Dead, because of its many features, boasts extreme replayability. The game has a special card system that acts like a rolling dice: you never know what gameplay combinations you are going to get. In Back 4 Dead, you can customize your own decks, change builds, and even face more dangerous missions against the Ridden. This will all depend on your in-game progress and acquired skills.

Using the Dynamic Game Director, Back 4 Dead will continuously change its game according to the skill level and interest of its players. Because of this, the game is no “one size fits all.” Back 4 Dead even embraces the unpredictable nature of horror gaming, throwing hurdles like 20 feet tall boss battles.

For fans of Turtle Rock Studios, seeing features like these are tiny callbacks to the developer’s previous games. Left 4 Dead was one of the world’s first shooter games to use AI in battles, adjusting evil aliens to players’ gaming styles.

Technology has come a long way from this, which is why Back 4 Blood is one of the most awaited horror games of 2021.

Value

Back 4 Blood Value
Photo from Steam

 

Because of its balance of nostalgia and the contemporary, Back 4 Blood is teetering between old and new horror gaming. Its features are impressive, especially since it can handle up to eight players at a time on PvP. The game also boasts high replayability, since you can choose from many characters and different types of weapons.

As a bonus, players can even play as the very creatures they are up against — the Ridden. Devouring civilization, the Ridden drives the storytelling. Even if players are not playing as these creatures, they will act as if real human brains are playing as them.

Thanks to AI, Back 4 Dead will adjust according to its players’ skill levels, preferences, and techniques. Back 4 Dead’s value is already high, despite not being released yet.

 

Back 4 Blood: Similar Games

Left 4 Dead

Left 4 Dead Back
Photo from Steam

 

Constantly compared to Back 4 Blood in this article, Left 4 Dead is also a cooperative horror game that has its players competing against the undead. Available on PC and the Xbox 360, Left 4 Dead has zombies, monsters, and more. While these bring a richness to its horror angle, the game also shines because of its use of AI.

In this game, players can choose among four types of stories. Called “movies,” these stories give players different looks into the post-apocalyptic world filled with zombies. As survivors, players are looking for a safe haven beyond Ground Zero of the apocalypse. The choices do not stop there, though. There are five maps in each movie, all playable by a maximum of four gamers. On Player vs Player settings, however, eight friends in total can play (4 vs 4).

While this is a fun party game to play, Left 4 Dead is also a good single-player game.

Left 4 Dead’s use of AI is what skyrocketed it to success back in its 2008 release. The game used then-new technology called the “AI Director.” Like what was described above, this feature makes the game adjust to your playing abilities. Because of the AI Director, Left 4 Dead can customize the intensity of zombie attacks, challenging your skills every step of the way.

Get Left 4 Dead on Steam

GTFO

GTFO
Photo from Steam

 

Another horror co-op game that might pique the interest of gamers is GTFO. Good for four players, GTFO packs horror, action, and puzzles neatly together in one game.

This first-person shooter game finds its gamers in the middle of an underground heist. The prize? Valuable and irreplaceable artifacts, all of which are guarded by creatures of every shape, size, and terror.

Playing for a team of prisoners, your characters are not without any skill. Together, you will gather different equipment that will help you survive, steal, and escape.

Unlike the other games on this list, GTFO piques people’s cooperation skills. While this is expected for any co-op game, GTFO has its players strategizing and communicating with each other more than ever. The game’s employment of puzzles and large maps make it a challenging game for groups to play.

Also, planning plays a large part in winning GTFO. May it be sticking together or performing different duties, players must always act as a team. Every detail counts in GTFO.

Before you play Back 4 Blood, you may want to consider training with your friends in GTFO.

Get GTFO on Steam

Arizona Sunshine

Arizona Sunshine
Photo from Steam

 

Going back to the world of horror-zombie games, Arizona Sunshine is a VR exclusive. In the middle of yet another zombie apocalypse, you and three other players will combat zombies while searching for fellow survivors.

The difference between this game and all those previously mentioned is its use of virtual reality or VR. VR is making a slow climb to the top of mainstream gaming, especially since it brings a new dimension to horror games. Phasmophobia, horror’s new favorite indie game, was one of 2020’s biggest fan-favorites.

Arizona Sunshine gives you a VR look into Grand Canyon state, post-zombie apocalypse. Expect a Mad Max situation when facing these zombies: lots of sand, scarce ammo, and living life by the second. You should expect this game to not skimp around on its use of zombies. As a VR game, it promises hordes of zombies and much horror.

As for the game’s features, Arizona Sunshine can be controlled using VR motion controllers. Through these controllers, you can handle over 25 weapons that are sensitive to your real-life motions. This game also has solo and multiplayer modes, making it accessible to people who do not always want to play coop.

VR has a large immersive horror market, and developers are catching up to this truth. Arizona Sunshine boasts brighter and maybe even gorier sights than Back 4 Blood. However, while these games are comparable, they are still very different.

The former uses VR technology while the latter focuses more on AI in enhancing gameplay.

Get Arizona Sunshine on Steam

Pavlov VR

PAVLOV
Photo from Steam

 

The VR recommendations will not stop at Arizona Sunshine. Pavlov VR is also a multiplayer shooter game that is exclusive for virtual reality use. Other than this, though, there are no other similarities between Pavlov and Arizona.

Set in different eras, players can customize their Pavlov gameplay how they want it. Choose between the modern era and World War II era. Either way, you will experience deathmatch modes, gun game modes, and more in Pavlov VR.

While this game is not all too similar to Back 4 Blood’s genre, Pavlov can train each player’s shooting skills. With a strong community, Pavlov and Back 4 Blood share a couple of multiplayer features. From its many game modes to realistic weapon usage, Pavlov VR is a stepping stone for anyone who likes shooting but is yet to warm up to shooting zombies.

Get Pavlov VR on Steam

Hunt: Showdown

Hunt Shadows
Photo from Steam

 

Hunt: Showdown is another first-person game that finds its players living the lives of bounty hunters. Similar to Back 4 Blood, Showdown thrusts its players in dark corners of the world, keeping them on the edge of their seats as they play along.

Using a match-based format, Hunt: Showdown is a Player vs Player game with Player vs Environment influences. Up to 10 players can compete for the bounty, but it is not all that easy. Competing for the bounty means many shoot outs and sabotages. All these to get the big prize.

To keep the game even more interesting, the bounty decreases as the game continues. This raises the stakes of the game and will keep players out for blood as the game continues. A lot of hunters want to take out those who have succeeded to keep the prize money for themselves.

It also does not help that the timer gives players a do-or-die situation. As the timer runs out, winners keep their hunters and everyone else dies. The game progresses even after a character leaves, though. Bloodlines continue each Hunter’s legacy.

There is definitely more politics and realistic gameplay involved in Hunt compared to Back 4 Blood. Still, Showdown brings the deathmatch experience common in many co-op games today. Playing both games will make you into a more skillful shooter in gaming.

Get Hunt: Showdown on Steam

Resident Evil: Village

Resident Evil Village
Photo from Steam

 

Throughout the article, Left 4 Dead has been mentioned as the classic horror game. While this is true, Back 4 Blood stands on the shoulders of horror games such as Resident Evil. Released in the 1990s, this horror game series has spawned many movies, comics, and side-games.

The Resident Evil franchise is back with its 8th major installment named Resident Evil: Village. A comeback for the series, Village brings nostalgia like never before. Its original protagonist Chris Redfield appeared in the trailer and left Resident Evil fans even more excited for Village.

Like Back 4 Blood, Village is set for a 2021 release. This horror game also boasts a rich and masterful story, often saying that the Village is a character on its own.

Playing as Ethan yet again, Resident Evil: Village will continue the long-standing narrative of the series. Come in close contact with werewolves, zombies, and witches on Resident Evil: Village.

It seems like 2021 is proving to be horror gaming’s year. Resident Evil: Village is one of the most anticipated PS5 games to be released

Pre-order Resident Evil: Village on Steam

Call of Duty: World at War

World At War
Photo from Steam

 

One cannot talk about shooting games without discussing Call of Duty. As one of the world’s most popular action games, Call of Duty is definitely last but not the least in this list.

Call of Duty: World At War is a successor to Call of Duty: Modern Warfare. While the two games are successful applications of first-shooter, they do differ in location. World At War is set in the second world war, like Pavlov VR.

Another notable detail of World At War is that it is the first time Call of Duty is introducing co-op play. Similar to Back 4 Blood’s features, Call of Duty’s co-op mode can accommodate up to four players. The game is giving a new meaning to No One Fights Alone.

In Call of Duty’s co-op mode, players have access to challenges, rankings, and other online game statistics. This feature will challenge you to keep getting better. Still, if you prefer the challenge of competition, Call of Duty also has a competitive co-op.

Play against your friends and take each new weapon out for a spin.

Get Call of Duty: World at War on Steam

Final Word: Will Back 4 Blood Be Worth Buying?

All signs of Back 4 Blood so far are proving that the game is going to be a fun first-shooter experience. With Turtle Rock Studios’ experience with AI, Back 4 Blood is bringing game customization to a whole new level.

Whether or not you should buy it is up to you, but with many features, Back 4 Blood seems more like an investment of a game. Its replayability and ever-evolving game features make sure that there is not one boring moment for its players.

The horror gaming genre has a lot in store for gamers in 2021. Back 4 Blood is ahead of its curve, and not without merit.

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