Okay, so around 2015 I saw a youtube video featuring upcoming games. One of these games was the titular game as you may have guessed. This peaked my interest, a multiplayer based horde mode with PvP option. My friends and I played CoD zombies in high school and it was fun to always have that to come back to. Play for an hour or two and move on to something else or be satiated of gaming entirely. I haven’t cared quite enough to dive back into CoD since Black Ops so I was more than open to a shakeup on an old favorite. I love Killing Floor 2 for what it is, a quick and sweaty romp of mindless violence with just enough strategy to allow the player to mix up their play style every single time. It started out with its issues but overall, and especially nowadays, Killing Floor is better than it has ever been. I just wanted to shine a little light on this diamond in the rough.
No story? No problem
There is no campaign in Killing Floor 2 which from my understanding is routine for the series. Normally I’d roll my eyes at the concept but actually getting your hands on the game and engaging in online play is thrilling. Fast-paced and tilted towards difficulty, up to 6 players can fend off waves of either 4, 7, 9, and now infinite. 10 “Perks” or classes each with 25 levels that grant skills as you kill your way up the ladder. As you gain perks, some more personal and others more team focussed, the ways in which you contribute become more meaningful. Support skills include giving your team more ammo, decreasing the spread on your guns, and other useful options. All while this is going on, you’re getting pieces of the universe in every map as well as backstories on the playable avatars. Though I’d be really interested to see what Trip Wire would do with a full campaign mode but it’s the important stories that come from the actual gameplay itself.
Cooperation in Chaos
As stated earlier, this is a zombie horde game that has a PvE multiplayer focus. Mic’d or not, players cooperate through violence and a wheel of text templates that in tandem work miraculously well enough. Nothing says “follow me” like blowing a hole in a crowd of “Zeds” thusly clearing the way. The Perks system mentioned makes everyone pick a role, a selection of guns and skills that really change up your arsenal. This is something CoD zombies lacked because it was more open-ended arcadey fun. Where everyone gets every gun and the points don’t matter. In assigning yourself a role, there is now a code of conduct; a certain playstyle and thought process to aid the team in overcoming the horde. Sharpshooters sit back and pick off stragglers and cap off the wounded. Commandos can see the health of the Zeds which can come in handy when the team needs to focus fire on a big bad that’s about to go down. Firebugs frolic through the madness sprinkling their pixie dust and igniting everything in their path with their inferno.
“Guuuuuns, Guuuuns, Guuuns”
I swear I’ll never make a Motley Crew reference again and you have my sincerest apologies. Jokes aside, the weaponry is hand-curated and gives every Perk a real sense of identity. Support perk is given a litany of shotguns that range from close to mid-range. Semi, full auto, and special guns with abilities like a shotgun with a secondary fire that shoots a healing shot when aimed at allies. Berserkers are special, they only use melee weapons and utilize parrying and a constant flurry of slices with everything from katanas to rocket-propelled hammers. Every option gives you so many guns that you can’t really know them in one or two go-arounds, you need to first get all your skills unlocked to truly feel the power but just getting a high-rank gun for the first time can really turn you on to the whole experience. The actual gunplay and controls themselves are really some of the best outside of games like Destiny and Call of Duty. Tight controls that have some give for newcomers but allows the sharpshooters and other gunslingers to really place shots with precision and accuracy.
“Maaaaps, Maaaaaps, Maaaaps”
Nineteen maps with six of them coming out as free additional content. All of them with their own series of open spaces and narrows. All of them with a little bit more story to help piece together the overall narrative of the world. From the burning streets of Paris, Prison yards in ruins, some twisted kind of carnival, and even a journey to the lair of Krampus. One of the things that all the maps have in common is how they’ll end up looking by the end of your playthrough. Explosions damage and destroy various props and elements of the environment. Blood is strewn and flows to the point where the pristine and sometimes calm setting turns into the canvas for you carnage artists to express yourself on.
True Tech Support
Free updates that include weapons, maps, and avatars are arguably the best feature of this game. There is no season pass, no paid dlc. Every couple months you’ll turn on your system and see an update downloading with gameplay tweaks and various additions. It was almost a year after release before they totally revamped the reward system giving players something to chase with objectives and ways to full your Dosh vault with that sweet cash to unlock a free loot box. Which brings me to my next topic.
Not Without Fault
At its release, a lot of the game’s cosmetic items could really only be earned via purchasing loot box keys. At 3 bucks a pop, these things weren’t cheap especially given the number of items that were locked away and how often players would earn them. Server issues were rampant, my friends and I suffered from a bug that kept us from joining each other’s parties. Even with these issues, the game devs adapt and change to better the game. What a concept. They kept the cosmetic loot boxes but now the money we earn our vaults through gameplay will unlock free cosmetics. The server issues are practically nonexistent and party glitches also seem fixed as well. This game is not without fault but what matters most is the fact that the devs at Trip Wire are constantly working to make sure this game is not only functional but fun.
At launch, Killing Floor 2 isn’t worth the full price of today’s games. As fun and engaging as the entire game is, the actual depth of it as far as variety is concerned is not it’s forte. However, now that it’s thirty bucks and on its way to being even cheaper; I can’t help but suggest this game. It’s actually quite nice to just tune out and lay waste to everything in sight in a fully cooperative and semi-realistic setting. Check out some gameplay, it might just scratch the same itch for you that it did for me.