Back 4 Blood Alpha: Satisfying As Hell

So happy I got in to the closed Alpha for Back 4 Blood! The game is made by the creators of the Left 4 Dead franchise. I can honestly say it scratches the long-time itch I’ve had for another Left 4 Dead.

I recently played Left 4 Dead 2 again because I was missing it so much. While watching The Game Awards, I immediately signed up for Back 4 Blood’s alpha after seeing its trailer! I remember sinking so many hours into L4D and while I’ve tried other games that are in a similar vein to it (Vermintide kind of did the trick, but I got super bored quick), it never quite matched up.

In Back 4 Blood, you and 4 other players will cooperate to shoot your way through a zombie apocalypse. Your goal is to move forward, find resources, and ultimately, reach a safe zone at the end of chapters. So basically exactly like L4D for the base gameplay. However, there are some tweaks to your experience too.

The resource management for Back 4 Blood is a lot more punishing. I’ve found that I always have to make sure I buy ammo at the safe house. At times, that meant I wouldn’t have enough money left to buy med kits. Oh and that’s another thing: you have to find money throughout your run so that you can afford to purchase resources when you reach safe houses.

While you can find ammo and money during your journey, it’s limited so that only one person can pick it up at a time. Having randoms in your games is a little difficult if they choose to indiscriminately pick up everything in their sight. It was frustrating when there was one rando who kept picking up all the rifle ammo that I needed when he clearly was main-ing a shotgun.

There is a perks system in the form of a deck of cards. In each of the prep phases between rounds, you can choose randomly drawn cards that will benefit your character. Whether it’s augmenting your melee kills to also heal you for a small amount, or that you get some money when your teammates find coins, you’ll be able to personalize your experience to a degree in each game. These reset with new campaigns that you’ll do.

The zombies in Back 4 Blood are ridiculously satisfying to kill. Whether it’s the sploosh VFX and SFX you get when you headshot one of them, or when you knife melee them in front of you, you feel like what you did was impactful. That was something I felt L4D definitely lacked.

There are special zombies amongst the hordes that come at you too! But I didn’t actually take the time to learn their names. Our friends and I just keep equating them to the L4D semi-equivalent specials. Which makes for weird callouts such as “the Boomer that’s also a Spitter up ahead!”

It’s only in its alpha, but I’m really looking forward to its eventual release in the summer of next year! I am hoping there will be more characters to choose from as I always prefer playing as a female, and of course, more campaigns to come.

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