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Back 4 Blood review: zombie hell just waiting for us

Take up your weapons of fearless survivors, because the zombie hordes of Back 4 Blood are here. After giving us a nice Beta version, the full game is now available and ready to put you and your team to the test in the fight against the undead. Area after area, horde after horde, we got to savor all the macabre facets of the game that we can’t wait to tell you in this Back 4 Blood review.

The fascination of a post-apocalyptic world

Back 4 Blood is set in a world infected with a a worm, a parasite who attacked the whole of humanity by turning them into hungry zombies. The undead roam menacingly in search of the few survivors of the disaster who are trying, in some way, to live one more day by collaborating with each other and of course, slaughtering as many zombies as possible. The surviving protagonists of this chapter are Walker, Holly, Hoffman, Evangelo, Karlee, Doc, Jim, e “Mom“. Eight “normal” people who have found themselves having to face deadly flocks of enemies whose sole purpose is to eliminate them.

The zombies are many and some of them have been touched by further mutations that have modified the rotten body giving it particular powers and abilities. In addition to the classic slow, fragile, but still very dangerous zombies when in a group, we also find giants capable of exploding and vomiting corrosive substances or giant zombies with prehensile arm capable of doing enormous damage. To these are added much larger, dangerous and resistant creatures, real bosses that deserve all your hits.

Unlike the Beta version, we got to try out all the playable characters. Four will be available from the start, the others will be unlocked as you progress through the main campaign. All of them possess special abilities and a unique secondary weapon that characterizes their style of play and their personality. The crazy characters best reflect the adrenaline atmosphere and the penetrating sense of humor of the game, giving us hilarious sketches. The game storyline will go on regardless of the characters used and let’s face it, it’s certainly not the central part of this game. But the acts of the story (4 acts in total) are more than interesting and will keep you glued to the screen for hours by serving you higher and higher difficulty levels.

Back 4 Blood

Back 4 Blood

Turtle Rock Studios

59,99 €

So many zombies to kill, so little time

The character will have to be chosen at the beginning of the campaign but can be swapped every time the adventure is restarted or a checkpoint is taken back. In fact, it is not necessary to restart the game from scratch at each attempt but to resume at various points in the acts, perhaps using a new character. The adventure is tackled together with 3 other players who will be selected randomly by the system in case you do not have a party. For the more solitary, there is also a single-player mode to undertake the campaign in the company of the Bots.

Each level has its own objective which discerns from “KILL EVERYTHING”. Sometimes you will have to rescue survivors, reach certain areas or destroy a boat to slow the advance of the horde. The missions are varied and well thought out and fit, too, with the rhythm of the game, adrenaline and extremely fun. In fact, killing zombies will be an impossible element to avoid in order to achieve the objectives (because I do it myself!). The undead are a constant, they are many and they are very aggressive and we will have to give our every bullet to stop them.

The weapons available, of course, are not lacking. Precision rifles, automatic machine guns, pistols, spiked baseball bats and much more, will all be at your disposal ready to end the non-life of some zombie. At the beginning of each area we will have a chest shared with the team with which to refuel by purchasing, with a game coin, weapons, ammunition, modifications, heals and much more. Objects can also be found scattered around the map but don’t expect large resources. In fact, you will very often end up without any bullets and punching zombies, fun as it is, is not that effective.

Fun guaranteed

The Back 4 Blood card system is interesting. At the beginning of the adventure we will have the possibility to choose a certain deck of cards that will provide advantageous buffs to the character or team, which is essential to move forward in the game. Although at the beginning of the campaign the cards and any cards that we will unlock, seem superfluous, at the final levels and much more complex, they will prove extremely useful. These range from increasing stamina and health to reducing the weapon loading time, increasing the number of rounds in the magazine and so on. To these are added cards that you can find scattered around the various areas or advantages to buy at the beginning of each area. It is a simple and original system that gives that extra touch to the gameplay.

A PvP mode called “Swarm” is also added to the main story, and to the quick games. Here, two teams of 4 players each will compete on a limited map. 4 players will use the survivors we have already met while 4 other players will control the mutant zombies and their creepy abilities. On paper, it looks like an interesting mode with a considerable degree of challenge but in the long run it risks boring becoming an end in itself mode.

Fortunately for us, the story mode has 3 difficulty levels (at the moment) that will allow you to finish the game over and over for extra hours of adventure, blood and… more blood!

I love the smell of mushy zombies in the morning

Moving on from a technical point of view, Back 4 Blood confirms what we had perceived in the Beta version. Despite the more than frenetic pace, the game boasts a stability not just with a frame rate (played on Xbox Series S) constant without any drop. Graphically it did not give us the feeling of maximizing the potential of the next-gen (now actual-gen) but this does not mean that it cannot defend itself well. Characters, zombies and above all settings are made in the best way: original, fluid and well characterized.

As is often the case in these fast-paced games, the soundtrack is of fundamental importance and fortunately the team of Turtle Rock Studios he knows very well. Both the more “exploratory” sequences and those of pure action are characterized by a more than apt soundtrack. Added to this are also rock and metal music from the Jukebox sequence (you will understand when you meet it) which makes the atmosphere even more adrenaline and extremely fun (But watch out for copyright in case of streaming!).

The glitches, at the time of our test, are not lacking and some bugs have forced us to restart the game several times, but in general the game runs very well and with good server stability.

The Back 4 Blood review at a glance

Back 4 Blood is the worthy spiritual heir of Left 4 Dead, re-introducing the strengths of the passionate shooter with new original ideas and a pace of play that captivates. With a well-trained team of friends and a great desire to mow down hordes of zombies, Back 4 Blood will keep you glued to the screen for hours of pure and raw fun.

Marco Dellapina is a passionate writer who dives into the exciting world of video games. With a deep love for gaming, Marco brings you the latest updates, reviews, and insights on the ever-evolving landscape of interactive entertainment. Join Marco on an immersive journey through the realm of video games and stay up-to-date with the latest trends and releases. Get ready to level up your gaming knowledge with Marco Dellapina's articles.