Back 4 Blood: PC Review

By Published On: October 18, 2021Categories: Gaming, Reviews

Upon hearing about a card system integrated into Left 4 Dead’s spiritual successor Back 4 Blood, I was nothing more than skeptical about how great the game would be when it would release. However, the game is actually insanely fun, and the card system plays a huge role in the game’s overall success. Back 4 Blood is an excellent multiplayer first-person shooter and survival horror that was the perfect successor to such a classic franchise. The game can be bought on every platform aside from Switch for only $59.99. While some may think the cost is a bit high, it is actually worth every penny for the amount of replayability and various modes it has to offer.

A Thrilling Tale and Unique Characters

Back 4 Blood is set in a post-apocalyptic world that has been taken over by Ridden (basically zombies). While the plot is not exactly deep, the characters and atmosphere do a lot of the storytelling for you. Plays can pick from 8 survivors that all have unique background stories and abilities to contribute to a 4-man team. These characters, known as cleaners, provide not only unique weapons but a few class traits such as Holly who offers a boost in team stamina, recovers stamina with kills, and has damage resistance. She also carries a spiked bat to take off the heads of Ridden, and a shotgun to crack a hole in their chest. Another great example is Jim, who on the other hand gets bonus precision kill damage, ADS speed, and team weakspot damage. He sports a nasty sniper rifle providing excellent backup for team compositions. Each character has their own reasons for finding enjoyment in tearing apart the ridden, and provides great commentary as your team fires away at endless enemies to try and survive.

The scenery of the game is a strong suit for this horror survival and not just the interesting types of Ridden. The environment is graphically breathtaking, but also shows the hardship that the people have gone through with what has become the end of the world. Buildings and blood-covered and torn apart, bridges are covered in rubble, and corpses lie amuck with a strong possibility of waking to kill you. Many of the NPCs have great dialogue and show the fear from their voices as they hide or help. The only place that gives any sense of security is the base camp where players can upgrade their cards and practice.

Action-Packed Gameplay and a Clutch Card System

This game offers strong gameplay with a good mix of old and new ideas. Each character provides a good setup for weapons that are changeable or upgradable through the shop at the beginning of levels. Players can also refill their health, boost a team stat, and buy add ons like grenades and medicine to get through each level. I found shotguns to be the best option as far as a weapon set up, for most of the time it’s harder to camp from a far unless you have good communication with your team. It’s also hard to set up depending on what points you land on in each level, for unlike other zombie games there is not much of a defense set up and you need to keep moving from safe point to safe point to beat the levels. Players need to rely on skill depending on difficulty set up, and overall it’s all in the cards you pick at the start of the game.

The card system is no joke when it comes to playing Back 4 Blood. They can make or break the game depending on your team and the difficulty. While you might laugh at this since cards are generally not in survival horror games or first-person shooters, this feature is actually incredible. Cards are picked to enhance your character’s abilities, such as health gained per melee or headshot kill, or increased health efficiency. Players will get to start with the starter deck and can get more cards and modify new decks as they play through the campaign or level up supply lines at the base. With the right setup, you can deal massive damage, or simply get a lot of currency, or even play support. There are endless ways to create a great deck and enjoy the game.

Image Credit: Shinobi

Various Modes and Actual Difficulty

There are various modes to choose from to enjoy Back 4 Blood, such as the campaign mode which offers solo or multiplayer, or even straight-up PVP. You can spend hours killing randoms and friends, or try to brave through the levels that campaign mode offers. However, despite the difficulty, the game is no joke, for if you die twice you have to start all over. While casual is a more relaxing mode, it still can pack a punch if you get stuck with the wrong people. Veteran also offers a huge jump in difficulty with special Riddens placed at random places like Tallboys and Stingers. The game has an incredible amount of replayability due to this since you most likely will not beat the campaign on your first try. While this may turn some players away, the challenge will be satisfying to those who want pain.

Image Credit: Shinobi

A Great Game With Some Flaws

While this game was incredibly optimizable and has great performance, but the design for difficulty could have been a bit better. While the game feels like it was made to play on recruit first, the standard difficulty can turn players that have no friends or don’t want the challenge away due to the limit of deaths you are stuck with before restarting the entire chapter. Adding a Roguelike touch with the death limit feels a bit out of place at times with a survival horror game, and leaves players relying on potentially poor players. Another issue is that people with a poor connection can still try to reenter the game or leave you waiting until the timer runs out before you can set up. Players with poor connections should be completely booted after a certain amount of time so they don’t end up burdening other players or leaving them with a bot last minute.

Overall the game is a great experience providing excellent game modes and strong performance. The card system added a unique element to the genre, and the gameplay was very well designed. Back 4 Blood is a perfect successor for Left 4 Dead with old ideas mixed with new innovation.

DVS Score: 8.5/10

About the Author: DVS Gaming