In 2015, Turtle Rock Studios released the highly anticipated Evolve. The game pioneered the asymmetrical game experience. Four players hunted another player that was acting as a monster. The hunters had to take the monster down, while the monster had to murder everyone and evolve to its final form. The issue was, the world wasn’t ready for asymmetrical games back then. The game was also filled with around $150 worth of microtransactions, which didn’t sit right with anyone. This poor combination led to the game being canned, and the developer has watched games like Dead by Daylight steal its concept and make it a success for the past five years. Now however, they’re back, and they’re re-inventing the co-op zombie shooter wheel.
Turtle Rock Studios created the original Left 4 Dead, a game that is still beloved today. Fans have been asking them to revisit the genre for years, and now they’re doing it with Back 4 Blood. They don’t want to just revisit it though, they want to re-invent the experience. Of course, the staples of making a massive mess with blood and moving down hundreds of zombies are still core parts of the game.
This isn’t a game about surviving the zombie apocalypse. The survivors are either immune, or they have the skills to survive that most others don’t. As a result, players are heading out to create new safe spaces instead of defending them. They want to push back against the hordes and try to rebuild some semblance of society.
Something that sounds very interesting is that this game requires players to work together. While other games allow players to just exist near one another and fight on their own, if you don’t work with others in BAck 4 Blood, you’re going to die pretty quickly.
Of course, this wouldn’t be a new kind of game without a twist. The thing that Back 4 Blood does differently is allowing players to take not the role of the zombies. In this game they’re called The Ribbon, and players aren’t just controlling drones, they’re in control of the specialised zombie types. There are also cards that change the game world against you, but you can fight back with your own counter-cards that work against those changes.
I can’t wait for this game, and it sounds like one that I might never move away from.