Back 4 Blood Reviews
Back 4 Blood comes after a decade of L4D-likes and from the studio that made the timeless original, but it fails to capture the same magic even as well as some prior imitators.
With Back 4 Blood available on Xbox Game Pass on PC and Console there’s reason to jump in if you’re looking for something new to play with friends. The look and feel is familiar and the action is engaging and chaotic when played with a group. For a while that is. Thanks to the sameness that permeates across most levels and backdrops and the predictability of the pace, it doesn’t take long for this Left 4 Dead spiritual successor to wear a little thin.
It seems backhanded to say that a game is only worth playing if you can find people to distract you from the actual game, but if your group wants something mindless to wind down after an intense night on Warzone or Rainbow Six: Siege, Back 4 Blood is ideal.
I’ll reiterate: Back 4 Blood isn’t a bad game. But it could have been so much better. Its difficulty needs balancing, as does the amount of enemies thrown at you at any one time. Ultimately, most levels simply have too much going on to be enjoyable – and each Act would have benefitted from being substantially shorter. Get a competent group of friends together and you might have some fun, but chances are zombie fatigue is going to set in long before you reach the end of the campaign.
At every turn, Back 4 Blood frantically alludes to its superior predecessor, digging its own grave as it crumbles under the weight of blasé characters and overly complex systems.
With Back 4 Blood, developer Turtle Rock tries to revive Left 4 Dead's cooperative, zombie-shooting glory days. The result is a mixed bag that features solid ideas, but half-baked execution.
More than a decade after Left 4 Dead 2, Turtle Rock is back to reclaim the throne. Back 4 Blood is not a revolution in itself, but rather an evolution of the developer's already excellent setup. Of course, we would have liked less of the small errors we find here and there, but that doesn't stop the game from being a really entertaining and addictive action party. With human co-players, that is.
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Likewise, if you are burning to play a Left 4 Dead-style game but you only have a newer console, Back 4 Blood should fit the bill, though there are several more interesting options out there if you look. At the end of the day, this is an inferior version of Left 4 Dead 2 that lacks the style, charm, gore, and engaging characters it tries to reproduce. That said, there is a decent foundation here and there are worse ways you could spend a weekend with some buddies.
I so badly want to love Back 4 Blood, but its grindy nature and difficulty spikes out of nothing let it down, leaving you with a bad taste in your mouth. It has potential for those in it for the long haul, accumulating cards and building specialised decks to match the challenge, but right now I just have no desire to go back 4 more.
On its own, Back 4 Blood isn’t a bad zombie game. I can definitely see people enjoying it with friends. However it’s difficult to give a confident recommendation when it offers such a mediocre experience. Should they be able to balance the difficulty a little better, that could be paramount into improving the game.
Back 4 Blood isn't a repeat of Turtle Rock Studios' Evolve but doesn't live up to the expectations many were hoping for.
A tedious, time-consuming playing card mechanic, frustrating bug crashes and a repetitive, near-endless onslaught of Ridden enemies led by an uninspired AI Director, collectively drags this spiritual sequel to Left 4 Dead down from the heights it could have reached.
It's hard to fault the moment-to-moment gameplay of Back 4 Blood when all of its pistons are working in tandem and you're running with a good crew. Though the effort to contemporise and grow beyond its roots is commendable, just about every other aspect of the game feels like a misfire. The campaign isn't fun and, more offensively, it pays no regard to solo players.
Back 4 Blood isn't perfect by any means, but it's absolutely the closest we've gotten to a new Left 4 Dead game in the years since Left 4 Dead 2. Because of this, it's hard not to have fun with B4B, even if it doesn't always feel inventive and has some notable drawbacks. Despite some qualms, if you're hungry for a new co-op shooter to jump into with some friends, Back 4 Blood has more than enough meat on the bone to keep you entertained for quite some time.
Back 4 Blood features the hectic first-person combat and brilliant co-op camaraderie that made Left 4 Dead so popular. It’s no wonder that Turtle Rock wanted to emulate that success, and while there are a few compromises – the terrible bots if you can’t round up some mates, and the extreme jump in difficulty if you want to eke out some more playtime – this spiritual successor falls into the “worthy” category.
Back 4 Blood offered a great co-op experience with a variety of powerful enemies and different characters to choose from. Turtle Rock Studio offered a fun experience similar to the setting of Left 4 Dead, but it suffers from server issues between platforms and weak single-player AI which makes this experience incomplete.
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Back 4 Blood isn’t Left 4 Dead 3, but it is so evidently an evolution of the genre. When things go right and you have a deck that works for your build, plus the Game Director doesn’t screw you over with the corruption cards, then the game feels amazing to play. Far more often than not however, you’ll be left frustrated and tilted because too many enemies have spawned so there was literally nothing you could do. Back 4 Blood is the best multiplayer zombie game on the market right now, but the competition is weak and if you’re a solo player, steer well clear.
At its best, Back 4 Blood offers a ton of variety to keep you and your friends interested for a long time. Even returning to levels you’ve already played gets interesting thanks to different cards, which can make major differences in how things play out. If you have three friends to play the whole game with, I highly recommend it. That its available as a Game Pass title is awesome because you can get a group of friends together without them all having to buy the game. If you don’t have that group though, a poorly balanced solo mode and issues with matchmaking will sink this one for most.
There are plenty of reasons why Back 4 Blood could be around for years as Turtle Rock adds additional content to the game, but I hope they start by tweaking what's here. The difficulty, for this type of game, feels wrong. Back 4 Blood is meant to be fun with friends, and although I'm all for the challenge and reliance on communication with your teammates, the higher difficulties are sadistic.