Back 4 Blood beta impressions: A solid return for Turtle Rock

Turtle Rock Studios
Turtle Rock Studios /

There hasn’t really been a zombie, horror survival game that I have really been too excited about in quite a while now. With the exceptions of franchises like Dying Light, Resident Evil, and Dead Space, nothing has really garnered much traction.

Zombie survival games have very much fallen off in the gaming sphere due to the oversaturation of the genre in the video game market. These types of games are typically casual friendly and widely appealing to massive audiences, but after a while, only a handful of titles were able to survive the test of time.

However, Back 4 Blood revitalizes that itch to play these types of games. It is currently wrapping up its early access phase. There is another chance to partake in the game’s open access beta which takes place from August 12 to 16. If you are a fan of the Left 4 Dead franchise or just like zombie horde games in general, this beta would certainly work up your appetite for just that.

Back 4 Blood, while not fully released yet, is a game that is basically the closest possible game we’ll get to an actual Left 4 Dead 3. Call it a spiritual successor of sorts. What the beta had was only a taste of the campaign and some rather forgetful PvP. The campaign was where the best times were had. The levels designs, the characters and their lines, the perks and builds with the card system, it all just felt great.

Sure, the card system is rather confusing at first, and I do have my reservations about them and their implementation to the full release. This whole card system, for the amount of time I put into this beta, gives each run of this bit of the campaign a different experience each time. Think of it like a Roguelike, but not as punishing. Each campaign instance has a set amount of times you can continue before the run is dead. Don’t fret, if you do fail at some point, you can create a new instance in the place where you most recently left off, though you won’t have the loadout you had in your previous run.

The gameplay itself is very solid. However, I did experience a bit of an input delay and latency issues with button presses. While these problems were minimal, I hope they get fixed in the final product or even as soon as the second wave of beta.

Back 4 Blood
Turtle Rock Studios /

Back 4 Blood, at least in the beta, prides itself in being over-the-top in terms of zombie numbers, or as they’re called in-game: Ridden. You just blast your way through hordes and hordes of these Ridden, with bigger, hulking ones, fast agile ones, or the large-armed grabbing ones. It’s a game where you have to really cooperate with your team or face an imminent death. Back 4 Blood punishes the stragglers and the heroes who like to run off on their own thinking they can take on anything.

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You really have to have some good team synergy to succeed. This game, even on the Classic difficulty as of right now, can be difficult. The intensity and fear that the Ridden can overwhelm you in a matter of seconds is so exhilarating and revitalized my love of this video game genre. It actually feels like you have a lot to lose, especially with the Roguelite system in place.

Back 4 Blood’s beta left a mostly positive impression on me. The team at Turtle Rock Studios really did a lot to preserve the great parts of the Left 4 Dead franchise and carry it over to a new IP. While it still may be rough around the edges, it’s solid so far for being in beta and leaves me hopeful for the full product.

Next. Back 4 Blood Open Beta dates, early access and details. dark

Back 4 Blood is set to launch on October 12, 2021. It will be available on PS4 and PS5, Xbox One and Series S/X, and PC. It will also have crossplay available at launch.