Tripwire Interactive’s Killing Floor 2, the heavy metal, wave-killing, zombie frenzy, dosh-spending, limb-hacking (and any other epithet you may Frankenstein together) co-op game, debuted in August 2015 for Steam early access.
At the time of the early access release, my ZED-busting cohorts and I entered the killing floors to find an already well-polished sequel that was frantic, challenging and grotesquely beautiful. The specimens were ghastlier versions of their previous selves, the shooting was tight and responsive, and the final wave boss battles still kicked asses. The only qualms I found were in the limited number of maps and the single boss monster. However, being an early access title, Tripwire Interactive has had a bit more time to further flesh out the Killing Floor experience, and it’s looking better and better.For those unfamiliar of the visceral glory of Killing Floor, the game is a six-player, first-person cooperative wave shooter. Every round becomes progressively more difficult as waves upon waves of zombies thrash, crawl, and kill their way towards the players. Between rounds, players can purchase better equipment to continue their path of destruction and mayhem. Alongside a slew of weapons, players also have access to different classes or “perks,” such as medic, support and the rifle-loving commando. Killing Floor is more than just a wave shooter, however, since the increasing difficulty of the game encourages a diverse team. After all, as badass as an entire group of melee beserkers sound, that group configuration could easily get overwhelmed without a proper medic in the ranks.
So with that, let’s get back to looking at the sequel. Within the past few months, Killing Floor 2 received a few major content updates and plenty of patches. The first major update released back in September, called Incinerate ‘n Detonate, brought two maps, two crossover characters (characters which are available to players who own other Tripwire games) and the firebug and demolitions perk. In December, Tripwire Interactive resurrected the big boss baddie the Patriarch from the first game and released a brand new gunslinger class.
Killing Floor 2, for the moment, does not have a sniper perk, the one style of play which I favored in the first title. However, as a big fan of westerns and revolvers, the twin-shooter perk easily fills that missing void. The master of dual-wielding pistols expertly plugs zombie after zombie with precise brutality; headshots are plenty for the picking as the gunslinger uses only the deadliest hand cannons available. And while I haven’t played the firebug or demolition extensively, it’s easy to see the power in these classes when you witness a higher level demolitions player take out a rocket launcher and blast chainsaw wielding Scrakes to kingdom come.
Each of the seven perks focus on a different set of weapons: commandos die by their rifles; supports breach and control crowds through shotguns; medics are masters of SMGs and unique guns that heal friendlies; the firebug clears rooms with flamethrowers; the gunslinger uses pistols, and the demolition perk focuses on, what else, demolitions and heavy ordinances! Players aren’t limited to using only perk-related weapons as they gun down hordes of ZEDs either. You can change your perk mid-game or even buy weapons from other classes. Using particular weapons, though, such as the demolition’s grenade launcher, will bolster player experience only in a single perk. It benefits players to really dig into a single class since each one contains powerful upgrades to fuel the killing frenzy.
Jumping into Killing Floor 2, I immediately found the same gory warmth of the first game. Gunning down ZEDs in slow motion and scurrying away from brutish Fleshpound haymakers while one of the heaviest soundtracks blasts all around me brought more fear and adrenaline than I knew what to do with. The monsters are absolutely terrifying this time around. Just hearing the revving chainsaw of a Scrake will make any new player wet their digital trousers. And of course, these monsters look great because Killing Floor 2 looks bloody fantastic. Oh, and yes, I mean “bloody” in the literal sense. The game’s crisp levels morph into seas of crimson as you and your teammates decimate walking hordes of zombies. Nothing says “Great job” quite like looking at the blood-red walls and floors you helped paint.
Though I’ve run into the occasional slowdown, I haven’t experienced too many problems with my time playing Killing Floor 2. Tripwire Interactive does an excellent job updating the community on its patches and what’s to come with the game. The early access already looks great and plays very well. With the recent addition of Steam workshop mods, Killing Floor 2 looks like it’s going to be in great hands. I absolutely can’t wait for the official release and see what else Tripwire Interactive has in store for fans.