Zeds to the left of me, Zeds to the right and here I am stuck in the middle with… where did everyone go? Successor to the multiplayer-centric Killing Floor, Killing Floor 2 has just released from its Early Access for party based mayhem which will see anywhere from one to six players join forces in order to survive the onslaught of genetic abominations as they come at the survivors in waves. Quick disclaimer that if you are looking for a single player and narrative experience? You won’t find it here. If you’re looking for pure multiplayer shootouts with a class based system to play with friends? This should meet all of those needs.
I originally had the chance to poke at Killing Floor 2 about half a year ago through my brother’s Steam library and thought to myself that this would make a great game for a LAN. Now having it for myself, I can definitely say that while it would indeed make a great game to get a bunch of friends together, creating your own private game may take a bit longer than some people are willing to put in as there’s currently no quick and easy way to do this.
While playing on a normal difficulty this is fine as there are more than enough hosted servers from the makers Tripwire to go around. Moving from normal to hard however and that list dropped like a rock making it hard for three or four of us to play at the same time in the same game as there is a maximum of six places and most of these games already had four, five, or six players. It would have been nice to have creating your own games, or even private games, through the actual interface instead of having to do most of it outside of the Valve’s Steam Client.
Creating private games aside for a moment, jumping into available servers is easily done. If a server has what you need in regards to difficulty, waves, and game mode? Go for it. If what shows up seems to be a bit much to sift through then simply load the filter option to trim the list down to what you need. It takes seconds and the server list refreshes leaving you good to go on game modes and even preferred ping levels. Now while it can be a lot of work to host your own private server to play with friends instead of using the dev hosted ones, it can still be quite enjoyable to have other people join in and be added to the chew-toy menu.
The concept of Killing Floor 2 is easy. You customize your character with a class and then with skins and accessories for everyone else to marvel at your fashion sense before then diving head first into a horde of abominations. After that? Make sure you know how to aim and left loose bullet after bullet as abominations come near you. Unless you went melee in which case ammo doesn’t count short of specific weapons.
Outside of the bit of customization that the classes offer, Killing Floor 2 is a fairly basic First Person Shooter though it’s good at what it does. Sending increasing amounts of abominations your way on top of more powerful variants helps keep the pace high and the less players involved the more potentially stressful the situation. Every abomination killed gives both experience to level up and money in order to buy ammo, armor, and more powerful weapons. If you manage to get a few shots while someone else takes the abomination out then you get a portion of the kill from and it’ll count towards your assists. It’s quite honestly better than nothing and when it comes to the larger enemies? More often than not anyone will take a portion of that.
After every wave has been eliminated the team will have a quick break in order to make it over to a resupply pod in order to spend the money that they earned. Ammo, armor, new weapons whether they are class specific or not are yours for the choosing if you have enough money. If you don’t, you can always request money from another player which can be passed over in chunks of fifty dollars. Often my brother and I would rush him to his best melee weapon before then getting me my best gun. It definitely raised our chances at making it through when we were just starting up as even if his sledgehammer could use ammo, it didn’t need it in the early waves.
Now while there is no narrative experience, Killing Floor 2 is great to play for hours on end with others as an average game of ten waves (max amount) lasts between thirty to forty-five minutes. There is a single player mode in order to try things out but without others? It gets old fast. Being side by side with other players random or otherwise there’s a sense of competition to see who comes out on top. Who got the most kills? The most headshots? Who took out the boss? Wait did I say Boss? Yup! At the end of the waves is a super powerful boss that can be a right pain to take out but then it they were easy it would defeat the purpose.
Abominations come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and abilities from the smaller (average human sized) to the larger in which they may have wanted to hold back on the Wheaties as well as the chainsaws and Kratos-like gauntlets. When it comes to the bosses however these are multi phased fights that can sometimes come out to be the worst battles of attrition if they don’t go down making finding ammo on the field is necessary if the team doesn’t work together. The reason behind that is after bringing the boss's’ health down, they will heal back up making you have to start all over again. It does this a few times before you can finally end them for good and claim victory. It’s an interesting mechanic though it would have been nice to plow through said mechanic if your team was good enough to kill them in one fell swoop.
The style of gameplay of the Killing Floor 2 will not be for everyone. It’s a team based First Person Shooter that prioritizes teamwork and competition instead of PVP. For those that enjoy these style of situations it’s worth checking out especially if you are a group of friends looking for a friendly bit of competition as to whom is better than whom.
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Article by Pierre-Yves