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Title: Back 4 Blood
Developer: Turtle Rock Studios
Release Date: October 12, 2021
Platforms: PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X|S
I am delighted to bring you my thoughts on the Back 4 Blood video game. I had the chance to spend many hours with this game and decided to give you a comprehensive review of the gameplay, visuals, and online multiplayer experience. This video game review is designed to be a helpful guide for those of you that are new to this game or would like to know if Back 4 Blood is worth your time. In this review, I will discuss certain story elements, but I will try to keep this review primarily spoiler-free.
What is Back 4 Blood?
Back 4 Blood is a cooperative first-person shooter set in a war-torn world of terrifying creatures called the Ridden. The Ridden are zombie-like creatures of various classes and threat levels that are consuming everything in their way. The survivors must work together to complete objectives such as looking for supplies, clearing certain areas, saving themselves as well as other survivors along the way.
When starting Back 4 Blood, you’ll have a choice of 4 different characters that each have their own unique set of power-ups that aid your team in battle. You can play Back 4 Blood solo, with a team of 4 bots or play online with your friends or join online matchmaking (which I’ll go over in more detail later).
As of the date of this article, there are currently only two modes you can play, either the Campaign which is a great length for this type of game, which you can play either solo or through online multiplayer, or Swarm which is a made where you and a group of players try to survive hordes of Ridden.
How About The Gameplay?
Back 4 Bloods Gameplay on my initial playthrough was really fun, but can also be challenging at times. There are various types of Ridden, from simple zombies to huge monsters that will throw huge boulders at you and your team. If you are not careful the Ridden can easily overwhelm you, so my advice is to stay with your team as much as possible when playing, and continue moving at all times. Even if you are in an area you believe to be secure, Ridden can jump seemingly out of nowhere and you instantly become surrounded.
The levels are fairly similar, but they are designed to encourage exploration. Ammo can be scarce at times which means you will have to explore that abandoned house or old poorly lit storage shed. You can find many helpful items that will help you in-game, but the risk is you may also encounter more Ridden. This helps you truly feel like you are trying to survive in an apocalyptic world.
One complaint I do have with Back 4 Blood’s gameplay and levels is the lack of waypoints. Once you’ve completed your objective you are given a notification to find the safe house, but many times we simply couldn’t find it as the game doesn’t direct us there. Maybe this is by design since the game is meant for you to explore and find different locations, but if you do not find the safe house you cannot end the level, and more and more Ridden appear. This is one feature I think will help players in-game so you don’t waste your time exploring areas with no type of benefit.
In Back 4 Blood you must obtain cards during gameplay that will increase your team stats such as stamina, health, and ammo reserves. You’ll want to choose your cards wisely, especially if you’d like to survive during the tougher levels.
The overall gameplay is very simple, you will initially start in a safe room where you can choose from a few different weapons. My personal favorites are using an LMG, and a melee weapon as a secondary, but there are many weapons to choose from such as SMGs, shotguns, and pistols with various attachments. I did enjoy the weapon sandbox in Back 4 Blood, but I wish there were cool weapons such as a flame thrower you can use to mow down hordes of Ridden. If you’ve played first-person shooters such as Call of Duty, or Apex Legends, then you’ll catch on to Back 4 Blood quite easily.
To be successful in Back 4 Blood, you will need to stay on the move and also learn to scavage. You are given weapons from the start and can purchase health packs, and equipment using in-game currency, but this equipment may not be enough depending on what you are dealing with in the level. So be sure to look around, explore, and always keep moving.
Graphics and Visuals
Back 4 Blood is a good-looking game overall, but I do wish it were grimmer at times. The players and other character models are bright and colorful, and I don’t personally feel that they fit with the game’s overall tone. I played Back 4 Blood on the Xbox Series X for this review, and it was an extremely smooth experience overall. The visuals in this game are pretty much what you’d come to expect nowadays, and aren’t really designed to blow you out of the water, but even in moments when there are many ridden on screen, the gameplay is consistent throughout. Overall I did enjoy it, and I’m sure you will as well.
The online multiplayer experience is the negative part of my review. I played many matches online, and there were times we all simply died due to our teammate’s poor decision-making. This isn’t the fault of the game or the developers, but I cannot stress enough how team-oriented this game is. The Ridden spawn continuously, so even if you’ve cleared an area, if you hang around there long enough more ridden will appear of various strength types. Depending on the Ridden that appears a horde might show up, which is an invasion of various types of Ridden. If you’re playing online and your teammates are so focused on clearing all of the Ridden before moving towards the objective you will lose.
I lost many matches due to this, and it would be nice if the game had some sort of alert or mechanic that encouraged players to stay on the move at all times. s
Back 4 Blood is a fun game that will provide you with many hours of fun. The gameplay is solid, even with the few minor quirks, you can tell that this game is built on a solid foundation. So anything the developers add to this game is just icing on the cake. As far as a rating, I’m going to give Back 4 Blood an 8 out of 10. The online play, the minor gripes I have about waypoints, and the lack of exotic weapons are the reason I’m choosing to give it an 8.