Killing Floor 2 Early Access Hands On Impressions – Gruesome Never Looked So Good
GamingBolt’s Oliver VanDervoort goes hands on with Tripwire’s zombie based first person shooter.
The first thing to realize about Killing Floor 2 is that this isn’t a game that is trying to be something it’s not. There isn’t a whole lot of story here, at least in the preview build I just got my hands on. You’re a soldier who can equip himself with a number of different weapons and you’re fighting against wave, upon wave of monster-zombie things called Zeds. The premise is very simple, fight alongside a team of other well-armed combatants and see just how many Zeds you can take down as quickly as possible. That’s what Killing Floor 2 offers and it offers little else, but that doesn’t mean the game is disappointing in any stretch of the imagination. It doesn’t appear that this is really all the game is going to be when it finally is released.
I was able to play an online matchmaking version of the game, that doesn’t have any real story interspersed. I jumped into the mode and was immediately put into the middle of a level with other players who were all looking to kill as many Zeds as possible. It appears as though there may be some other modes that will put into Killing Floor 2 when the game goes live and one of those modes is an offline single player. Because I wasn’t able to actually check this mode out, it’s hard to know exactly what it might bring, but it’s possible a story mode is going to be inserted there.
"Considering how crazy the action can get at times, it shouldn’t surprise anyone if they go down fast and hard the first couple of times they play, especially if they are located near the entrance points for the Zeds."
What I was able to see was a game that certainly wasn’t all that different from the original Killing Floor. Of course, the designers of the game were very forthcoming in the fact that they weren’t offering something that different. What this game has that the original lacked was a more detailed and gruesome ways you can take care of your enemies. If you put one of these monsters in your crosshairs, the game will slow down so that you can see as you blow off their head or a limb.
Before each wave of Zeds comes on the attack there is a period of time when players can run to the a special portal where they can turn in their points and money to buy new weapons, all the better to kill monsters with. Obviously the more waves you play and the more zombies you take down, the better weapons you can grab while looking to suit up. If there is one place where the game seems to fall a little flat, it’s that the weapons that are offered don’t seem all that special. I’d love to see some guns that just take out an enemy in one shot or stand out among other FPS games. Perhaps this is something that’s coming in the finished product of Killing Floor 2 but it isn’t here just yet.
What is here is the ability to help your teammates in a way that makes actually having teammates worthwhile. The game in this regard kind of reminded me of something like Left 4 Dead in that you can go off on your own and fight whatever Zeds you can find. The better option is going to be to stay within eyesight of the other players in the game, so that if you go down, they can come in and help you heal.
Considering how crazy the action can get at times, it shouldn’t surprise anyone if they go down fast and hard the first couple of times they play, especially if they are located near the entrance points for the Zeds. There were a couple of times I tried to withdraw, after realizing I was way too close to the wave as it moved in. The nice thing about the AI of Killing Floor 2, is the Zeds actually seemed to see me and decide I was who they wanted to go after first. Once I got swarmed, there wasn’t much I could do except shoot as much as possible and hope a teammate was going to swoop in at some point.
"The build that I managed to play through was fun enough, and shooting the Zeds was entertaining enough."
One of the funniest parts of Killing Floor 2 is selecting who you are going to play a. There are a number of different characters to choose from; you can also change a little detail here or a little detail there to make your character stand out. There are still going to be some times when players find that everyone on their team is the same guy wearing the same gas mask, but at least there’s enough editing available that someone will be wearing a regular old gas mask and another will be wearing a mask that has the colors and design of a country’s flag.
All in all, the sneak peek I got of Killing Floor 2 didn’t allow me a long lingering look at what the game might be when it’s finished. At least I hope it didn’t because that would mean there isn’t a lot of there. The build that I managed to play through was fun enough, and shooting the Zeds was entertaining enough. The game has some serious replay ability, but there was also enough repetitive aspects that make me put down the controller and not pick up for quite a while. Perhaps that’s where the offline single player mode could come in handy. If there is even the semblance of a story mode there, it might be enough to intersperse with with the online multiplayer to make the game more attractive.