In 2009, players were introduced to the sequel to the excellent (extremely) Left 4 Dead, a cooperative zombie shooter, developed by Turtle Rock Studios. At the end of the year 2021, this same studio is behind Back 4 Blood, a game which is the spiritual sequel to Left 4 Dead, and which offers to rediscover this very special atmosphere. A massively multiplayer oriented game, therefore, but which also offers a little fun for the lone player. Our test!
Back 4 Blood at test time!
Side synopsis, Back 4 Blood plunges players after a catastrophic epidemic where the majority of humanity has been killed or infected by the parasite called ” Devil’s Worm “. The game offers to play as various veterans of the apocalypse (the Cleaners) who mobilize against the Infested, namely Holly, Walker, Doc, Karlee, Jim, Hoffman, Evangelo and Mum. All have various qualities, but share the same sense of cleaning, namely the dezincification of zombies and any other form of life other than human.
In the field, just as being a scribe is neither a good nor a bad situation, this Back 4 Blood is neither a good nor a bad surprise. Indeed, the game happily takes up the concept of Left 4 Dead, with an FPS that is meant to be collaborative, even if the game offers a “solo” mode. The goal is simple: go through the different levels by overcoming the many living dead who wish to draw you into their world. ” Hello originality! You might say.
So yes and no, because if the concept is indeed modeled on that of Left 4 Dead, Back 4 Blood nevertheless brings some new features, with for example a real customization. As we have said, the characters have different characteristics, but a card system (via Decks) will make it possible to modify the playing experience by adding, for example, power, endurance or other specificities. Very useful cards therefore (with more than 150 cards in the program), which will have to be unlocked using resource points recovered on the battlefield.
A card system that seems very gadget at first, but which nevertheless turns out to be rather deep when you take the care to take a serious interest. As in a Left 4 Dead, you will need to know how to communicate with your allies so as not to prematurely trigger the arrival of a horde, by making a little too much noise or by scaring crows installed a little further. Cooperation is more important than ever here, especially as the difficulty of the game increases quite quickly, after very accessible first levels.
Of course, each mission offers its share of secondary objectives, and it will for example be necessary to finish a run before the end of the timer to unlock certain bonuses.
Gameplay and technique
On the gameplay side, we are here facing a very arcade FPS, with immediate fun and a very neat atmosphere. As we have said, the first levels are an appetizer, but quickly, the game signed Turtle Rock Studios is much more consistent, with the added bonus of some excellent sequences, particularly distressing and demanding.
Visually, on Xbox Series X, the game is perfectly fluid, but it is not THE game that will put your eyes on you. The whole is correct, but nothing more, with the added bonus of a fairly approximate damage location and relatively tight environments. Fortunately, the hordes always have their small (big) effect, and seeing dozens of starving undead tumble down will frighten more than one. Added to this are pretty light effects, and a game that plays happily on the dark to raise fear. Guaranteed atmosphere.
The campaign mode (also playable in solo with sidekicks controlled by the AI) offers a little over 30 levels to complete. The game obviously offers several levels of difficulty, but it is mainly in multiplayer that Back 4 Blood reveals its true potential. The other great news about multiplayer is that Back 4 Blood is a game that supports cross-play (and cross-generation) on all platforms. Note that in addition to the main cooperative mode, Back 4 Blood also offers a competitive mode, allowing you to compete between survivors and zombies.
To conclude, it should be noted that Back 4 Blood is offered via Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass. So practical to test the game without breaking the bank. For the others, it will be necessary to agree to pay the game full price …
Our opinion on Back 4 Blood
Inspired by Left 4 Dead, Back 4 Blood is a successful, fun and stressful game that should delight all those who dreamed of a Left 4 Dead 3. Overall, the experience remains exhilarating, with a rather deep and indispensable cooperation between the survivors, but Back 4 Blood however lags visually speaking, with the added bonus of a location of the damage rather approximate. Everything is nonetheless very relaxing (that’s the goal), but it is essential to know that Back 4 Blood is to be enjoyed like a good bottle of wine accompanied by a plate of peanuts and a few slices of sausage: between (good) friends.