Back 4 Blood Review: Don’t Go Alone, Bring Friends

Players look out of a safe door in Back 4 Blood.

Back 4 Blood review: It’s dangerous to go alone, so bring some friends

MSRP $ 59.99

“Back 4 Blood is a solid evolution of the cooperative action of Left 4 Dead that could be further improved with some slight quality of life adjustments.”


  • Cooperative action is fantastic

  • The card system offers variety

  • The levels are distinct and creative

  • Solid shooting mechanics

The inconvenients

  • Punish solo play

  • Quality of life changes needed

The elevator pitch for Back 4 Blood is simple: what if the developers behind the very first Left for dead game – one title that arguably sparked a whole genre of co-op survival shooters – made another Left 4 Dead game, but bigger? There would be more zombies to take down, different weapons that have their own stats, a cast of survivors with their own strengths, and a full-fledged card system that would allow players to create builds during their runs.

Back 4 Blood has all this and more, concluding an evolved version of Left for dead in a bloody and shiny package. Players can explore the game’s extremely forgettable storyline – filled with brain-melting dialogue, of course – and thrilling sets, slaughtering zombies in one of the most satisfying co-op shooter experiences I’ve ever had. had.

Corn Back 4 Blood is best played just like that – as a cooperative shooter. In fact, it punishes players who dare to play alone rather than getting into a game with random players. That, along with other weird decisions that make the game’s quality of life similar to that of its survivors, ends up blocking the action, giving a good view of the game behind the gore.

The heart of the cards

Back 4 Blood is, on the outside, a blatant spiritual successor to Left for dead. The game pits players against endless hordes of zombies (this time called Ridden because of the parasites that turn normal people into flesh-hungry abominations), with the goal of reaching a safe home at the end of each level. In between there are some exciting set pieces, like bars that players defend while Dick Dale Miserlou explosions over a jukebox or old settlements overrun by the living dead.

Every trip players take to these areas is influenced by Back 4 BloodThe main selling point of: The card system. Players have decks of cards that passively or actively change how their character works. Some are simple, giving players more ammo or health capacity, very basic stuff. Others are game-changing much more, such as cards that remove a player’s ability to aim a weapon’s sight.

These latter cards are what lead to builds. I have a deck that is built around shotguns, my favorite weapon in any game. I said “to hell with aiming, I’m going to be a running tank and shotgun”, so I said. threw cards in my deck that removed the ability to aim down in favor of more speed and melee damage, gave me temporary health every time a pellet hit an enemy, and added more ‘other perks that increased my damage and ammo. The resulting character was unlike any other I played in a survival co-op shooter, as I actually created them. Back 4 BloodThe card system is the best addition to the game at Left for dead, resulting in fun and unique characters for each race.

Back 4 BloodThe card system also works the other way around, with the game’s AI director cards making the levels more difficult. These changes can range from a dense fog appearing throughout the scene to the game’s special armor (aka mutants). If you get a card that is the last one, you are in bad luck because Back 4 Blood there’s no shortage of beefy undead to throw at players. contrary to Left for dead, who would sometimes throw powerful zombies at you, Back 4 BloodThe special infected arrive in an endless stream. Just about every moment there is a big boy waiting to crush you, a spitter ready to shoot you, or a vomit locked up and laden with bile. This is one of the two balancing issues Back 4 Blood To.

Back 4 BloodThe card system is the best addition to the game at Left for dead, resulting in fun and unique characters for each race.

The other issue is the entirety of the game’s final act, which includes its final boss fight. I won’t go into great detail on this, as it really is a fantastic set piece, but this is also where the difficulty of the game goes up to 11 after humming to a comfortable five. The group of players I was in this fight with had to find a system to take out this villain on multiple levels, which ultimately resulted in his second form. We didn’t have to do this during any other part of the game, and it ended up leaving a bitter taste in my mouth right before the game’s final credits streak rolled out some additional content.

No co-op, no reward

After defeating the last boss in the game, my party and I were rewarded with supply points, Back 4 Bloodthe main currency of. They are used to buy your way through the supply lines, which reward players with cosmetics, emblems for their profiles and, most importantly, cards for their decks. Personally, I have no problem unlocking cards piecemeal, as the system allows players to choose which cards are important, and many supply points are given out at once.

What gives me a major problem, however, is that I can’t earn Supply Points on my own. Actually playing Back 4 Blood solo cuts players off from all of its rewards, including achievements for the game. The game essentially forces players to adopt its co-op mode if they want to make significant progress, while punishing them with a waste of time if they decide. to tackle the game solo.

This decision, while annoying, is compounded by the myriad of questionable quality of life choices included in Back 4 Blood‘scoop. In my first few sessions, where I slaughtered the undead with random players, I was held up twice by people walking away from their keyboards. During the game’s setup mode, in which players can purchase weapons and gear using copper found in all levels, players who aren’t ready make everyone wait up to three minutes. This has happened to me several times during my co-op sessions with random players.

Shoot a big boy in Back 4 Blood.

Of course, people who go AFK and delay a game are usually not a problem in co-op games thanks to the wonderful and extremely standard option of starting them from within the game with a simple vote. Back 4 Blood, being a social game on the community, does not give this option to players. You are stuck with your party unless you decide to quit the game.

These quality of life choices should have little impact on my overall impressions of Back 4 Blood, but they don’t. To reiterate, Turtle Rock Studios is actively pushing players towards Back 4 Bloodin cooperative mode by not granting them any rewards if they play alone. Then, once in a cooperative game, players are at the option of the random players they are paired with. This is a problem that can be avoided if you always have three friends on hand to play the game, but let’s face it, it won’t. Whoever plays Back 4 Blood will end up playing with fairly random players, and they will definitely run into these issues.

I had a lot of fun killing zombies, drinking beer, and talking to friends, without having a single critical thought.

That being said, the cooperative is also Back 4 Bloodthe most powerful component. I had a lot of fun killing zombies, drinking beer, and talking to friends, without having a single critical thought. Players who want a more involved experience can use the game’s extensive ping system, which marks equipment, weapons, and enemies, and even offers a significant amount of communication options. I ended up in a match with a random player, and we let each other know when we were ready to unleash a horde or start a level using the communication wheel.

Back 4 BloodThe co-op is unfortunately hampered by a few bad choices which make any game match with random players a cinch. Players will enter a match with kind and caring partners, or they will end up waiting to play because someone has decided to go and cook lunch before they leave.

Our opinion

There is no game more situational than Back 4 Blood. With its restrictions on what players can earn from its single player campaign mode, players are forced to play with their time in the game’s co-op. A few small changes could elevate this game past Left for dead, but for the moment, Back 4 Blood refuses to respect the time of the players by leaving aside the simplest necessities of cooperation. For anyone with a group of dedicated friends eager to play, Back 4 Blood can be fantastic. Anyone else’s enjoyment relies on a coin toss.

Is there a better alternative?

If you are looking for a cooperative zombie killer shooter that is not Back 4 Blood, keep playing Left 4 dead 2.

How long will it last?

Back 4 BloodThe main story of s takes over 15 hours to beat, but getting the supply points to unlock everything in the game can stretch that total beyond 25.

Should we buy it?

Yes. Back 4 Blood is my favorite co-op title this year, and its few wrinkles will definitely be ironed out soon enough.


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