Developer: Tripwire Interactive
Publisher: Deepsilver Inc.
Release Date: August 29th, 2017
Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One
Are you prepared to be plopped back into the chaotic streets of continental Europe? Are you ready to face hordes of cloned Zed experiments spawned from a Horzine Biotech test gone awry? Are you willing to enter the brutal and bloody Killing Floor… 2?
In the Killing Floor 2, you’ll want to choose from one of 10 “perks”(Translation: Classes) that best fits your play style before you begin. For example, the Berserker specializes in close quarters while the Field Medic has access to an alternate fire mode that shoots healing darts. I was partial to the SWAT, who starts off with an SMG and flash bang grenades. On the upside, if you choose a perk you don’t like, you do have the option of purchasing weapons outside of that perks expertise and any experience earned while using them will go towards that perk.
If you’re nervous about playing a new perk before going online, you can play through the offline mode which offers a shorter version of the co-op mode, Survival. Each perk will take a bit of learning, and they start out somewhat the same with only their weaponry being their defining factors. Once you hit level 5, you’ll finally earn your first skill, then another at level 10. It takes a bit of play time to earn these skills though but it never feels like a grind. You can also pick from a wide cast of playable characters and customize their looks. I tended to prefer Rae Higgins, the Australian Rockabilly.
Excluding offline single player, Killing Floor 2 only has two different modes, Survival and Versus. In Survival, six players cooperatively fight through increasingly difficult waves of Zeds with the final wave being a boss battle. Then there’s Versus mode, where six players fight to survive like normal while six other players have the opportunity to control the Zeds. Tripwire also offers more experienced players a chance to earn fun in game rewards by completing weekly challenges.
If you’re a huge fan of the “Horde” game modes, you’ll notice that Killing Floor 2 doesn’t really offer anything new. With that being said however, it doesn’t really need to. As you slaughter the hordes of the grotesque, technologically infused Zeds, you’ll earn experience for the equipped perk and cash to spend at the trading pod in between rounds where you’ll upgrade your arsenal. Players can weld doors shut and booby trap them for some explosively bloody fun. With the increased waves you’ll start fighting the screaming Sirens, cloaked Stalkers, and some of the bigger bosses like the Fleshpound will show up until the game is over. However, there are only three bosses, and I’ve only ever encountered the doctor on the final wave. Thankfully, the final wave is a chaotic mess(in a good way!) as Zeds pour in from all sides, chomping at the players bit while the boss bolts around the map trying his best to kill you and your friends.
Its all very chaotic and extremely fun. The rocking heavy metal soundtrack works really with all the action going on within matches. Its easy to be overwhelmed as Zeds come out of every nook and cranny, and you never really know what to expect when you turn around. Explosives will cover rooms in gore and obtaining specific kills will result in Zed time(Translation: Bullet Time) that will allow players to take it all in and line up their next shot.
My biggest let down is that the single player is just a solo Survival. I never had the opportunity to play though the first Killing Floor, so I don’t know much of the lore outside of the fact that Horzine is the one responsible for the Zed outbreak that’s plaguing Europe. The rest I had to search elsewhere for. It also would have been a blast playing through a story mode with Killing Floor 2’s wacky cast. There’s also the lack of content aside from the single player. Survival and Versus are fun of course, but that leaves little variety in what players can choose from. The game also supports a micro-transaction pay model which you can’t help but feel nudges the player toward making the a purchase here and there. I obtained a Horzine supply crate but never managed to find a key for it. I did however, pony up the $2.50 to unlock a baseball cap and I think a backpack.
Killing Floor 2 might not be a deep “Horde Mode” experience, but what it does is fun, and it does fun extremely well. While it might only sport two game modes and a few bosses, blasting your way through waves of Zeds in one of the game’s 16 maps with your friends or trying to survive in the versus mode is an overall enjoyable time. It’s a mindlessly fun experience for anyone looking to take a break from life and just put down a few Zed…. Or humans depending on what you’re into.