Back 4 Blood won’t have Left 4 Dead-style campaign versus multiplayer

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Polygon 09 August, 2021 - 12:27pm 50 views

When does the back for blood beta end?

Back 4 Blood Open Beta end date The Back 4 Blood Open Beta will end on August 16, 2021, at 12 p.m. PT/3 p.m. ET. When this time comes, players will no longer be able to log in and play the Campaign or Versus modes in Back 4 Blood. ShacknewsBack 4 Blood Open Beta start and end dates

Campaign versus mode not part of Turtle Rock’s L4D spiritual successor

Campaign versus was one of the multiplayer bedrocks of Left 4 Dead, so its exclusion from Back 4 Blood is surprising and, for many prospective players, disappointing. In campaign versus mode, two teams of four players (one side as the survivors, one side as special-infected zombies) play through the Left 4 Dead campaign levels either trying to survive or stop the survivors from reaching safe rooms. Players experience the campaign from both sides of the conflict, alternating between zombies and humans. For many players, campaign versus was the draw of Left 4 Dead, a near-endlessly replayable mode thanks to its teamwork, tactics, and balance.

But Turtle Rock confirmed in an early access FAQ on its official Discord that it “does not have plans to have a campaign versus mode [in Back 4 Blood] at this time.” Instead, competitive multiplayer in Back 4 Blood will consist of Swarm mode, an eight-player PvP mode that’s closer to Left 4 Dead’s Survival mode.

Asked on Discord why the studio decided not to include campaign versus mode, Chris Ashton, Turtle Rock co-founder and design director, explained, “We have a lot of defensive equipment and our specials are good at ambushing. Defending worked far better for our game than running from A-B.” In other words, it sounds like all the added complexity of Back 4 Blood, in the form of equippable cards and a long list of special infected (aka Ridden), may be to blame.

Turtle Rock executive producer Lianne Papp has called Swarm a “snackable” multiplayer game mode, with matches that can last between five and 15 minutes. That’s certainly a smaller time commitment than Left 4 Dead’s campaign versus mode, where matches can last 30 minutes to an hour.

Back 4 Blood is scheduled to be released Oct. 12 on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Windows PC, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X. If Left 4 Dead fans don’t get their fix there, they can hold out for upcoming co-op shooters like Aliens: Fireteam Elite, The Anacrusis, Rainbow Six Extraction, and Redfall.

Read full article at Polygon

Back 4 Blood's Little Problems Are Starting to Add Up - Den of Geek

Den of Geek 09 August, 2021 - 12:19pm

The Back 4 Blood beta has exposed a number of little problems that could turn into bigger concerns.

While Back 4 Blood is an often impressive Left 4 Dead-style shooter that immediately distinguishes itself through its card system and other roguelite/looter shooter elements, there’s no getting around the fact that the game is in true beta state at the moment and currently suffers from a number of “little” problems that are starting to add up to form genuine concerns.

So while it remains to be seen what shape Back 4 Blood is in when it launches on October 12, these little issues with the co-op shooter’s beta might be enough to raise some reasonable doubt about whether it is quite ready for primetime.

This rundown is in no particular order, but the quality of Back 4 Blood’s A.I. seems to be the most common complaint about the game at the moment. 

Honestly, this is less of a “complaint” and more of a straight-up problem. Enemies and A.I.-controlled teammates have a tendency to get stuck in walls, stay in place, and generally behave in ways that prevent you from being able to properly play the game. The problems with the game’s teammate A.I. are especially detrimental, if for no other reason than the fact that all of their glitches and behavior problems tend to harm you while enemy errors can occasionally be useful.

This is an issue that can certainly be improved by the time Back 4 Blood launches, though you probably shouldn’t expect it to be entirely “fixed” at launch. 

While Back 4 Blood admirably separates itself from Left 4 Dead and similar shooters through the use of some randomization mechanics designed to make runs feel unique, not all of those mechanics work well together.

For example, Back 4 Blood’s card/deck building system is impressive (even if the cards themselves need to be balanced a bit better), but when you combine it with the game’s weapon attachments, item rarity system, and occasionally extreme ways the game’s A.I. director can randomly impact the balance of a match, you’re left with a lot to deal with in the middle of some already overwhelming action sequences. 

Again, some of these individual systems just need a little tuning to work better than they currently do, but when you put them all together in their current forms, they expose a potentially bigger issue with the game…

While it’s obviously unsatisfying to play with A.I. teammates who refuse to help you or simply get stuck in the world, Back 4 Blood’s “team” experience is generally lacking at the moment. 

The game’s loot system is one of the biggest contributors to this problem. It’s annoying enough when a teammate snags a great item from under you in a battle royale game, but it’s downright frustrating when you have to deal with that in a game like Back 4 Blood that is supposed to emphasize cooperation at all times. Most of my matches saw at least one random teammate go off on their own to grab a high-value item. Even if that didn’t immediately contribute to a team wipe, it almost always contributed to a competitive atmosphere that hindered the cooperative experience. 

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There are three difficulty settings in Back 4 Blood: Classic, Survivor, and Nightmare. They’re essentially supposed to be the game’s “easy, normal, and hard” settings, but in reality, they’re closer to “tutorial, hard, and nearly impossible.”

None of the game’s current difficulty settings do enough to prepare you for the next difficulty setting. I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if players who regularly have to play with A.I. bots or random teammates find themselves stuck in Classic mode. Unfortunately for those players, Classic mode proves to be so easy that it barely lets you explore the game’s best ideas.

On the other end of the spectrum, “Nightmare” mode seems to have been balanced to appeal to the most coordinated and skilled squads. That’s nice, but it does mean that randomly matched teams have a very slim chance of succeeding in Nightmare mode, especially since the game doesn’t do a great job of teaching you to properly work together as a team before that difficulty setting just throws you into the water and forces you to sink or swim. 

While Left 4 Dead and Back 4 Blood are ultimately different games, it’s obviously hard to talk about one without bringing up the other. I mean, just look at the names and the developers.

So far as that goes, it’s going to be hard for Left 4 Dead fans to dive into Back 4 Blood without feeling like something is…off. The game’s animations just aren’t as crisp, the audio lacks that “oomph” that Left 4 Dead had, and, generally speaking, Back 4 Blood‘s presentation just doesn’t live up to that sublime standard set by the Left 4 Dead games. 

You can point to a variety of factors that contribute to that disparity, but it’s hard to play Back 4 Blood for long without getting that “stunt double” vibe that proves to be especially detrimental in this case given how much those presentation elements can affect how satisfying the Back 4 Blood experience feels. 

It normally wouldn’t be worth mentioning that Back 4 Blood is a $60 game (that is, after all, the non-next-gen industry-standard price), but fans are already pointing out that the game’s price tag feels a little high for what it currently offers.

While one of the most popular sentiments at the moment is that Back 4 Blood’s beta just doesn’t feel like a full-price game, that’s obviously kind of a hard concern to seriously discuss given that the game is obviously not quite retail-ready. The more interesting concerns come from those who wonder how many of Back 4 Blood’s problems will be addressed by the time the game releases on October 12, as well as those who wonder if Back 4 Blood is really significantly better than its significantly cheaper competition in this genre (which includes Left 4 Dead). Obviously, Game Pass subscribers will be able to benefit from the game’s surprise “day one” availability on that service, but everyone else is going to have to answer some tough questions about Back 4 Blood‘s day one value.

There’s also the matter of the game’s microtransactions. While Back 4 Blood’s microtransactions are all cosmetic at the moment (and developer Turtle Rock seems committed to avoiding pay-to-win scenarios), the number of microtransaction options in the game as well as the distinct possibility that there will eventually be cards you’ll have to either grind for or pay for has fans worried that the cooperative title could eventually be impacted by a wealth/time gap that isn’t strictly related to skill.

Matthew Byrd |

Matthew Byrd is a freelance writer and entertainment enthusiast living in Brooklyn. When he's not exploring the culture of video games, he's wishing he had a…

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