The original Killing Floor launched on PC back in 2009 (before now, I thought it was like 2005 or something!) and I really enjoyed it. I’m not much of a PC gamer and waited for Killing Floor 2 to come to PS4 and lo and behold, it came and it was worth the wait!
The story here is simple – the Zeds, which are failed experiments, who are ravaging Europe as survivors fight for their lives in the hopes that one day the Zeds will be completely destroyed. That’s basically it, there’s no story campaign to play through and much of the story is revealed through text and in-game dialogue, but it does what it needs to do – it gives you and your friends a reason to play through one of the genre’s most refined horde modes that keeps you coming back for more.
It’s first-person arcade-inspired fun where you fight off hordes of Zeds over 4, 7 or 10 waves with growing difficulty and, well, the Hell on Earth difficulty will certainly give you and 5 friends a run for your money! You pick a class, which you can change on the fly, with grant different perks but you can buy any weapon regardless, just some are more beneficial depending on your chosen class. You can only carry 15kg and can choose from a large range of melee weapons, assault rifles, SMG’s, LMG’s, shotguns and various other weapons, and you can ‘favourite’ your preferred weapons to easily find and buy them in the future – you can only buy in-between rounds and if you run out of ammo, you best hope you can find some laying around! Fortunately, you can heal yourself and allies as many times as you want, bar when the healing option is on cooldown.
Once you’ve found out what suits you best, all that’s left is to fight countless Zeds with 5 others, and do all that you can to survive because it is a challenging game, and the final boss of each set of waves can easily defeat an entire team if you’re not careful. There are plenty of maps and the final boss changes with each game, so it’s quite exciting to have something new to tackle and if you find that it’s getting too easy, then keep in mind there are 3 harder difficulties above the lowest one and they’re brutal. The gameplay itself is fast-paced and tight, and I never felt that the gameplay itself lost me a round and it’s a huge step above the first Killing Floor.
What’s new to Killing Floor 2 is a VS mode which sees 6 players take on the role of humans whilst another 6 take on the role of the Zeds – yes, you can even play as the Patriarch! I feel like it’s harder to survive as the humans in this team and it’s a very intense, team-work-heavy mode that provides a different excitement to what the Survival mode does. This takes place over 4 waves and the Zed players can respawn time after time as long as there are Zeds to play as, but chances are you’ll only be able to respawn 1-3 times before the next wave begins – if you need to buy yourself time as a human, then you can temporarily weld the doors shut. The Zeds you control have far more health and a slightly different design, so you’ll know when you’re being attacked by another player, but otherwise everything is similar to how it is in Survival.
Visually, it’s far better than the first Killing Floor and looks great alongside other games in the genre on PS4. Being a survival-horror game, it’s unsurprising to see that the maps are shrouded in darkness and take place at night and, if you’re squeamish, then you may want to avoid this as there is a lot of violence and blood. None of it comes across as realistic though and it’s good arcade fun, and I enjoy the variety in maps and how expansive they are with wide open areas and sprawling corridors. There are several characters to play as along with various customisation options such as the colour of clothing and headgear, allowing you create a stylish character who’s sadly going to get their outfit covered in blood.
Killing Floor 2 boasts a fantastically loud soundtrack packed with heavy metal tracks, and they work to amp you up and really get you in the mood for destroying Zeds. I’m not a big fan of the genre but felt that it perfectly fit the carnage on-screen and couldn’t imagine Killing Floor 2 without this explosive soundtrack. Each character has notable personality and accents along with multiple voiced lines, providing some good laughs at their comments on the situation – this is an incredibly violent game, but developer Tripwire clearly always had fun at their forefront of their minds.
Killing Floor 2 is raucous, bombastic fun which pushes you to challenge yourself with harder difficulties and it quickly becomes addicting – I even logged on to play a few games alone! Killing Floor 2 is one of the best co-op games available on PS4 and if it’s supported anywhere nearly as well as the first game, then it’s a game you’ll see still spoken about years from now. Deep Silver have become a strong publisher who are always building their growing library of licensed games, and Killing Floor 2 is amongst the best of them.