Back 4 Blood: A Guide To Getting Started
Back 4 Blood, the spiritual successor to the Left 4 Dead franchise, hit the Epic Game Store today. In it, you’ll play as one of a team of four—either players or AI-controlled bots—as you work your way through the game’s campaign trying to survive a world replete with the parasite-infected Ridden.
While you may feel like you have a handle on the whole zombie-themed shooter genre, you might want to take a minute to prepare for this particular thrill ride. Back 4 Blood mutates the genre with the addition of mission-shaping player and corruption cards, a cast of specialized cleaners, and some really freaky-looking infected.
Back 4 Blood grants you access to four cleaners from the get-go, each of which sport special abilities.
- Evangelo: Gets to break out of a grab once every minute. He also recovers stamina 25 percent faster and adds five percent to the team movement speed.
- Holly: Recovers 10 stamina with every ridden she kills, adds 20 to the team’s stamina, and is 10 percent resistant to damage.
- Mom: Can instantly revive a teammate once a mission, gets an extra support inventory, and provides an extra team life.
- Walker: Any precision kills by Walker grants him a 20 percent increase in accuracy for five seconds. He does 10 percent more damage and grants the team 10 more health.
- Doc: Can heal a teammate once a mission for 25 health. Is 20 percent more efficient at healing in general, and grants the team 25 trauma resistance.
- Hoffman: Spawns ammo with every ridden kill and has an extra offensive item slot in his inventory. He also grants the team 10 percent team ammo capacity.
- Jim: Precision kills increases his damage by 5 percent, up to a max of 50 percent. He aims down sights 25 percent faster and grants the team 10 percent weak spot damage.
- Karlee: Can sense nearby hazards, gets an extra quick inventory slot, and grants the team 25 percent use speed.
Once you settle on the cleaner you’re going to be using for your missions, it’s time to select a deck. Back 4 Blood features a slew of cards that modify everything from a character’s mobility and stamina to reload speeds and weak spot damage. Some cards grant a bonus and also include a drawback to counterbalance the power of the card. Make sure you take the time to carefully read through each card.
You can either build your own deck of 15 from the cards you earn and find through play, or go with one of a small set of pre-built decks. Once the game gets started, you’ll get a chance to draw five to use throughout the campaign.
But first, the game’s AI-driven “director” will randomly select two corruption cards. These cards are modifiers designed to change the feel and play of each run-through of the campaign. They can impact the weather, the enemies you’ll face, and even offer up completion bonuses for achieving specific goals during play.
The cards are designed to increase the replayability of the game’s campaign, making each time through feel unique and challenging in different ways.
The central mode of Back 4 Blood is the game’s cooperative story-driven campaign, which has players trying to survive the ridden-infested world as they complete tasks assigned to them by the leader of a growing group of survivors.
Back 4 Blood also includes a player-versus-player mode that has players taking turns as either cleaners or the ridden as they try to defeat one another in the fastest time possible.
Take it slow
While Back 4 Blood may look and play a bit like Left 4 Dead, there’s enough new built into Turtle Rock’s latest that you should make sure you tackle the game’s hand-holding introduction.
Take a break
The game’s campaign will keep matching you up and dropping you into the next mission until you’ve gone through the whole thing. Don’t forget between missions to occasionally leave the game—something you have to do through the system menu—so you can drop into Fort Hope and spend some of your supply points on cosmetics and new cards.
Speaking of Fort Hope, walk through the front gates, and you’ll find yourself at a firing range where you can test out a slew of the game’s weapons and weapon modifications.
Melee weapons are your friend, especially the bat and machete, both of which are great at clearing out enemies with wide, deadly sweeps. And, of course, you’ll never have to worry over ammo as long as you have one on hand.
This is a cooperative game, so remember to ping. Ping your finds, big enemies, and escape routes, it goes a long way in helping you and your team survive the mayhem. You can mark items on the map by aiming at it and either pressing Q on your keyboard, L1 on your PlayStation controller, or Left Bumper on your Xbox controller.
Now that you’re prepared to play run, gun, and bash some zombies, pick up Back 4 Blood on the Epic Game Store and have some fun.