Review: Killing Floor 2 (PS4)

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Formats:

  • PlayStation 4
  • PC, Mac

Format/Hardware Used:

  • PSN Download
  • PS4 Pro
  • HDTV
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Title: Killing Floor 2
Format: Blu-ray Disc / PSN (10.1 GB)
Release Date: November 18, 2016
Publisher: Tripwire Interactive / Deep Silver / Iceberg Interactive
Developer: Tripwire Interactive
Original MSRP: $39.99 (US), €39.99 (EU), £32.99 (UK)
ESRB Rating: M
PEGI: 18
A copy of this game was provided by the publisher for review purposes.
PS Nation Review Policy

Gameplay:
Blood, there was so much blood. The floors, walls, doors, ceiling, and pretty much everything else are splattered with an unholy amount of blood and guts. Not forgetting about the corpses and limbs that stay where they fall, there is none of this fading away or melting into the floor like the Wicked Witch of the West.

In Killing Floor 2, what goes down stays down, and whatever gets splattered onto the walls, furniture, cars, and anything else stays there too.

You will encounter a varied bunch of enemies, from the usual staple of frail Zeds, or as I call them, zombies, to huge gluttonous bloated oafs that spew green bile, and transparent ninja women. These are just a couple of the nasty creatures all intent on hacking you to death.

There are also some larger and tougher Zeds that make an appearance, wielding flamethrowers and chainsaws, and all desperate to taste your human flesh. These brutes take some effort to drop, with one exception, if you can hit the gas canisters on their backs. The amount of these foes seem to depend on how well you are doing and how many waves you have survived.

You pick a character and earn experience for every action you perform that aligns with their class, slowly working your way towards XP milestones that earn you more benefits to help in battle. You can switch up between levels to better compliment the team, unless you happen to be playing in the offline, singleplayer mode.

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It’s all too easy to fight your way into a corner when there’s nobody else to cover your back or answer your desperate calls for help. There is no reviving but you can heal yourself and others on the team so it does make a difference having others around you. Furthermore, other characters running around helps to take some of the focus off of you.

Once you pick one of the twelve levels to play you have to fend off waves of enemies that encroach on your position through doors, vents, and almost every other crevice and dark hole around you. Closing and then welding a door shut holds them back for a short time and bunches them up ready for a grenade toss with maximum devastation.

After all the waves are complete, you face a boss. So far, I have only fought against two but both tore me a new one when I faced them alone. I did come close to killing the larger boss but didn’t heal myself in time. These evil things seem to have a bit of common sense and are known to run away and heal or steal some of your precious life in a vice-like grip so knowing when to stay back and when to chase is essential.

… I hope some more content is added soon …
You can adjust the starting criteria of the game, changing such things as the length and amount of waves, the difficulty that is tailored to certain ranks, and the game mode if you are playing online.

My one concern comes from the gear and inventory sections of the game, or rather the need to purchase a key to open a supply crate that you earned during a session. I am not sure if you can obtain keys in other ways but it does not seem likely. Fear not my fellow gamers as this is only for weapon skins and cosmetic clothing.

You do get a few things to make your chosen character stand out from the pack but you will quickly see similar, if not identical players running around. I hope some more content is added soon and maybe a better explanation of how to acquire it during the game. Maybe it was mentioned during the very helpful Basic Training mode that runs through how to play the game. If it was, I must have missed it.

Visuals:
This game is so very fast and smooth, with satisfyingly large weapons taking up a good portion of the screen when you look down the sights or barrel, waiting for that perfect moment where an enemy’s head lines up and you pull the trigger.

After their head is pulped and their torso stumbles toward you, still swinging, you might be lucky enough to trigger the brief bullet-time-slow-down-thingy and build up a combo dispatching any other Zed within range of your firepower.

Lighting is excellent and you can see dust motes floating in the shards of moonlight that creep through the windows of the old mansion. Fires fight off the disturbing darkness in the derelict prison and illuminate the remnants of a riot. Each area has a distinctive look and style with most being quite macabre and horrific, but all looking fantastic.

… everyone and everything slows down when it kicks in …
Many areas show signs of panic as news of the Zeds ripped through the continent almost as fast as the gruesome creatures did. There is nothing but carnage left in their wake and you fight amongst it, from ruined streets and subways to an eerie farmhouse and old mansion. The levels are big and varied with cleverly hidden collectibles and horrifying sights that show an impressive level of detail.

I particularly like it when the slow-motion effect, called Zed Time, is triggered. It occurs when a player performs enough of their chosen perk requirements and everyone and everything slows down when it kicks in.

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Most of the color disappears from the screen apart from the blood and maybe a smattering of yellow and orange when an explosion erupts. It looks great and helps to line up a few headshots if there are any Zeds close by.

Many gamers out there will be happy to see the ability to adjust the field of view among the many gameplay options in the menu. You can also change the gore intensity, but why would you want to lower that? There are a few different control schemes to choose from but you cannot assign your own.

Killing Floor 2 is one of the first reviews I’ve done while using the PlayStation 4 Pro, sadly I have not had the funds to get a 4K TV so cannot speak to those differences, but the game does look slightly cleaner on the new PlayStation. It’s hardly noticeable as it looks fantastic anyway and the action is so insane, I doubt anyone would pay that much attention.

… the ability to turn the music vocals on and off …
Audio:
The haunting, blood-curdling screams of the rancid sirens can be heard over all the other Zeds, and their damaging vocals need to be kept at bay, as does the Scrake. This is the relentless sod with the bone shattering chainsaw. You need to get out of his way quickly when you hear that chain spin because he charges at you if you get too close.

The noises of these enemies help pinpoint their approach so it’s a good idea to listen for them above the rock and metal music. An excellent feature is the ability to turn the music vocals on and off. It’s set to off by default, which I prefer, but I am positive there are many other gamers who would like to hear artists such as Demon Hunter, Living Sacrifice, and Rocky Gray.

That’s not to say that I dislike the music vocals, I just prefer hearing the characters muttering during the game, as well as the calming female voice who controls the weapon pods and informs you of how you fared in the last wave. You can also move the pod woman’s voice to the DualShock 4 speaker, which makes it sound more personal and kinda cool. Sadly it’s a little too quiet for my liking, even with the speaker turned all the way up.

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Online/Multiplayer:
Killing Floor 2 is all about the multiplayer fun, either in a standard Survival mode with six players working together or pitted against each other in a Versus Survival mode with twelve people split between playing as the survivors versus the Zeds. I did enjoy playing as the various grotesque creatures and using their abilities but it is far better being on the living side.

I gravitated toward the standard mode and could easily find a random game to play. So far I have yet to create a party with friends as everyone is very busy and the game has only just been released. It looks like a solid setup and I would not expect any issues with it.

Sticking together and working as a team makes this game much easier and you can take on a surprisingly large wave of enemies when playing this way. It can quickly escalate into bedlam with all sorts of enemies clawing at you from every angle and your opponents can sometimes be seen to pick off any stragglers in your group and go for the strongest players.

… a great game if you want to paint the town blood-red …
Every online game I have played has been nice and smooth. There has been no teleporting and zero dips in framerate or anything else that would spoil the experience. Even when I changed the region to play with some folks across the continent, the game was silky smooth.

If your character dies during a wave, you have to wait until the surviving players kill the remaining Zeds or die themselves. You can switch between each player and select from a few camera angles or just use the free-cam to move about as you wish. It’s perfect for getting some great images, if only you could hide the on-screen information.

You lose any new weapons when you die and you have to hope one of your team grabbed your gun and is willing to part with it, otherwise you’ll have to save up and buy it again. Killing Zeds gets you money as well as experience so it should only take a round or two until you have the weapons you like. You can also give and receive money from others and there’s even an option to ask for money in the character chat menu.

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Conclusion:
Killing Floor 2 works so well at being a fun and addictive shooter. However, it boils down to being a large-scale horde mode with not much else on offer. For those of you looking for a new disgustingly brutal Left 4 Dead with tasks to perform and things to do then you will be mildly disappointed.

What you do get with this game is a disturbingly gruesome co-op shooter set within expansive and detailed levels with a great selection of characters, perks, weapons, and upgrades to earn and equip. You could end up playing this for a long time to come, as it will take some doing to fully rank up and get all the skills you want.

However, once you have explored the twelve maps a few times, it can get a touch repetitive. Changing up characters and their perks definitely helps to alleviate some of the monotony but I could see where a few players will struggle to keep coming back.

That last paragraph made it sound worse than what it is. This is a great game if you want to paint the town blood-red with tons of body parts strewn across the wet and sticky floor for good measure. If you can get some friends together online, this one will keep you entertained for a long while.

Score:
8.0

* All screenshots used in this review were taken directly from the game using the Share functionality on the PlayStation 4.

PS4 Screens

PS4 Pro Screens

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