KILLING FLOOR 2
By Jef "JeffAlpha" P. on June 27, 2017
So, as some of you might know, PlayStation Plus members can download a chosen few games for free every month, which is pretty cool, right? To be honest, I rarely download these games unless they already have good reviews or come highly recommended by friends. So guess what? A friend of mine called telling me about this game, Killing Floor 2; a First-Person-Shooter, and how the entire game is mainly about shooting your way through waves of zombies. On a side note, my friends love EVERYTHING zombie. Whether its Dead Island, COD zombie mode or Dying Light, if it has zombies, they 're into it.
Seeing as how I didn't actually have to buy a game to get in on the action, I was willing to give it a try. The title had me assuming there is also a Killing Floor part 1, but for some reason I had never heard of it. Turns out the first part was released in 2009 for PC by the same developer (Tripwire Interactive). Part deux isn't exactly new either since it came out on Steam early access in 2015. Anyway, the undead await so let's get into it.
At first glance it looks like what you would expect from a zombie/horror game. Dark red, black and grey flashing images of DNA strands and mutated nightmares screaming at you in silence. The ominous background music in the main menu tells you something has gone terribly wrong and it's about to get worse. The overview is pretty straight forward. The HOME tab lets you jump right into the action in either Online Matchmaking, Solo Offline or Basic Training. This is where I usually go online and never look back. But the main menu also has tabs for perks, gear and inventory. This lead me to believe there would be more to it than just rushing in. So, perhaps a little noobish, I went with the Basic Training instead.
The option to change characters in the main menu suggests there is some kind of story involved but I need very little motivation to dismember Zeds (as the zombies are called in-game). Those of you who are familiar with the horror genre will agree that playing these games solo is a little more stressful. So here I am, by myself playing the demolition class... for obvious reasons. Of the 10 classes to choose from, mine came equipped with a single shot grenade gun of sorts. Which immediately made me question my choice.
So the tutorial explains about welding doors shut, using your flashlight and buying new weapons between the waves of undead cannon fodder. What boosted my confidence was realizing early on it plays like any other FPS. The square button to reload, the triangle button to change weapons and the triggers on the back to aim and shoot. The controls feel responsive and enable you to keep up with the relatively fast paced gameplay. The HUD keeps you updated on the number of ghouls running around, the amount of remaining ammo and how much time you have between rounds to gear up and get ready for the next wave.
Like I mentioned before, there are a variety of classes to choose from. Each class has a standard loadout and can level up by earning XP. Every five levels, two class-specific perks are unlocked of which you can use one at a time. This, of course, allows you to progress through waves more easily and eventually tackle harder difficulties. Now that we have the basics out of the way we can get to the good stuff. As is common nowadays, the Online mode is where the magic happens. Imagine yourself teaming up with up to 5 other friends or random online warriors and being dropped into classic horror scenarios. For some reason those include not only old mansions and chemical labs but also tropical beaches. By far the best feature of Killing Floor 2 is your opponent: the Zeds. They 're not your standard slow moving horde of decaying corpses combined with the occasional crawler. Instead, some wield blades or spinning spikes. Some even shoot laser beams! Certain varieties can't be outrun so the game always encourages you to choose fight over flight. Killing a Zed in a spectacular fashion slows time for the entire team allowing everybody to enjoy the gore and reevaluate the situation.
What Killing Floor 2 lacks in depth of story, it more than makes up for in gameplay. The high tempo, high intensity and highly volatile action make for a fun and accessible game. The mechanics are likely to be familiar to most gamers and feel natural. Most of the action takes place online and although you can find new additions to your friends list in game, I suggest you play with real life friends. After all, these are the people who need to be prepared when an actual zombie apocalypse takes place.