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Killing Floor 2 Beta (Hands-On) Impressions

By Jon Ireson in Impressions

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Tripwire Interactive’s Beta comes to a close today as Killing Floor 2 will hit Steam Early Access in just a few days on the 21st of April 2015. The 6 player sequel to Killing Floor (an Unreal mod to full game release success story) is bringing improvements in a wide variety of areas and already has a pretty intense player-base who know what they’re doing. After all, the original Killing Floor remains one of the most played games on Steam. Tripwire has also done a great thing by choosing not to bring this title to Steam Early Access until it was already mostly complete. There aren’t too many crashes / bugs to be had even before the official Early Access roll-out next Tuesday, and though the dev team has stated they are committed to bringing out content piece by piece, re-balancing, and utilizing community feedback before doing the full release, current estimates are that it will only take about 6 months for Early Access to be over for Killing Floor 2.

Some of the differences the sequel brings beyond the typical iteration seen include a complete revamp of how Artificial Intelligence works. In Killing Floor 2, enemies don’t just get more health points as difficulty increases – they get more intricate behavior. The moves they use and animations that illustrate them are completely different as waves progress and as players choose harder settings to experience the game on. There’s also new breeds of Zed, persistent gore (blood never disappears), and an entirely re-tooled melee system that includes parkour with varying attacks to prevent the monotony of previous weapon bashing found in the original. A fully moddable game remains the intent of Tripwire who are looking to the community who made the original such a strong mainstay to feel appreciated and extend that presence to this sequel.

This time around classes feel completely different from one another, rather than just being there for aesthetic or numerical value. It seems the developers have really attempted to give concrete design differences between each weapon, each perk, each monster, each difficulty mode, and even each map as to avoid the copy / paste formula many modern video games are taking. Already you can feel the influence of that design style in the current build, and it’s hopefully bound to get even better as the Early Access model pushes KF2 along.

Thus far, the impression I have of Killing Floor 2 is a good one. It’s amazing to see a pre- Early Access build of a game feel more finished than some titles that are actually released as complete games to the market on consoles. If you’re looking for an involved shooter that takes skill to survive as a 6 man team against an onslaught of intelligent, evil monsters then this is one to keep an eye on as development progresses for sure. The hit detection, server stability, and fun factor are all there and in place. Some crashes occurred during our play-through, and we will aim to run another Preview assessing progress of the development as Early Access has time to pan out those problems as well as add in more content. Tripwire promises that in the full release, everything required to play the game such as maps and game modes will remain free, but that there may end up being cosmetic DLC and certain guns (this is described as side-graded weapons, not upgraded – in other words weapons that feel different but not necessarily more or less powerful than what is already available in the game).

Official Trailer:

Developer: Tripwire Interactive

Coming To: Steam Early Access (Windows PC | Linux | SteamOS) and Sony PlayStation 4

Played On: Windows PC

Preview Copy Info: A digital copy of this game was provided to RealGamerNewz for the purpose of this Hands-On Preview.

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