Back 4 Blood is a new cooperative first person shooter game developed by ‘Turtle Rock Studios‘ and published by ‘Warner Bros Games‘. Back 4 Blood is said to be coming out 22nd of June 2021 on the Xbox Series X, PS5 and PC. You can describe this as a zombie game. This game looks like it has potential. Let’s take a look.

The creators of Left 4 Dead are behind Back 4 Blood. Also Turtle Rock Studios are the guys who made the awesome game ‘Evolved‘. So Back 4 Blood has a lot of minds and behind this one and the expectations are high. So the story here is basically the typical that there’s a serious infected horde of creatures out here and humanity is near extinction but conveniently a small group of humans are fighting back and out here trying to save humanity. Yet whole armies lose and get folded but four people and a guy with a sloppy mid section (his belly) can win but whatever.

Let’s go over Back 4 Blood this quickly. For starters most of the characters look like they could survive. Some look like complete losers but it makes sense that it’s random survivors as in they would look different to each other. There’s 8 characters to choose from, referred to as ‘Cleaners’. They are immune to the virus (off course they are). The missions are overall a simple format in a sense that it’s all about fighting off against a horde of enemies. Does reminds us of world war z in this regards. You must work together, stick together and cover each others backs as there are some mechanics that will mix things up and even ruin an entire mission. Many of you by now have seen some gameplay and so you know what to expect. 

Your primary weapons in Back 4 Blood are guns and something for melee like a baseball bat, knife etc. Expect the typical arsenal of weapons like pistols, assault rifles and off course shotguns. Head shots are the key and best way to take down regular infected called ‘Sprinters’. They just run at you and try to swing and beat you to death. That’s right, there’s some variety to these infected creatures. Retches are the fat ones who create acid pools on the ground so common sense says don’t step in them. Bruisers are the big tall ones with a clearly mutated arm which they use to smash you around and crush you. Keep your distance. The Ogre is the big bad boss one. It’s huge, towers over you and has wide range sweeping melee attacks and can even throw a large projectile at you. Hockers are the annoying ones who likes to trap you and your allies leaving you vulnerable. 

Here’s where some of the problems show up in Back 4 Blood. The bruisers also come straight for you and they become top priorities as they will destroy you if you get too close. Like with other infected Bruisers have weak points of their bodies which you need to hit to take them down efficiently. So accuracy is needed and not mad man spraying of bullets. You can easily run out of ammo. The Hockers are the worst as they fire ensnaring web like stuff that incapacitates you. They see to hit you from nowhere at times but oh boy the infected can sure hit you while you are trapped. You need an ally to come along and free you by melee-ing you. So make your shots count, aim for weak points, keep an eye on your team mates, stay away from bruisers and don’t step in pools of acid. Our main probably is the lack of variety of infected though. We hope there’s more that they haven’t shown yet. Games like this could easily benefit from a large variety of infected like ones but let’s see how they pull this off with their current cast. 

There is some competitive stuff to Back 4 Blood as you can go against players. Either be human or the ridden and off course both sides have their own abilities and weapons. So it’s like Overrun in Gears of War Judgement where one side is human while the other is the Locust. Off course modes like this have a tough time balancing everything but they will learn as they go along. Do your best developers. The other thing is that. There’s also a card system for your characters that definitely mix things up. Get different builds all the time and work with what you got. We definitely like this mechanic as it adds more layers of strategy, options and tactical approaches to the different situations. Card builds are game changers and when done right definitely adds to the game. 

We checked out some back 4 Blood gameplay and it’s exactly what we thought it would be. It’s the Left 4 Dead formula which many gamers enjoyed. Group of four, working together, shooting and fighting through a horde of infected creatures who are all out here ready to destroy all humans. If someone in your squad dies, you can bring them back. They show up glued to a wall and cannot get out. You must approach them and save them. Reminds us of the bring back system in Gears 5 in Escape mode for a dead teammate. Being careful with your ammo, finding awesome weapons during the mission. There was a powerful machine gun that literally was like the answer to these infected creatures. It was rapid fire, heavy destroying rounds and left nothing alive. Oh and rightfully so, friendly fire is a thing so don’t go unloading shotgun shells in the backs of your friends. It hurts. X35 Earthwalker once took a shotgun shot and it had no effect whatsoever. He actually didn’t know he was shot until he turned around. 

Overall Back 4 Blood looks like it’s going to be a fun game for sure. We really enjoy multiplayer games, especially cooperative games. This looks like a casual shooter and survival against a horde. The popular fictional survival scenario. Causal on the surface but on the harder difficulties we know this game gets really hard to beat. We had hoped this game is very difficult and glad to hear that it is. It’s been positive reports s far and that’s good. The developers ‘Turtle Rock Studios’ have a done a very good job so far. We at X35 Earthwalker will keep an eye out for this game. Now Back 4 Blood may have dangerous infected but they are all fodder against… the ‘Earth Walk!’

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World War Z

World War Z is a new zombie third person shooter action game developed by ‘Saber Interactive‘ and published by ‘Focus Home Interactive‘. World War Z will be coming out the 16th of April 2019 on the Xbox One, PS4 and PC. Zombies have always been a problem but in here… there’s too many. Let’s take a look.

In World War Z players will be playing through the stories of others around the world. So no, it isn’t just America this time. Jerusalem, New York and Moscow have been named. So this means, different environments, different characters and different objectives. Humanity once again is near extinction. The zombie swarms are in the millions and it’s up to a group of people who are working together to survive and hopefully beat the zombie hordes. Do players have what it takes?

First of all let’s say this as we are all thinking it. How comes four regular people just get some guns and are able to survive and beat the zombies successfully but the whole Israel, Russian and American army get defeated. The army are filled with professional soldiers who practice in firing ranges and should know how to aim for the head. They have tanks, artillery, helicopters, ships, bombs, nukes and more but yet they all lose while a lone cop like Leon Kennedy, or some high school cheerleader or a pub owner who finds a shotgun or a pistol can survive and defeat many. Zombie movies and games have yet to explain this consistently. We aren’t letting World War Z off from this point.

World War Z

World War Z off course is following the World War Z movie so expect the same kind of zombies. These aren’t the traditional slow moving zombies. Oh no! These zombies, run, sprint (for some reason), jump, reach and chase you down. They will let nothing stop them. If you jump across a gap, they will jump too. If you go through a door, they will try to break it down. So let’s go to the top of a elevated area. That won’t work. Why? Well these zombies keep rushing at your location that they will pile up on each other. The pile will eventually reach up to where you are as they are climbing up each other. So you aren’t really safe anywhere. They will do their best to find you.

The Zombies in World War Z also are off course fearless. Having big guns, a wall, vehicles or even numbers doesn’t bother them in the slightest. They will rush you regardless so players can’t sit around and wait. Also the zombies cannot be reasoned with, so don’t expect any second chances or mercy from these guys. The zombies here are going to require gamers who can think fast, plan well and work well together.

World War Z

That’s right, World War Z is co-op. You will not face the zombie horde alone. You will team up with three others. There are six characters classes: Fixer, Hellraiser, Exterminator, Slasher, Gunslinger and Medic. Off course each one has a clear role, for example medics are all about healing and keep everyone in top shape, Fixer will be in charge of fortifications and equipment, Slasher is going to get up close and do some melee damage, we assume Gunslinger will have advantages and buffs concerning guns. Exterminator, and Hellraiser aren’t so clear but we assume that turrets and even explosives will relate to them. Players will need to find out what they are best at and start training.

In terms of weapons there isn’t that much to say because it’s what you would expect. No weapon, when against a zombie horde should be off limits. We would even use our car keys if we have too. World War Z will have barricades like barb wires. Traps, guns, sentries. Those aren’t enough to stop a horde though. Good thing, there is more. Machine guns, grenade launchers, rocket launchers and turrets. Now that’s more like it.   

We checked out some gameplay and it was what we thought it would be. More like defend the area and tower defence in some ways. You rely heavily on your set up, where you place the barricades, where you decide to fight from. World War Z also has procedural enemy and items spawns which the developers claim is based on the players performance. There are claymore mines, frag grenades a crossbow, a double barrel shotgun and even C4. We do wonder about the difficulty and how much damage zombie swipes do. Also can zombies grab you to temporarily stun you? Guess you must play to find out.  

Overall World War Z looks like a good game. There are hundreds of zombies on the screen at once thanks to the Swarm Engine by Saber Interactive. You can truly blow zombies to pieces. The graphics are good, the sounds are good and the locations are nice. The developers ‘Saber Interactive’ have done a good job with this game from what we can see so far. We at X35 Earthwalker aren’t looking forward to this game but we will keep an eye on it. We like how this zombie game is shaping up and how it adapts for player skill. We still have questions though. Now World War Z may  have hordes of zombies but those zombies aren’t even a threat when against… the ‘Earth Walk!’

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State of Decay

State of Decay 2 is the latest installment in the State of Decay franchise. It’s being developed by ‘Undead Labs and published by ‘Microsoft Studios‘. It’s coming out in 2018 on the Xbox One and Windows 10. It will also be a ‘Xbox Play Anywhere’ game allowing more flexibility. Zombie survivals are risky games. Let’s take a look. 

State of Decay 2 has put quite a bit of emphasis on team work. Even stating that “Nobody survives alone” which is a huge statement. We at X35 Earthwalker know of some who can easily survive alone but let’s see why. Basically the story is that somehow the dead has risen once again in America. As always the military, for some reason, couldn’t stop the zombies and now civilisation has fallen. Human is pretty much close to extinction. our question is “Is humanity nearly extinct all around the world or just America?” 

Players must survive, find other survivors and build a community and work together. Start of with nothing off course but over time create a kitchen area, a place to eat, vegetable patches and areas to grow crops and before you know it, it’s a safe haven from all the evil zombies. This is where the whole multiplayer gameplay comes in. State of decay 2 is all about interacting and working together (hopefully) with other players to survive. Off course you could just go with three of your friends. That’s right, it’s also 4 player co-op. Games like this are always better with 4 player co-op and we are glad to see this here.

State of Decay

Now even though there is a lot of team work, each character has their own story in a way. They are different. Different moods, attitudes, goals and different level of determination for those goals. Your own skills that players must develop. Even your own decisions get remembered by the game. Your moral code, your ideas, your ways of survival will have big impact on your story. We honestly here this a lot in games like this but what game really creates effect consequences for this mechanic. it’s a big challenge and we hope it works very well here.

If you haven’t guessed it by now, yes it’s an open world game. Make all the choices you want but resource management is key. Everything is entered around your base. Build watch towers, work shops, infirmaries and more depending on what your goals and strategies are. You may be more combat ready or resource focused.

We checked out some State of Decay 2 gameplay and it has left us on the fence. It sort of reminds us of sims in some ways. The zombies themselves do look interesting. There are standard zombies, big belly zombies that explode and let out some strange fluids, large hulking fat zombies that charge you to try and rip you apart and more. The gameplay it self just doesn’t look all that interesting. Especially how the characters run (a bit bland). The sim like base building does look cool and creates ideas already as to what you would want to do (well the creative have anyway). Just that so far we haven’t seen anything that makes us want to jump on it right now. The open world, multiplayer, co-op action side of the game is what’s really cool right now and makes us want to see how that works. Will players have the option to betray and attack others? Will that in return just lead to a war community game? Many questions.

Overall this is a very cool game. The concept is not new but definitely works here. The graphics are top level with 4K graphics and Xbox one X enhanced. The graphics do look very nice and the attention to details is high as well. The aiming and battle all seems smooth and flows nicely. It’s clear a lot of work went into this game. The developers ‘Undead Labs’ did a excellent job with this game. We at X35 Earthwalker will keep an eye out to see how things go. Now working together is key but no matter the level of team work it really ain’t enough to beat… the ‘Earth Walk!’

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