Killing Floor 2 (PC) review
"If you liked the original, then you're bound to be right at home with the sequel."
[Note: Iíve had such subpar feelings about the Versus mode that Iíve chosen to omit them from this review.]
Killing Floor was a testament in how a team-based cooperative game could remain continuously fun to play thanks to solid gameplay, chatty characters and of course all that dosh being thrown around between waves of monster slaughter - But it still showed its age on its sleeve despite its timeless replayability. With the number of hours Iíve sunk into the original game, the announcement of a sequel complete with updated mechanics, visuals and gameplay had me intrigued and excited. Iíve been playing Killing Floor 2 since its Early Access days and I still play it on a regular basis to this day, but even with the changes, updates and modernization of the classic squad shooter, itís been a slow but steady process for the game to make itself more than just a glorified expansion pack - That said, Iím still very pleased with the final product.
It doesnít take long to notice how the graphics, audio and controls have been polished and sharpened, making Killing Floor 2 feel snappier and compared to the original - Not to mention better to listen to and to look at. As barbaric as it may sound, the updated gore effects also goes a long way in feeling morbidly satisfying - To watch in slow motion as explosives send minor enemies flying in multiple pieces and directions, or as a miniboss is cut to shreds with automatic gunfire never gets old. With the ensuing carnage and greater shooter controls, the game has this constant feedback and satisfaction for when you get into the thick of things, especially when the context sensitive bullet time triggers and allows you to rack up a bevy of gruesome headshots.
The first game suffered the issue of having too many Ďgodlyí holdout spots; positions that could be fortified with little to no danger of being overrun if your six player squad is skilled enough. Thanks to the faster pace in Killing Floor 2, even if your squad finds a good position to holdout in, it doesnít take very long until things get dicey and youíre forced to rethink your plans. This issue is also fixed due to multiple spawn points for enemies that can circumvent welded doors, being enough of a distraction for the mutant monster horde to break down said door and ruin everyone's day.
One glorious new change for the better is the revamped class progression system where just about every action will net you experience points: Headshots with pistols scores Gunslinger points. Welding doors scores Support points. Healing teammates scores Combat Medic points and so on. Best of all, points are gained regardless of your selected class and current arsenal - For example, if youíre a Commando (who specializes in assault rifles) who has a shotgun as an alternate weapon, using that shotgun will score Support points even though youíre not playing as that class. This means that youíre in constant progression to level up through active participation, and with every level milestone thatís a multiple of five unlocks one of two possible perks to further enhance your class. With my Combat Medic at level twenty, I can choose from perks that enhance my healing capabilities through teammate buffs, or I can focus entirely on improving my damage output instead. As a Berserker (melee user), I can focus on being an unkillable tank or a lighting fast dealer of damage - Skilled players can become forces to be reckoned with, but running off on your lonesome is a recipe for disaster; you can only score so many rapid headshots before a Fleshpound sends you scurrying back to your team for aid.
Initially I had concerns regarding the lack of original content, but Tripwire Interactive has shown that theyíre reliable when it comes to post-release support. Each new update has brought new maps, classes and weapons to make use of along with balance changes, not to mention support for users to create their own maps if the healthy but limited roster of first party maps get stale. At the time of writing all of these updates so far have been free and if the first game was any indication, most if not all of the future downloadable content will be for cosmetic or aesthetic purposes only.
While I canít shake the feeling that more couldíve been done, too many changes to the core experience wouldíve ruined what made the original Killing Floor so enjoyable; team-based shooting that was satisfying, rewarding and thrilling. As it stands, the enhancements to classes and the perk system add just that extra layer of depth to compliment the tighter, sharper combat that comes with the improved design. If you donít have friends to play with, your experience will certainly vary with random teammates online, but the community is generally quite good about supporting one another and ensuring everyone survives - Good luck in getting them to share money for weapons, however. With continued support from Tripwire Interactive the game has incredible value, and it goes without saying that I give it a hearty recommendation, doubly so if you had any enjoyment of the original game.
Community review by Dinoracha (March 20, 2017)
Dinoracha is a world-renowned internet famous Let's Player, voice actor, writer, reviewer, e-sports competitor, masterful stream host and man of the people. These may or may not all be gross exaggerations.
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