By – Carlin Au

Killing Floor 2 He

The thing I’ll miss the most in the previous Killing Floor is perusing the trader’s shop while she encourages me to buy weapons by saying, “I like the big guns, don’t you?” Otherwise, Killing Floor 2 is an improvement across the board. The gore has especially been improved, that’s why I’m playing Killing Floor after all.

Killing Floor 2 is set in continental Europe where the outbreak has spread from London. Though, the story of Killing Floor never mattered – all I needed to know was there were zeds to kill. That’s what Killing Floor has always been about. Being able to drop into a game and kill zeds with other players is great. There’s no need for an introduction when jumping into this game. The idea behind Killing Floor is simple. Typically, there’s seven waves of zeds and a boss after the last round. As waves are completed, the game gets progressively harder by adding different types of zeds and increasing the amount the players will be facing. All the zeds from the first game make a reappearance in Killing Floor 2, but have been redesigned. Their movements and skillsets seem to have changed for most of the creatures. Scrakes seem to be more aggressive than usual and Fleshpounds are now able to spin with its meat grinders.

There are also new skills that zeds can use depending on the base difficulty that is set on a server. For example, a server on Normal difficulty will feature a Husk that will generally keep its distance and shoot fireballs from afar. Meeting a Husk on Hard difficulty means that it can also blow itself up if a player gets too close. Instead of just increasing the amount of creatures and their health according to the base difficulty, Tripwire has designed the creatures to act differently for each difficulty. This makes for some really interesting gameplay as I might want to stay on the Normal difficulty for a while to get the hang of the game, but if I switch over to the Hard setting, I’m facing zeds that don’t act the way I’m used to.

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If the zeds got updated while the weapons and perks didn’t, we’d be in a lot of trouble. Perks in Killing Floor 2 seems to have a little more meaning than they did in the last one. Different perks can alter the role of the player. For example, a Support member can give ammo to teammates in the area or call out cloaked Stalkers automatically as they are seen. These abilities can really help the team out and make the perks a little more useful and important than in the first game.

Weapons in Killing Floor 2 got an update as well. Generally, weapons all feel very similar to the ones in the previous game. They’re pretty simple to use for anyone experienced with first person shooters. Every weapon feels like it will obliterate anything you point it at. The weapons feel incredibly responsive, especially during the slow motion in zed time. Being able to see every bullet tear and rip through the flesh of each zed while blood gushes all around it is ridiculously satisfying.

The gore in Killing Floor 2 is amazingly well done. Tripwire has said that there are 22 ways to dismember a zed and its very clear to see that while playing. Organs will spill out and chunks of skull will fly off as lead is pumped through each creature. The gore is most of the reason why the weapons feel so responsive. Each point of damage a player can deal is visually displayed in an over the top fashion. The excessive amount of blood and dismembered body parts that is left behind with each dead creature provides a sense of accomplishment and pride in how far the players have come.

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Unfortunately, there is only one creature that isn’t so easy to dismember: Hans Volter. As John Gibson, President of Tripwire, has said, “He is a 100-year-old Nazi evil doctor character that is keeping himself alive with Horzine technology.” He’s a bit tougher than our friend, the Patriarch. He throws nerve gas to block off passages for players to run to and can deal some light ranged damage from his guns. In close quarters, he’ll run up to players fairly quickly and scratch them. When he’s low on health, he’ll grab a player and drain their health combined with an occasional grenade barrage. Some of his skills aren’t too crazy, but the life drain present an entirely new challenge.

In the first Killing Floor, the Patriarch had three health potions he could use and when he was low on health, he would retreat. His retreat would give players time to reload and heal up; this provided a  peaceful gap in the action. With Hans Volter’s life drain ability, he is constantly fighting with players and while he’s healing, a player is losing health. This combination makes Hans Volter a more worthy opponent than the Patriarch.

At 1600×900, Killing Floor 2 ran at ~93 FPS on Ultra settings with an Intel Core i5 4690k, EVGA GTX 970 FTW Edition, and 12GB of RAM. At its present state in Beta, video settings like Environment Detail, Character Detail, FX, Texture Resolution, and Shadow Quality can be set from Low to Ultra. Bloom and Motion Blur can be turned off or to High. Texture Filtering can be set up to 16x Anisotropic Filtering. Ambient Occlusion can be set to either SSAO and HBAO+. Realtime Reflections, Depth of Field, Volumetric Lighting FX, Lens Flares, and Light Shafts can be turned on or off. Sliders for Field of View, Film Grain amount, and Gore Intensity are available.

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Conclusion – Is It Worth Your Investment?

Killing Floor 2 is living up to its expectations as a sequel. All of the core features in Killing Floor- the gore, weapons, perks, and creatures- have been improved in meaningful ways. The game is definitely much more than just a graphical overhaul with these new updates. It adds more depth to the overall original gameplay. Killing Floor 2 has so far been a bloody amazing experience since its aging predecessor released in 2009.  The game is set to enter full Early Access on April 21st.

Killing Floor 2 Technical Summary:

Killing Floor 2 Review Sum

  • Time Played – 5 Hours
  • Widescreen Support – Yes
  • Resolution Played – 1600×900
  • Windowed Mode – Yes
  • FOV Slider – Yes
  • 5.1 Audio Support – Yes
  • Bugs/Crashes Encountered – Controls not saving correctly.
  • Control Scheme – Mouse and Keyboard
  • DRM – Steamworks
  • System Specs – Intel Core i5 4690k, EVGA GTX 970, 12 GB RAM
  • Game Acquisition Method – Preview Copy
  • Availability –  Steam

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