If you have heard of Back 4 Blood, that means you have played or come across Left 4 Dead. But with enough players logging in daily to bring the original game higher on the Steam charts, is this new successor really necessary? Or does Back 4 Blood fill in all the right gaps necessary to make this release look like it was due for a long time? Our full-fledged review of Back 4 Blood beta will look deep into the game and show you everything you need to know before committing your hard-earned money to it.
Back 4 Blood Beta PC Review
With our hands on the beta, we will give you the reasons to pre-purchase this game as well as a few aspects which we believe can be improved on the final game. So after our multiple playthroughs, here’s our review of Back 4 Blood Beta, and what you can expect in the final version of the game.
A Familiar Gameplay Build on a Great Foundation
Back 4 Blood can be explicitly called Left 4 Dead 3, and I would have accepted it with open arms. With a genre-defining four-player survival horror game practically invented by the devs with the first Left 4 Dead back in 2008, Back 4 Blood is the revival of the genre we all deserve. The game is built on the strong foundation the devs set with the previous Left 4 Dead series. This gameplay set out to inspire many other games like GTFO, Payday, and even the Zombie mode in Call of Duty games. And there are more upcoming games that could thank Left 4 Dead for their gameplay style.
With Left 4 Dead, Turtle Rock Studios emphasized more on coordinating with teammates rather than running around gun-blazing all alone. Try to stray away from your squad, and you will soon meet your demise with no one around to heal you. Speaking from experience here (Got surrounded by zombies AND the boss came straight to me).
Back 4 Blood follows this same principle of sticking together with your squad to overcome obstacles and complete tasks together. Communication is your key to survival in B4B. You plan your strategies, exchange the ammo you don’t use, and heal each other for your common goal.
Graphics & Nvidia DLSS’s Magic in Back 4 Blood
The graphics received a major overhaul, with all metal surfaces including guns now showing reflections, sparks from weapons more visible, and even recoil and bullets ejected have all the details you can expect from a new-gen age. And blood looks better than ever. You will find yourself covered in lots of blood after a horde ambush, or even while using melee weapons to slash your way to your next safe house.
And the lighting, ah what can I say about the lighting in Back 4 Blood! The new lighting is a major game-changer, which sets a tone and atmosphere fit for the genre. Dynamic shadows bring a new level of realism to the horde and your environment. And the surface materials like clay, grass, and water have their own different feeling to them.
If you have GeForce RTX 20 and GeForce RTX 30 series GPUs, you can enable Nvidia DLSS in Back 4 Blood. This technology makes it look like your PC just swallowed a Ferrari. Everything from minute details in grass blades to the up-close objects the weapon you are holding will look drastically improved than when you have not enabled this option.
The AI rendering makes the jagged edges clean and makes you feel like you are living inside the game. And all these features come without any hindrance to framerates. Well for the majority of the time with DLSS, you will feel like your graphics card is pumping out more framerates than ever.
Our Test Machine:
- Ryzen 5 3600
- CORSAIR H45 LIQUID COOLER
- NVIDIA RTX 3070 TI 8GB
- GIGABYTE AORUS X470 GAMING MOTHERBOARD
- CORSAIR VENGEANCE 16GB RAM
- KINGSTON 480GB SSD
- COOLER MASTER 750WATT SMPS
- CORSAIR 175R RGB MID TOWER CASE
Here are some differences you can see in the image quality difference below:
The amount of difference you get to see in gameplay is more prominent than in these images. We have played the game on our RTX 3070, so we will be uploading a video showcasing Back 4 Blood with & without DLSS soon.
Also Read: Zotac RTX 3080 AMP Holo 10GB GPU &
Nvidia RTX 2070 SUPER FE Reviews
With Unique New Elements, No Two Runs Are Similar
No matter how many times you play the game, no two runs will be similar. That’s the beauty of the new card system and AI Director in the game. There are rooms that will be empty in one run but filled with the Ridden and weapons. There will be areas you can access freely in one, but filled like traps in another run. The Corruption cards are thrown at you to make your game as surprising or as exciting as your heart desires.
Gone are the old days of “pick the weapon of your liking” in safe rooms. Now it is replaced by a new store system where you buy to choose the weapons, bullets, and attachments you require. This costs in-game currency is known as copper. Copper can be found all over the maps. But it’s up to you if you want the safety of your company or explore the hidden rooms and areas to get more copper.
If you take the easy path, it will also backfire on you in the safe houses. You will be left without enough money to buy the necessary items you need to fight and live the day. It will be up to you to either buy ammo and health packs necessary for a level or save to till the next safe house to buy an expensive weapon or perks you need. This is where Back 4 Blood excels at. With the combination of the Cards system and new additional game mechanics, you are presented with something refreshing that other co-op survival games lack.
So What’s New?
If you have tried playing Left 4 Dead on a controller, wait till you try it out in B4B. The controller support is astonishing. I find myself playing on the controller due to its convenience which is why it deserves a mention in this Back 4 Blood review. Yes, a mouse is any day better for those spectacular headshots, but with your teammates to back you up, playing on a controller has never been so fun.
Let’s look into the latest improvements to the gameplay. The new card system is a welcome addition to Back 4 Blood, where you have a deck of active cards that you may use to have various experiences each time. There are around 60 current cards available to pick from.
Active cards allow the player to choose from a variety of unique benefits, which are divided into four categories: reflex, discipline, brawn, and fortune cards with blue, red, green, and yellow colors respectively. You begin the campaign with one loadout card and three cards to choose from. Before leaving a safe house, you will be able to pick one additional active card.
The counter to your active cards will be Corruption Cards thrown at you by the game AI. To fight corruption cards chosen by the Director, the player should choose active cards carefully. At the start of each level, the Director draws a different deck of cards. The Director, also known as the Dynamic Game Director, is a mechanism that adapts to player actions in real-time, assuring thrilling battles, extraordinary gameplay variation, and harder Ridden variations.
The Director keeps a close eye on your actions and changes the challenge level accordingly. Corruption cards apply a variety of randomized game settings linked to the Ridden, the weather, and other factors, and these cards stack more hazards with each level. These cards are meant to provide replayability and provide different tactics each time in a new run.
So What’s the Whole Story About Cleaners Vs the Ridden?
The Devil Worm is an extraterrestrial worm-like parasite. When people are infected with Devil Worms, they are turned into Ridden, the violent hostile zombie-like creatures. The Ridden have basic brain function and only cares about filling their hunger. They will charge on any uninfected humans they come across. The Cleaners are survivors of the apocalypse who are resistant to the Devil Worm infection. We will have eight different Cleaners to choose from and customize. Each playable Cleaner has its own, personality, set of dialogues, special perks and advantages.
Just like cleaners with different abilities, we also have “Special Ridden” with different abilities. Tallboys have a tentacle-like right arm where here can attack and grab from a long distance. There are Stingers who can jump far and stick to walls. Reeker explodes on death, covering the squad in sticky slime. Almost all opponents have weak spots, so be careful to target them because each effective strike will result in more injury. Team members should flag out all these rare ridden kinds and take them out first, before moving on to the more common ridden types.
So Should you Buy the game?
For all the Left 4 Dead players, Back 4 Blood feels familiar yet refreshing in many aspects. The graphics are awesome, AI works pretty well, the gameplay is outstanding, and the new card system is hands-down the best decision the devs introduced.
And if you are new to the genre, then this is an investment you are going to enjoy every moment of the next few years. Based on their previous games, there may be post-game content. And if that’s the case, you are in for a long journey. With cross-play and fluid gameplay, there is no reason to skip on this one. With all that said, we would rate this beta a solid 8.5/10. But we will hold out our final Back 4 Blood review and verdict till the main release of the full game.
Check out our guides on how to survive in Back 4 Blood right here on Gamer Tweak!