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Killing Floor 2 hands-on: Grab a shotgun, grab a pal, and shoot some early access zombies

Hayden Dingman | April 8, 2015
Some things never get old: Mountain Dew, Doritos, Keanu Reeves, America, and the muffled thump of a shotgun round impacting the rotten remains of whatever a zombie calls a head. Or at least, I told myself that last one as I slaughtered my way through countless moaning walkers at a Killing Floor 2 event last week.

So yeah, that's the set-up. Of course, story is pretty secondary in Killing Floor. Mostly you're just running around with friends killing zombies.

And developer Tripwire knows that. In fact, the feature I heard the devs get most excited about at our demo was persistent blood. I'm not even joking. It's even in the press materials they sent over. From the press kit: "Killing Floor 2 ramps up the gore with a proprietary, high powered persistent blood system bringing new levels of fidelity to the genre."

So yeah, if disappearing blood was the thing stopping you from playing Killing Floor, I guess that barrier's now gone.

Seriously, though: Killing Floor is great because it's an excuse to get together with friends and shoot things. It's not very complex, although it's got all the RPG trappings common to a modern first-person shooter (perks, et cetera). It's just a solid, well-balanced zombie game with some creative (and horrifying) enemy designs — my personal favorite being some sort of spider-corpse thing that walks on all fours and leaps at you without warning.

Killing Floor 2 adds the smattering of new weapons (27 at the moment), new characters (8), and new enemies (11 total so far) you'd expect from a numbered sequel. The one big thing I've noticed is that the AI is better about flanking/trapping players now, although enemies do still have a tendency to run right at you.

But it's otherwise adhering pretty strictly to the "not-broken-don't-fix-it" tenet, and that's fine. Killing Floor was, indeed, not broken — it's still fun to play right now, if you've got a copy handy. And considering it's been six years since the original, I can't really blame Tripwire for putting out a sequel.

You can try it for yourself soon — the game drops onto Steam Early Access for $30 on April 21. Round up a posse, grab some guns, and bag yourself some zombies. And make sure to stop and admire the persistent blood effects. If not for me, do it for Tripwire.


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