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View Full Version : Killing Floor Review



Calneon
16th May 2009, 07:12 PM
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Developer: Tripwire
Platform: PC
Multiplayer: Yes
Single player: No


On the last day of August, everything changed in the bustling city of London. You are an anonymous British military soldier dropped in to clear the area and put an end to a failed secret government program designed to clone soldiers for the army. Killing Floor, developed by Tripwire is a remake of their UT2004 mod by the same name, pits you against waves of cloned zombies who would like nothing better than to cleft you in twane and eat you for breakfast.

The general premise for the game is to survive, there are no objectives to complete except to repel a number of increasingly difficult waves until you face the end boss. The number of waves you face and the difficulty is set by the server. Short, medium, and long games being 4, 7, and 9 waves respectively. The four difficulty levels are easy, normal, hard, and suicide. Normal difficulty is default and I have yet to kill the final boss on normal. Scuicide difficulty the two times I have played it, my team didn't get past the 2nd wave. You get money for killing zombies, and for completing the wave alive. If you die, you will respawn when your team kills the final zombie of the wave, however you will have lost all your weapons and will have to buy new ones.

You spend money on weapons, ammo, and armour in a merchant's shop which opens at a random location in the map. You have 60 seconds from the point when you kill the final zombie to get to the shop and make your purchases, before you are booted out to face the next wave. There are about 5 possible locations for the shop on each map, which means you have to move between locations and quickly find a good spot to take out the zombies in the wave. Near the end of the wave, your team should be looking to move towards the next location of the shop (shown by an arrow) so they get there in time. This constant moving makes the games much more interesting. Another interesting mechanic is the welding gun. You can weld shut any doors you can close, effectively creating chokepoints by closing all entrances but one. Zombies will beat down on welded doors and will break through eventually but you can often flank them as they are knocking it down for massive grenade damage.

There are a total of 9 enemy types in the game, Clots are your basic zombie, slow and weak but high in number. Gorefasts are Clots with darker skin and a machette, who will charge at you when close, doing huge damage. The Bloat if similar to Left 4 Dead's Boomer, he pukes corrosive acid over anyone close enough which does heavy damage and distorts vision. The Skrake and Fleshpound are even tougher zombies who can take and deal huge amounts of damage. There are three other rather different enemies, the Crawler which is small fast and dangerous, the Siren lets out a deafening screech, doing area of effect damage to anyone nearby, they must be taken out at range, finally there is a type of zombie who has very low health but can cause huge damage because they are almost invisible up to the moment they strike you.

The range of firearms in the game is small, however there are still more than in Left 4 Dead. There are two pistols, each of which can be dual wielded. A multitude of melee weapons, shotguns and rifles, and a gun similar to a P90. Special weapons include a flamethrower, LAW (rocket launcher), and crossbow. Your inventory is limited by weight, a typical setup would be a gun such as a shotgun or P90, a pistol, and 5 grenades. Special firearms are heavy so you need to pick carefully for the situation. You start with a pistol for the first wave, then you can buy new guns in the shop as you acumulate more money. Gunplay is incredibly satisfying, animations are the best i've seen in a FPS, and slow motion works fantastically, slowing the game down if you make an especially awesome shot. This slow motion effects the whole team so it doesn't happen often, and even if it wasn't you that triggered it, it lets you line up a perfect shot and let rip for massive damage.

Gameplay overall is very addictive, and is made even more so by the inclusion of perks, a total of 7 perks overall include Beserker, Sharpshooter, and Firebug. Each perk caters to a specific playstyle, melee combat, precision headshots, and flamethrower damage respectively. As you complete the criteria for each perk it goes up in level and you get bonuses to damage, reload time, and price reductions. Healing is performed by a syringe gun which recharges over time. Injecting yourself is possible but has more effect on teammates, encouraging teamwork.

There are a few minor critisizms which could be ironed out in future patches (Tripwire released a patch solving connection and server browser issues just 2 days after the game was released). At the end of a wave, there is sometimes a group of zombies which you have to go and hunt down, which can detract from the pace of the game. The voice acting for the merchant gets very annoying, she reminds me of the black woman from 28 days later, the lack of different lines can also grate, when you heal somebody else you always hear, "hold still i'm trying to heal you", even if they aren't moving. My only other complaint is the difficulty. After the final wave, you face the Patriarch, supposedly the leader of the experiment, who is armed to the teeth with a chaingun, rocket launcher, health kits, and who spawns dozens of minions. His difficulty doesn't scale well and on normal he can kill you in a couple of seconds with his chaingun if you aren't behind cover. This makes it very hard for a random group to take him down, however a co-ordinated group shouldn't have much trouble.

Summary
Visuals 9/10 - The visuals are fantastic in this game, screenshots really do not do it justice. There are many effects like screen blurring and slow motion which really add to the experience. Animations are sublime, and there is a gritty sort of feel, much more realistic than Left 4 Dead's more comic appearances. There are small imperfections in lighting, usually involving the flashlight.
Sound 8/10 - Zombies sound great, and atmospheric effects really involve you in the game. However the sound is slightly let down by repeated lines of dialogue.
Gameplay 9/10 - Incredibly addictive, gunplay is very satisfying and constant movement after every wave keeps the game feeling fresh.
Lasting Appeal 9/10 - Tripwire were originally a mod group, so expect lots of new maps which can be downloaded directly through the game unlike Left 4 Dead. Each original map (5 of them) is very well made and large. For 15 you can't go wrong.

Overall - 91%

Trigger
16th May 2009, 07:21 PM
Nice write up, it all does sound very interesting. That massive score makes me want to buy it, though it could be down to it being a new game?

Calneon
16th May 2009, 08:04 PM
Nice write up, it all does sound very interesting. That massive score makes me want to buy it, though it could be down to it being a new game?
Yeah, that's always a factor. However i've played it for over 10 hours the last 2 days and I still want to play it, and that's with random people on random servers. It will be even better if we could get a few people together and on TS.

Target
17th May 2009, 01:11 AM
Looks like an awesome game and good review mite consider this after my exams :D

rihankf
17th May 2009, 09:10 AM
Hey Phantom,
Great review.


Developer: Tripwire
Platform: PC
Multiplayer: Yes
Single player: No

Please note just that killing floor does offer a single player (offline) mode.

Calneon
17th May 2009, 11:17 AM
Hey Phantom,
Great review.



Please note just that killing floor does offer a single player (offline) mode.
Yes, I was going to mention that in the review but forgot xD. I said no to singeplayer because I personally don't consider it single player because it's the same as multiplayer just without the other players. It's like i'd say CSS doesn't have singleplayer even though you can play offline with bots.