Killing Floor 2 is a CO-OP first-person shooter that was developed and published by Tripwire Interactive. In the game, you play as one of ten perks as you fend off waves of various zombie-like clone creatures with a variety of weapons. This will be a long-term review of the game as I’ve put a lot of hours into this game, however, I will not be comparing it to the original game as I haven’t played it.
In a lot of ways, Killing Floor 2 is an old school shooter. There is a focus on over the top gunplay and ludicrous gibs, health doesn’t regenerate automatically and each enemy has its own different way of attacking the player. That said there are still many modern staples such as class-based abilities with RPG-style leveling, no crosshairs and sprinting.
There are four difficulties in the game, Normal, Hard, Suicidal and Hell on Earth. Difficulties give enemies more health, different abilities, and more damage. Honestly Normal is pathetically easy, and Hard isn’t too bad unless you (or someone else) does something stupid or gets caught off guard. Suicidal however is a huge spike in difficulty and is where I feel most players will be caught off guard. Hell on Earth isn’t as much of a spike from Suicidal but it certainly requires a good team for success.
Before diving into the action, you have to pick between one of the ten perks. Each one has a certain set of weapons to select from, including basic assault rifles, submachine guns, to more improvised weapons such as the nail gun and Caulk ‘n’ Burn flamethrower to deadly sci-fi weapons like the Microwave gun and medic weapons that shoot darts that can heal players. Each perk also has special abilities such as Support who can hand out ammunition or Commando who can spot invisible enemies or Demolition who can seal doors with explosives.
To be honest I’m not sure this game really needed all ten perks. Commando and SWAT play very similarly and Gunslinger and Sharpshooter both focus on taking out big enemies with headshot oriented abilities. Survivalist also feels like an afterthought that serves no real purpose.
Leveling perks are also something else I really dislike about Killing Floor 2. It honestly takes ages to get each perk leveled, especially towards the last five levels. What really makes this frustrating is that the difference between every five levels is extreme. Some perks gain 25% (or more) damage or movement bonuses that can be the difference between life and death. This is not helped by the fact that sometimes you need to play certain perks to fill holes that your team might have.
It’s a shame that the developers felt it necessary to have this kind of thing in the game, because the gunplay is frankly fucking awesome. Heads explode as you nail headshot after headshot. Body parts fly as explosives detonate into the hordes of your enemies. My favorite weapon would have to be the AA-12 automatic shotgun. That bad boy chews through anything without an issue, including ammo. The result of all this mayhem will most likely have you saying “I glad I’m not cleaning this shit up.”
Another thing really going for this game is the sound design. Pretty much every weapon sounds gutsy and powerful, on top of looking fantastic and being well animated. Audio cues for certain enemies also assist in letting the player know what they’re coming up against. The soundtrack is all metal music that really compliments the gory, over the top action. Finally, every character is fully voice acted. All the playable characters aren’t too annoying, however, the French woman who narrates after every round is one of the most annoying things I’ve ever encountered in a video game. She gives the most obvious advice (yes I realize I should avoid the Scrake’s chainsaw, sometimes shit happens) and comes across as extremely condescending.
Each enemy behaves differently and has different weaknesses. Most enemies die pretty quickly, but some bigger enemies such as Bloats, Gorefasts, Sirens can soak up and dish out damage. Fleshpounds and Scrakes act as mini-bosses that can both kill players very quickly if you’re not careful. Finally, there are two bosses, Hans Volter and the Patriarch. Both bosses act fairly similarly, attacking with machine guns, explosives, and melee attacks and require teamwork to take down.
The only other faults this game has is that it’s heavily dependent on the people you’re playing with and it can get repetitive. Those two things could really apply to any team-based multiplayer shooter but I felt it’s worth mentioning.
Finally, there is a cosmetic system with crates you have to pay to unlock. They have no real effect on the game and you don’t need to pay a cent extra in the game to gain any advantage. These cosmetics do however help fund the game’s continuing development.
Overall if you like over the top violence and schlocky zombie games, Killing Floor 2 will be right up your alley. It’s a shame the perk leveling gets in the way of the fun at times, but otherwise, this is a fine bit of ultra-violence.