Wipes the floor with the competition?
“Killing Floor 2” has been out on the PC for a couple of years, the PS4 for a year, and has now finally made its way across to Microsoft’s Xbox One platform. Is there any reason to pick up or avoid this version of the popular co-op shooter?
The Xbox version does have some exclusive content, although it’s pretty limited. Streamers get integrated Mixer support, and a ‘Freezethrower’ weapon for one of the classes (confusingly called perks in the game). Then there’s a few new skins as well. At least the game includes all previously released DLC packs, which some PC ports have made a nasty habit of not doing when coming over to console.
However, when the game is regularly available on Steam at a discounted price, and the PC version also includes Steam Workshop support for custom maps (as well as a 5m + player base), it has to be said there’s little incentive to pick the Xbox One version unless you have no other way of playing the game.
In terms of the gameplay, Killing Floor is basically Left 4 Dead crossed with Serious Sam – a co-op game where you take down hordes of fast-moving and varied zombie creations. There’s 10 different classes and numerous different weapons and skills to use, which allows for a huge level of customisation of your team, which is pretty commendable. The annoying thing though is the game requires quite a lot of grinding. Unlocking even the first skill takes until level 5, which will take about 2-3 hours; whilst getting to level 25 hours will take persistence.
There’s 12 official maps (two of which have boss fights), and you can quite quickly get to grips with the levels. There’s a significant challenge to the game, especially at higher difficulty levels (enemies gain new abilities as well as being tougher and more numerous), but at the end of the day, you’re shooting the same enemies with the same guns on the same maps with precious little to show for it much of the time.
Matchmaking is quick and simple, and generally found games within a couple of seconds. However, not all of the game modes were very populated. The default survival and then the weekly modes didn’t prove to be a problem, but I did struggle a few times in the VS mode. For a game focused on multiplayer, thankfully performance and stability seemed excellent at all times when playing, with no noticeable lag. What is a shame is the fact the game isn’t cross-platform, at least in the co-op modes, which would have really helped with player counts.
Killing Floor 2 isn’t exactly a technical showcase on Xbox One, but is still a good looking game. The blood and gore effects are particularly impressive, the ‘Zeds’ look horrific enough, even if they aren’t particularly original, whilst the game continues to runs smoothly despite hordes of zombies being on screen at any one time. It’s also worth noting that the game will be supported on Xbox One X, which promises to bring improved graphics and an uplift to 4K.
The over-the-top graphics are nicely complemented by a metal soundtrack that pumps out in the background. It helps to get the blood and adrenaline flowing and get you in the mood for murderising hundreds more zombies! The guns and explosions are also particularly impressive, but there’s not much in the way of VO, and the moans of the Zeds could be more horrific or gross.
“Killing Floor 2” has plenty of old-school charm and excellent presentation, which coupled with some good gunplay (albeit not Destiny good) makes for an interesting game to start with. However, with limited maps on console, uncertain support for mods/ custom maps, and a very grind-heavy end game; you’ve got a package which won’t be suitable for everyone. If you’re happy to replay the same few levels over and over in the quest for better skills and goodies, then Killing Floor 2 has a lot to recommend it. But if you’re looking for endless content or a linked storyline in your co-op shooter, Killing Floor 2 won’t be for you.