Back 4 Blood Game Review by Reeva!Pricetag and DLC:
- $60, excluding an annual pass. Players who played since the release were made used to complete radio silence from developers on Steam, accompanied by small and slow updates that added nearly nothing and typically introduced bugs in addition to fixing them. This leads to someone like me, playing since the start, not buying the annual pass because I expected the developers to be too slow with updates. Now they're pumping DLCs out like crazy. Game's a year old and already has 2 DLCs.
- It's fundamentally borked, due to the amount of time it takes to complete a campaign. You cannot see cards used by other people, so their build is unknown to you. This could lead to you building into a weapon/ammo combo that 2 people already use, or using Burn Cards (unique once off cards that aren't cheap to buy with ingame currency) meanwhile the people you're with are running the worst builds imaginable, dying at the saferoom door.
I've only gotten 3 matches to date, that wasn't me playing with people I know, that lasted to the final level of an act and completed it. Quickplay teams do not have time to sit on their arse for 2-3 hours to complete any of the acts.
Matchmaking is borked as well. I keep matching into Chinese players with 400 ping, which tells me either matchmaking is broken or the Chinese are the only people playing the game at those times, which would not surprise me.
Connection to Left 4 Dead 1/2:
- They hyped the game up by riding off the coattails of the Left 4 Dead franchise. They have 6 people from the original Valve team that worked on L4D, and proceeded to proclaim that B4B is "FROM THE CREATORS OF L4D!" This lead to a lot of expectations. They were not met. The game's current review score points to that being closer to objective than subjective.
Bugs and questionable design choices:
- There are many decisions the developers consciously made to be annoying. As just 1 example: If you pick up a shotgun, and you find a x4 scope, you can attach it to your shotgun, realize immediately how ridiculous it looks, and then you can't take it off again. You have to pay with copper to remove it, 500 per gun, and only in safe rooms, unless of course, you buy a card that was added recently. This card, Weaponsmith, allows you to do it wherever and whenever you want, for 100 copper cheaper, per player that has the card. This card has been on the developers' 3rd party Trello site (the site functions as a roadmap) as a top priority basically since the site was created shortly after release. I think it's been 8 months, and no one asked for a card, they asked to simply be able to take attachments off. Most people I play with do not incorporate this card despite it's insane usefulness, because there's simply no space for utility on top of the utility cards already being used in a deck of only 15. I do not understand why they decided to do this, there is no good reason.
Topically, there is no flashlight toggle, but there is a flashlight. The flashlight automatically toggles on or off depending on the area you're in. Lighting does not directly toggle the light, only Corruption Cards and typically doorways trigger the flashlight, meaning if you're in a well lit area and wish to illuminate a darker area before venturing inside, you can't. The reason for this, and no this is not a joke: "Controllers have a limited amount of buttons compared to a keyboard, therefor, it wouldn't be prudent to add a flashlight toggle button, as only keyboard users will be able to use it." Yes, this game has crossplay, and a lot of quickplayers I've matched into use them, often to both their team and their own detriment. Aiming is difficult on mouse+keyboard, imagine taking 2 seconds to turn around on a controller.
- For the bugs section, this game has a lot of them. I've had someone spawn inside a fence upon taking control of a bot, they could not move, and they were stuck for the rest of the game. I had to molotov them and kill them to save them, which made me eligible to be kicked. --- Yes. I did get kicked. From my own game. That I Hosted. --- and it wasn't due to the guy I killed, the 2 other people in the lobby kicked me. Their votes were enough.
Projectiles can be flung at you through walls, projectiles that do a lot of damage on high difficulties. There are dupe glitches for grenades or pipe bombs or pretty much any accessory. You can randomly hang from a box with another box right below it, dying from a 1cm fall if you don't get helped up. There are massive rubberbanding issues whenever hordes spawn, even on 5 ping. Some items and interactables spawn inside of walls or shelves, in a way where they cannot be picked up. The list keeps going and going and going. These are the ones freshest on my mind.
- Grinding for supply points or skull totems is really drawn out with the former, and really REALLY drawn out with the latter. The way to unlock cards (the whole point of the game's grinding system) is to spend these points and totems. The developers decided to lock cosmetics in between cards, and Burn Cards (Burn Cards are one-off uses, they cannot be reliably inserted into a build) meaning you are forced to unlock everything. You have banners that quickplay players cannot see, customizable sprays, outfits or individual clothing pieces and weapon skins, all locked behind these currencies. And to top it all off, the cards are locked behind them too. This game takes a long time to collect all cards for, and before you've collected these cards, you will be a peashooter vs Godzilla compared to other players. This system feels horrible to grind through.
Workshop support and community content:
- There is none, nor will there ever be if the developers have their way. The deluxe pass for the base game includes unique skins for your weapons, meaning it would be financially crippling if they allowed custom workshop content to be created and used in online matches. They have added offline mode a few months ago, it feels infinitely better and the AI behaves way more aggressively, making the game a cakewalk, but a much emptier experience. The offline mode can be modded, but not to any large degree as of yet, and doing so requires you to edit your gamefiles to the point where EasyAntiCheat no longer functions properly. This is not an option for the average player, and too much of a hassle for most of the rest, due to nothing really being gained without online or even LAN play.
Characters, graphics and level design:
- Characters in this game have little to no chemistry. Lore is vague. Dialogue is really on the nose, and it does not have much variation despite there being many places where the same dialogue queues for certain characters. Level design is actually not bad, some of the environments are eye-candy, others have too much fog or lighting problems.
There are many more things to say, but you get the gist. This game is mediocre, but fun for your first few runs. The replayability value goes down each time you play, significantly so. If the price was lower, this would not matter as much. This game needs work. It feels like it's in beta, like the foundations have been laid but the polish is still being slowly applied.
You will have fun with this game, until you don't, and that will happen fast even if your expectations aren't particularly high.
Many people will tell you what the forums echo: "This game is GREAT with friends!" I tried this, and in my anecdotal experience, it spawned more frustration and questions than laughter. Even if playing with friends was great, that counts for ALL games. It should not be required for a Triple A game to be enjoyable for more than 2 weeks.
My hours are plentiful, I've given this game a full chance. This is a 3.9/10 for me, higher than I want to rate, only due to the potential for improvement.