Killing Floor 2 has hit the Early Access scene, following on from its predecessor moderate success into the online-multiplayer zombie massacre genre. Keeping a lot of the previous games mechanics, KF2 improves on almost all elements from the first instalment, with greater graphic quality and streamlined gameplay. Can this evolution of the series make its mark on our libraries though?
Following on just a month after the first game, KF2 is set within several parts of Europe with a deadly outbreak affecting a good portion of the world and essentially tearing down all types of union and civility. You take your place in a group of up to 6 survivors, trying to survive in this world by working as eradicators of the scourge that plague the streets, earning money per kill and using that money to get better gear to kill more Zeds.
Just like the previous game there is no story mode, but a selection of maps, game modes and custom settings to play through. Currently with 4 maps and 2 game modes with varying lengths and difficulties, players can also make their own maps and settings and submit them for other players to download and playthrough.
Matches can last from as little as 3 rounds and can run for over 10 minutes, one of my longest games hitting a half hour long. But with different maps and settings you can make that as long as you want.
Similarly to the first game KF2 follows a first-person shooter approach to its control scheme, with controller compatibility for those who prefer sticks and buttons to mouse and keyboard. Aiming with the mouse, using quick commands for speech, throwing grenades as well as throwing money to other players.
Whenever you kill or contribute to a kill you will get XP and Money, experience going towards your current Class/Perk level and money being used for items at the shop. Perks are split into Berserker, Commander, Support and Medic with attack speed, damage, welding and healing being their specialities respectively. Whenever a Perk levels up you get a small boost your stats depending on the perk, as well as special abilities at certain levels like night vision or increasing health.
After waves of Zeds you will have about a minute to find the shop somewhere in the level and purchase Ammo, Body Armour and weapons, with specific weapons for the Perks and different grenade types. Money can flow out of your pocket quite quick in this game, just like the earlier instalment, so careful planning is needed if you want to reach the end stages. Sharing money between teammates is also a good idea, since someone might be a couple dollars of a new weapons whereas you are just holding onto it.
Battle feels much better in this release, with controls being tighter and more responsive, however there are plenty of spots in the game where your characters can get stuck, either on something on the floor, a chair, or part of a door, leading to your untimely demise. Headshots and good show of skill puts you into Zed Time, slowing down time allowing you to aim better and kill enemies more efficiently.
Enemy types are pretty much the same as in the last game, with updates to their attack patterns and a few more types thrown in here and there. If you have played the first game this one will all be second-nature to you. Sealing up doors, aiming for the head or flamethrower canisters, dodging chargers and the like are all things you learn through playing the game and not through tutorials.
Since the team had a bigger budget for this game there is a bigger emphasis on the gore and destruction, with destructible objects and more in-depth evisceration of bodies. Blood now seems to stay on the map for as long as you do, which helps put you into the atmosphere of the game. Melee combat has been given a buff too, with blocking and directional attacks, which allows those types of players to have more versatility in their combat, I saw a lot more people favouring melee weapons in this game then the last.
Overall Thoughts and Feelings
The music holds a great selection of tracks, mostly death like and rock infused to give you enough energy to face off against the undead hordes. With each track a little information window comes up with the artist and name of song in case you hear one you really enjoy, which I really enjoy being a feature. I wish there was a bit more variety in the music choices though, and for the soundtrack to be expanded a bit.
While the game is definitely a great improvement on the last game it does fall short a bit from a full release, Early Access showing a lot of the bugs and errors in the game itself. Animations play weirdly sometimes with enemies attack you whilst turned away or gliding across the floor to you to even going through objects to attack you. It is very immersion breaking when bugs are found in this game, and it seems to mostly come down to a lot of the collision boxes on the maps.
If you are a fan of Killing Floor, I would suggest this game to you, if just to try it out and see if you prefer it over the last game. With all the additions to the first game however it might be a more tempting offer then KF2. With time I am sure all the kinks will be worked out of this game and it will soar much higher than its predecessor.