Rejoice, zombie slaying enthusiasts! Developer Tripwire Interactive's cooperative Zed-smashing FPS Killing Floor 2 has finally made its way onto the Xbox One, bringing with it all the post-release content packs from the previous versions, including a few extra exclusive items for Xbox One users. Get ready to step into the shoes of a survivor in post-apocalyptic Europe to do battle with waves of Zeds and other freaks in 6-player cooperative arcade-style action. Since the original Killing Floor released on PC back in 2009 was very well received (and has sold over 5 million+ copies since), the sequel has a lot to live up to. The gameplay certainly lives up to expectations, but unfortunately, the games bugs hindered my enjoyment.
Killing Floor 2 is a first-person shooter where you fight rounds of Zeds to earn Dosh. At the end of each round, you can spend your Dosh on new weapons, ammo, and body armor to fight the next wave of Zeds. Then, the final wave will see you and your team battle a boss fight along with the other Zeds spawning. Before you start your fight against the Zeds you will get to choose the number of rounds, the difficulty, the map, and your perk. You can choose to fight either four, seven, or ten waves. There are four difficulties: normal, hard, suicidal, and hell on earth. You get to choose from sixteen maps and ten perks.
The shooting mechanics in Killing Floor 2 are the best part of the game. It is very satisfying to nail headshots. The aiming feels snappy and precise. Trying to heal someone with the Medics syringe is a bit clunky but after playing the Medic for a while you get used to it. The one annoying mechanic in this game is the slow motion (which triggers often during headshots), as it happens too often. It wouldn’t be as annoying if it would only happen a couple times per game but I’ve had almost a whole minute of slow-mo at certain points, which can hinder the excitement of the game. It’s nice to have short periods of slow-mo because while it’s active you get a chance to look around and figure a way out if you are in danger. It does feel really nice to pop some heads in slow-mo but I would still like to have less of it, with more of a focus on the pressure of the surrounding enemies.
The maps featured are nicely designed with a solid variety. The only map to have a different feature from the others is The Descent. In The Descent after waves come to an end, you have to fall down a hole to a different level of the map to buy things for the next round. The rest of the maps don’t have cool features like The Descent but they do look different and play differently. My favorite map is Nuke because of the aesthetic and the layout. In Nuke there is a nice open street for when things get out of hand and a house with tight spaces that you can easily get surrounded and die. Each map also has collectibles that you can shoot for achievements. Some of the collectibles are themed around the map, like in Nuke you have to shoot small glowing nukes that are scattered about. It’s fun trying to find all the collectibles the first time you load into a new map, but on secondary playthroughs of the map, there is no reason to hunt for the collectibles unless someone in your party hasn’t got them yet.
The perks offer a variety of gameplay if you actually stick to how the perk is supposed to be played. I spent my time in Killings Floor 2 as a Field Medic. As a Field Medic, I’m in charge of healing everyone with either my medic grenade or from my syringe that shoots out of the Medics guns. The Medic is the only perk I’ve focused on but I still have nine levels in the Demolitionist perk because I use the guns associated with the Demolitionist to kill the boss. The Demolitionist has all the explosives like the rocket launcher which does a lot of damage to the boss. There are differences in the perks but you can still use all the guns in the game on any perk so you shouldn’t pick a perk just based on what guns they have. Each perk has a skill tree where every five levels you get to choose between two skills. There are also perk bonuses that rank up are your overall perk level increases. The perk bonuses provide small buffs to your perks overall stats.
The fun and longevity of Killing Floor 2 comes when you are playing with a squad of your friends. If you are playing on a difficulty above hard you are going to need as close to a full squad as possible and some good communication. My friends and I had a hard time consistently beating a four-round game on hard while in a squad of four. There is a PvP mode where six people play as humans and six play as the Zed, which I tried to find a match for about an hour but I couldn’t even find one other person playing. Playing solo is fun for a while, but it gets boring, and that’s just the nature of the game. While playing solo you will get fewer Zeds spawning and the bosses will be easier. The bosses in solo are kind of a joke. While fighting the one boss Dr. Hans on normal it took me five rockets and a few grenade launcher shots to kill him in solo. Solo can be fun but I would stick to playing with friends if you can, as it is wholly intended for cooperative play.
While Killing Floor 2 is incredibly fun, it does have some bad bugs and frame rate issues that are hard to ignore. If you try to load into the map hostile grounds and you’re not playing solo the game will freeze and will restart your Xbox. The game also freezes quite frequently at random times but it most often happens while loading into a game. If the game freezes you will most likely have to restart your Xbox because the game won’t let you sign back in. While playing you will often get some severe frame drops, even in solo surprisingly. The frame rate issues happened to me even when there wasn’t much going on, which is a clear issue in a wave based fps.
Killing Floor 2 is an enjoyable game, but it does get repetitive. The bugs and frame rate issues did hinder my enjoyment although I still had lots of fun while playing the game. The thing that keeps drawing me back to Killing Floor is the fun I have when messing around with my friends. When the game first came out me and my friends played it a lot but we haven’t really gone back to it since. I can only play for about a couple of hours before getting bored and having to wait a couple days to play again for it to feel inviting. Overall, I like playing Killing Floor 2. I think the gameplay is fun and playing with friends makes it better. The bugs and glitches aren’t what drive me away from the game, but rather it was the repetitiveness.
*Note: A copy of this game was provided for the purpose of this review.
Final Score: 6/10
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