Killing Floor is a first person, co-op survival horror shooter that is based on the UT2k4 mod of the same name. However, for the commercial release Tripwire Interactive (the guys behind Red Orchestra: Ostfront 41-45) promise to have greatly improved the production value and gameplay aspects of the mod so it can be a competing product in todays market. Featuring co-op gameplay and zombies, which seem to be all the rage (no pun intended) at the moment and with a self called ďagressive pricing strategyĒ behind their back, can they deliver?
First off let me say that I have never played the original UT2k4 modification. Iíve heard about it several times and seen it on some websites, but not being active in the UT2k4 community Iíve never played any mods based on it. Red Orchestra was an instant buy for me when it came out because I love slower paced, more realistic approaches when it comes to shooters. Not being disappointed by Tripwires first offering I began looking forward to Killing Floor when it was announced last month. Being a big fan of zombies and co-op gameplay certainly helped, too. After some launch problems (the Steam activation was delayed by several hours) Killing Floor is now available and ready to play. Iíve put some hours into it and here are my first impressions:
If you expected this to be some kind of Left 4 Dead clone, go look somewhere else. This isnít. The mod has been around since 2005 and the games share some aspects, mainly co-op and zombies, but the gameplay is radically different. Rather than progressing through a linear string of maps or a campaign, you only play a single, open map in Killing Floor. Another difference is that instead of four players, you have the ability to play with up to six people at the same time. You are playing as a squad of special forces that got dropped into the target zone with a helicopter, only one goal in mind Ė clean this whole place of the specimens. Hereís one of the key differences to Left 4 Dead, because instead of being about survival, this game is purely about the killing. Gameplay is divided into waves, a set number of enemies spawn and you have to kill them all. Upon doing this, youíve got one minute to shop at a trader for new weapons and ammunition. The weapon selection is quite nice, ranging from your standard fare shotgun and dual Pistols to some more exotic weapons like a crossbow and a lever-action rifle. Depending on the difficulty and duration of the game (both can be set before starting) you repeat this procedure until the final wave, in which you face a boss zombie. Heís armed with a minigun and can go invisible, so you better watch out. Enemy types vary from smaller, faster zombies that try to grab and eat you, to big, fat slow zombies that vomit on you. Sounds familiar?
The gameplay certainly isnít deep but itís fun. Itís a mindless, bloody co-op zombie shooter with a metal/rock/industrial soundtrack featuring bullet time. Whatís not to love? At the moment I can only recommend buying the game for itís current price Ė this is a developer who got their pricing right.