Tripwire Interactive's first look at Killing Floor 2 unfolds just as you'd expect it to: a gaggle of "zed," the feral genetic freakshows populating the second entry into the visceral series, are scattered throughout the smoldering carcass of what was once Paris, ravenous for human flesh. They're starved for entrails, and they don't care how or where they get it. As PC Gamer's exclusive preview recounts, they're easily eviscerated by a hale of gunfire as they emerge from a manhole in the middle of the obliterated city. Guts are strewn across the city of lights, and Tripwire revels in the bout of gory goodness they have wrought.
Bill Munk, creative director and senior animator at Tripwire, seeks to make Killing Floor 2 as "sick as possible," especially given the fact that this is the first time Tripwire has been able to develop a game from scratch with a sufficient team and budget.
It appears that a good portion of that budget has gone toward the creation of the "MEAT" system (Massive Evisceration and Trauma), the beautifully over-the-top gore system Tripwire prides themselves on. From the sneak peeks afforded to us, it looks excellent, straight from the pages, as Tripwire notes, from Soldier of Fortune's fantastic GHOUL system.
The deliciously disturbing MEAT system allows for extremely detailed dismemberments straight out of my fever dreams, even if the zed themselves rock some painfully boring character models -- they're run-of-the-mill "mutants" I've seen time and time again in much gorier horror movies, so I'll glean an obscene amount of pleasure from ripping them apart, even if they're not exactly the most original-looking creatures I've ever seen in a cooperative shooter.
You can paint each level with copious amounts of blood, pretending you're in Viscera Cleanup Detail, and bask in the 95 death animations attached to the zed across kill zones like the head, chest, neck, limbs, and gut. It took 3000 different motion capture clips for the zed alone, as well as melee and gun reloads. The weapons themselves do benefit from the improved animation quality, with a ridiculously high framerate so that you can see every shell fall to the ground in slow motion. Sounds like tasty, tasty carnage.
With a new level cap of 25, additional skill varieties, and four difficulty settings, and over 40 weapons attached to each new perk, there's plenty of gore to go around, especially given Tripwire's propensity to make things easier or modders and players who want to mold the experience to make it their own. Killing Floor 2 will support Steam Workshop, and Tripwire will also be releasing an SDK for fans to do with what they will. I'm hoping that means eventually, we can make the game even more disgusting than it already is.
It's almost hard to remember that the original was borne, as you may recall, from your average run-of-the-mill Unreal mod. It quickly took on a life of its own as a standalone game. Now, Killing Floor 2 is its own beast, hitting Steam Early Access for Windows and SteamOS in the foreseeable future. Tripwire has certainly come a long way from humble beginnings, and my appetite for depravity has me interested.