December 2, 2021

Xbox One X

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Back 4 Blood is everything I’d want from a new Left 4 Dead

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There are few finer pleasures than getting to see someone who’s really bloody good at something doing what they’re really bloody good at, which probably explains the massive smile on my face after ploughing through the first act of Turtle Rock’s co-op shooter Back 4 Blood. This, quite simply, is the team behind Left 4 Dead back doing what it does best, and doing it that little bit better too. It’s a return to the same concept – you and three friends against seemingly endless hordes of undead – with that same exquisite balance, and that same chunky gunplay. From the blunt borrowings of the title and beyond, it’s clear that Back 4 Blood isn’t shy of inviting comparisons.

“Yeah, well, I think it’s fair to say for sure,” says Back 4 Blood’s creative director and Turtle Rock co-founder Phil Robb. “I mean, anyone who is a fan of the Left 4 Dead series will feel comfortable playing this game – but we’ve got a lot more stuff we’ve packed into it as well. There are similarities, but it’s its own thing.”

That’s the thing that’s most striking about Back 4 Blood – at first, at least, before you begin to grasp some of its own quirks and twists. There’s the familiarity of it all, the heft of its assault rifle in the hands as it chugs through swarms of undead as reassuring in its own way as putting on a pair of favourite slippers, but in Back 4 Blood everything’s been dialled up a notch or two.

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