Back 4 Blood is the upcoming co-op zombie survival shooter from Turtle Rock Studios, famous for games such as Left 4 Dead and Evolve. Evolve had a short life but was highly praised for its asymmetrical style among traditional games, however the studio is known to be confidant in their work. Originally, Turtle Rock was bought out by Valve, who published and have the rights to Left 4 Dead to this day, but the company has since re-formed independently. Back 4 Blood, since being announced at The Game Awards 2020, has been highly anticipated and with the second beta test currently ongoing the anticipation has only risen. Due to being the studio behind Left 4 Dead and the similarities between the two being constantly stacked, we’ve decided to cover them below.
Valve’s Left 4 Dead
Valve is a company known for many things from Left 4 Dead to software such as Steam itself and their recently announced piece of hardware, Steam Deck, which is likely to change portable gaming even at its $400 price tag. On top the those incredible innovations to the gaming, the company has been in some specific heat with the actually developers behind Left 4 Dead. Valve may have been the company to help Turtle Rock Studios but after aforementioned heat and much time, Turtle Rock Studios rose from the ashes.
Sometime after returning, the studio created Evolve with came to high anticipation after the studio did some work trying to get some help with it. Evolve, much like Left 4 Dead, is four players working together against a greater threat but Evolve is different from Left 4 Dead in the sense that a player controller monster is also in each match as well. Sure Left 4 Dead 2 was released but Evolve could never be what all the fans wanted: Left 4 Dead 3. Due to the fact that Valve was the owner of the IP itself, they held control of the franchise and Turtle Rock Studios had to create a new IP themselves from the ashes.
Back 4 Blood
From the long-awaited rising of the ashes, Turtle Rock Studios announced their next adventure into gaming with Back 4 Blood at The Game Awards last year. At first glance, with the name alone, Left 4 Dead is the first thing that comes to mind, for obvious reasons with the “4” being used to way it is. Beyond just the name, Back 4 Blood’s gameplay and enemies also seemed overly reminiscent of Lead.
However, as a fan of Left 4 Dead and any game that looks interesting from first glance, regardless of developer or publisher, I would say that this will never truly feel like Left 4 Dead, in the best way possible. Left 4 Dead was absolutely great in it’s own way, groundbreaking even, but it was also very simplistic and strangely addicting. The addiction is mostly due to the game’s unique, at the time, AI system that made each individual playthrough unique, every single time. While Back 4 Blood features similar enemies to Left 4 Dead, they are different in their own way and just as unique as the originals.
Back 4 Blood or Left 4 Dead 2.0?
Similarities between Left 4 Dead and Back 4 Blood can’t be denied and of course some people are going to just stick to the original and ignore this as a spiritual successor. Although the similarities between the enemies, play style, gameplay, and more can’t be denied, they should be cherished as not only is this game a spiritual successor but the team without a doubt learned from L4D. The team more than improved the original concept of the AI that was the driving force behind how each Left 4 Dead’s playthrough played out as they created an even more dynamic variation of the AI for the randomization in Back 4 Blood.
Back 4 Blood does cover 4 survivors against hordes of special zombies and less tough zombies in order to get to safe houses. This is clearly the exact concept of Left 4 Dead but with Back 4 Blood’s card system and their new AI to the franchise, it’s already refreshing and fun. There are other concepts and additions to Back 4 Blood that separated it from Left 4 Dead, including the big difference in consoles and PCs since the days of Left 4 Dead’s highest popularity. However, since the game is only on its second beta test and still has some time before it comes out later this year, we will have to see how much the game changes between now and then.Steam Deck
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