Back 4 Blood Open Beta was launched this week to invite more players to test out their game for their upcoming official launch in October 2021. Created by the original creators of Left 4 Dead a hugely popular 4-player co-op zombie shooter game that launched in 2008, Back 4 Blood is touted as the spiritual successful to Left 4 Dead.
I tried the beta during the weekend, finishing the first Act with both my friends and with strangers online. The game really is a spiritual successor to Left 4 Dead. Playing the game brings back memories to all those gaming sessions played at lan shops with friends after school. Most of the original elements of the game were there. You have various weapons to choose from, play cooperatively with 4 other players, fight through hordes of zombies and special zombies that takes certain skill or method to kill and even has safe houses to reach to at the end of every part within the Act.
The game is familiar, yet fresh, with new elements to spice up the game further, like introducing cards and decks to stack abilities and bonuses on characters and gaming session to make things interesting.
However, as much as I enjoy playing the game, somehow the magic of playing a co-op zombie game has been lost in me. While the game feels polished and engaging, it is highly doubtful that I will be purchasing this game on Day One, if at all. Such game feels shallow nowadays. My 16 year-old self will enjoy this game tremendously. But I am approaching mid-thirties, and this game is pretty shallow. It’s a simple game of just shooting zombies and going from one checkpoint to another checkpoint. I have matured to the level where I need games to be more sophisticated in terms of storytelling. I enjoy games that pushes the boundaries of what video games are capable of, not just in terms of graphical prowess, but as a medium for effective storytelling.
I think the last ‘sophisticated’ game that I played was Death Stranding. That game blew my mind. It is centered around a simple premise of playing a role of a courier, delivering packages in isolated communities throughout North America in a post-apocalyptic world. But digging deeper you realize the multitude of layers that this game has to offer. It is those types of games that I deeply appreciate in recent years. My 16 year-old self will never appreciate such games.
All I am saying is that while I have been playing video games since childhood. It is interesting to see that my taste in video games changes as I age. But one thing hasn’t change; I still love playing video games.