Back 4 Blood, a “spiritual sequel” to Left 4 Dead coming from the original developers – Turtle Rock Studios – has received a fresh Summer Gem Fest trailer ahead of its October release. Dubbed a “gameplay trailer”, despite showing the bare minimum of gameplay in its 43-second runtime, suggests they’re taking the approach of “if it ain’t broke”…
Given how little Valve seems to care for their pioneering franchise – despite both L4D and L4D2 maintaining a healthy player base on Steam – along with the critical and commercial success for similar PvE titles like Dead Island, Zombie Army, Warhammer: Vermintide, and World War Z, it’s a reasonable approach.
That said, I still can’t help but feel for a publisher the size of Warners Bros. Games, Back 4 Blood is targeting a niche market compared to the number that flock to online PvP shooters and battle royales games. Here’s hoping it can lure a few curious players and maybe convince L4D players to move on.
Of course, to surpass L4D, we’ll have to see if the game-director and new card-based modifiers in Back 4 Blood provide the same diversity with dynamic difficulty, shifting map layouts, and gameplay modes. Here’s also hoping there’s support for modding – a feature that keeps L4D eminently replayable. For PC players, this is probably a given. For console players, we can only hope they offer a curated modding platform similar to what Bethesda has provided for their recent RPG and classic DOOM re-releases.
Back 4 Blood will be available for Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, and PC on 12 October 2021. For those that pre-order the game, you can register for an open beta – on all platforms – from 5-9 August and again on 12-16 August.