Feature Article

Killing Floor 2 Makes Shooting Zombies Even More Gruesome

Blood, blades, and bullets.

If I had to choose one word to describe Killing Floor 2, it's gruesome. It's a cooperative, zombie-killing shooter that aims to produce realism in its weaponry and environments, but all of that is buried under the blood and gore of the monsters you kill. There are many interesting things about the game from the preview I saw recently, from a huge number of animations for each gun and each enemy, to a deep perk system that makes you strategize and pick a combination of abilities to play with. But I barely gave these promising elements a thought, because, in this game, gratuitous violence masks what otherwise seems to be a good, competent shooter.

Developer Tripwire claims that it's putting a lot of effort into making better, more varied guns and melee weapons. From my short look at the game, the team is on the right track. Guns are precisely modeled to be nearly identical to their real-life counterparts in both appearance and behavior. Separate gun parts move independently of one another, so that when you look down a gun's sights, the barrel sways differently than the body. Buckles on the sides of guns jump around as you fire.

And the levels are beautiful. Water reflects light from street lamps as sparks fly and lights flash. Each level has its own story to tell: one shows you how the monsters are created, another presents a decimated and abandoned Paris filled with hints of the people who lived there before.

However, these levels literally get covered in blood. When you shoot an enemy, its wound trails crimson until it dies. Unlike other games, this blood never fades. For the entire game, the pools of blood stick around, growing bigger and bigger until the ground and the walls are nothing more than canvases of red. Instead of looking upon a visually impressive, dynamic level, you're looking at a sea of blood.

This is just one part of a brand new gore system that Tripwire has implemented in Killing Floor 2. Called the M.E.A.T. System (Massive Evisceration And Trauma), it aims to make each shot brutal and destructive. Instead of five points of dismemberment as in the original Killing Floor, KF2 features nineteen. A monster's head has five places alone where it can be fragmented, and if you're accurate enough, you can blow off pieces of the skull to expose the brain. If you opt to use a shotgun instead of a precision weapon, you'll be greeted with even more gore. Raking a zombie with shotgun shells can tear it in half.

And there's no need to try to keep zombies alive if you want to see their bodies break apart: dead bodies can still be fully dismembered. The developer even showcased one instance in which a shotgun blast launched a monster up into the air, and then using slow motion the player juggled the body by shooting it, breaking it apart before it hit the ground.

The evisceration was so pervasive that it seemed gratuitous. I couldn't focus on anything else, even though there seems to be a good game in Killing Floor 2. Without the M.E.A.T. system, the game is a cooperative shooter with stunning levels, lovingly crafted guns, and a deep perk system. Tripwire has also overhauled enemy AI to give each creature type unique abilities that change with the difficulty you're playing on. Shooting looks good, environments are beautiful, and the enemies are appropriately scary.

With the extreme violence, it seemed like almost more of a circus show, a display of the twisted and broken anatomy of these monsters. Tripwire has a good foundation for a game in Killing Floor 2. Now, they have to prove that they can balance the gruesome violence with the rest of the game when it launches this year for PC. As it stands now, painting a level in blood only made me forget about the entertaining game underneath.

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57 comments
StokeMeAClipper
StokeMeAClipper

I bought KF1 at launch. I had been led to believe that it was basically like L4D with some cool weapons. I hated it! It is probably my own fault, as it is supposed to be played as a co-op shooter and I tried to play it like L4D single player.

I seem to remember starting the level, shooting some enemies, running to a place and barricading the doors, then buying some stuff at the shop. Then the next wave came, knocked down the barricade quicker than it took to erect it. I then walked backward shooting what seemed like a never ending queue of enemies until I ran out of ammo. Maybe it was a good game, but my experience with it was horrible.

This sequel looks intriguing, just wonder if it will be for me or not.

AceRoccola
AceRoccola

What a crap article. Go back to CoD, guy.

Johny_47
Johny_47

Never played the first killing floor, didn't look like my kind of game, wave stuff. This looks gruesome as f^*k.

Jycklarn
Jycklarn

@Alex Newhouse: You could see it like this: a fantastic co-op survival game with great weapon mechanics and intense gameplay, garnished with a bunch of gore.
Instead of the other way around.

The first game is one of the best co-op games of all time  and as long as they still keep that core in the game.

KF 2 will be even better.
The gore is just like icing on the cake. 
It looks flashy and gruesome and induces epic "OH DAAAAMN!!!" moments like in the first game.
What made people love KF 1 was the fact that it was so much fun trying to survive the hardest difficulty with your buddies and yourself all being waaaay to low leveled for "Hell on Earth difficulty", coming up with tactics, positioning, weapon choices or just frantically welding door in a panic for as long as you can when everything goes south, all to get as far as possible against what feels like neverending hordes of monsters. and the intensity the just keeps ramping up for each round until you either die or face of against the even more intense patriarch boss.

That to me at least was the real essence of killing floor,
All the weapons feel good and have their own merits, and each monster were sufficiently scary in their own unique ways, be it that they are invisible, could grab and hold you in place, shoot rockets at you or just crush you like a bug like the Fleshpound does. 
It all adds to a fun and surprisingly balanced game.
The sometimes awards you with a bit of extra "flash" in the form of a gory slow motion headshot.

I can't wait for KF 2 and anyone who enjoy co-op games like left 4 dead should be just as excited :)

VALikimlav
VALikimlav

Why are gaming journalists so out of touch with gaming? Instead of talking about the game, he complains about the gore and labels it a preview. I would like to know about aiming mechanics, movement speed, and enemy AI, as well as any changes from the first game. Please reevaluate how games are showcased, because when I see people raving over the newest Advanced Warfare trailer, while games like this get a pass from the gaming media, it's really sad for smaller game developers like Tripwire that have a loyal fanbase and are dedicated to their fans.

WolfGrey
WolfGrey

What the hell? This guy never play the first one?Or understand what is going on what made this happen and all the blood involved? Or anything about the game?


Seriously what a fail here. All this article did though was make me even more excited for the game.


For him however....i hear Disney Infinity is pretty good?

Sargoroth
Sargoroth

If you feel so offended by the gore...just play the German (or the Ausie?) version of the game...will be edited to hell, so even your 10 year old children could play it (but it won't be sold under the age of 18...never understood the use of this system...)

fend_oblivion
fend_oblivion

After reading this article, I can hear World Painted Blood by Slayer playing in my head for some odd reason...

shiel44
shiel44

Alex Newhouse... lego batman and the rest of the kiddy games are that way ->

Very interested in the improvements as well as the gore system.

GameFan1983
GameFan1983

really? these are some really muscular "zombies"

greasemonkey42
greasemonkey42

IT'S LAUNCHING THIS YEAR??? WHAT?

I haven't seen mention of release date info anywhere else. I was almost certain this would be coming out next year...

WereCatf
WereCatf

Well, seeing as I've spent 146 hours on Killing Floor I see no good reason not to try its sequel out, too.

oldtobie
oldtobie

Saw this pop up on Steam a while back, super excited.  Love the original and have high hopes for this one.


Also, please fire the author of this article Gamespot.

tntgrunge5
tntgrunge5

This is what gaming art needs, not as industry. Im gonna buy it for sure, loved KF1!

RELeon
RELeon

I love KF, however it did get repetitive after a while. I think adding some sort of random enemy buff generator per round or even per wave would give the game a bit more replayability to it. If for instance, when a round starts, it gives each enemy a random buff, or even just some enemies, while other enemies are unaffected. So you might get a round where clots have increased movement speed, crawlers have more HP, slashers take increased damage from shotguns, cysts become immune to a particular weapon type, fleshpounds move slower but take reduced damage, etc. Then it can all change every round or every wave. That way it keeps you on your toes and makes you adapt as the game goes, rather than having the same enemies do the same things every time.

Rotondi
Rotondi

Spector would approve.

anthracisb
anthracisb

The issue this article broaches is no different from L4D2 at release. The gore was unparalleled, a novelty. For the first 10 hours I spent a lot of time watching bodies blow apart, limbs picked off with the assault weapons, fragments of cranium fall to the ground like watermelon. Easy to be distracted by such hitherto unseen spectacles in a game, but the novelty wears off pretty fast, at which point you CAN get into the game.

WillyWynn
WillyWynn

killing Floor 1 suck like hell! I bough the game in some special sale and hate it! I tough that was like Left 4 dead or something. But the game is quiet awful... 

Shelledfade1
Shelledfade1

So far from what I've seen on steam I don't think its really good enough. As someone who played KF for 307 hours (according to steam) I don't want to fight the same enemies over and over again on an updated, yet old, engine. 


I really hope there's a lot more enemies with some different behaviors and a lot more weapons this time around otherwise its just KF1.5 and for me, after playing KF for so many hours, it doesn't really interest me. Even with the new gore system and UE3 it just doesn't interest me. It was the same after Left 4 dead. Played it for hundreds upon hundreds of hours, and simply couldn't get into l4d2 because it was just slightly updated more-of-the-same.

I really really hope they add a large variety of monsters with new behaviors but something tells me from looking at everything that was simply reskinned on the steam screenshots and in the trailer, I doubt that's actually going to happen.

veryDERPY
veryDERPY

which pleb wrote this? i guess dead space wasn't their cup of tea either. did you BOTHER with the first game at all?

fillup0
fillup0

I get the argument that games are too violent in the sense that games only do combat and little else, but you're playing a game called Killing Floor, and you're complaining about the gore? Did you even play the first game?

aegis_kleais
aegis_kleais

OH! And developers, if you're listening. You HAVE to fix the system you use for Medic healing. I cite the TF2 Medic mechanic as an excellent solution (though don't feel you have to duplicate) but the act of having to shoot a teammate with a gun is always a poor idea, especially when those teammates jump around constantly to keep zeds off them, promoting a missed shot and lost opportunity to heal as you wait for the syringe to power back up. I hope you will look into a myriad of alternate methods to heal. I enjoy playing Medic, but that fact alone made much of the gameplay MISERABLE as flailing players repeatedly blamed me for their deaths as they juked every single healing shot I shot their way.

vadagar1
vadagar1

im sorry don't play zombie games and complain about gore


if u cant handle it don't play the game

aegis_kleais
aegis_kleais

So here's the thing. What made KF1 extremely boring was this: Weapons had no oomph to them (people want to feel like they are leveraging some SERIOUS firepower when they see the death and destruction they case) and second, enemy AI was not only dumb as heck (mindlessly make a beeline to you, easy to funnel kill and predict behavior), but there was nothing dynamic about any enemy. They had little parlor tricks like semi-transparency and different attack types, but IQ ranged from "coming for you" and "aggro coming for you".

To breath life into this game, the devs need to make the enemies truly unique. Crawlers should be able to crawl around walls, ceilings, scurrying about making you have to check more vectors than just those a walking enemy can take. They need to be intelligent enough to not just openly run/walk towards you. Some archetypes could be aggravated by noise, some could be enraged at healing classes, allowing them to do massive damage to doors and other obstacles/defenses in less time.

In short, you need to feel like you're being dynamically hunted, and that you possess the power to mutilate your enemies by blade or bullet. Otherwise, this game will just suffer the monotony and boredom that lead me away from the first installation. KF has potential, but it needs direction. Also, I just cannot get behind the classes they have which have no personality or design behind them. Either make your team feel/look like they are part of a unit, but don't make them look like some random band of misfits: http://blog.newtrent.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/killingfloorlogo.png

Also, the design of the Patriarch was kinda laughable. A rather lackluster and boring amalgamation of man + 10 different types of weapons stitched into his body. More focus, presentation and character development will put an end to the "B movie"-esque design holes.

andres_ak47
andres_ak47

I hope the zed-time is optional or non-existent. 

catsimboy
catsimboy

Hopefully it's optional, maybe with multiple settings for the amount. I don't mind gore but I also don't want so much that it obscures the action especially where there are dozens of enemies in front of me.

Jew1
Jew1

"The developer even showcased one instance in which a shotgun blast launched a monster up into the air, and then using slow motion the player juggled the body by shooting it, breaking it apart before it hit the ground." Wished they showed that in the video instead of the trailer of monsters. Would've made the video more fitting for the title.

anthracisb
anthracisb

@StokeMeAClipper Yeh, solo play is for the adept, and the melee class excels best when you're alone. If it was your first play, you would have been level 1 in all perks, which makes you easy pickins'. Multiplayer is really what KF is about. I'm sorry to hear it gave you such a lousy first impression. 

santinegrete
santinegrete

@Johny_47  I can advice you that you must get it if you love shooting and leveling. Few games have gunplay that par KF. Don't worry about Price: you'll see a humble bundle eventually.

anthracisb
anthracisb

@VALikimlav Too true. Tripwire attend to the finest detail. I still think the RO series has the best tank combat I've ever played. Shit felt way too real.

WolfGrey
WolfGrey

@VALikimlav 

To be fair gamespot is a pretty poor choice to look for anything with actual decent information.

Teebown24
Teebown24

@GameFan1983 in the game world, they are the result of genetic experimentation gone wrong, hence the muscular frames and other odd abilities.

Xenotros
Xenotros

@WillyWynn Matter of opinion, but the whole reason why this game got a following was because it wasn't like L4D. Even the regular Clots from KF actually felt "meaty" compared to the regular infected from L4D that would die from one random bullet to the leg.

savagerodent
savagerodent

@WillyWynn You have given no reason to hate it besides it not being like Left 4 Dead, which just means it isn't your type of game. 

oldtobie
oldtobie

@WillyWynn It's because you're stupid and horrible and all of your opinions follow suit.

DarkLight748
DarkLight748

@WillyWynn  That's because it is not designed for children, maybe when you have completed school and know how to write and spell you will appreciate it.

DarkLight748
DarkLight748

@veryDERPY  Dead space was shit, I got board of it after 40 mins. Wasn't scary at all and was a bad port.

aegis_kleais
aegis_kleais

@fillup0 Even with simulators that cater realism to people, nobody wants a 100% realistic simulator. In the same sense, gore COULD be overdone to the point where it's hindering the gameplay. I'd have to play first before I could say whether I felt that way or not. Til then, I'll be taking out my Katana blade and Hasan Chopping every mofo zed that looks at me crossways. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OlMJfX_V6Ic

DanGleeSack
DanGleeSack

@aegis_kleais I think they really are doing that. They are making it so that at high difficulties they don't just get more health, but new abilities as well. The classes all start with their unique sort of weaponry and grenades. There is dynamic lighting that can be destroyed making you fight in the dark. Especially with the stalker and crawler they can make them stalk and jump you. I think there is a new mini-boss as well. They have the money and a branding to really invest in it more. I think it will shape up very nicely. Tripwire seems to be a good company, I love red orchestra 2 and KF was fun in smaller doses. If they can make better AI and more dynamic levels they can make a very good game along with the graphical/gore enhancements.

fillup0
fillup0

@aegis_kleais "Weapons had no oomph to them" You were playing a different game, the weapons feel amazing in KF1.

ESB
ESB

@andres_ak47  I hope not, what's more awesome than mowing down zeds in slo-mo?

spacecadet25
spacecadet25

@catsimboy  That's what I was thinking too, I hope they include options so you can lower the level of blood.  A lot of gruesomeness can be fun, but in limited doses.  Seeing as much blood as this reporter describes seems like it could even get nauseating at times.  Or maybe you might even feel bad about what you're doing.

It's cool that a game is super-bloody, but I just couldn't imagine that I'd always want to play it that way.