E3 2016 – Killing Floor 2 Hands-On Preview – Horde Galore (PS4)

I thought Killing Floor was a fighting game when I sat down in front of Deep Silver’s demo console to play Killing Floor 2. It didn’t take long to realize that I was confusing the game with Killer Instinct. I’ve played countless hours of horde mode co-op with the Gears of War games, so I definitely understand the appeal, but Killing Floor 2 has none of it from what I’ve played so far. Perhaps I’m just done with zombies and zombie-like creatures, but from what I saw of Killing Floor 2 , it doesn’t offer anything that other co-op horde mode games do not, and these other games are better at what they do than KF2.

It’s a Never-Ending Horde Mode

This is the horde mode that never ends. Yes, it goes on and on, my friend.

Okay, yes, that’s a massive exaggeration, as it does indeed end. There are boss fights littered throughout the waves of monsters, and such a thing suggests that eventually, the boss of bosses will show up and then the nightmare will be over. At least it will be over until you jump into the PvP mode, which sounds like it will be far more entertaining than the main campaign, but I’ll get into that in a bit.

As far as the story goes, a band of civilians in Europe have grouped together to fight back against the outbreak from Biotech’s failed experiment. This is one month after the concluding events of the first game, and Europe has completely fallen to these specimens. This ragtag team will journey from hot zone to hot zone across the continent in hopes of exterminating this plague once and for all. In other words, it’s the same as nearly every other zombie horde mode game. Technically, the Resistance franchise could build something similar with their chimera. 

Please don’t do that, Insomniac Games. Please just stick to Spider-Man.

You can play KF2 alone if you have a death wish, but it’s meant to be played with others, and up to six people can fight the masses together. When you have more people with you, you can make a more varied team with the classes, including support and medics as well as your assault personnel and tanks. Of course you can heal yourself at nearly any time, but nothing will help as much as a health grenade from your medic when you’re cornered by a swarm of monsters. That said, a team of four medics isn’t very useful. I speak from experience, after one wave we only had one medic. We all decided to overcompensate, and the following wave of monsters was rough to say the least.

And Really, That’s All There Is to It

The game is simply waves upon waves of monsters, with each wave building upon the last to make things slightly more difficult. Once the wave is clear, the team can go recuperate at a shopping point. Here you can refill your ammunition, buy new weapons, sell weapons you don’t want to use, and choose talents to beef up your chosen class. As these type of games go, you only have a limited amount of time to prepare yourself before the next wave starts. And then rinse, repeat until the boss, and then off to a new hot zone to begin anew.

I mildly enjoyed myself because I was playing with three other people and we were all in the same room. I can see KF2 being fun if you invite friends over for a little bit, such as my demo situation, but by myself with strangers online? That’s a big question mark whether the appeal can sustain itself.

The developers did say they were going to implement a PvP mode as well, where two teams of players would be separated into humans and monsters and battle it out in waves. We didn’t get a chance to try this out, and admittedly, I’m not a fan of multiplayer, but I think this would be the more fun of the two modes.

If killing hordes and hordes of monsters is your jam, then Killing Floor 2 will be right up your alley. Will it be enough to make it stand out, and more importantly, engage gamers all throughout? We’ll know for sure once Killing Floor 2 hits the PS4 sometime this year.