Back 4 Blood is an upcoming four-player cooperative game in which players must survive during a zombie apocalypse. It’s the long-awaited successor to Left 4 Dead in everything but name, and is even being developed by the same studio. Left 4 Dead was critically acclaimed for its clever writing, addicting gameplay, and over-the-top presentation, so we’re hoping Back 4 Blood can deliver in those same areas and take them to the next levels.
Here’s everything you need to know about Back 4 Blood, including details on its release date, gameplay, zombie types and more. Be sure to also check out our hands-on impression of the Back 4 Blood preview.
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Back 4 Blood release date
Back 4 Blood was set to launch on June 22, but after a recent delay, it's now scheduled for October 12. It will launch on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S and PC. The game was announced at The Game Awards 2020 where it took everyone by surprise due to its striking similarities to Left 4 Dead.
Back 4 Blood is being developed by Turtle Rock Studios and it isn't simply another horror game inspired by Left 4 Dead. Rather, this team is responsible for the creation of the original Left 4 Dead series. It broke away from Valve and went independent in 2011, and now the developer seems ready to tackle its iconic series again.
Back 4 Blood gameplay
If you’ve ever played Left 4 Dead, you know what to expect from Back 4 Blood. The base game will feature a four-player cooperative experience where the goal is to cleave and blast your way through waves of zombies (and other special types of infected) to reach the end of a level.
There’s also an eight-player competitive multiplayer mode where Cleaners (humans) face off against the Ridden (zombies), which will also include tons of perks and special abilities to spice up gameplay.
Back 4 Blood will feature a variety of firearms and melee weapons for players to utilize in their struggle for survival. These weapon types currently include assault rifles, submachine guns, shotguns, light machine guns, sniper rifles and sidearms.
Additionally, there’s a card-based perk system that allows players to buff their character in unique ways; the buffs are split up into Reflex, Brawn, Discipline and Fortune categories. There will also be Corruption cards, which add modifiers to the Ridden for increased difficulty.
We can also expect the game to take players through a selection of diverse setpieces, possibly all around the world. It’s hard to say what we can expect yet, but I’ll never forget playing Left 4 Dead 2 and shooting through zombies on the tracks of a defunct roller coaster in an amusement park.
It's also been confirmed that Back 4 Blood will be always online. This might be disappointing news for those who intended to play solo.
Back 4 Blood recently received a new campaign trailer. In this, we can see glimpses of cinematic cutscenes mixed with some gameplay. There are also plenty of in-engine interactions told through cutscenes. We don't know the extent of the story or how important it'll be within the game, but it certainly exists.
Back 4 Blood characters
So far, we know that Back 4 Blood will feature four playable characters: Walker, Holly, Hoffman, and Evangelo. Similar to Left 4 Dead, much of the charm comes from how each personality interacts with one another. Walker acts as the stoic leader, Evangelo seems like the ditzy jokester, Hoffman appears to be an abrasive, southern gun-nut; and Holly is the fashionable rebel of the group.
Each character boasts their own unique weapon and perks. Walker has a Glock 23, extra health, greater ammo capacity, increased ammo gain, and temporarily heightened firearm accuracy with every precision kill. Holly gets a nailed bat, stamina with each kill, extra melee damage, higher maximum stamina and increased stamina gains. Evangelo has a machete, greater stamina regeneration, twice the movement speed, and the ability to break free from immobilizing attacks once every five minutes. And finally, Hoffman starts with an M1911 pistol, extra space for offensive and support utility items, an ammo pack, and a chance for ammo to drop with every Ridden he kills.
Back 4 Blood zombie types
We don't know the official names for the special types of Ridden, but we know what they look like and have some ideas of what they do (we’ll also just be referring to them as what they’re being called in the community). Currently, we know of five special types: Ogre, Snitch, Retch, Bruiser, and Hocker.
The Hocker can spit a viscous substance out from the depths of its vile throat, which immobilizes players on contact, making it impossible for them to move until assisted by another player. This ability is similar to those available for both the Smoker and Jockey in Left 4 Dead, as it involves taking control away from the player until others can help. However, the Hocker could prove to be even more threatening given its an extra pair of arms, which allows it to jump between walls and stick to vertical surfaces.
The Snitch isn’t particularly dangerous on its own, but if you leave one unchecked, it will alert an entire horde of zombies to your position. If you can stealthily take care of them before this happens, they shouldn’t be much of an issue.
The Ogre is quite similar to the Tank from Left 4 Dead, as they throw projectiles, have tons of health and are large. This seems like the type of enemy that will require every single player’s attention to deal with, especially due to their damage-dealing capabilities.
The Retch can spit corrosive acid that deals damage to players and alerts zombies to the location of whoever comes into contact with that acid. These bloated monsters seem to also be very healthy, which means players will need to take care of them quickly.
And finally, the Bruiser is a large creature who charges toward players at full force. If a player is hit by one, they’ll take substantial damage and get knocked back significantly. However, if you take care of these enemies from a distance, they shouldn’t prove to be much of an issue.
Back 4 Blood special editions
Pre-ordering Back 4 Blood unlocks the Fort Hope Elite Weapon Skin Pack, which includes skins for the following weapons: 870 Shotgun, Uzi SMG, M4 Carbine, and RPK LMG.
The Back 4 Blood Ultimate Edition costs $99.99 and comes with four days early access, four “Battle-Hardened” character skins, a rare banner, emblem, title, and spray. It also includes an Annual Pass which will give the player access to three post-launch content drops that come with additional story content, new characters, special mutated Ridden and more.
The Back 4 Blood Digital Ultimate Edition also comes with the Annual Pass and four days early access. But it does not give players the character skins, banner, emblem title or spray. However, it’s only $89.99.
Back 4 Blood PC Requirements
We currently only have the minimum PC requirements for the Alpha test of Back 4 Blood. These are subject to change when the game officially launches, but it includes an Intel i5-8500 CPU, GeForce GTX 770 or Radeon RX 4808 GPU, 8GB of RAM, 30GB of storage space and Windows 10.