Back 4 Blood has just been released in time for Halloween and now, we can all play this spiritual successor to the highly touted Left 4 Dead series. The game is surprisingly more complex and difficult than its predecessor and a lot of fans are currently struggling to survive against the hordes of zombies.
While the core principles of Back 4 Blood remains the same, there are some new gameplay mechanics that make it more complex. As such, it’s always best to sit back first and understand a few tips and tricks on how you can make the game easier for you and your pals. Here’s a quick beginner’s guide to getting started in the game.
Clear Special Zombies First
Similar to Left 4 Dead (and most zombie games, honestly), there are going to be special zombies in Back 4 Blood. Zombies aren’t usually a problem unless they are in big hordes; special zombies however are different. They can easily ruin your team’s day if you just leave them be. It’s much better to look for these special zombies in a horde first. Here are the special zombies in the game:
- Hockers – Four armed zombies that spit a gooey substance on players. This substance can lock any player in place, rendering them immobilized until the spit is melee attacked by other players. Hockers can also stick to walls so make sure to keep an eye out for them.
- Retches – These zombies can spit acid that deals damage to anyone it comes in contact with, Aside from getting spat on directly, you should avoid the general area where the acid is on as it can pool on the floor and this can deal damage as well. Once killed, Retches can explode as well so make sure to move away once it falls.
- Bruiser – Bruisers can be distinguished by their freakishly tall physique and deformed right arm. They can use this right arm to deal heavy damage to players which can also knock them back as well. The arms are troublesome but they are also the Bruiser’s weakness.
- Snitch – These zombies aren’t a major threat on their own. However, it’s what they do that can be bothersome. They will alert zombie hordes of your location by screaming. It’s very important to take out the Blood Snitch before it sees you so it doesn’t alert a horde.
- Ogre – These are basically the big boss of the zombies. These are large, highly durable and very strong monsters that can wipe out your team if you aren’t careful. The good news is that the weakness of Ogres can be seen very easily. When Ogres appear, make sure to go all out on them as they’re going to be really tough and durable.
Pick Your Cards Right
One of the unique features of Back 4 Blood is the card system. Basically, this card system allows you and your allies to start a level with buffs that can help you out in the game. The AI uses cards as well and these are focused on giving you a disadvantage. Don’t ignore these cards as these can effectively make or break your run through a level.
To put it simply, the cards can customize your character in a way that fits your preferred playstyle. For instance, it would be a good idea to have one member of the team be more adept when it comes to using healing items. There are cards that focus on this. By equipping them with these, you can turn them into a medic very easily.
The key to winning the game is to master the card system. Make sure that your team is as balanced as possible. There should always be someone who’s more capable of using healing items. On the other hand, there should also be people who can dish out major damage as well.
Turn On Your Comms
A very important aspect of Back 4 Blood is communication. You’ll need to be communicative with your allies so that you are able to complete objectives and finish games easier. The game offers voice chat options whether you’re playing on PC or console and it’s very important that you take advantage of this feature.
There are various quick chat options in the game but talking with your teammates directly is a better idea. This will allow you to set up plans better. Most importantly though, it will be easier for you and your team to call out for help as well. That being said, it’s often better to play the game with friends so that you are more in sync with them.
Explore The Map… But Be Wary Of Traps
Back 4 Blood is all about killing zombies but it’s more than just that. It pays to explore the game’s levels as you can find various rewards including weapons, ammo, and other supplies. However, you should take caution when exploring the world as there are various traps that can lead a horde of zombies in your general direction.
Traps don’t necessarily hurt your team but they will cause a loud sound that will draw zombies to your area. These “traps” are birds, car alarms, Snitches, and security doors. You can’t always avoid these traps as they often block your progression. The least you can do is prepare for the incoming horde once the traps are triggered.
Invest In Team Upgrades
There are various ways you can strengthen your team. Others would choose to focus on getting new weapons and more items but it’s often better to invest in team upgrades. For instance, instead of going for a larger inventory of grenades or medkits, go for upgrades that increase the effectiveness of these items instead.
Many team upgrades will focus on the effectiveness of the items but there are also some that help make your team stronger in terms of damage and durability. Invest in these early on as it will definitely make your early runs in the game easier. You can always pick up new gear but team upgrades provide bonuses that last indefinitely.
Sidearms Are Your Friend
While you do drop into missions with a sizeable amount of ammo, it doesn’t take much to fully deplete your reserve especially when you’re using high fire rate weapons. A good way to save up on ammo is by using your sidearm for minor hordes. You can equip a pistol or a melee weapon as a sidearm in the game. These aren’t as powerful as rifles or shotguns but they are still effective against a small group of zombies.
It’s best to conserve your ammo for your primary weapons as you never really know when special zombies are all going to charge at you in the game. Your ammo is best reserved for these tight spots. Ammo can become even more scarce in higher difficulties so it’s best to know how to conserve it as soon as you can.
Don’t Rush The Game
Left 4 Dead players might be used to simply rushing through a level. This was possible back in Left 4 Dead as there were always choke points on the map where you and your friends can easily fend for yourself against a hoard. In Back 4 Blood, however, levels are designed differently. You need to always take a methodological approach to the levels in Back 4 Blood.
If you rush through the maps, you’re most likely to get swarmed by zombies very easily. The key is to clear out a wave first before proceeding. Chokepoints are very few in between in the game. Each level is designed to house countless zombies so the best way to proceed is to thin out the herd when you can and to make sure that your team doesn’t get overwhelmed later.