Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Impressions of Killing Floor 2: Early Access

The original Killing Floor is one of my most-played games of all time, second only to the Korean MMORPG Lineage 2, so I was naturally eager to get my hands on Killing Floor 2 as soon as possible. Unfortunately, that meant playing the early access edition on Steam, a business model I've avoided like the plague because I don't like the idea of paying to beta test a product. My love for Killing Floor is so great, however, that I took the plunge on early access, anyway, because I wanted to be a part of the game's evolution from the beginning.

For those of you who've been living under a rock, Killing Floor is a cooperative first-person shooter in which you and up to five teammates attempt to survive against increasingly difficult waves of onslaught from genetically-altered humanoid experiments, commonly referred to as "zeds." Consistently one of Steam's most actively-played online shooters over its six year lifespan, its appeal stemmed from its variety of mechanically distinct enemies, its fun and exotic maps, and its sheer amount of powerful, satisfying weapons. It's a classically entertaining formula that allows for timeless enjoyment blasting enemies to bits, and its leveling system gives you a rewarding sense of progression as you get stronger and move up to higher difficulties, which come with their own new mechanics to learn and master.

Killing Floor 2 has been in early access for two weeks now, and I've been playing it steadily ever since launch day. It's inappropriate to do a formal review of the game at this point, since it's still missing a lot of intended content, and a lot is going to change between now and its official release -- therefore, consider this an "early impressions" piece that takes an early look at how it compares to the original Killing Floor and, more importantly, whether it's worth $30 in its current state. If you're unfamiliar with Killing Floor, consider reading my original review of the original game (although it's really out-dated at this point) before continuing.