Best Co-op Game 2021: Back 4 Blood

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The successor to Turtle Rock Left 4 Dead is our favorite co-op game of the year. To learn more about this year’s Game of the Year awards, check out our GOTY Pole 2021, which we will update throughout the month.

Evan Lahti, Global Editor: Before its release, we were concerned that adding down sights to the Left 4 Dead formula (a run-and-gun game in perpetual motion) would slow it down too much. But Back 4 Blood’s pistols are silky smooth in your hands, containing undertones that exceed their conventional appearance.

As an FPS fan, I love the attention to detail: The hip-shot animation changes as you crouch, clearly communicating that you are more precise than when standing, but less precise than when you squat. were in iron sights. Reach matters. You can equip a high efficiency horde slayer by grabbing attachments and card bonuses that increase bullet penetration.

The large number of enemies and the fact that so many weapons kill in one hit against ordinary undead is good. Lately I’ve been carrying around the .50 caliber sniper as an anti-“big guy” weapon and using the Silent Magnum as a handgun.

Morgan Park, editor: If I was still in my first game of Back 4 Blood, I would have thought Evan was a fool to carry the big, slow-firing sniper rifle. But now that I’m diving back into the countryside on a higher difficulty, having a designated shooter for the meanest infected hordes is not only smart but necessary.

I also have to highlight the cleaners from Back 4 Blood, an addition that I think would feel added to check out a hero shooting box. I’m glad I was wrong. Turtle Rock chose a smart way to differentiate their roster – every Cleaner feels more or less the same right off the bat, but their playstyles become more pronounced as you give them cards or attachments that complement their built-in abilities. Add an improved laser sight to Walker’s base accuracy and anything he shoots becomes a laser beam. Invest in melee cards that restore health or increase speed, and Hollie’s iconic bat can melt zombies faster than bullets. This is a major improvement over the days of Left 4 Dead when I insta-locked Coach just so I could spam his “Keep your shit tight” line to my friends.

I think this is a testament to the strengths of Back 4 Blood over Left 4 Dead 2: It pushes you to try new things, and it’s not just replayable because shooting zombies is fun. He’s always got a new deckbuild to test out, a pistol you’ve barely touched that’s surprisingly good, or a bad combination of Corruption cards that gives a new twist to a mission you’ve already completed. It’s Left 4 Dead but more, and often better. Consider Back 4 Blood has cross-play with all platforms and has been on Game Pass since day one, and that’s one of the simpler recommendations of 2021.

I already love that Back 4 Blood is another great co-op shooter with friends every now and then, but I’m also excited that Turtle Rock apparently wants Back 4 Blood as a platform for other campaigns to play. the future. The first annual pass promises more campaign missions, new cleaners, special infected, and more. Will Back 4 Blood be as popular as its predecessors? A co-op zombie game isn’t as new as it was when Left 4 Dead was released in 2008, so probably not, but it’s no less impressive that Turtle Rock can return to the genre it created 12 years older. late and improve it.

Jacob Ridley, Senior Material Editor: I have never had more fun comparing a game than with Back 4 Blood, and it was in the company of its confused robots. Seriously, I ran at the same level maybe 30 times, and really enjoyed every run.

If you have a happy group of zombie annihilation enthusiasts to play with, there is a lot of replayability in this game. The card system makes each level a little different from the last, and with buffs, both for for the player and for the zombie, you end up with a different playstyle almost with every race.

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