Back 4 Blood isn’t a part of the Left 4 Dead series, though it might seem like it. Two zombie-based 4v4 multiplayer games with Turtle Rock-style gunslinging action? Why would it be anything different? Well, even though it might seem the same at a glance, Back 4 Blood's fresh new features separate it from its predecessor.
Turtle Rock Studios calls it a spiritual successor. The inspirations are obvious, and it's almost everything one would expect in a Left 4 Dead sequel besides the name. A parasite called the Devil Worm has infected most of humanity. The Ridden (basically zombies) have disrupted society, and it's the Cleaners job to take them out. Cleaners, or zombie killers, are the only ones left standing after this catastrophe.
Here's what we know so far about Back 4 Blood.
Back 4 Blood release date
Back 4 Blood releases on October 12, 2021 on for PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X|S. Good news for Xbox fans: It’s also a day one release for Xbox Game Pass. The Xbox Game Pass news came along with a bunch of other titles announced for Game Pass at the E3 2021 Xbox and Bethesda Showcase.
Back 4 Blood crossplay
Crossplay and cross-gen support are enabled, so players can experiment with others across platforms and generations. For example, a PlayStation 5 player can connect with a PlayStation 4 player. A PlayStation 5 player should also be able to game with a PC player.
Back 4 Blood beta
Turtle Rock Studios announced a beta from August 5 to 9 for those that pre-ordered the game. Everyone else, even those who didn’t pre-order, can access the open beta from August 12 to 16. Both betas extend to all platforms.
Back 4 Blood pre-orders
Back 4 Blood offers these bloody generous bonuses with its pre-orders:
- Early access to the Beta
- Fort Hope Elite Weapon Skin Pack
As mentioned earlier, only pre-order buyers can access the early beta. The open beta, which is accessible to anyone who owns one of the supported platforms, starts a week later.
The Fort Hope Elite Weapon Skin Pack comes with camo-colored skins for four guns: the M4 Carbine, Uzi SMG, S70 Shotgun, and RPK LMG.
Slay with style by snagging one of these pre-orders:
Back 4 Blood editions
Back 4 Blood has a Standard, Deluxe, and Ultimate Edition. Standard costs $59.99 or £59.99 at the typical retailer. Ultimate Editions cost nearly double the price at $99.99 and £99.99. The Deluxe is about $10 and £10 less than Ultimate but comes with significantly less stuff.
Only select retailers sell the Deluxe Edition. So far, the only sellers found were the Microsoft/Xbox Digital Store and GAME, the UK games and tech retailer. On its listing page, GAME claims that it’s the only third-party selling the Deluxe Edition.
Both the Back 4 Blood: Deluxe and Ultimate Editions include:
- 4 days Early Access
- Annual Pass: Three upcoming downloadable content drops with new stories, playable characters, Special Mutated Ridden, and more
Early access means four days of fun before everyone else. The Annual Pass serves as a kind of DLC or Expansion Pass that you buy in advance.
In addition to the items listed above, Back 4 Blood: Ultimate Edition includes:
- 4 Character Battle Hardened Skin Pack
- Additional digital in-game items: Rare Banner, Emblem, Spray, Title
Back 4 Blood gameplay
Back 4 Blood is a team-based game, so team comps are part of the strategy. For example, the trigger-happy Hoffman adds one Offensive Item slot and ups the team’s ammo capacity. His special ability also allows him to replenish ammo with every kill. So his kit might benefit players with an aggressive playstyle.
An Offensive Item slot is just one of the slots in your deck. Back 4 Blood uses 'decks' in gameplay, which are the equivalent of loadouts and create-a-class features in other shooters. Deck Manager gives players the freedom to create custom decks or equip pre-made ones. Decks include weapons, equipment, and abilities that aid your character and allies throughout the game.
This isn’t just about Cleaners, either. Players also take on the roles of the Ridden like the Retcher, a vomit-spitting mutant that blasts opponents from afar. Expect to switch between both kinds of roles as either Cleaner or Ridden. It is a humans versus zombies kind of multiplayer, so it makes sense to play both sides of the war.
Back 4 Blood multiplayer
Swarm mode stands out as Back 4 Blood's main competitive mode and selling point. Turtle Rock Studios treated fans to a sneak peek at this gory, blood-pumping PvP mode at E3 2021. The 4v4 mode pits two teams against each other in best-of-three matches where squads swap between playing as Cleaners and the Ridden. Whoever stays alive playing the Cleaners the longest wins. Points tally up based on how long Cleaner teams stayed alive during Ridden attacks.
Back 4 Blood features co-op multiplayer in addition to the PvP Swarm mode. It’s unclear what the other competitive modes are if any. Unfortunately, Back 4 Blood doesn’t have an offline mode. That means no playing solo with AI teammates. However, Turtle Rock Studios claims it's considering offline options for the future.