Killing Floor 2, or just basically, KF2, is a first person action game that pits the players against angry hordes of mutant zombie monsters. This game is a sequel (which is why there's a 2 on the title) and so it already has a lot of fans starting in. The visuals are polished with cleverly laid out user interfaces and great in - game graphics and animations. The combat is superb - even on random public matches, it is easy to ride on the flow and get a good feel for the game (but expect to get your newbie backside ripped to shreds early on). And this title has some serious depth - there is a lot to explore and experiment with.

How it Plays

Playing KF2 is a pretty straightforward experience; it loads up fast and allows you to skip past any unnecessary splash pages before getting into the action. The game lobby presents players with a wide range of games to join. There's a very active community of players so finding a room to start in should not be any trouble at all.

Once a game starts, you will be tasked to fight off waves of zeds. In between each wave, you can use your credits to buy weapons that will make the succeeding waves easier (well, not really, as the next wave of zeds will be even tougher). Most importantly, your character will grow - and with growth comes perks. Perks are permanent and will not disappear after a game, and this is what makes the late game content of KF2 so great: with a good set of perks, the higher difficulty rooms become so much more manageable.

Cooperation in combat is a big thing. The waves are designed in such a way that solo players will not survive the game unless they have incredibly great gear, loads of perks, and ridiculous skill. So basically, if you cannot play well with others, this game will force it on you on pain of death - sounds like the perfect eSports game for horror fans to me!

Voice chat certainly helps with making quick strategic calls and while it is not required, it definitely gives players a big edge when playing on crazy level difficulties (if you see a room with Hell on Earth, don't even think about trying it unless you have a ton of hours already put in). Once the later waves come and the Scraves start appearing, you will learn the tactical value of running away. Back pedalling (or kiting) and circle strafing will not help you with these big bad guys.

Plenty of Gun Action

I like my monsters flame grilled

There are a wide range of guns in the game, and by wide we mean a lot more than a recreation of all the nice things on display at the local gun store. Killing Floor 2 is set in a fictional world in a different era, and thus players are given access to guns of very different origins. From the the more conventional firearms, to the slightly exotic (like flamethrowers), to the completely fictional Eviscerator which launches spinning blades of death.

Melee is particularly interesting as it is more than just bashing the closest enemy with the butt of your gun. Parrying is incredibly effective - it even works on the incredibly dangerous boss monsters. While it does not completely negate damage, it can do so to a limited degree (and taking anything less than 50% damage is a pretty big bonus in itself). More importantly, it actually pays off to try and master how it works as it provides players with a good way to survive when get tough.

And things do get tough. Enemies will flank and combine their attacks in order to take you down effectively. Those big guys with chainsaws? Sure they're very dangerous and need keeping an eye on, but the smaller ones will take this opportunity to also take you while you're distracted. So you have to know how weapons behave. Take reloading for example - this is not something that finishes in a split second and you need to keep track of how many shots you have left on your clip. Changing weapons also takes time, also, doing either will slow down your movement speed for a bit. So it pays off to try and get a feel of the flow of the battle - the last thing you want to be is that guy who can't run from a Flesh Pound fast enough since he's in the middle of reloading.

Gun load out combinations are plenty, and it pays off to study the various options out there. Experimenting on your first time is expected, but try to be conscientious of the choices you make when playing with others; if you play badly because of a bad combination of guns, it will affect the game play of the other players so it makes sense to do a bit of research beforehand.

Getting Into the Rhythm of Action

There's a counter on the screen telling you exactly how many enemies are still available in the current wave, and it slowly trickles down in number as you and your team literally create a gore-fest of zed bodies. This is a game where you have only one thing in mind: kill to survive.

The whole beat or pace of the game is reliant on the players being able to create a steady flow that keeps everyone alive and the enemies slowly dying. Simply put, the longer the waves are alive, the more chance they get to get into the right positions to overwhelm players. Thinning out their numbers strategically will do wonders for surviving the last few waves - as will tactical decision making such as knowing when to weld doors shut or who to give your excess money to.

The medic-pistol is a much recommended item to put in your secondary weapon slot as it makes hard waves more survivable. Not that we recommend switching weapons in the middle of a busy firefight, but it helps when the entire team is able to support one another during dangerous moments. While players will respawn in the next round if they die in the current, they will lose any weapons they previously obtained (this also means that any extra money you are carrying around should be donated to anyone who dies).

Visual Feedback

TWI created a very visually-inclined game - everything you do has a graphical representation. You shoot a zed with a submachine gun and it staggers, you hit it with a stronger weapon and you can literally stop it from taking a swing or bite at you. But there's more than just the basic enemy animations too - depending on where and how you damage an enemy target, they react accordingly. The game has layered the zed models with unique gore meshes - which means that if you shoot a zombie in the arm, then bits of that arm's flesh will get blown off and show the mass of tissue and muscle inside.

There's a kind of artistic beauty to all this blown up flesh, the level of detail looks amazingly from a graphical perspective (I'm sick in the head aren't I).

The stages also get their share of battle damage. While you will see bullet holes on walls and such, much of the scenery will later get washed with tons of blood from enemies. Unlike most games, the gore does not disappear once a certain threshold is reached. The bodies will pile up and so will the blood and guts from enemies you have blown up, burned down, of chopped in half. This game will literally show you what a killing floor looks like by the time the scrakes start arriving.

The Verdict

KF2 looks and feels like your worst demonic nightmare come true on steroids - from a visual and game play sense if your not use to aggressive and ravenous monsters trying to rip your head of, why not ease yourself into a more sparser monster title. If like me you have skin as thick as steel when it comes to horror, you will find KF2 is both fun and addictive to pick up and play whether for 10 minutes or an hour.

If you are looking for a good multiplayer experience for the next couple of weeks and then on a slightly intermittent basis (depending on whether you find people to often play with), then this game is worth the current $9.99. Lock and load guys and girls it time to paint the town red with fresh monster splatter!