First Impressions : Back 4 Blood Open Beta

Back 4 Blood Loading screen

When I heard that Back 4 Blood, the spiritual successor to Left 4 Dead and Left 4 Dead 2 and also one of my most anticipated games revealed at E3, had an open beta, you bet that I immediately fired up Twitch to watch a streamer with drops, and to get a code for the beta. Unfortunately, I haven’t had as much time to really delve into the beta as I would like, so consider these my very initial first impressions of the open beta, which offers a look at campaign and swarm mode.


1. Surprisingly easy

Combat Knife

Full disclosure, I am not good at video games–I just enjoy playing them. When I play Zombies on Call of Duty, my friends know that they all need to buy quick revive for me. So imagine my surprise when I found Back 4 Blood to be easy on normal mode, and still pretty doable on the second hardest mode, called veteran. I have not yet tried nightmare mode. But on normal mode, I can easily bludgeon normal Ridden to death with Holly’s nail bat, or one shot them with the knife, if I’m using that card.


2. Seems slower paced

Careful of the Birds

Maybe I have my nostalgia goggles on when thinking of Left 4 Dead and Left 4 Dead 2, but I remember those games to be more exciting than Back 4 Blood. I don’t know if it’s because I’m older and I’ve played so many zombie games since then or if perhaps it is just because the open beta is only showing a portion of the actual game, I don’t really know. But to my dismay, two of my friends quickly grew bored of the open beta, even after I obliviously triggered the crows and we got swarmed–making things instantly more interesting.


3. Jury is Out on Card System

Not quite sure how I feel about the card system yet. At first, I really didn’t see the point to the cards. After playing more today, I did find that I liked to be able to customize my gameplay a bit. I am a player that needs a lot of health and defense, so it’s nice that I can equip cards, which are like perks, to help me out. However, I must say that I don’t think these perks make as big of a difference to one’s survival as the perks like Juggernog or Speed Cola do in Zombies in Call of Duty, or at least not the ones I’ve encountered yet. So far, my favorite perk by far is the one that turns the melee attack into a combat knife. I highly recommend unlocking it.



I have the sneaking suspicion that there might be some grinding involved to get “good” cards and I’m not sure how I feel about that. Plus, I’m not sure if the cards I unlocked in Open Beta will actually transfer over to the full game. I also don’t really think the rewards of the utilizing the corruption cards, which are a bit like challenges, are all that worthwhile either.


4. Ridden designs

The Exploder


The new Ridden designs are pretty okay, but I can’t help but miss the familiar faces of Left 4 Dead and Left 4 Dead. The exploders in Back 4 Blood especially remind me of Boomers, but without the dangerous added effect of hordes spawning once a survivor is hit by their vomit. I especially miss the Witches–I can still hear the music that accompanied their appearances in my head to this day!


5. PvP Mode has potential

The Swarm

So, I’ve had very little success finding a match in Swarm mode, the PvP mode of Back 4 Blood. Each time I’ve joined a lobby, it hasn’t been full. I am hoping this is something that will change as the Open Beta goes on and more players have completed the campaign mode. Today, when I tried to play Swarm again, I ended up with 3 players on my team, and 1 player on the enemy team, and they promptly quit. Despite that, I did have fun with it, and the difficult was definitely higher than campaign, as the area gets smaller and smaller as cleaners survive waves.




From what I have played in the Open Beta, Back 4 Blood seems like a fairly solid successor to Left 4 Dead and Left 4 Dead 2 and I think people that loved those games will enjoy Back 4 Blood. I am looking forward to playing more of the Open Beta and to playing the full game when it releases on October 12, 2021.






First Impressions : Back 4 Blood Open Beta - Blogging with Dragons

Posted August 6, 2021 in Games

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