by Derk Bil
previewed on PC
Paris is burning
We almost forgot we were at Gamescom when Tripwire Interactive’s Mike Schmitt gave us a tour through the grisly world of Killing Floor 2. Armed with all the knowledge and wisdom gained during the creation of the original Killing Floor, the studio is creating quite a surprising sequel.
The game’s setting takes us to Paris this time and the story is going to give us some insight into how the Zed-infestation came to be. The reasons behind the appearance of the monstrosities forged and unleashed by Horzine Biotech are revealed in a level with the telling name ‘The Biotics Lab’. Here the tale is spun through test tubes and other laboratory glassware in an Umbrella-Corporation-like environment.
Killing Floor’s gameplay mechanics were perfectly, so Tripwire didn’t tinker with those too much. Instead the focus was to bring Killing Floor 2 up to a level where it can compete with modern day shooters and adding features that the team had wanted to put into the original game.
The levels are constructed differently, taking full benefit of real time dynamic lighting to improve the game’s atmosphere and allowing more detail. Alarms can be set off, parts of the environment such as windows can be cracked or destroyed so you can easily jump through afterwards, seeing the glass fall as you pass through. Lights can be shot, other objects hacked to pieces or blown up and changing the light in room to change or disappear.
Monsters - or the Zeds - will be swarming you from every direction and come running through corridors, pop out of manholes or fall down from air ducts. And all the animations have been motion-captured; from the sometimes outlandish movements of the Zeds to the handling of weapons. You can see all the parts that you would expect to, move while firing guns.
During combat, you can activate Zed time. Similar to bullet time, the game slows down and your vision desaturates accentuated everything that is red. Things slow down to the point that you can see individual bullets fly through the air, creating distortion in the form of tiny ripple effects trailing behind them.
Ramping it up
Rather than just progressively make Zeds more difficult to slay and increasing the size of mobs, difficult levels actually change monster behavior. In the final difficulty level ‘Hell on Earth’ for example, monsters get new moves. Rather than queuing up to be slaughtered by yours truly (think 80’s ninja-themed B-movie) monster behavior becomes less predictable.