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Killing Floor on PC isn't very enjoyable on its own , It's downright scary. With a constant barrage of zombie-like creatures and a quickly depleted ammunition supply, it soon feels like a losing battle. In doing so it captures exactly how I would feel if I was faced with real zombies: completely doomed. As a game however it was frustrating and stressful, that is until played alongside six friends Left4Dead 360 style.
At the start of Killing Floor, each of us had to select a character to play. I struggled to identify with any of them. Each of them seemed to be repulsively violent and extremely selfish in their motives. One character was stated to enjoy bludgeoning hippies and environmentalists while another expressed glee at the supposed end of the world because it gave them an opportunity to kill everything around them.
I went for a randomly assigned character simply so that I could distance myself from feeling obliged to warm to the character. Upon starting the game we entered a swamp like area. It was dark and depressing, so dark that we were practically stumbling around trying to get our bearings. With no real clue as to what had happened or why we were here, proceedings were very disconcerting.
We dived into teams of two with my partner and me exploring a barn. As we got nearer to the building, the zombies lunged. Suddenly we were surrounded by lumbering, unrelenting creatures. They were physically holding onto us making it extremely difficult to get away. Firing blindly into the crowd, I eventually got free and made a run for it.
It was odd to think so defensively in a game, we were so used to normally cutting our waves through enemies in other games, not backing off.
Trying to get some distance between me and them didn't work. I saw my partner fall first, and then all I could see was slimy goo. Something had vomited all over my face, I couldn't see a thing! However I could hear and feel them, gradually wearing down my health as they ripped into my flesh. I heard my other comrades die one by one. It was a matter of seconds till I saw the 'game over' screen. The next attempt would require a more intelligent approach.
We decided that the best way to survive would be to hole up somewhere and pick the zombies off one by one. It was odd to think so defensively in a game, we were so used to normally cutting our waves through enemies in other games, not backing off. We started by making a run for a nearby house. The plan was to get to the highest floor in the building and for each of us to take a strategic position to cover all entrances. Just about managing to survive the first wave of attack, we quickly made our way to the Trader to stock up on more supplies. It was annoying, it meant that we had to change our holding position, but fortunately we found another similar building nearby which was actually more effective. We could create a bottleneck type effect and pick off each creature as they entered the room. This was easy!
After this second wave, we made a crucial mistake in our survival plan. We got complacent. One friend decided they wanted to go it alone, bored of sitting back and being careful, the adrenaline of battle had got to him. He rushed out as soon as the new wave appeared, not anticipating a larger, more potent wave. Quickly hacked to pieces, the rest of us cowered in a makeshift shack. Everything was starting to go wrong, we were low on ammo and the realisation that we could be wiped out so quickly was making us twitchy. However, salvation was near! I realised that we could weld doors shut thus controlling the flow of the zombies and giving us a precious few seconds to use our healing injections. We weren't entirely trapped, we could run through another doorway and block that one up to give us even more time if need be.
Killing Floor was nothing special really when played alone but with a slower, more staggered approach to zombie destruction, it was extremely intense as a team.
Carefully conserving the remaining ammo and with only two of us left, we managed to survive until the last wave. Surely we could do this? Not daring to leave our shelter to get more ammo, we hoped that we had just enough to last despite not really knowing what was coming next. It was terrifying. This 'thing' carrying a rocket launcher came lumbering towards us. We dodged and dived trying to avoid its blows but things quickly turned sour. I called to my partner to stand by the open door while I stood opposite, trying to block the creature between us. I didn't count on my partner's next move however. He double crossed me! Welding the doorway in what felt like superhuman time, he was relatively safe and I was trapped with the creature.
All it really meant was that he died a minute or two after me, but it was the type of unexpected twist that made me realise where the true enjoyment comes from. It is the people you play Killing Floor with rather than the game itself that makes it an intruiging experience. A bit like Left for Dead on Xbox 360 Killing Floor was nothing special really when played alone but with a slower, more staggered approach to zombie destruction, it was extremely intense as a team.
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