Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Killing Floor - 6 Hours In

The game has been around for ages, but I'm finally getting around to playing Killing Floor with the recently released Gold Edition. And in a lot of ways, it's showing its age. Graphically, it's well behind what's currently available in the multiplayer shooter genre on PC and the world is extremely static as there doesn't seem to be much of anything in the way of physics.

The lack of respawn reminds me of the run I did with Counter-Strike back in the early days of The Armchair Empire, 12 years ago. Once you die, you just have to wait until the start of the next round! That's unheard of in most multiplayer shooters that are measured in kills-per-minute and things exploding.

And the menus... it took me more than a dozen rounds to figure out how the store worked. If it was found in any other game, it would receive a round of critical invective.

But it's fun! The basic wave-upon-wave of infected baddies, fighting back-to-back with other human players is a winning formula.

It's due for a major overhaul though. I can just imagine the kind of havoc and mayhem something like the Frostbite 2.0 engine would afford Killing Floor. The physics alone would add a layer of strategy, but so would building destruction. Why not have the bigger enemy types be able to smash through walls rather than simply claw at welded doors until they break through? That would change up the gameplay considerably on many of the maps I've played as they typically have a couple of very defensible choke points where the team can smash wave after wave of zombies easily.

And what about cobbling together other barriers with barrels or crushed cars that could only be setup by a few players working together? That would offer plenty of strategic advantages (right alongside disadvantages).

As it is, Killing Floor offers plenty of populated servers, likely because it's not very taxing. It plays on machines released on or around 2008/09 and current PCs easily. Making Killing Floor beefier might leave behind some current players but if there's any game in recent memory that would benefit from a major engine overhaul, it's this one.

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