British Zombies!! None of Your Nazi Rubbish!
Developer – Tripwire Interactive
Publisher – Tripwire Interactive
Platforms – PC (Steam)
Release – 14/05/09
I don’t know what it is, but I like zombies as enemies. There something slightly cool, yet also slightly scary about a horde of shambling undead coming towards you though the dark, uncaring about the slugs ripping through them. They are one of the archetypal enemies of our hobby. Left 4 Dead is one of the best showings of zombie killing. But imagine if it was more… British? And mixed with the Nazi Zombies mode.
Well, you’d get something similar to Killing Floor, an updated version of an Unreal Tournament 2004 mod that has been picked up by a team at Tripwire Games, the people behind another UT2004 mod, Red Orchestra. Killing Floor itself is a bit similar to Left 4 Dead but less on going forward, more on staying alive. This time a British Biotech company is to blame for the “hell on earth” scenario, due to their research into the perfect cloned slave being run by a complete maniac. So as you effect, the clones escape the facility and overrun Britain. The government forms special forces teams to go in to clean areas of these escaped specimens. These areas range the whole British horror movie cliche locations from West London to a Biotech lab to an abandoned manor and my personal favourite, an abandoned farm, and they are all filled with plenty of character, like red phone boxes and black taxis in the London map. They certainly look the part. The player characters are either British Army troops or Special Branch Riot Police and also fit right in the surroundings as well as looking pretty cool.
The enemies are a lot more varied than in the other co-op zombie shooter. There are basic zombies that simply rush you, but in later waves more outlandish creatures start appearing such as a skittering floor level one or another which has a chainsaw. Eventually, in the last wave, the Primarch, a chaingun and rocket launcher totting creature that can go invisible AND call other zombies in, appears to wipe out the British troops. They aren’t quite as realistic as the creatures of L4D, but they are slightly more interesting to fight especially the fleshpound, a creature that moves slowly until its starts taking damage whereupon it moves with unnatural speed. Or the Stalkers, the good old invisible menace.
The key flaw in Killing Floor is that it isn’t that polished. It still feels like a mod especially the voice acting (the traders lines are particulary cringe worthy) and the tech behind the game is a bit last gen. Some of the models and animations look really dated. Additionally, there are no tutorials so you have to learn all the mechanisms of the game actually in game.
If Left 4 Dead had not been released yet, then Killing Floor would be the best co-op experience available on PC. But, although different, Left 4 Dead is a much better way to spend an evening of co-op. Which is a shame, because Killing Floor is great fun. If your looking for an alternative, its brilliant. So I say wait until a Steam weekend deal before you buy, unless you are desperate for zombie killing.
I give Killing Floor 72%