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Killing Floor – gross…ly underrated

August 1, 2011

I met up with two buddies of mine for lunch the other day, and we did some catching up since we hadn’t seen each other in about 6 months. One of my buddies is an XBox 360 addict, but he’s buying a new gaming PC, so he might be back “on board” soon. I’d be playing a lot more 360 games if we had more than one HD TV. Anyway, my other buddy told me that he was playing Killing Floor… a lot. And that it was a good game. I had seen Killing Floor on Steam sales several times in the past, and each time I would look up the reviews, but would decide against buying it because I already had plenty of games that I wasn’t playing… Well, in order to game with a RL friend I picked it up.

I should have picked it up /years/ ago. The 71 Metacritic rating doesn’t even begin to do the game justice. While not as polished or atmospheric as Left4Dead (the game that it MUST be compared to in every review, I would bet), it is a lot more addictive and provides a better co-op experience, for me at least. What I’ve never really enjoyed about the Left4Dead series is the rush to get to the other side of the map. I /hated/ that in Versus mode, especially – since Versus mode was quite literally a shooting sprint to get to the end of the map, since your score was largely dependent on how far you get on foot before dying. Lame. Quite the opposite in Killing Floor – gameplay /encourages/ finding good defensive positions and making the best of them before moving on, rather than just running-and-gunning.

If nothing else, the gameplay in Killing Floor has the feel of the 2nd big action scene from Aliens – you know, the one where they whole-up and defend their position, yet the aliens come in from every direction anyway, while pounding down the door… then they have to give up their position, leading to a running battle to the exit… Killing Floor is much more like /that/.

The RPG aspect of Killing Floor is a very welcome addition as well. This is something that is just burnt into my persona – any kind of RPG / character-building aspect of a game is something I adore, as long as it doesn’t “break” the game in some way (e.g. PvP imbalance).

I could say quite a bit more about Killing Floor – but ultimately I’ve hashed out the most important things that reviewers would probably miss on while trying to compare it to the “saintly” Left4Dead. I should mention that I don’t /hate/ Left4Dead or anything, I pre-purchased BOTH games, and played the hell out of both. However I think it’s a shame when a non-clone is perceived as a clone and given a poor review because of that, and that alone. In all honesty, if the Metacritic rating of Killing Floor was higher, I would have undoubtedly bought Killing Floor much earlier.

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