That reminds me. Unlike similar games in the genre, Killing Floor has no revival system, and no checkpoints. Once you die, you are gone until the wave is over, or until your team is dead. There are no defibrillators, pain pills, injections, or magic closets to bring a player back to life. As such, if your squad is wiped out, you don’t start at the beginning of said wave. There are no auto-saves or checkpoint system, and the moment you all die the map will end and move on to the next. As I’ve said many times over, every decision you and your team make contributes to your survival (or lack thereof). Reaching the final waves/boss is great, but if you lose, all that work is moot.
The funny thing is the vast majority of players don’t get angry or upset over something like this, which is refreshing to see. You hear people playing games like Call of Duty, smashing their keyboards after getting killed or yelling profanities at teammates. After playing over 600 hours of Killing Floor spanning three years, I’ve only witnessed this twice, both times on lower difficulties with new players. Seasoned players, even after wiping on hell on earth (which tends to take at least an hour on the shortest of maps), will either say good game, disconnect without saying a word, or brush themselves off and try again.
Perhaps it’s because the game pits a real player versus AI bots, but whatever the case, it is nice to see. The mature community is definitely one of the big reasons why after three years of release Killing Floor is still one of the most played games on Steam, with thousands of players playing at any given time, along with highly saturated servers.
Team discipline is crucial. If a teammate dies before contributing his/her share of ZED kills, the rest will have to compensate as ZEDs do not despawn if a player is killed or leaves. This can be beneficial as it yields more money for the rest, but at a higher risk of greater, stronger ZEDs.
“It’s raining money!”
As mentioned earlier, map knowledge is key to surviving. Memorizing areas to retreat to during situations where your camping spot is and team are compromised can save a match. ZEDs love to flank and appear around corners, thus dodging them and navigating safe passages is a must. Bedlam for example is the most confusing map in the game, as it is comprised of twisting and interconnecting passageways and tunnels; not to mention it is darker than black with only a few sources of light (greater for Crawler attacks). Hospital Horrors is notorious as being the hardest map in the game and is similar to Bedlam, where you can be easily flanked and cornered by specimens. Although in a dreary lit-up hospital, it is certainly a nerve-wracking atmosphere.
Every ZED has a distinct sound effect, so listen for them. They are great triggers for preparation of an attack, and call-outs for high-priority specimens. Sounds are also helpful for welders in case they need extra help with keeping doors intact based off what they hear from the other side. Remember that nothing can pass through walls, and this includes Husk fireballs and siren screams.
“Ok gov’na, no one’s coming this way!”
For communication, Killing Floor supports VOIP and emotes/say-sounds, as well as standard text chat. The VOIP can be dampened when talking so you hear your teammates. The say-sounds are great, as the cast are all British and are quite hilarious. Common lines derived from them include dosh – grab it while ya can lads and loadsamoney. There are many, MANY more, but those are two of the most famous.
There is also a score produced by various artists (one of which is the president of Tripwire Interactive). Most of it as instrumental hard rock/metal/industrial, with a touch of DnB here and there. To be honest, the music goes really well with the game, especially the quickening pace as Trader time runs out. It is also a good indicator of waves and which ZEDs to expect, as tracks change when waves increase. The Patriarch music is especially uplifting. You feel like a total boss, ready for anything…until you get smacked 50 feet in the air.
All of this creates an amazing atmosphere. When you’re the last on left, running for your life, the adrenaline rush always kicks. Even after playing for this long, I still get scared and get that extra kick to stay alive, my heart pounding in my chest, mind focused on staying alive. Those initial seconds as you try and escape the danger that got the rest of your team killed are one of the most terrifying sequences I have ever played in a game. They happen over and over and over again, but NEVER get old.
To wrap it up, this isn’t a game for youngsters. There is a healthy dose of blood and gore, limbs and heads flying from torsos, and gib-fests like this:
“Oooh! Thats just nasty!”