Dust off your shotgun, pack some pills, and don your favorite zombie-killing attire because Back 4 Blood is finally here. A spiritual sequel to the renowned Left 4 Dead, players with be tasked with fighting off hundreds of infected people known as the Ridden. Your job is to take back the cities from these terrifying foes, which is easier said than done. Evening the odds is a new card system that allows players to craft a deck full of buffs, equipment, and abilities. There are also eight playable characters called “Cleaners,” who have their own unique talents and traits you can craft decks around. Unfortunately, only four of them are available right from the beginning so you’ll need to unlock the rest.
How to Unlock Every Cleaner
Thankfully, you won’t have to wait too long to obtain the rest of the Cleaners. In order to unlock Doc, Hoffman, Jim, and Karlee you will need to complete the first four missions in Act 1. This portion of the game is called “The Devil’s Return,” and is about 2-4 hours long depending on your skill level and difficulty setting. Once you finish these missions, a cutscene will play that introduces all of these new Cleaners and you’ll start the “Search & Rescue” chapter. If you’re playing with others you’ll need to exit out of your current game session and launch another one if you want to try any of the new Cleaners.
I don’t really recommend this since you will keep all your gear and upgrades between The Devil’s Return and Search & Rescue. Restarting from just Search and Rescue will make the experience a little more difficult — especially if you are new. You definitely should experiment with each Cleaner to get a general feeling for not only their own individual skills but what they can do to support their team.
Here’s what each Cleaner’s individual card does if you’re unfamiliar with them:
Doc – Doc can heal each teammate for 25 Health once per level. +20% Healing Efficiency. +25% Team Trauma Resistance.
Hoffman – Hoffman has a chance to find ammo whenever he kills a Ridden. +1 Offensive Inventory. +10% Max Team Ammo Capacity.
Jim – Peercision kills gran Jim 2.5% stacking damage until he takes damage. +25% aim down sights speed. +10% Team Weakspot Damage.
Karlee – Karlee can sense nearby hazards and Mutations. +1 Quick Inventory. +50% Team Use Speed.
Of the four, Doc and Jim are definitely the strongest. Being able to get more out of healing items can really help at higher difficulties since enemies hit a lot harder. Plus, the 25% trauma resistance for the entire team is a terrific bonus to have right from the start. Alternatively, Jim is for those who like to stay in the back and rack up damage. With a coordinated team, Jim can be an absolute powerhouse against tougher Ridden like Ogres and Breakers where shooting their weakspots is critical. This isn’t to say that Hoffman and Karlee are bad, they can be quite destructive with the right card builds. However, if you are new and looking to help your team I suggest giving these two Cleaners a try.