Back 4 Blood’s PVP is More Horde Mode Than Left 4 Dead

Dust off your shotguns, grab some painkillers, and don your best zombie-killing attire because Warner Brothers’ entire E3 showcase is about developer Turtle Rock Studios’ upcoming game, Back 4 Blood. Drawing heavy inspiration from the studio’s previous genre-defining title Left 4 Dead, Back 4 Blood is a first-person cooperative shooter. Players can pick from a handful of survivors known as Cleaners and battle their way through hordes of zombie-like enemies known as the Ridden. Where this spiritual successor deviates is the new card system that allows players to customize their ideal monster murdering survivor. Previously, we only got to both see and experience the PVE aspect of the game, but Back 4 Blood is also bringing a 4v4 PvP mode.

Here are all the details you might have missed during the Back 4 Blood PVP showcase:

In Back 4 Blood, the PVP is regulated to a mode called Swarm. A best of three matches, two teams of four will get a chance to play as both survivors and the Ridden. The goal of the Cleaners is to simply survive against the ever-increasing and relentless swarms of undead. Inversely, the Ridden must try and stop the Cleaners by any means necessary and kill all four survivors. As the round progresses, the number of attacks from Ridden will grow and the size of the arena itself will shrink. Once a round is complete the teams will switch roles, so it’s up to the new Cleaner team to survive longer than the other squad. Whoever runs the clock the longest will be the winner.

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For the Ridden, there are three core special infected, each of which has three different alterations. So if you want to play as a more nimble Ridden, you can pick from the acid-spewing Stinger, phlegm trapping Hocker, or pounce attacking Stalker. Each of them uses the same model, but with distinct visual changes to ensure Cleaners know which version they’re facing. As the Ridden fight the survivors they will earn points that can be spent during a match to purchase team-wide upgrades. This can as simple as increasing the overall intensity of the enemy squads or buffing specific abilities. It doesn’t appear as if you can control some of the bigger, gnarlier Ridden that have been showcased in previous gameplay footage.

It’s unclear if players will be able to use cards or their own decks in this PVP mode. Given how this is such a core component of Back 4 Blood, I would be pretty surprised if it was removed in Swarm. That being said, it could also make balancing a nightmare given how many wild builds you can create. We will get an idea if this new mode delivers when Back 4 Blood’s open beta launches on August 5.

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Collin MacGregor

Collin MacGregor is the Guide Staff Writer at Fanbyte. He's also the person who willingly plays the support class (you're welcome) and continues to hold out for an Ape Escape remake.

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