Turtle Rock Studios, the ex-Valve developers behind the epic Left 4 Dead duology (as well as less memorable outings like 2015’s Evolve and a few mobile ventures such as 2010’s Leap Sheep!), has recently announced that it'll be returning to its roots with the upcoming zombie shooter Back 4 Blood.
This was revealed on March 13th via a dev post on its FAQ forums, and fans of its decade-old Valve-backed digital zombie slaying spree are rampant with speculation and expectation.
A Turtle Rock community manager going by the name of MissMurder gave a quick update as to what the studio’s upcoming title will entail. She was quick to compare the title to Turtle Rock’s previous work with Valve, though she made it clear that this isn’t meant to be a direct continuation of the Left 4 Dead franchise. Still, it’s hard to keep from comparing the two; they’re both co-op zombie survival shooters, and the name seems to be a direct homage to the previous games.
From what’s been said so far, Back 4 Blood seems to be very early in development. For now, all we really know is the title, genre, and that it’s neither a battle royale title nor a successor to Evolve. In fact, Turtle Rock seems to have ditched its allegiances to 2K, its previous title’s publisher, which actually bodes fairly well for the upcoming project.
Additionally, we know that this new experience will have at least some sort of PvP elements, something that was virtually missing from the Left 4 Dead games. It’s hard to know exactly how this will fit into the formula, but it could very well be that the bones of Evolve’s asymmetric multiplayer gameplay may find a new home in this revamped setting.
One slight sticking point is that the developer seems to have teamed up with controversial publisher Warner Bros. Interactive to put this game together. Warner Bros. has found itself in hot water thanks to the relative mangling of games like Batman: Arkham Knight and Middle-earth: Shadow of War, with the former becoming infamous for its half-baked PC port and the later being drowned by a deluge of unnecessary microtransactions.
Though we have yet to see so much as a single screenshot from this upcoming undertaking, fans are relatively certain that this will be Left 4 Dead in all but name — and that’s a good thing.
The co-op zombie shooter genre has been buried in recent years by a torrent of underwhelming titles like Overkill’s The Walking Dead, State of Decay 2, and Metal Gear Survive, and it’s time for the kings of the category to restore some credibility to a space that hasn’t seen a truly groundbreaking title in more than ten years.