Sean’s Backloggery, Episode 2 – Killing Floor
I work strange hours. Typically this means I’m sauntering into my apartment at 3-4AM, still mildly drunk/high from the substances needed to get through the loneliness of a shift usually reserved for gravediggers, prostitutes, and sports radio hosts blabbering about how “‘dey can’t believe duh Yankees think ‘dis guy is gonna re-sign for less than 20 million a season!”. Some might think me crazy and without even bothering to finish this sentence I can tell you I am. There’s something different about only living during the dark, though. Things move a little slower. Everything is dis-comfortingly quiet. It’s also when all the best people come out. Specifically, in Killing Floor.
LOADS O’ MONEY
If you have a passing interest in PC gaming, you’ve probably played/heard of Killing Floor. If you’re just getting into this $10,000 a year drug habit (bless you), it goes a little something like this – Waves of increasingly vicious monsters attack yourself and some chums until topping out with a boss battle against “Patriarch”, the deformed creator of these little nasties. This goes on until you slaughter all of them, or vice versa. The End.
No, really. That’s all you do. If it sounds a bit like Left4Dead, well…..it is. With a few big caveats. The maps are much smaller, and less about escape than survival. There are no “crescendo events” – everything is a crescendo event. And you also have the ability to upgrade your loadout between waves via the is-she-hitting-on-me-or-trying-to-get-me-to-spend-more-money trader. The biggest difference, though, is simply in gameplay. While both games take place from a first-person perspective, the similarities end there. Killing Floor has a huge emphasis on properly aimed headshots, as ammo is scarce enough to warrant begging your teammates for a weapon when you run out. Unlike the paper-thin commons of L4D, Killing Floor’s demons are hard as hell to take down with the “spray and pray” approach. You must aim properly, and do it fast.
It’s also a game of a completely different personality.
It’s a craggy old train to nowhere. It seems like I’m on it forever and it never reaches any sort of destination. I haven’t seen the sun since I boarded it, and every few minutes horrifying beasts rise from the driver’s compartment to drag me back to hell with them. But that’s alright. I am an English gentleman loaded to the gills with grenades and an axe. I am also joined in combat by a guy in a radiation suit, some crazy SOB in a gasmask, and a giant chicken.
“Head for the shop, old chaps!”, I say.
“No! Bwak! We don’t have time”, says the giant chicken.
Fine. Suit yourselves. I head for the shop to enforce my body armor and maybe grab a pump action shotgun. Oh crap. The giant chicken was right. I didn’t have time. Wave incoming, and of course they’re spawning right next to me. Dead. From beyond the grave, I alert my compatriots, and offer them a final salutation – “It was an honor to fight by your side gentlemen.” They fire back with “*Salute”. This is a fairly common night in Killing Floor. It’s the reason I keep returning to it time and time again. Sure, you’ll run into the occasional walking boner who insists that every death was your fault, then accuses you of “hacks” when you eclipse him in kills. This is a small price to pay. Most players will alert you via chat about what you need to be doing. Loot sharing is abundant. There’s a wonderful “If you lose, we all lose” mentality that makes the usual internet trash that much easier to deal with.
The amount of custom maps made by the community is mind boggling. I played for 3 hours on a tribute to the original DOOM and had a blast. There are creations here that rival anything from the Tripwire team. Hell, even the “endless choke point” maps that sneak in can be great fun with the right group.
I’M TRYING TO HEAL YOU, NOT BLOODY SHAG YOU
Go buy it. Find a server you enjoy and dive in. Even if you’re multiplayer-phobic (which I was once guilty of), you’ll find a home in a server eventually. There’s a great deal of fun and camaraderie here for those willing to plunk down the cash. Just make sure you play after midnight – that’s when all the fun happens.