New Back 4 Blood Gameplay Shows Off the Director and Card Systems

Back 4 Blood creators Turtle Rock Studios showed off some new gameplay from the zombie game this week while offering some commentary on different parts of the game, namely the card system that makes each playthrough different from the last. The gameplay was shown as part of GamesRadar’s Future Games Show event and offered around four minutes of footage and information on how Back 4 Blood’s different systems work together to create a new experience.

The way the video starts out will look familiar to those who’ve played through plenty of rounds of Left 4 Dead and Left 4 Dead 2 which makes sense seeing how the studio working on Back 4 Blood created the acclaimed zombie franchise that cemented this sort of zombie survival experience. Players start off in safe rooms and equip themselves with weapons they either purchase or carry over from previous rounds before heading off into the hordes of zombies to work towards their next objectives.

It’s an experience that’ll look even more familiar if you played Back 4 Blood during the game’s closed alpha which offered players their first hands-on attempt at Back 4 Blood. Through that, players got to see how the game’s director feature will diversify playthroughs by moving around enemies and changing different variables.

One of the tools at the AI director’s disposal is the game’s card system which just so happens to be one of the biggest features that prevents this game from being a straight-up Left 4 Dead 2 sequel. Lianna Papp, the executive producer at Turtle Rock Studios, provided some more context on the feature and how it works in tandem with the director system to creature unique experiences each time you play through not just one match but each individual round.

“You’re gonna be familiar with how we start off this game,” Papp said. “You’re gonna start in a safe room with three of your friends, and the game director is gonna play what we call ‘Corruption Cards.’ You get to know what kind of challenges it’s gonna throw at you and your team by looking at what these cards are. They might be things like ‘Swarm of Bruisers’ or ‘Ridden on Fire,’ and you then get to know exactly what it is that you’re gonna face.”

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After players are shown what they’re up against, they get to influence the outcome of things themselves by using their own cards. These are puled from decks players construct before matches and often cater to supportive or aggressive playstyles through different bonuses and other factors.

All we’ve seen from Back 4 Blood so far has been the PvE modes where co-op players play against AI-controlled undead, so we haven’t yet seen the planned PvP mode. There’s a new beta coming in the future following the game’s delay, however, so even if we don’t learn more about that alternate mode soon, we’ll get to play Back 4 Blood again sometime this summer.