“Don’t let the name throw you, Timmy; it’s not really a floor. It’s more of a steal grating that allows material to squeeze through so that it can be collected and exported!”
-Troy McClure, Simpsons S7E5
Killing Floor is a game by Tripwire Interactive, which is orignally based off of a mod from 2005; the full game came out in 2009. In it, you play in a team of up to 6 people killing zombies. There are a handful of classes (called “perks”) to choose from, and a variety of zombie types, from the chainsaw welding Skrake to the naked and weak clots.
I like to think of this game as a simpler version of Left 4 Dead. I mean this in a positive way, not as an insult.
Overall: Each game, you must survive a series of waves, which get progressively harder and more crazy. By killing zombies and / or surviving the wave, you get money, which you can use to get better equipment from the trader in between waves.
Players: The perks have levels, which is persistent between games. Perks can go as high as level six, and provide many advantages for the player, mostly in terms of discounts for weapons related to that perk, and extra damage when using those weapons. At levels 5 or 6, players spawn with a weapon, greatly increasing the amount of money they can earn, since they will be more effective at killing zombies than their teammates. Perks also provide miscellaneous advantages that help increase the effectiveness of a player. For example, berserkers can’t get grabbed, support specialists can carry extra grenades, and my personal favorite, body armor for the medic is supremely effective and dirt cheap at high levels; medics can tank damage, which is a fun twist on what you’d expect. The perks are self explanatory:
- Medic: heals other players; uses submachineguns
- support specialist: uses shotguns and is good at welding doors shut
- sharpshooter: uses rifles, pistols and sniper rifles
- Commando: uses assault rifles, and can see invisible enemies
- Berserker: melee, high speed and damage resistance
- Firebug: fire weapons; great at crowd control
- Demolition: boom, baby! Can deal massive amounts of damage
Enemy: There are 10 different enemies, called zeds or specimens. I’ll call them zombies.
- Clot: weak and slow. They can grab, which can easily get you killed if your near powerful zombies
- Gorefast: weak and fast. Look creepy. These guys can get you killed if you have no health and are trying to run away to heal up
- Bloat: weak and slow. They have a surprisingly large amount of health and vomit on you, which destroys armor, slows you down and blinds you. Can get you killed if you’re near powerful zombies
- Stalker: weak and invisible. These guys make sure that healing and reloading are never quite as safe as you think… unless you’re a Commando
- Crawler: weak and annoying as hell. They have low health and low damage output, but they crawl, which makes them hard to hit in a crowd. Makes playing berserker a nightmare since it’s hard to melee short enemies.
- Siren: slow and powerful. They have a scream Area of Effect (AoE) attack that does serious damage, bypassing armor and wreaking your health. They can deal damage even a fair distance away, and their screams distort your vision and slow you down, leaving you helpless. Worse still, their screams destroy grenades, so you can’t kill crowds of zombies with grenades. I seriously hate these guys.
- Husk: annoying. These guys possess the only long range attack of all zombies (bloats can vomit only a short distance, and sirens hurt you at a medium distance; husks can snipe you from across the map) They don’t deal a lot of damage, but they set you on fire and make running away a non-option. I’ve seen many games where a crippled player gets away from the crowd only to be shot down and burned to a crisp.
- Scrake: TTAAAANNNKKKK. These guys are slow until you lower their health; then they come charging at you even faster than a gorefast. They have a ton of health and don’t have a very high DPS, but they stick their chainsaw up your butt and keep it there, which will get you killed pretty quick.
- Fleshpound: game enders. These guys hit fast and hard as hell, requiring the entire team’s firepower (on harder difficulties, anyway). They, like scrakes, rage and charge, but they can kill you in 2 or 3 hits, meaning that they can take out key players, crippling the team. Tip: they’re weak to explosives
- Patriarch: the evil patriarchy, amiright? This guy made all these zombies, and he’s really annoying to fight; fortunately, he only shows up at the very end of the game. Ton of health, has a minigun and rocket launcher, turns invisible, heals, and can kill you in 2 melee attacks. Also teleports / moves quickly when invisible, so… yeah. I really hate this part, cause it’s so different from fighting swarms of zombies. That’s all I have to say about that.
Misc: You can weld doors shut, to lock off areas to zombies and other players. You can heal using a medigun, and you can use that to heal yourself, but that’s 4 times as less effective. It’s always better to give money to those who need it, because a balanced team performs better than an unbalanced one.
Thoughts; AKA TL;DR
This game is really simple, and I think that’s the main driving point. Video games are a huge part of my life, and I try to involve others in it, but it’s difficult because they’re not as invested in it as I am, in terms of time and interest. I’ve spent my entire adolescence trying to get my friends and brother to play Team Fortress 2 with me, but they always get overwhelmed, or I introduce them to Minecraft and they turn me down because it’s too time consuming (THAT’S THE POINT THOUGH???). But with this game, I have a simple, straightforward game that I can hop into a quick match with my friends in 5 minutes. I played with my brother for the first time last weekend, and all I needed to say was “shoot the zombies,” and we were having a blast. The lack of depth makes the game approachable. This is also true of atmosphere: despite being trapped in a nightmarish situation, the characters in the game don’t seem to give a shit about anything. They see the zombies as more of a nuisance and nothing more. Really helps people who get scared easily, because none of the characters are scared.
The simplicity of the game is a double edged sword. The game is only fun if you have people you know with whom you can play with. If, like in Team Fortress 2, none of my friends wanted to play with me, I would consider this game a waste of money. But Team Fortress 2, besides being free, had complex game mechanics and a huge skill ceiling, so playing with strangers online was enough. This is not the case with Killing Floor.
The characters in the game can get pretty annoying. The trader is notorious because she keeps making loud, obnoxious comments laced with sexual innuendo, but not like in a kinky, erotic way, but more like a 10 year old talking about sex: awkward, annoying, and all around stupid. The characters that you play as also get annoying quick because the WHOLE GAME ONLY HAS 3 VOICE ACTORS: 1 for the trader, 1 for the male characters, and 1 for the female characters.
This is not the greatest game in the world. This is not a complex game. If you wanna play something with your friends and do not want to learn crazy complex or deep mechanics, and enjoy shooting zombies, get this game. I’m still playing this game after 4 years, and it only costs $20 on a regular day (keep in mind that this is on Steam, so you will definitely see this on sale at some point or other).