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Killing Floor 2 – “Return of the Patriarch” Preview

It’s been just over 2 months since Tripwire dropped their “Incinerate ‘N’ Detonate” update for their still in Early Access title, Killing Floor 2. Since the game’s release in April, it has received a a steady amount of content, namely; weapons, maps, perks, Nvidia exclusive blood and gore effects (utilising their proprietary “PhysX FleX” technology, the first commercial title to make use of this tech) as well as community requested tweaks and changes. The game is also coming to PS4. So far, things are shaping up nicely.

Now, the Georgia based company is ready to show off more content, very subtly dubbed “Return of the Patriarch”, which, as any avid Killing Floor player knows, is the end boss from the first game. Kevin Clamely was the mastermind of Horzine Industries, paving the way for Bio Engineering technology.

Sadly, the nutty scientist went a bit bonkers and, well, turned into a big dude with a rocket launcher for an arm with a massive tentacle that protrudes from his midriff. He is the evil genius responsible for the whole incident that resulted in his children, or, as we’ve come to know them, “genetic clones” or “zeds”, spewing out onto the streets of London to wreak havoc and devour most of the city’s inhabitants. Fast forward to now, the update is coming and it’s sizable.

The full, extensive list of feautres

The full, extensive list of feautres

There’s plenty to get your teeth into this time around, namely:

  • 2 New Maps – Black Forest and Farmhouse
  • 1 New Perk – Gunslinger
  • New Boss – the infamous and deadly Patriarch boss returns from the original Killing Floor
  • New Character – Oisten Jagerhorn
  • New Weapons – Various Gunslinger perk weapons and a perk specific grenade
  • General Fixes and Early Access Tuning and Improvements – gradually fine-tuning and balancing the game
Gunslinger's toys. Pretty!

Gunslinger’s toys. Pretty!

There’s also more, unspecified updates planned for the future, but this sizable chunk of content should keep the fans satisfied for a fair while. So now that’s out of the way, onto business. 🙂

It’s Friday night, we’ve had a hard day at work. What better way to chill out, drink some beer and play some Killing Floor 2. This isn’t just an ordinary game of KF2 however, we’re previewing the upcoming “Return of the Patriarch” update, it’s a biggie and it’s due to be released… soon.

We hop onto Tripwire’s server with 2 developers and 2 Press guys. We start off with a medium/normal game on one of the new maps, Black Forest. With a train track running through the middle with abandoned, decayed trains and coaches, it oozes eeriness and combat can come from any location. The place feels like Wyre Forest 2.0, Killing Floor 1 players might see a similarity, particularly with the lighting and foreboding, thick overgrowth and trees.

Make no mistake, this is a big map just teeming with detail and atmosphere. Falling leaves, fog and fireflies litter the map, showing off some impressive detail. There’s a very familiar looking, derailed Horzine train wreck, contorted, twisted and bellowing pungent smoke and fire… perhaps this is a continuation of KF1’s End of The Line DLC?

You can hold out inside said train or use the coach to try and create a choke-point to filter out those pesky flesh eaters. There are some very cool features included in Black Forest; the lighting and shadows are gorgeous with a fully functioning day to night cycle.

Black Forest. Sticking together has never been so important. Especially now that the sun goes down

Black Forest. Sticking together has never been so important. Especially now that the sun goes down

There’s also a very cool destructible building and numerous trees that fall down when hit. The destruction on the house isn’t just cosmetic either, it gives you the opportunity to create shortcuts when you’re in a tight spot and need to wriggle out in a rush, but also allows the zeds to smash through, circumventing the welded door.

It doesn't take much to destroy the panels. A stray grenade or a clot can very easily break in

It doesn’t take much to destroy the panels. A stray grenade or a clot can very easily break in

There’s a beautiful stream running through the map as well. Water smashes against rocks and hides those nasty, annoying crawlers, particularly at night time. This is where the flashlight plays a key role, which has now been changed to a body light, rather than weapon specific. It’s a welcome change and looks rather splendid. The beam seems to have better coverage at the expense of battery life, so tread carefully.

Speaking of treading carefully, Hans is now sporting a new intro animation which involves him dropping down, Ninja style, like a boss. It’s so much cooler looking now and showcases his nasty eyes and questionable nail varnish rather nicely. His defenses of noxious green gas and grenades seem to have been toned down on normal skill and only carry out minimal damage. A far cry from the previous versions.

The new maps

The new maps

The next new map is Farmhouse. A very small, secluded area with plenty of corners and opportunities to be bum rushed by Calmely’s creations. It also showcases some really nice lighting and shadows (special mention goes to the nicely modeled muscle car outside the cabin that illuminates the area). The zeds swarm in from the nearby cornfield. We sought refuge inside the barn, smashing the haphazardly placed window barricades upstairs. Sharpshooter will love this map… we need Sharpshooter! The eagle-eyed among you may also get a KF-Farm feeling from this particular area.

I got a real Evil Dead vibe from this map. The car parked outside, the cabin with the basement, lots of eerily placed implements of torture and death. The basement in particular turned into a literal bloodbath after a wave of non-stop slaughter. Add destructible lights and you have the ingredients of a scene from a horror flick. Marvelous.

Farmhouse. Small map with lots of superbly lit areas. Evil Dead fans will feel right at home

Farmhouse. Small map with lots of superbly lit areas. Evil Dead fans will feel right at home

Of course, one of the biggest additions to this update is the inclusion of the Patriarch, the returning end boss from KF1. Mr Clamely is roided up to the nines and has been pumping some serious iron since we last saw him. He has also received some robotic modifications as well, sporting a giant metal leg, some bling lights and a beefier looking mini-gun for an arm. Still wearing his nerdy glasses, he’s learned a few new tricks (and shaved, where’s his mustache?!) in his time away.

He can still cloak, fill you full of holes with his mini-gun, summon his children, poke you with his torso tentacle (it has moved from his chest area) as well launch a deadly multi-mortar attack which has the ability to turn the tide of a fight. The smoke and explosions are superb and nearby clots are obliterated by the onslaught. Daddy don’t care much for his children, it seems. Oh, and he can also grab you. Stay frosty!

Kevin Clamely - The Patriarch returns. All brawn and no brains? We think not

Kevin Clamely – The Patriarch returns. All brawn and no brains? We think not

It took most, if not all of the team at Tripwire to bring this sucker online. He’s a marvel to see in action. Fast, fluid animations, the familiar, dulcet tones of Dan Nassick, AKA zYnthetic, who returns to reprise his role from the first game. Kev is also quite smart. He runs, cloaks, flanks and of course summons his brood-lings when he’s near death, all while he skulks off into a corner to juice up for the next bout, all without getting stuck on geometry or props. And of course, you know it’s time to duck for cover as soon as you hear him yell “one in the pipe!”

Next up is the more controversial addition to the game, the Trading Floor: ZEDconomy. In short; Micro transactions. This is Tripwire’s way of giving content creators the option of sharing and profiting from their creations and giving the players more choice to customise their characters and weapons with cosmetic only appearances. The system is very akin to Team Fortress 2’s, minus the crafting (possibly to come at a later date) elements. If you’ve ever played Counter-Strike: Global Offensive then you’ll be very familiar with it.

So far, this decision hasn’t been very well received by the community, mainly due to the game still being an Early Access title and a certain other developer implementing a Micro-transaction system so late on in their game’s life cycle (as well stating, very early on that they would never add such a thing). Controversy aside, many people’s views are that if the ZEDconomy remains “cosmetic only” as the developers have stated then all well and good. You won’t need to spend a penny as the items will drop in game, which is good, players don’t like to have content ‘forced’ upon them.

Trading Floor's ZED-conomy in game store. *Prices are not final*

Trading Floor’s ZED-conomy in game store. *Items and prices are not final*

Item quality is graded from 1 to 5, (Common, Uncommon, Rare, Exceptional, Master Crafted) there is also a 6th grade (Precious) The 6th grade is only available by opening a Horzine Supply Crate or an Encrypted Weapon Skin USB. Weapon skins are further modified by their wear condition. (Mint, Field-Tested, and Battle Scarred). 6th graded items is where real money comes into play.

It’s a gamble, you can pay real cash for chests and keys, the odds of receiving something awesome are higher but there’s always a chance of something…. not so epic. Of course, you can always trade or sell certain, unpaid for items on the Steam Marketplace so there is scope to make some extra dosh. Some people like to play the market for profit or just help others out by sharing content. It has the potential to be something cool.

How items look in-store. Shows the quality and rarity of the item. This item is 'common' but still looks cool and the art is high quality

How items look in-store. Shows the quality and rarity of the item. This item is ‘common’ but still looks cool and the art is of high quality

And how the camo looks in game. Not too shabby

And how the camo looks in game. Not too shabby

Tripwire has stated that the system will be reiterated and tweaked over time through community feedback and profits made will go towards creating future, free content for the game for years to come. Players of Killing Floor 1 will remember, the game received over 5 years of free content, funded with the help of paid for DLC.

Development costs time and above all, money and in a business, this system makes perfect sense. As long as it is implemented in the right way; perhaps once all things are in place, tweaked and finalised, the majority of players will will be happy? Time will tell. More information can be found in the official FAQ. Click here to read.

A drop I received. A neato little headband for specific characters

A drop I received. A neato little headband for specific characters

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DJ Skully sporting his hard earned headband. Always good to control the sweat when you’re pwning genetic clones

As we know, Killing Floor 2 is about mass slaughter and Perks (or classes). Thankfully, the much requested, (and modded into Killing Floor 1, using the ever popular ScrN Balance mutator) Gunslinger delivers. There is an interesting selection of killing instruments at your disposal, namely:

  • Dual 1858 Revolver – The starting weapons. Be the cowboy you’ve always wanted to be. Even more awesome, a single gun is held like a good ol’ Cowboy. A fanning fanatic’s wet dream.
  • Desert Eagle .50 – Available as single or one in each hand, a real looker. Nice, chrome finish with lucious scorch marks at the end of the barrel. Ideal for penetration, popping 2 or 3 heads with one bullet. It never gets old.
  • M1911 pistol – Again, available in pairs, these bad boys look the business.
  • 500 “Bone Collector” Magnum Revolver – Guaranteed to make anyone’s day. Absolute, unapologetic stopping power and the self proclaimed “Scrake Killers” – two of these monsters in your hands are truly devastating. Absolutely decimates the smaller zeds (rips them in half) and superb penetration; line up the baddies and watch them splat with one well aimed shot.
The Gunslinger Perk Skills in all their glory

The Gunslinger Perk Skills in all their glory

 

There’s also the regular 9mm pistol, which has received an aural makeover, sounding much punchier now. It’s a good back up weapon as single or doubled-up. Speaking of doubling up, Tripwire has again listened to their community. Secondary fire on dual wielded guns toggles between regular aim down the sights or the recently added “gangsta off aim with the left hand” view.

It’s nice to have a choice. If i’m feeling in a Jon Woo kind of mood, i’ll mix it up a little, see the above game play footage. Pay particular attention to the full ammo reload animations, there’s some really slick ones, such as spinning certain guns and checking the chamber of the handcanon. Very stylish.

The Perks

The Perks

To finish off the Gunslinger’s toy collection, there’s the Bowie Knife, for when the bullets run dry. It’s a big ole Crocodile Dundee kind of deal which can easily lop off the heads of lower tiered enemies. Enough said. Finally, there’s the nail bomb. A canister half filled with nails with just the right amount of explosive thrown in to spread the love, and the limbs. Ideal for crowded rooms.

It wouldn’t be a Killing Floor 2 update without an extra, playable character to choose from. The mighty Swedish Viking, Oisten Jagerhorn joins the roster. He’s a bearded, burly, talkative chap who speaks in a suave, smooth accent and isn’t afraid of a gunfight, he likes to tease and generally has really cool and humourous battle chatter. You can unlock him by joining the Killing Floor 2 Steam Group.  and he’ll show in your character selection once the update is released.

 Oisten Jaegerhorn looking dapper in his Crocodile Dundee fancy dress costume

Oisten Jaegerhorn looking dapper in his Crocodile Dundee fancy dress costume

There are numerous tweaks here and there, such as the audio feeling closer, louder and more crisp. The volume of the Zeds feels louder too, such as little details like the fizzing crackle of electrics when a zed is shot in protected zones. The explosions sound much louder, punchier in general and make the Demolitionist’s weapons feel much more rewarding to use. Berserker and Medic perks have received some tuning here and there, with a view to receiving more tweaks or iteration, pending player feedback.

In closing, this is a very nice, welcome shot in the arm for Killing Floor 2. The Patriarch felt a little too easy (Hans can take far more punishment before going down) on normal mode but we’re told that Tripwire are currently balancing him. Some of the Gunslinger’s weapon sounds felt a little “fluffy”, such as the M1911 and the 1858’s firing and reloading audio.

Of course, the elephant and Patriarch in the room is the new economy system. We’re confident that Tripwire will come good, some people just need to realise that you can’t have everything for free all of the time. Good will and being popular doesn’t put food on the table. Something has to give.

We’ll see you on the Killing Floor. 🙂

Have some screenshots:

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9 comments

  1. zackfurniss says:

    Good stuff! And you WILL be seeing me on the Killing Floor.

  2. Nejc Fišer says:

    Can you post screenshot of passive abilities? I wanna see how much % per lvl you get

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