There are 7 perks, or classes, that you can choose to play as in Killing Floor. This allows many different styles of play and also ensures that the game doesn’t become stale, especially if everyone had access to everything at the same time. Each perk has specific ways to level up, which allow cheaper and stronger weapons that go with that perk, along with a bunch of passives such as stronger armor or faster movement speed. All perks start with pistols, can buy and use grenades and armor, as well as carrying a medical syringe that can be used to heal yourself or others. Technically you can use and buy every gun on any perk, but since each perk causes its weapons to be cheaper, you’re almost forced to just buy the discounted weapons. Field medics have stronger armor, can move faster, heal for more, access to a wide variety of medic guns that shoot healing darts, and grenades that heal instead of harm. Support specialists can weld doors easier, access to tons of shotguns for cheaper prices, and can carry more weight. Sharpshooters of course gain access to lots of weapons that focus on accuracy and headshots, while also increasing headshot damage of any weapons. Commandos are the ones that use lots of automatic rifles while also being able to see enemy health bars. The Berserker is a melee weapon user, which has access to swords and a chainsaw, and can gain resistance to all damage while also being able to move faster. If fire and flames are what you’re looking for, the firebug can purchase fiery weapons such as flamethrowers and even dragon’s breath shotguns, all while taking less fire damage from all sources. Finally, if you like watching stuff explode into a fine red paste, Demolition perks allow you to get exploding weapons for cheaper, whether its a grenade launcher or pipebombs that you can drop.
There are a total of 10 different enemies, called zeds or specimens, including the final boss. They are all very unique compared to each other and are equally as dangerous. Headshots are the main and best strategy to kill enemies, mainly because it can disable and stun even the largest ones, while of course doing more damage which makes sharpshooters important on the harder difficulties. The two basic zeds, clots and gorefasts, simply try to get close to you and melee you, though the gorefast is all about speed and damage while the clot will simply grab you and prevent you from moving. Stealthy specimens are the crawlers and stalkers, which can easily hide in the levels’ dark areas and do damage before you know it. A large and fat looking zed named bloats will try to slowly get next to you and cover you with corrosive vomit, and will even explode while showering everything with it as well when it dies. Husks are fairly strong and the only long ranged specimen if you don’t count the final boss, who wander around and trying to shoot you with their exploding fireball weapon. Two very large and hard to kill enemies are the scrake and fleshpound, which both will try to charge the players when they get low enough on health or have been shot with bullets too many times, and both are responsible for the most player deaths. Finally, if you make it through all the normal waves, you will have to fight the boss which is called the Patriarch, who sports a chain gun, rocket launcher, melee attacks, and even a cloaking device which he uses to sneak around as well as run away so he can heal himself. If you get his health low enough and fail to completely kill him, he will run away to hide somewhere so he can heal, while also causing a small group of smaller specimen to spawn which are easy to deal with. Quite possibly the most important part about the enemies in Killing Floor is that they all scale based on the number of players currently in the match, causing high amounts of players to not make the game stupidly easy while also allowing you to leave at any time without feeling obligated to stay.
Cooperating with everyone else on your team is how you will be successful, and there are a few tools to let you do so. Since everyone is able to carry a medical syringe around, it is best to heal others than to heal yourself because a bonus is applied to it, even moreso if you’re a field medic. There is no friendly fire at all unless you’re on a server that allows it, making it easier to get zeds off of your teammates with explosives. Money can be given to other people as well as any guns, allowing you to arm people that just joined or died previously and lost their guns.
Probably the most unique thing about Killing Floor is that it has a mechanic called Zed Time. When someone kills an enemy, moreso when a large group dies at once or a large enemy dies, there is a chance that the game will enter Zed Time which slows everything down. This can help everyone aim better and assess the situation more accurately. The Berserker and Commando perks even have a special passive ability that allows them to prolong the duration of Zed Time for each kill that they can get during its duration.
There is a large variety of levels, though for the most part they can be considered the same. All levels include multiple paths with almost no dead ends, which can make it hard at times to bottleneck the enemies. Item spawns will be scattered all over which can spawn even when the current wave is still going on. There will be doors that you can weld closed which will cause enemies to start attacking it, and it will stay closed if you continue to keep it welded. When a wave is finished, you will be shown the way to a store where you can spend the cash that you have earned, with multiple stores on each level and only one available at a time.
In a very recent update, an objectives mode map has been added to Killing Floor. Instead of just simply surviving a certain number of waves, this map has an actual story and objectives to do. These objectives range from simply killing enemies, repairing wall objects, carrying gold around, and preventing a VIP from dieing, along with other duties. Another key difference is that the strongest of enemies will appear very early, so even if you are playing it on an easy difficulty setting it will still be a challenge to complete.
Since all servers are hosted by players, you may run into a lot of cool levels and gameplay elements to try out. One good level example is where someone took the first level of DOOM II and made a perfect copy of it, even including all of the secret rooms. Since the game is being sold through Steam, there is even the workshop setup with it meaning you can see all the modifications that other people have made while also able to easily download them and try them out yourself.
Holiday events are a great time to play Killing Floor, even if you’ve already played the game a lot already. They generally include new levels and reskins of all the enemies such as elf clots and nutcracker fleshpounds. At the same time, they will include special achievements that can only be earned while the event is going on, and if you complete enough of them you will be able to unlock a new character to play as.
Almost all of the DLC that is available to buy is only cosmetic, in the form of different character models to play as. There are tons of different characters to choose from, and since you can’t see yourself in game it is best to only buy the one you’re interested in instead of all of them. A DLC pack for weapons does exist however, though you won’t be at any real disadvantage if you don’t buy it. With the large amount of weapons that already exist in the game, you will barely notice that you won’t have access to them, though some of them do look fun to use such as a scythe for the bersker and a flaregun pistol for the firebug.
There are just the basic options that exist for any first person shooter, most importantly being able to rebind keys. The graphics are good and it should run on any computer that is somewhat modern. The sound and music in Killing Floor is great, foot steps and vocal sounds that the specimen make will let you know where they are coming from. Since the game takes place in Britain, the characters all have that accent and some of the terms that they use are rather hilarious. Music is a lot of heavy metal when the waves begin, with milder songs during down time at the stores. Holiday events generally have their own special music, such as a christmasy sounding song during the Christmas event.
Even though the goal is different, Left 4 Dead kind of has the same feel to it when compared to Killing Floor. They both rely on teamwork and have a wide variety of enemies to deal with. It is not confirmed or anything, but a sequel to Killing Floor is highly likely.
One unfortunate thing about Killing Floor is that pretty much every level doesn’t see their full potentional. In other words, even though every level is big and detailed with paths all over and doors to weld, there’s too many disadvantages to continuously move around and it’s best to just sit in the few most safe designated spots that exist on each level. This is mainly because, especially on harder difficulties, some of the enemies are too dangerous and hard to kill if everyone isn’t together in the same spot. One example is the office buildings on the west London level, it’s as if that area doesn’t exist and people only ever use it in rare situations.
If you are playing with competent players, Killing Floor won’t be very difficult. There are also five difficulty settings that will allow you to customize how hard to want the game to be. Being able to level perks also make the game easier, and it is recommended to play on the easier settings until they have a few levels in them before venturing into the higher difficulties. Most everyone plays on the long setting, which means theres a total of 10 waves and the boss wave, and this can take from 30-60 minutes to complete. Luckily, you can shorten the game length, but almost no servers use this setting and you may have to play in single player if you want a quicker game. Although it may make the people you are playing with unhappy, you are free to leave at anytime, and since the difficulty of enemies is based on the number of players this won’t hinder the remaining players very much.
With 3 hard settings, lots of weapons and perks to master, anyone looking for a challenge will welcome Killing Floor. You can even play the game alone for those who are looking for even bigger challenges. Unfortunately, no matter how good you are, the harder difficulty settings could be considered “off limits” to you for a while because even the best person won’t do very good with level 0 perks. The main thing that you can unlock and work towards are the levels for each perk. With 7 total perks, you will have hundreds of hours of gameplay to look forwards to if you are wanting to max each one. Since each perk has different qualities and weapon choices, you won’t become bored from playing them. There are also special holiday events that also include their own achievements, and unlocking them will allow you to equip unique costumes that are only available from each event, such as a santa or chicken costume.
Killing Floor currently sells for 20 dollars, along with about 50 dollars worth of DLC. However, if you have not yet purchased the game and are wanting to get all of the DLC as well, there is also the complete pack for 40 dollars. With the hundreds of hours of entertainment that you can get out of Killing Floor from basic enjoyment of the game, or trying to max all the perks, the complete pack is a worthy purchase.