Back 4 Blood

I played through the first Act until I got to “the main menu”.


  • Wow, being able to look down the sights of a gun makes a HUGE difference, just like I suspected. I know that makes no difference to some people but to me it makes the assault weapons and LMG and shotgun much more fun to use.
  • I really hate the whole thing where the game switches to 3rd person view and your character does a weird arm motion, and you’re thrown around. It makes the game feel sooooooooo janky. Like worse than any Euro-jank. Why? Why?
  • Other than that other jank, my character (Mom) got thrown in the water, so I took over another character who couldn’t plant explosives because they’d been with Mom, so he had to run all the way back to where we got the first set of explosives, and all the while there were no enemies spawning at all. And then all the way back to plant the explosive, once again with no enemies. And then I planted the explosives and ran to safety, once again with no enemies. And then that triggered a cutscene in which they showed Mom in a big role. But she died! Ugh, the whole thing just feels so janky.

Hey, I play Mom too! High five bro!

The levels feel a bit too open to me, and there’s often no real signal that you’re about to step somewhere that you’re going to fall off of and need help back from, particularly during that junkyard level or whatever it is.

I like that we’re at the point that developers have to verify that “major bug fixes” and “quality of life improvements” are included in free updates.

I am a quitter , I uninstalled this over the past weekend.

Nothing added in them promised free updates makes me want to keep playing. And if anything you would think more free levels would be what they use to keep the player base active.

I see them offering new cards and I go meh.

It’s so dumb that they decoupled any kind of progression from the offline mode. Glad to see they’re changing their minds, but I’m not glad it’s taking them two months to implement it.

As for QoL improvements, they certainly have room for them! For me, the most surprising thing about Back 4 Blood was that it’s a deck-builder. The second most surprising thing about Back 4 Blood is that it has virtually none of the tools you would expect in a deck-builder. The card management stuff is the absolute worst. They couldn’t make it more of a hassle if they tried. I ended up keeping a spreadsheet to track the cards myself because the game itself was so frickin’ useless at it.

Otherwise, I’m all in for this stuff and I figure I’ll be playing well into next year. I’m still excited collecting the cards already in the game – I’ve got about 120 of 150 – so I don’t necessarily need new player cards. But I am looking forward to new Corruption Cards. There are plenty of imaginative ways they can shuffle the levels, and it feels like they’ve hardly tapped them. Just look at the crazy stuff you can do with cards that modify the gameplay in Aliens: Fireteam Elite. I’d love to see Back 4 Blood really flex the Corruption Card system. Right now, it’s great. It has the potential to be soooo much greater!

Some of that 2022 stuff sure seems vague. “Melee updates”? What does that even mean? “New co-op mode”? Huh? As for “new difficulty”, I’m wondering if they’re going to try to thread the needle with their existing difficulty levels, or if they’re just slapping one more harder difficulty level at the top. I’m guessing they’ll add a fourth difficulty level and then just redistribute the difficulty curve among four levels instead of three. Probably a good idea, but immaterial to me, as I’m pretty happy with how things are going with the bottom two difficulty levels.

Anyway, yeah, nothing surprising in this roadmap, and it feels a little chintzy. More along the lines of routine post-release support than anything worth writing home about.


I tried a few times with friends but in our brief play time we got stuck on the boat mission. Then a huge Deep Rock Galactic update came out.

If it stays on gamepass I’ll give it another go at some point.

Some of the speculation I’ve been reading about the melee updates seems plausible - right now the explodey head zombies basically invalidate the vertical swing axes, it would seem logical to give the player a way to swing horizontal with them (and vertical with the bat/machete to reach the weak points on tallboys.) I hope this is true at least.

The timed-survival horde mode from L4D would seem to be a natural thing for them to crib; I wouldn’t be disappointed if that’s what they meant by new co-op mode as I was always fond of that in L4D.

I’m most of the way through Veteran mode now, with just the body pit and finale to do still. They seem to cut off the cashflow completely in Act 3 of veteran; we had a party with 3 money grubbers cards in effect and were going into the new maps with $500 each, which made it exceptionally difficult.

Patch coming 10am PT today: NOVEMBER 2021 UPDATE - Back 4 Blood

Developers’ note – We’ve listened to your feedback and implemented some highly requested quality of life updates. Follow along with our Trello board (Trello) to track upcoming new features, balance changes, and major bug fixes. Note that our Trello Board, and this list of fixes, are not exhaustive.

  • All Cleaners are now immediately available to use. Players are no longer required to finish the The Devil’s Return – The Crossing campaign chapter to unlock Doc, Karlee, Hoffman, and Jim
  • Completing any campaign chapter now unlocks all previous chapters
  • In-Game Voice Chat can now be disabled in the Audio Options
  • Added mute icon to HUD for players with voice chat off or who have been muted
  • First Time User Experience now sends players directly to Fort Hope
  • Additional post-round statistics added for Swarm PvP
  • Added a “Mute All” button to the scoreboard in Swarm PvP
  • First aid cabinets now show a preview of how much health they heal
  • Players now recover health while inside Fort Hope
    • This change does not affect players in the shooting range
  • Added the /all message command allowing players to send messages to the Global Chat Channel
  • General
    • Weapons no longer revert to their default loadout when continuing a run in Training (previously named “Solo Campaign”)
    • Bots now use defibrillators more effectively
    • Improved character behavior when dropping and picking up items in certain locations
    • Flashbang now affects Common Ridden that are climbing on hit
    • Ogres are no longer outlined for Karlee after burrowing underground
    • Chapter Specific Updates
      • Blue Dog Hollow: Bad Seeds – Destroying the nest in Nightmare difficulty now spawns an endless horde
      • The Armory: The Handy Man – Bob’s Arm now appears in the scanning animation while the player has “Auto Select New Weapons” on
      • Dr. Roger’s Neighborhood “Gather Research” objective adjusted to account for solo players
  • Card Updates
    • Negative ammo capacity effects from cards now apply instantly after the card is drawn
    • Batter Up – Melee Damage adjusted to 40% from 50%
    • Brazen – Stamina efficiency adjusted to 20% from 30%
    • Breakout – Decreased use time to 3 seconds from 4 seconds
    • Face Your Fears – Adjusted to 2 Temporary Health from 3
    • Fresh Bandage – Now instantly applies its trauma heal effect when spawning into the safe room it is selected in
    • Ignore The Pain – Now restores health instead of providing Temporary Health
    • Inspiring Sacrifice – Heal decreased to 20 over 15 seconds from 25 over 20 seconds
    • Mean Drunk – Melee Damage adjusted to 60% from 75%
    • Meth Head – Stamina efficiency adjusted to 30% from 40%
    • Money Grubbers – Now grants 3 bonus copper per stack (from 5) and a max bonus of 75 (from 100)
    • Spikey Bits – Melee Damage adjusted to 20% from 25%
    • True Grit – Heal increased to 10 from 8
  • Balance Updates
    • Quick player-input movements are now smoother
    • Rebalanced Supply Point rewards for all campaign chapters in all difficulties
    • Adjusted Supply Points earned for completing the Speed Run objective
    • Readjusted Abomination health values on Nightmare difficulty
    • Players who are grabbed by a Crusher are now immune to friendly fire damage while grabbed and for 1.5 seconds after being released
    • Removed pipe bombs from Mom and Karlee bot loadouts
  • Ridden Updates
    • Breaker
      • Reduced the melee recovery times by 1.5 seconds
      • Reduced Leap recovery time by 1 second
      • Reduced Leap cooldown to 3 from 5 seconds
      • Reduced the bonus damage for Chest and Leg weakspots to 500 from 1000
      • Reduced the Taunt and Horde summon animation times by 0.5 seconds
      • Reduced the Swarm Cloud shrink time to 75 seconds from 90
      • Breaker leap speed reduced to 1500 from 2000
      • Breaker Horde call reduced to 60 seconds from 120
      • Breaker weakspot bonus damage to 1000 from 2000
    • Ogre
      • Health increased to 17000 from 16500
      • Chest weak spot extra damage reduced to 500 from 2000
    • Reeker
      • Movement speed no longer slowed by bullets
  • General
    • Bruiser’s Frenzy ability in Swarm PvP can now be canceled by pressing the button to trigger it again
      • [PC] Default hotkey: mouse right-click
      • [PS4/PS5] Default action button: R2
      • [XBOX] Default button: RT
  • Card Updates
    • Adrenaline Fueled and Meth Head added to Card Pool
    • Breakout – Decreased use time to 3 seconds from 4 seconds
    • Face Your Fears – Now grants 2 Temporary Health from 3
    • Ignore The Pain – Now increases Melee Damage against Mutations
  • Balance Updates
    • General
      • Tuning adjustments to make quick movements less abrupt to player acceleration movement
    • Cleaners
      • Cleaner team now receives a handicap bonus of 10% damage increase for each Cleaner missing from the team in Swarm PvP
      • Cleaners get a default 25% increase to Aim Down Sights speed and 25% increase to weapon swap speed in Swarm PvP
    • Ridden
      • Swarm starting radius reduced to 30 meters from 45 meters
      • Swarm transition reduced to 90 seconds from 120 seconds
      • Crusher
        • Health increased to 700 from 675
      • Hocker
        • Health reduced from 90 to 80
        • Harpoon (ability) cannot be cocked or fired while the character is in the air
        • Attack projectile speed to 2000 from 2500
        • Attack projectile miss cooldown to 4.5 from 3
        • Evolution 2 reduced to 20% from 25%
      • Reeker
        • No longer slowed by bullets
      • Tallboy
        • Attack knockback increased
        • Health decreased to 600 from 625
        • Overhead melee attack swing’s radius to 140 centimeters from 160 centimeters
        • Offense: Level 3 Damage+ bonus reduced to 30% from 35%
    • Mutations
      • Infected Wounds now reduces healing by 2% from 0.5% per hit from Common Ridden. The effect stacks up to 40% from 20%, and has a limited duration of 20 seconds which is reset upon each new hit
  • Secondary Weapons
    • Secondary Weapons no longer require a reload in the next safe room
    • Weapon swap animation now displays properly when equipping different Secondary Weapons
  • Melee Weapons
    • Bat movement speed increased to 410 from 400
    • Bats must do 50% more damage to stumble Ridden
    • Axe movement speed increased to 395 from 380
    • Axe damage reduced to 70 from 85
    • Axe stumble damage scale reduced to 0.5 from 1
    • Hatchet damage reduced to 40 from 50
    • Hatchet stumble damage scale reduced to 0.5 from 1
    • Machete movement speed increased to 425 from 420
  • Controller Options Changes
    • Added linear and exponential options to Aim Down Sights Target Snapping
    • Increased granularity of tuning Dead Zones for controllers from 10% increments to 1% increments (default adjusted to 13)
    • Revamped “Legacy” controller preset to better match other co-op FPS titles
  • Made improvements to Aim Assist
  • Aim assist is now more stable when jumping and aiming from above
  • [PS5] Reduced trigger resistance for Melee weapons
  • [PS5] Burst Fire weapon trigger effects now properly match rate of fire
  • Added “Stamina Breath” to Audio Options
    • When toggled “Off”, heavy breathing sound effects that play when your character runs out of stamina are muted
  • All red text should now change colors properly when a new color is selected for Red Elements in the Custom Color Blind Mode
  • Gas cans now change color when red elements are changed in the Color Blind Options
  • [XBOX] Guts that birds eat are no longer marked green
  • Health bar and ammo indicator now change color when Color Blind Mode is set to Protanopia or Custom
  • Renamed “Solo Campaign” to “Training”
    • Developers’ note – We noticed players were interested in keeping a practice mode they could play around in prior to joining other campaign difficulties, so we’ve renamed this mode to make it more clear that this is a great way to join the fray without the pressure of playing with other players. In Training, all cards are unlocked, so we encourage you to experiment with a variety of card combinations in your decks. Note that in December we will add in an Offline Mode for solo Campaign progression.
    • Training can’t be started when multiple people are in your Fort Hope instance. Must be playing alone
    • “Solo Decks” renamed to “Training Decks”
  • “Start/Continue Run” renamed to “Play/Continue Online”
  • Added differentiation between Cleaner and Ridden Input Layouts in the Gamepad controls in the Options menu
  • Made improvements to navigation in Personalization and Accomplishments menus on gamepad
  • Music no longer cuts off when the player navigates between tabs in the Options menu
  • The Friends tab no longer redirects back to the first page when a user’s friend connects to or disconnects from the game
  • Weapon previews in Supply Lines now rotate properly
  • [Steam] Steam Big Picture’s Virtual Keyboard now opens when a user selects a text box
  • Fixed an issue with mouse click alignment being off on sliders in the Options menu
  • Addressed performance issue related to having a large friends list
  • Campaign
    • Cards
      • Heavy Hitter – Effects now properly apply when killing Ridden with a melee attack
    • General
      • Fixed some issues related to Specials spawning
      • Fixed achievements and accomplishments not unlocking if you are dead at the end of the mission
      • Fixed friendly fire removing Jim’s passive ability
      • Fixed a bug where all Trauma damage was blocked as long as you had 1 temp health
      • Fixed an issue that was causing the visibility of Sleepers to display incorrectly with Karlee’s ability to sense nearby hazards and mutations
      • “Waiting for Available Respawn” message will no longer appear on UI when joining a match for the first time in spectator mode
      • Fixed issue where the horde timer was not resetting after a team wipe
      • Fixed an issue where the Hag could become unresponsive if players kited her in her hunting phase without drawing aggro
      • Fixed an issue where acid covered (from Retch vomit) and pus covered (from any Reeker death explosion) were using the same icon
      • Rescue pods no longer disappear for players that reconnect to a game they had disconnected from
      • Objective counters now update properly for players with the Vendor box UI open
      • Fixed an issue where only one team upgrade would appear for purchase in the Vendor after players purchased all available loot upgrades to the highest tier
      • Fixed player explosive dialogue playing when the player is damaged by the explosion in game
      • Fixed issue where the damage source for players knocked prone or killed by the Ogre’s stomp was shown in the kill feed as “Unknown.”
      • Fixed an issue with weapons not displaying correctly in first person for players that selected multiple characters before locking their choice in on the Character Select screen
      • Players can no longer see out of bounds when dying to fall damage or drowning in water
      • Fixed an issue where red kill hitmarkers were not displaying consistently in online games
      • Corrected bullet shells’ behavior when a player uses their Aim Down Sights with a High Zoom Scope equipped
      • Fixed an issue where the message “Run Failed” would incorrectly display at the end of the level if the player completed the level with no continues remaining in Solo Campaign (now known as “Training”)
      • Corrected Ogre’s tumor toss behavior towards players it can’t reach
      • Cleaners can no longer be picked up from ledge hang by a player underneath them
      • Fixed an issue where the character card would not be active after a player late joined into a game and transitioned to the next campaign chapter
      • Fix for Windows 11 cutscene and loading screen related crash
    • Search and Rescue – Clean Sweep
      • Fixed an issue where Breaker SFX continued to play after the Breaker was killed.
    • The Armory – The Handy Man
      • Bob’s Arm now appears in the scanning animation while the player has “Auto Select New Weapons” on in The Armory – The Handy Man
    • Remnants – A Friend in Need
      • Fixed an issue that caused a second instance of the “Charred Ridden” card to be dealt by the Game Director when opening the Morgue
    • Remnants – Making the Grade
      • Fixed an issue where the Ogre stopped tracking the targeted player and became stuck while trying to despawn
    • Dr. Rogers’ Neighborhood – Farther Afield
      • Fixed an issue where the Breaker did not spawn when its Director Card was played
  • Swarm PvP
    • Player Ridden spawn timers are now visible to teammates while in ghost mode in Swarm PvP
    • Leaver penalties no longer apply in private PVP matches
    • Fixed a bug where all Trauma damage was blocked as long as you had 1 temp health
    • Swarm PvP Penalty message now displays correct penalty timer
    • Fixed Temporary Health deteriorating while players are in the safe room
    • Fixed UI messaging informing players that the game can be left without penalty in private Swarm PvP games
      • Private Swarm PvP games can be left without penalty at all times
    • Playable Stinger variants can no longer spawn into the world mid -leap in Swarm PvP
    • Player Stingers and their variants are now properly stunned by flashbangs while leaping in Swarm PvP
    • Fixed an issue in Swarm PvP where Ridden Users could spawn closer than intended to Cleaners at different height levels
    • Fixed an issue where acid covered (from Retch vomit) and pus covered (from any Reeker death explosion) were using the same icon
    • Fixed player explosive dialogue playing when the player is damaged by the explosion in game
    • Fixed an issue where the camera would tilt for Ridden players after loading into Plan B – Trailer Trashed in Swarm PvP
    • Fixed an issue where red kill hitmarkers were not displaying consistently in online games
    • Fixed an issue that caused bullet shells to collide with the player’s gun when aiming down sights with a High Zoom Scope equipped
    • Fixed an issue with weapons not displaying correctly in first person for players who selected multiple characters before locking in their choice on the Character Select screen
    • Ridden players now hear Retch ping dialogue from player Cleaners in Swarm PvP
    • Player-controlled Stalkers no longer get released directly on top of Cleaners that use Breakout in Swarm PvP
  • Controller Updates
    • Fixed a bug with Aim Assist forcing 100% aim magnetism
    • Fixed a bug that sometimes caused a player’s field of vision to jitter when using Aim Down Sights
    • Fixed a bug that Aim Assist to prioritize Gas Cans and Propane Tank over more hostile targets
    • Fixed a bug that caused player’s camera to snap if they moved very slowly using a controller
  • New Features
    • Name a Ridden feature enabled for broadcasters who have access to Bits
      • Players can spend Bits to have their name show up in the kill feed page on Twitch
      • Broadcasters can disable the feature or change the minimum Bits required to use the feature from their extension configuration
      • Bits spent by viewers benefit the broadcaster
      • Viewers’ names will show up in the kill feed when their special Mutation is killed
      • Viewers who use Bits to name a Ridden will be queued between levels and runs
    • Mutation upgrade levels are now displayed for broadcaster when on Ridden team in Swarm PvP
  • Bug Fixes
    • Fixed localization of Difficulty and Map name in extension
    • Fixed up card display bug on two cards that used key binds as part of their text
    • Fixed several issues where Fort Hope would not show “Waiting for game to start” Status
    • Windows Store builds now properly display the option to link extension to game client
    • Fixed some display bugs for cards with a lot of accompanying text

Anyone else try the PvP, I thought it was horrible. I believe I mentioned it up thread. :)

This reads like a lot of nerfs to melee with some buffs to enemies… and no buffs to cleaners to compensate. Someone who is better at the game than me please tell me I’m wrong. Right now my group is stalled out at the end of Act 1 because we need a 4th that doesn’t park itself in front of our sniper (looking at you, Evangelo bot). The difficulty felt fine for us as-is and it’ll be a tough sell to drag everyone back if they made it much harder.

Yeah, I’m not sure exactly who was clamoring: “Make the game harder!”

The money grubbers nerf definitely hurts - I had that as a early card in every deck. Most of the public random players I’ve played with mentioned they did the same. In hindsight, it’s probably a warranted nerf if it’s such a no brainer to take it, but that doesn’t make it any more appealing. It would have been logical for them to buff some of the other money cards at the same time, but no signs of that in the notes…

I’m certainly not looking for the game to get harder. I’ve been playing off and on very occasionally with friends and we got stuck on the bridge level last night, where you plant all the bombs on the ferry. Just couldn’t get through, and on the lowest difficulty. We just haven’t been able to get into a groove with this game at all.

Pipebombs or firecrackers help a lot with that stage (or any of the other endless horde stages - looking at you Acid Zombies fence pen stage in Act 3.)

You’ll definitely want to throw one right after breaching the propane tank wall, and again if you get mobbed trying to do the ferry bombs. It also helps to have one person stay behind and man the minigun to keep the top deck clear.

As someone who also mentioned the PvP upthread, and in a similarly disapproving light, I’ve come around on it. I think my problem was related to playing with people who had no idea what they were doing. Particularly since I was one of those people.

But now, having taken time out to figure out how the PvP works, I actually kind of like it? Partly because it’s short. It’s a lot less of a time commitment than any of the PvE stuff. It seems to me you’re supposed to bang out a PvP match in about five minutes. And in that five minutes, you’re mostly focusing on direct encounters with player-controlled specials, which is a good way to learn how the specials work. And you’re doing it by quickly bringing a bunch of cards to bear instead of gradually building them up over the course of several missions.

Furthermore, there are some interesting options for how to spend your mutation points on the neutral zombies instead of the specific specials. The match where I really came around I spent as a spitter, hanging back and sniping at the players while spending points to boost the horde zombies that they were mostly ignoring. As with the cards, there are some intriguing “build options” available when you’re on the zombie team.

It reminds me a bit of the multiplayer in ZombiU from way back when. We had a great time with that back in the day, so I can see spending some time with the Back 4 Blood PvP.


Yeah, the week after some friends and I started B4B we played some L4D (amazing, still) then carried on with Deep Rock Galactic and we just… well, ended up uninstalling B4B.

Despite L4D being 12 years old, I still appreciate the immediacy, balance and focus of its design, perhaps even more so now. It has so much personality, more distinct special infected helped by (much) better audio design, weightier melee, punchier explosions and the inertia from the zombies carrying their bodies as you take out their limbs still looks and feels great. Then there’s Versus, obviously. I really like the movie structure of L4D too (and the poster one-liners). I didn’t miss aiming down sights either, or a progression system (I still like the sound of the cards, on paper at least).

Maybe I’ll try out B4B again later down the line but right now the call of DRG is too strong for me and my friends!

I know the feeling well! Did you spot the video I linked earlier?

Yeah, I’ve got a soft spot for these kinds of quickfire PvP modes, like Doom Eternal’s battlemode and Evolve and Sea of Thieves’ arena modes.

Ha, I linked it to my group as soon as I saw it posted :)