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Back 4 Blood Release Date Pushed Back From June To October 2021

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The creator of Left 4 Dead needs a little more time with its next zombie co-op game, Back 4 Blood, as it's been delayed from June to October 2021. Turtle Rock Studios announced its new original IP Back 4 Blood during the 2020 Game Awards, and it will be the studio's first major release since Evolve's failure and shutdown. A spiritual successor to Left 4 Dead, Back 4 Blood player-controlled characters are fighting back against the zombie horde as part of a faction known as the Cleaners, a resistance group struggling for humanity’s survival.

Fans of Left 4 Dead will recognize in alpha gameplay shown the hallmarks of what made the creators’ first series so famous. Tasks, upgrades, and unique weapons are available to combat the different forms of the Ridden, the game’s name for the worm-infested zombies. How Back 4 Blood differentiates itself from that of its spiritual predecessor is using a card system to change up the gameplay. These cards act as modifiers for not only the player’s character but the zombie hordes themselves. Cards can add unique buffs and abilities to the player, while an AI director uses its cards to change how much pain to expect through a campaign section. Players will also be to take control of the Ridden itself by using its special classes of enemies.

Posted by the game’s Twitter page, Back 4 Blood’s new release date is October 12, 2021, which is a four-month delay from the original June 22 release announced during the Game Awards. Turtle Rock stated that to ensure the gameplay experience is the best it can be at launch, it needs more time to polish the full release.

While the delay is unfortunate, it is not unwarranted or particularly egregious. Several games have been delayed in the past year thanks to ongoing complications due to COVID-19. However, Turtle Rock more than likely does not want a repeat of Evolve. Initially received well, the game quickly stagnated and was criticized by a controversial monetization scheme that heavily encouraged players to buy new monsters as DLC rather than unlock them in-game. Evolve also fell into the trap of trying to break into the world of esports at launch. While it was a novel concept, the game’s weak marketing, lack of a clear post-launch content roadmap, and eventual free-to-play release all contributed to the game’s death in 2018, three years after release.

Back 4 Blood seems to be a refresh of sorts for the company. Returning to its roots as a revolutionizer of asymmetrical shooter multiplayer, Turtle Rock is doing what brought it to prominence in the first place. Patience should be given to the developers, as it is evident the team is trying to make sure its next title is its best work to date. However, it will be interesting to see if the game releases around the same time as fellow co-op shooter Aliens: Fireteam, which is also set to release this year.

Back 4 Blood will be available for PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, and PC on October 12, 2021.

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