With Steam currently selling Tripwire Interactive’s first-person survival horror shooter at a bargain bin-worthy price ($3.99 for the core game), and OUYA receiving its own specially designed version of the popular game (Killing Floor: Calamity), Killing Floor’s Left 4 Dead-reminiscent brand of cooperative slaughter has continued to engage many avid gamers even after its original release way back in May 2009. Hoping to help keep newcomers alive long enough to develop their own set of battle-hardened trigger fingers, we deliver our tried-and-true tips on how to outlive the horrors that await you within the eerie, claustrophobic depths of Killing Floor.
5) Keep Calm, Keep Close
Lone wolf-prone squad members and easy-to-panic players with twitchy trigger fingers will die a quick, painful death in Killing Floor if they chose not to cool their nerves and make wise, potentially wave-winning decisions. Things such as conserving ammunition – through precise, clean kills – and sticking close to your other weapon-toting teammates during hectic waves of persistent monstrosities may seem obvious for survival, but the execution of these otherwise simplistic ideas can and will make all the difference when the odds are stacked against you. Ensuring that teammates are within close vicinity to you whenever it’s time to make an end-of-round sprint to the local weapon dealer, or whenever it’s absolutely necessary to run-and-gun it to a new easily-defensible location will also help ensure that your squad – at the very least – reaches the final wave: a boss battle against the minigun-wielding, rocket-spraying specimen called the Patriarch.
4) Advantages in Slow Motion
Triggered whenever you or one of your crack-shot teammates performs a particularly gruesome kill, “ZED-time” grants your entire squad a short slow motion ability that can be utilized to carefully target and execute brain-splattering headshots (if done correctly). Though it cannot usually be determined when this specific gameplay feature can be activated, ZED-time can be extremely helpful (especially in later waves); buying you precious time to reload your weapon or even quickly allowing you to exterminate swarms of enemies with pinpoint accuracy. As a quick tip, if you’re looking to extend the duration of slow motion in hopes of benefiting the team, then consider having yourself or one of your fellow squad members equip either the Berserker (the melee specialist character class) or the Commando perk. And as an added bonus, consistently utilizing either of those aforementioned character classes will also increase their specific experience level as well, which in return, unlocks further stages of extended ZED-time that could drastically benefit your entire team.
3) Explore Your Surroundings
Learning every miniscule map detail in first-person shooters like Call of Duty might be a clever way to increase your overall skills in online skirmishes, but in Killing Floor it’s absolutely essential to know every map in order to preserve the lives of both you and your fellow teammates. Unfortunately, well-executed strategies don’t usually fall out of thin air, so traversing any map you plan on conquering with a group of friends on an easier setting first should allow you time to gather general ideas on how to create defensible positions and fool-proof escape routes for when the overwhelming hordes are too much to handle in higher difficulties. Realizing how easily you can hold down a defensive position under either of West London’s bridges or secure an advantageous chokepoint in Biotics Lab, for instance, could make all the difference as to whether you emerge from the round victorious or not.
2) Know Your Enemy
Ever hear the saying “Don’t bring a knife to a gunfight?” Well, the same concept applies heavily when it comes to slaughtering the violent abominations littering each of Killing Floor’s countless maps. Getting a feel for what weapons kill specific types of enemies the most effectively can easily turn the tides of any defeat-lingering match, and ensure that your vulnerable team survives long enough to properly conquer each wave unscathed. Facing Clots and arachnid-like Crawlers with nothing more than a mere pistol might keep your heart still beating, but trying that same scenario with a chainsaw-equipped Scrake or a rage-induced Fleshpound will undoubtedly leave you staring at a viciously dismembered corpse. With that said, sparing heavy weaponry until later in the round, researching each enemy’s unique weaknesses, and making sure squad members possess guns that thoroughly exemplify their strengths will allow you to dominate any bloodthirsty creature that attempts to kill you.
1) Strategize and Conquer… or Die Trying
It cannot be stressed enough how essential team tactics and proper squad coordination are when it comes to surviving Killing Floor’s brutal and merciless onslaught of grotesque inhabitants, especially when it could mean the difference between a cheer-inducing victory or a sad, pitiful defeat. Communicating with your fellow teammates, organizing what weaponry each squad member will utilize, or even hunkering down in an impenetrable formation to slaughter a particularly nasty wave of gruesome adversaries are easy ways to ensure you live long enough to slay another day. Keep in mind, it’s always a smart move to organize your fellow teammates in a way that greatly emphasizes their strengths and notably dilutes – or at least improves – any weaknesses any specific member exhibits. It might seem self-explanatory, but when the bullets start whizzing, and the seemingly endless flesh-craving hordes become increasingly more overwhelming, carefully implemented strategy may turn to desperate, reckless run-and-gun chaos that not only separates you from your team, but also leaves you completely drained of all your potentially life-saving ammunition. Ultimately, those that actively accommodate to any situation, clearly communicate battle tactics, exploit each team member’s specific perks, and, more importantly, initiate combat with a team-orientated focus will undoubtedly conquer the gruesome horrors waiting inside any one of Killing Floor’s numerous maps.