Playing as the undead is a key part of any zombie shooter, but Back 4 Blood’s weird multiplayer rules have soured the experience for many.
Back 4 Blood beta testers have noticed that the game’s player-versus-player Swarm mode is locked to only a single map per session. This is a distinct departure from the well-remembered versus mode in the Left 4 Dead series. Turtle Rock has confirmed on their official Discord that campaign versus mode will not be included for the game’s official release. The Back 4 Blood open beta test will begin on August 12.
— Back 4 Blood (@back4blood) August 10, 2021
In Left 4 Dead, versus mode matches are played out through the acts of a map. Players earn points by individually advancing through the level. Even if all the survivors are wiped out, the game still progresses to the next stage of the campaign.
In Back 4 Blood, versus matches are locked to only a single segment of a campaign. Teams switch sides just like in older titles, but points cannot be carried over to the subsequent stage of the campaign. In the case of online matchmaking, teams are prevented from rematching after just one level. This harsh best-of-one rule also means there’s no real way to stage a comeback. Players who want to play a full versus campaign will need eight cooperative players to join at least three separate lobbies while keeping track of the score by hand.
Limiting Back 4 Blood versus modes to one map was a purposeful decision that has some upsides. Since matches are shorter with no rematching, matchmaking times will stay low even as the player base eventually shrinks. Solo players will be constantly matched against brand new teams, which can improve skill detection by the matchmaker. Still, many players are unsatisfied with playing just one small part of the larger campaigns.
Turtle Rock Studios is the same group of developers behind the original Left 4 Dead franchise. Back 4 Blood innovates on the zombie shooter genre in a number of ways. The new title features evolving difficulty with a revamped version of Left 4 Dead’s infamous Director AI system. Players have access to a card system to gain stat bonuses and perks. Most of the changes are welcome, but many players believe that the classic campaign-length PVP mode ought to make a return before Back 4 Blood’s official release on October 12.