Killing Floor review

  • Left 4 dead-style teamwork
  • Abilities to level-up
  • Bizarre bosses
  • Deeply juvenile art direction and voice acting
  • Hideous UI
  • Drab environments

Zombies never seem to score an even break. Once again they are the subject of our gaming enmity, their sad lives cut short with axes, chainsaws, flamethrowers and shotguns, while we make quips and wait for the next upgrade. The whole thing probably sounds familiar – and it should. Not simply because this is a popular topic for game designers, but because this is a retail version of the classic Unreal Tournament 2004 mod of the same name: Killing Floor.

Being derived from a UT mod means that the game is, predictably, a multiplayer affair. There’s a solo option, but you won’t get very far with that – not until the developers implement the story mode they’ve been talking about, at least. Like all good team games you’re going to come to rely on your chums to get those nasties off you when you’re backed into a corner. Running off on your lonesome means doom, or occasionally glory. Mostly doom.

In a multiplayer game you find yourself, along with your colleagues, dumped into a large, open map. These maps are non-linear and your movement within them depends on two factors. Firstly, the attacks by the zombies: you’ll be trying to find the most defensible positions against the hordes. Secondly, you’ll be trying to get to the trader, who spawns at various locations between waves of zombies. The trader enables your militaristic characters to restock on ammo (although there are also crates of this across the level) and to buy new guns and armour (although these too are scattered over the environment). It’s fun to watch a tooled-up squad take to the next wave of enemies with relish: popping heads and exploding shambling masses with a well-placed grenade. Player-development isn’t limited to loadout – there are a bunch of character classes, or ‘perks’, which slowly level-up as you play.

These enable bonuses that make the battles at higher levels a little easier. And these battles do get tough: waves of enemies, followed by tougher waves of enemies, followed by a cloaking, shooting mega-mutant boss to finish.

The problem that underscores all this is that the game never feels more than a mod. The deeply juvenile art direction and voice acting, combined with the hideous UI and drab environments, make for a game that, although fun, has a distinctly amateurish delivery. Not that this harms the core of the game – which is very solid indeed – but overall it lacks the kind of quality, both in co-op tactics and visual design, that makes you feel like this is a worthwhile purchase. Still, if you can ignore that, and need yet more post-L4D multiplayer zombie destruction, this could be for you.

Jun 17, 2009

More Info

Release date: May 14 2009 - PC (US)
May 14 2009 - PC (UK)
Available Platforms: PC
Genre: Shooter
Published by: Tripwire Interactive
Developed by: Tripwire Interactive


  • MatrixMedic - April 10, 2011 11:14 a.m.

    Seeing as this game has not been touched for a long time I thought I might as well state the improvements. UI has changed for the better new weapons to asplode zombies with entire new perk dedicated to explosions new level for perks lots of char skins bunch of new maps- official and community new difficulty level weapon fixes many specimen fixes entirely new specimen works on mac now and many other small fixes and thingers wow that's a lot of updates
  • slayerfest2004 - July 23, 2009 8:01 a.m.

    @VMPSaberwolf - pay attention. The article clearly stated that the retail game is based on a mod for a popular game Unreal Tournament 2004 (ut2k4). You will need ut2k4 if you want to play the mod. If you want to play the retail game (actually it's not retail, it's a Steam game), you will need to buy it on Steam. Steam KF is standalone, but requires Steam to play of course. Anyway, i'll add some more points you'll hate: * only 4 skins. If you want 2 more skins, you'll have to pay again (which makes only 6 - lol fail). * this game has absolutely no support for female players. There is only 1 player voice actor and that's male. There's also no girl skins at all. * Many bugs. * They have a scoreboard for competitive play, altough it should be a COOP game. Because of that there's many cheaters using radars (just look on youtube). * Bad support - you can ask for support in their Suppor forum but never receive a single reply. * Decreasing popularity - this game is already less played than Ut2k4 which is 5 years old. * As i said you gotta pay for extra skins. They will still release maps and patches for free, but if you want anything cool that makes the game nicer, you'll have to pay. If not you'll have a ugly game. * Lack of maps. Only 4-5 official maps and bunch of community created maps. It would be cool but only some servers have decided to host unofficial maps.
  • VMPSaberwolf - June 18, 2009 8:15 p.m.

    The article mentions its a UT4 mod, is UT4 required to play or can you just download and play without having UT4 installed?
  • Sareith - July 9, 2009 1:23 p.m.

    Hmm well it gots my vote! Although it better be better then Left for Dead that game was kinda repetitive i got bored real easy but the second one might turn my opinion around well see.
  • Dropkick - June 24, 2009 12:05 a.m.

    Love this game, I ended up getting it due to a friend asking me to join SC from steam, and stumbled across this along the way. Long story short, didn't join SC, joined Killing Floor. :] Not sure if I like it as much as Left 4 Dead, but I just recently switched over from 360 playing of L4D to the online gameplay, so there's still some things I'm comparing.
  • hottaco - June 22, 2009 3:25 p.m.

    @VMP Saberwolf, no its a standalone game, you dont need UT4. You can just download it off of steam. I really like this game. I find it more fun then L4D because of all the weapons and upgrades.
  • PS360Rulez - June 18, 2009 9:32 a.m.

    I actually like this game better tha Left 4 Dead. I mean the pure awsomeness of watching my guy empty his dual degals into some huge zombie while in slow motion just cant be topped. Also has more weapons than Left 4 Dead and cooler graphics. Oh and the cool melee weapons. I also think that the non-linear style play makes for so much more fun. Me and some friends running through a corn field searching for a farm house while tons of undead try to eat our brains is so fun.
  • erreip199 - June 17, 2009 11 p.m.

    i actually play this one to mellow myself out, sadly for odd reasons the game crashes on my pc =/ i gotta save for a new one
  • MarkE1862 - June 17, 2009 10:05 p.m.


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