'Back 4 Blood' is a fantastic 'Left 4 Dead' sequel

Originally published at: 'Back 4 Blood' is a fantastic 'Left 4 Dead' sequel | Boing Boing

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Just to make this clear: Back4Blood is not an official Left4Dead sequel. Turtle Rock Studios, who made L4D were acquired by Valve who has the L4D franchise rights. They then split off Valve again and re-established themselves as an independent studio, but without the right to make L4D 3. Hence B4B.

I don’t even play video games. Why do I know this stuff?


The boss zombies, I mean ridden, are bullet sponges, no strategy required. Just try not to run out of ammunition or get blitzed by the Stingers that are more annoying Smokers. Also, if you look at the credits Turtle Rock outsourced, concept art, 3d models, animation, textures, and Unreal game engine modifications. I’m really not sure what Turtle Rock Studios actually did except come up with the concept. I have never seen that many third-party groups or as many different QA departments on one game.

Also, Warner Bothers who published it had a huge amount of influence.

To be fair, the name itself makes that clear. If it were an “official” sequel, it would be called “Left4Dead: Back4Blood” (except there would be a third game before that title came out). But in the video game world “official” doesn’t mean anything, really - it only means some corporation owns the rights to use the name, nothing else. (To a degree not true in any other media - even in Hollywood, a sequel often has some connection to the original creator.) So we recognize “official” sequels, where two games of the same name didn’t have any of the same people working on it, “spiritual” sequels that are inspired by the previous game(s), and real sequels, made by at least some of the same developers - as here.

Ironically, official sequels usually mean the least, even though they’re given the most attention - I always find it strange people are eager to buy sequels, sight unseen, because of their love for the first game, even though a completely different group of developers made the second, and it might as well be a random game for all the name is worth.

Eh. I don’t see that as a fair criticism. If a studio can coordinate and release a game then judge it on the merits. Usually, outsourcing makes it much more difficult to bring everything together. I remember people ragging on Watch Dogs having giant seams run through the map presumably because different (all Ubisoft) studios shared the work. Most examples I know of outsourcing are a bit of a mess (Hey, that carrot in the background has 8k textures. How come nobody noticed this a year ago?). Also, there isn’t a standard for credits. I know in film a studio might get outsourced but only allotted 3 names for credits. So you have it in your contract or hope you can negotiate if you care about that sort of thing. I’m sure lots of studios take additional money in lieu of credit. What’s your beef with QA departments? In my experience they’re a luxury to have during development. It’s a slog of a job, sometimes they’re wasted (filing bugs without allowing time to address them) but I feel like more studios could use more. By itself, I don’t see multiple as a negative.

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Well, they came up with - and made - the actual, you know, game. (Art assets are a game in the same way a pile of lumber and nails are a house.) Plus, they certainly also did concept art, 3d models, animation, textures, etc. in house as well, it’s just that anything approaching a AAA game has absurd numbers of people doing art assets, so even the biggest studios end up outsourcing some game assets. (This usually isn’t obvious because in really big companies, they use sister studios for the outsourcing work, and often outsourcers aren’t credited.)

WSJ coverage? NYTimes Weekend?
(I misread ‘Dead By Daylight’ sequel. ?How I mine for $70 movie (give or take the videocard?))
Hey Jason MacPublisher, does playing on MacOS make a difference?

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Calling B4B fantastic is a stretch. Aiming controls are horrible, the card system is cool BUT you have to spend so much on cards you don’t want to get ones you do want AND even then you don’t know where you’ll find the cards you want. The PvP mode is awful…

L4D it is not!

Definitely a different animal. Less cinematic (it’s cardinal sin IMO), and more complex gameplay.

In the beta it felt rather low on zombie count. I actually missed the AI director which really did help with the cinematic feel in L4d games.

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