Back 4 Blood puts a spin on zombie survival with roguelite card system

Turtle Rock's new Left 4 Dead spiritual successor Back 4 Blood subverts expectations with its innovative new card system.

Published Fri, Mar 26 2021 11:32 AM CDT   |   Updated Fri, Apr 23 2021 8:50 PM CDT

Back 4 Blood brings back Left 4 Dead's original Director game mode with a unique twist.

Back 4 Blood puts a spin on zombie survival with roguelite card system 64 |

Turtle Rock's new zombie FPS gore-fest Back 4 Blood will make use of an evolved form of L4D's classic Director gametype. The mode is basically like a randomized Firefight map with weapons and enemies strewn throughout by an AI bot. Turtle Rock is making one big change by adding in some Magic The Gathering-style card mechanics.

There's two sides to Back 4 Blood's new Corruption Cards: Ones the director selects, and ones players use while fighting. Director cards are detrimental things like enemy spawn types and in-game challenge activities. Players, on the other hand, get to buff their team with handy bonuses like extra health, ammo, and other things.

The card system is meant to be reactive. Players are meant to choose cards that help their team adapt to the conditions and Corruption Cards set by the director. It's kind of like using a Duress in MtG and planning your moves based on what your opponent has in their hand.

Back 4 Blood puts a spin on zombie survival with roguelite card system 36 | TweakTown.comBack 4 Blood puts a spin on zombie survival with roguelite card system 37 |

Here's how Turtle Rock explains the feature:

"We've got the elements that you want out of a cooperative zombie shooter, so you can gather up with 3 friends and take out a bunch of ridden. We're also adding some roguelite elements with our card system and we think it puts a spin on the genre and adds even more replayability," Turtle Rock Studios executive producer Lianne Papp said in a recent Future Games stream.

"The game director is going to play what we call Corruption Cards. You get to know what kind of challenges he's going to throw at you and your team by looking at what these cards are. They might be things like swarm of bruisers, or ridden on fire. You get to know what you're going to face.

"After you see those cards, you're then going to be given a hand from a deck that you've built. You need to decide what cards you're going to play. Coordination with your team is going to be super clear here. You can do things like improve the quality of the items and weapons in the world, you can make it so that your team can carry more medkits or molotovs, or do something cool like your team gets a burst of health when you get handicapped."

Confirmed Back 4 Blood details:

  • 8 playable characters
  • Mutated versions of zombies
  • New unique monstrous ogre enemy, fighting it is optional
  • Varying grades of loot confirmed
  • Corruption Card system makes games more dynamic, engaging, and unique

Back 4 Blood will release on October 12, 2021 for PS4, Xbox One, and PC. A beta test will release this summer.

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Derek joined the TweakTown team in 2015 and has since reviewed and played 1000s of hours of new games. Derek is absorbed with the intersection of technology and gaming, and is always looking forward to new advancements. With over six years in games journalism under his belt, Derek aims to further engage the gaming sector while taking a peek under the tech that powers it. He hopes to one day explore the stars in No Man's Sky with the magic of VR.

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