Killing Floor 2 by Tripwire Interactive was released on Steam via early access on April 21st. I've bought in to see if the early access build is worth playing yet.
For those of you who missed the first game, Killing Floor is a six player, co-op, FPS. The object of the game is for you and your team to battle through a pre-determined number of waves of zombie like creators called Zeds. As you battle through these waves of freaks, you gain money allowing you to purchase additional weapons and equipment to survive the harder upcoming waves. The original game had many years of significant support and free updates provided by Tripwire. Beyond Tripwire's support, there was a strong mod scene for the first game providing additional custom maps and game types. The game was great too, including realistic feeling guns, an RPG ranking system, combined with a fun cheese-ballish atmosphere.
The early access build of Killing Floor 2 is now available to purchase on Steam for 32.99CDN. The current state of the game feels like a significant demo, including three maps, four classes, seven characters(8 if you pick up the deluxe edition), and the same roster of zeds featured in the first game. Game-play is very similar to the original Killing Floor, but the sequel features some improvements, like a more in-depth leveling system. Now each class has a skill tree, which enables you to pick specific perks to fit your play style. The game seems to take a more serious tone then the original, the voice acting is not cockney, which disappointed me. I miss everyone yelling about dosh, and found the laid-back cheesy style of the first game was part of the charm. The biggest changes are in the visual department, the original Killing Floor looked rather dated, so it is nice to have a Killing Floor game with modern visuals. Tripwire has added a new gore system to the mix, and trust me, it gets really messy when a zed is introduced to a shotgun now.
The three included maps are great. My favourite of the bunch is the Paris themed map called Burning Paris. The mood of this map is excellent, the background features a crippled Eiffel tower and ominous clouds of smoke on the horizon. The map itself features some good battle grounds, making you fight through neon lit Paris streets. As you kill and run from zeds, you will find yourself climbing catwalks, and battling inside bars and bistros. It's an excellent map, looks and plays great. If this is the quality of the maps to come, the full game should be a treat. Hopefully new maps will come along soon, as with only 3 available right now, the rotation does start to get a bit stale, even after playing for only 7 hours.
Weapon selection is fairly limited at this point, but there are enough weapons to get the job of killing zed done. At this point of development, there is basically one path for upgrading your load-out per class. All of the current weapons handle great and feel unique. Most weapons feature multiple firing modes, and about half of them even have secondary attacks.
One thing I was worried about, considering I bought into the game so quickly, was the performance and stability of the release. I'm happy to report the game runs stable, I've had absolutely no problems on my rig so far. I've played the game for about 7 hours and have not had a signal crash. I've briefly browsed Reddit and Neogaf to get other impressions around bugs or crashes, and it seems most people are enjoying a pretty stable experience so far.
If you where a super fan of the original, it's time to jump in. The game is stable, and fun, and will hopefully get better as Tripwire adds more content. Bring a buddy with you if you can, Killing Floor is best experienced with friends. The current player community is decent, but not as fun as playing with people you know.
For new players, you may want to wait, as the amount of content at the moment is limited, so there is no rush to buy in yet.
If you didn't like the original, stay away, the formula of the game is basically the same, just with a fresh coat of paint.