Back 4 Blood is too hard, and Turtle Rock is still finding the right balance

Back 4 Blood ridden up-close and personal
(Image credit: Turtle Rock Studios)
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Back 4 Blood is an "exceptional (opens in new tab)" zombie co-op zombie shooter, but its difficulty is a bit unbalanced. Some will strenuously deny it, but certain encounters in the game are dramatically tougher than those on either side, and that's not to mention the Corruption Cards that can bank up throughout a run, gradually turning a tense zombie blaster into a test of endurance.

If you're among those who agree that it can get too tough going—maybe you got stuck on The Crossing, or worse still, The Body Dump—rest assured that Turtle Rock knows the game's difficulty needs work.

The studio has already made a few attempts: In an effort to fix the abundance of Ridden Mutations (they're the big baddies in the game), Turtle Rock writes on Reddit (opens in new tab) that "another major cause of the unintended increased difficulty" was found—they don't specify what it is, but it's being addressed. 

The worse annoyance is trauma damage though. That's the damage that chips away at your maximum health capacity, and which can only be fixed at health stations. That's already been fixed, according to Turtle Rock. "After we saw several Reddit posts regarding this issue, as well as conversations within our Turtle Rock Studios Discord server, we immediately began an internal investigation. We were able to quickly identify this issue, verify the bug fix, and deploy a server-side patch." That's only for online play—a patch to offline Training will come later.

Finally, Turtle Rock is aware that "speedrunning" a level is proving too tempting during some of the more difficult levels. In this context, speedrunning is just running to the end of the level as quickly as possible, co-op partners be damned. "We understand the frustrations that come with queuing into a team where a teammate is using a speedrun deck and leaves the rest of the team behind," the studio writes. "We don’t want that to happen. We’re working towards addressing this in future patches."

As is usually the case with online games like Back 4 Blood, it's likely the studio will be tweaking these parameters a lot in the months to come. In addition to balancing, there's also new content to look forward, as laid out last week (opens in new tab).

Shaun Prescott is the Australian editor of PC Gamer. With over ten years experience covering the games industry, his work has appeared on GamesRadar+, TechRadar, The Guardian, PLAY Magazine, the Sydney Morning Herald, and more. Specific interests include indie games, obscure Metroidvanias, speedrunning, experimental games and FPSs. He thinks Lulu by Metallica and Lou Reed is an all-time classic that will receive its due critical reappraisal one day.