We’ve played Killing Floor 2, and we've got exclusive footage (plus a meaty interview with Tripwire Interactive) in this week's PC Gamer Show. We’ve already killed a few thousand zeds with shotguns, assault rifles, katanas, and sledgehammers with explosive rounds embedded in their tips. During our time with Tripwire's co-op FPS, we got to play around with each of the perks (aka character classes) that will launch with the game when it hits Early Access. Those perks are: Commando, Support, Berserker, and Field Medic.
This is not the final list of perks Tripwire has planned for KF2. When we talked to the devs for our cover story last year, they had 10 perks planned out, including a pistol-focused Gunslinger and a sniping Sharpshooter. We haven’t seen those yet, but here are the ones we have seen, with a breakdown of their abilities.
Each perk can be leveled up to 25, with a new pair of skills unlocking every five levels. Only one skill can be equipped at each level. There are some hard choices here, especially at level 25, where each perk gets a special Zed Time power. Perk picks aren't permanent, though—you can swap them pre- or even mid-match.
Weapon options: Crovel Survival Tool (starter), Pulverizer, VLAD-1000 Nailgun, Eviscerator
The Berserker is KF2’s heavy melee bruiser, whose starting weapon is a nasty looking serrated shovel. The Berserker can hit up the trader for the Pulverizer, a ludicrous sledgehammer that fires off an explosive round when you use its heavy attack, and the even higher-damage sawblade-flinging Eviscerator.
The Berserker’s perks mostly buff your ability to stand toe-to-toe with the Zeds without getting bogged down, and offer some crowd control benefits like increased stumble, stun, and knockdown chances.
In our experience, Berserkers need a good Field Medic keeping them healed up, and KF2’s new parry ability, which pushes back attacking Zeds, is key to not taking lethal damage.
Weapon options: AR-15 Varmint Rifle (starter), SA80 L85A2 Bullpup, Kalashnikov AK-12, SCAR-H Assault Rifle
KF2's assault rifle specialist. The Commando’s skills are all about pumping more bullets into Zeds as efficiently as possible, but with a decent amount of flexibility in how you go about it. There are skills prioritizing single-fire or full-auto damage and ammo and reload speed buffs. Only one of Commando’s first skill unlocks, Call Out, helps out the whole team: it allows teammates to see sneaky cloaked enemies like the Stalker.
Of all the perks launching with KF2, the Commando is able to pump out the most damage from the safest range.
Weapon options: SG 500 Pump-Action (starter), Double-barrel Boomstick, M4 Combat Shotgun, AA-12 Auto Shotgun
“Support” in Killing Floor 2 is less about supporting your team with ammo or health and more about supporting your team with a big-ass shotgun. Only three of the Support perk’s 10 skills buff the entire team. There’s the Supplier skill, which lets teammates grab some fresh ammo off you once per wave—this one is super useful, especially on longer waves. The other two are Zed Time abilities, which give you team bonus armor or damage when the slow motion kicks in.
Mostly, though, it’s all about the shotguns. And those work very well.
Weapon options: HMTech-101 Pistol (starter), HMTech-201 SMG, HMTech-301 Shotgun, HMTech-401 Assault Rifle
The Field Medic’s weapons double as Zed-killing guns and lifesaving healing devices. While their primary fire dishes out lead, their alternate fire shoots out healing darts to keep the team hearty. Those darts actually damage Zeds, too, but each one counts as a bullet, meaning there’s a tricky balance between damage output and healing.
The Field Medic’s skills go in a few different directions: increasing the odds of personal survival without a secondary Medic dishing out heals, buffing the team with extra body armor, and poisoning or scaring Zeds to give the team a breather.