We didn't get to play Left 4 Dead 3, one of the oft-rumored Valve projects that never quite materialized. But it seems we'll get it in another form—Back 4 Blood, a cooperative shooter that walks and talks exactly like we'd expect a L4D to, created by some of the game people that birthed Left 4 Dead back in 2008.
Back 4 Blood debuted tonight with some familiar-looking gameplay footage at The Game Awards featuring four survivors blasting their way through a crowd of grey zombie bodies. Out of that horde leapt a four-armed special zombie who spat a webbed substance that rooted a player in place. We also spotted saferooms, simple gunplay, and a contemporary, stylized horror setting. It's Left 4 Dead, folks But bigger, apparently.
During the presentation, Turtle Rock's Chris Ashton emphasized that the new game will expand on the scope and scale of what we played a decade ago with more playable characters, more missions, more story, and a greater variety of zombies ("Ridden") than Left 4 Dead.
Those aren't particularly high bars, as the first two L4Ds featured just four survivors, a handful of chapters, and about eight "special infected." But the presence of a 20-foot-tall superzombie is certainly something new.
The Back 4 Blood website lays out the premise a bit further: "Back 4 Blood is a thrilling cooperative first-person shooter from the creators of the critically acclaimed Left 4 Dead franchise. You are at the center of a war against the Ridden. These once-human hosts of a deadly parasite have turned into terrifying creatures bent on devouring what remains of civilization. With humanity’s extinction on the line, it’s up to you and your friends to take the fight to the enemy, eradicate the Ridden, and reclaim the world." Like Left 4 Dead, then, I guess they're technically not zombies.
One notable difference from predecessor seen in the footage is an aim-down-sights mechanic, which L4D didn't feature, having been originally built on Counter-Strike's mostly hip-locked weapon set.
We'll see more of the game before the end of the year: a gameplay livestream is set for December 17th.