After nearly a decade, one of the most notable zombie-themed FPS games ever released is getting a spiritual successor.
Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and Turtle Rock Studios have announced Back 4 Blood, a spiritual successor to the franchise. Reuniting the creators and development team behind Left 4 Dead, Back 4 Blood promises to deliver what made the first games a hit while also expanding upon the concept.
“It’s hard to overstate what an awesome opportunity this is. We get to return to a genre that was born in our studio with over ten years of additional experience and zombie ideas racked up in our brains,” said Chris Ashton, co-founder and design director at Turtle Rock Studios in a press release. “We also have some of the best teammates in the business at WBIE who understand our development process and are equally committed to our player-first mentality. We love being able to announce, so we can start working with the community right away.”
Details are still beginning to trickle out about what the game will ultimately be, but Turtle Rock has made it very clear via their official website that Back 4 Blood is an original IP, not a Left 4 Dead 3. Touted as a AAA title with co-op multiplayer and a campaign mode, they also reveal that Back 4 Blood will not be a battle royale title.
“We are not resting on any past laurels. Our goal is to take all we’ve learned and push forward. We know that’s a tall order,” said Phil Robb, co-founder and creative director of Turtle Rock Studios. “We’re growing the team considerably because we’re stepping up to the biggest challenge in this studio’s history. We know this title has to stand out and we fully intend to make that happen.”
Released in 2008, Left 4 Dead was set in the days immediately following a zombie outbreak. The online co-op shooter had players assume the role of one of four characters and work together to find a way to escape the city. With a number of campaigns, each with a unique horror film aesthetic and a large collection of weapons, Left 4 Dead was praised for melding trigger happy, first person horror action with strategic co-op gameplay. A sequel, Left 4 Dead 2, was released in 2009 to similar praise, though a number of console bugs and censorship concerns marred the release.
Founded as Valve South in 2008, Turtle Rock Studios made a name for itself with Left 4 Dead after assisting with development of the popular Counter-Strike franchise. In 2015 they released Evolve, a 4-on-1 multiplayer shooter. Though positively received by many critics, Evolve was unable to find an audience and closed down in 2018.
Back 4 Blood currently has no release date, but Turtle Rock Studios have announced their intent to release the title on PC, Xbox One and PlayStation 4.