Originally, the zombie survival game Back 4 Blood was hailed as a spiritual successor to Valve’s Left 4 Dead series. However, the game might already be souring its welcome before it even releases due to recent revelations on Twitter that the game requires players to always be online in order to play.
This is a big departure from other zombie horde survival games like the Left 4 Dead games and World War Z. All of those games include offline play that allows players to team up with AI teammates to make it through the level, but unlike Back 4 Blood are not always-online.
Developer Turtle Rock Studios claims that they’re looking into offline features to implement post-launch, but given the amount of “games as a service” titles that have failed over the past several years, one might wonder exactly what the motivation behind making Back 4 Blood an always-online title is.
It could be that Warner Bros, the game’s publisher, actually wants to create their own service game, though exactly what they’ll do if Back 4 Blood needs to always be online remains to be seen. Though banking on Left 4 Dead nostalgia might work for them, the backlash could also be severe.
Many people in the replies of Turtle Rock’s explanatory tweet are already voicing their disappointment at such a requirement, and who knows how long it will take for offline content to be implemented, if it actually will be.
Having the game be always-online would require players to constantly have an internet connection going in order to track their progress, gain new items and weapons, and any other unlockable content, but that’s not even getting into the issues that could arise if someone’s internet connection fails at the wrong moment, leaving them unable to get back in.
Exactly how going this direction will work for Back 4 Blood remains to be seen, but if this doesn’t deter you, the game will be coming out for Xbox One, Xbox Series X, Playstation 4, Playstation 5, and PC on October 12 of this year.