KEY POINTS

  • "Back 4 Blood" introduces the new Swarm mode for PvP
  • Swarm mode is reminiscent of the old Versus Survival mode from "Left 4 Dead 2"
  • Players will compete in a best-of-three match of who can survive each round the longest 

Turtle Rock Studios ditched the classic Campaign Versus mode from “Left 4 Dead” in favor of new round-based PvP survival matches called “Swarm” mode, offering a completely new way to experience the game apart from just playing as zombies.

Swarm mode was introduced with its own trailer featuring some gameplay in the perspective of the mutated Ridden zombies that replaced the Special Infected of “Left 4 Dead.” Producer Matt O’Driscoll explained to IGN that the game mode is all about who survives. Cleaners will have to survive for as long as possible against an onslaught of zombies while the Ridden are simply tasked with eliminating the human team as quickly as possible.

After all Cleaners are eliminated, their survival time is recorded and the teams are switched. The new team of Cleaners will have to beat the previous team’s survival time in order to gain a point. The first team to get three points wins the game.

A similar PvP game mode called “Survival Versus” is available in “Left 4 Dead 2.” Players had to beat each other’s survival times as the Survivors, and the team that survived the longest after one team swap rotation was declared the winner.

“Back 4 Blood” twists this game mode by fitting in a best-of-three format and new gameplay mechanics for players to experiment with.

Swarm mode introduces an upgrade mechanic for Ridden players called the Zombie Mutation System, which lets players pick different upgrades to make either the player-controlled zombies or the common horde stronger.

The mode also has a battle-royale-style shrinking circle that gets smaller the longer a game drags on. This further bumps the intensity and difficulty for the Cleaners while providing the Ridden with more avenues to break the enemy team. Additionally, Swarm mode maps will take place in arenas instead of an entire campaign level, further condensing the action into one concentrated area.

Back 4 Blood pits a squad of four players against an endless horde of parasite-infested zombies called The Ridden Back 4 Blood pits a squad of four players against an endless horde of parasite-infested zombies called The Ridden Photo: Turtle Rock Studios

O’Driscoll said that Swarm mode will not have any carry-over progression like unique cosmetics or new cards for players to use in the standard game mode. Swarm mode will be self-contained and will focus on the moment-to-moment experience instead of featuring a progression system that’s commonly seen in other competitive multiplayer games.