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Back 4 Blood Release Date, Trailer, Gameplay, And Platforms - What We Know So Far

The 2020 Game Awards was full of surprises, not all of them pertaining to the winners of awards. The ceremony featured plenty of new game reveals in between the many, many awards given out over the course of the night. However, one of biggest surprises was the reveal of a spiritual successor to the classic zombie survival simulator Left 4 Dead, Back 4 Blood.

Developed by Turtle Rock Studios — the brains behind Evolve and the original Left 4 DeadBack 4 Blood promises to bring players back into the four-vs-horde zombie fray. Given the recent swath of titles inspired by Left 4 Dead, fans are probably excited to see Turtle Rock Studios return to the genre it started (or at least popularized), and want to know how the company will inject new blood into it. 

Well, nobody knows just yet, but here's everything we have so far about Back 4 Blood.

When does Back 4 Blood release?

According to the official Back 4 Blood site, the game launches June 22, 2021. Case closed. Or is it?

This release window is not set in stone. Thanks to recent events, delays are the name of the game in video game development, so even though Turtle Rock claims Back 4 Blood will hit shelves in late June, don't be surprised if it is delayed.

However, if you can't wait until Summer 2021 to play Back 4 Blood, Turtle Rock has you covered with a special Closed Alpha period. Just register on the main site and you will be entered into a raffle to try the game starting Dec. 17. If you get in, consider it a holiday gift.

The Closed Alpha will last until Dec. 21, so while you can't play Back 4 Blood's alpha for long, you can still get a firsthand look at the game and provide feedback to help sculpt the final experience. 

Is there a trailer for Back 4 Blood?

Turtle Rock Studios released two trailers for Back 4 Blood, and you should ideally watch both to get the full effect.

The first one is the cinematic reveal trailer, which features some necessary backstory. According to the video, the zombification culprit this time around isn't a mysterious rabies-like virus, but instead a parasitic prehistoric worm that a scientist foolishly brought back to life. The video offers a quick glimpse at the survivors and the zombies they will face.

As for Back 4 Blood's second trailer, it is a gameplay demo that displays what players can expect from an average play session, including fast zombies, faster action, and plenty of character banter. More importantly, this video demonstrates that some of the special zombies will interact with the environment in ways that go beyond what Turtle Rock accomplished in Left 4 Dead.

Of course, since the demo trailer includes pre-alpha gameplay, everything in it is subject to change, so don't take it at face value just yet.

What will Back 4 Blood play like?

Since Back 4 Blood is a spiritual successor to Left 4 Dead, the titles share a lot of game design DNA, including gameplay.

According to the main Back 4 Blood site, the game will include a 4-player co-op campaign where gamers have to survive zombie-infested levels, as well as a PvP mode that pits player-controlled humans against special zombies (also controlled by players). All standard stuff if you're a Left 4 Dead veteran, especially since the campaign features a Game Director that can adjust game difficulty on the fly. However, Back 4 Blood's campaign will also include a card system that lets players customize their character builds for more replayability.

As for gameplay, it's almost one-to-one Left 4 Dead. The gameplay demo trailer demonstrates that players will start in (and probably have to reach) safe houses, wade through legions of worm-infested zombies, and survive together if they don't want to die alone. Players will have access to a variety of guns and melee weapons, as well as grenades. And, whenever a special zombie pokes its head around the corner, characters will call out its name so players are aware that the situation just went from "dire" to "up a creek without a paddle."

What platforms will Back 4 Blood release on?

Since Back 4 Blood was announced after the launch of the Xbox Series X/S and the PlayStation 5, you might assume it will be made with next-gen experiences in mind. But, Turtle Rock Studios isn't ready to abandon the previous generation of consoles just yet.

According to the main site and reveal trailer, Back 4 Blood will launch on the Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, PS5, and PC via Steam and the Epic Games Store. Of course, these only apply to the final product. If you plan on participating in the game's Closed Alpha test, your only option is Steam. Other upcoming test periods might also feature different platforms (because just using Steam as a baseline for console connectivity is a bad idea), but that remains to be seen.

While this lineup represents Back 4 Blood's launch platforms, it might be subject to change. With a bit of magic, the game could even come to the Nintendo Switch. But, unless Turtle Rock Studios makes any official announcement, don't hold your breath waiting to play Back 4 Blood on the go.