Many of the weapons handle completely differently, and you'll quickly develop your favourite. Each class has its own 'power' weapon, a best-in-class weapon that you'll be aiming to buy as quickly as possible, but because ammunition is so scarce and so many of the weapons are so satisfying to use, you'll often end up with a few different guns. Weapons are all tied to an independent class, so with the exception of the jack-of-all-trades Survivalist, you'll have a unique series of weapons for each class to play around with.
The game's most iconic level is set on the Parisian streets, with the Eiffel Tower aflame in the background as you fight for your life, and while many of the other maps are interesting, few reach the same spectacle. You fight in snowy research centres and creepy mansions, each just a series of pretty choke-points that you'll try to desperately defend and all backed by the same obnoxious rock music.
It all helps to create a pretty oppressive atmosphere that's quite effective. 'Scrake!', you'll yell, desperately, as the near-bulletproof hulk with a chainsaw charges towards you, in the hope that your full team can bring their combined firepower to bear before you're neatly bisected.
These moments of screaming terror are the best Killing Floor 2 has to offer. This narrative of shared survival and blind panic is what elevates it above a simple horde mode, and it is the secret ingredient to a game that's pretty decent but doesn't really have a compelling mechanical core that'll keep you coming back to it. Teaming up with up to five of your friends and blasting hordes of enemies creates a lot of fun stories, and it's the way I'd recommend playing the game.
Yes, you'll level up over time, and you can unlock cosmetic items occasionally too, although many of these come in crates that require you to pay for keys, but neither are super involved. I've dropped in on Killing Floor 2 quite a bit during its long incubation on Steam's Early Access program, and although I often have fun, it's rare that I'll feel an urge to keep playing it for long.
The addition of a multiplayer competitive mode could have been a godsend, but largely seems to involve waiting until someone gets to control a Fleshpound, analogous to Left 4 Dead's Tank in the way it can paste plucky survivors into dust, before wading in and kicking arse.
It could be personal taste, but I wonder if it's just that the horde mode bubble has burst somewhat, and although objectively I think this is a better game than Killing Floor in nearly every way, it feels like it's come along too late. If the idea of a simple blaster to play with friends, then this could be for you, but for those without a group of friends, be warned that it may well leave you cold after a short while.
Still for 20 quid, it's a well made little shooter. So if you've got 5 friends raring for a new co-op experience, just imagine one of our pretty little Recommend stickers right about...