Yesterday afternoon, Tripwire Interactive released its second free major update for its cooperative horde-based FPS Killing Floor 2, titled Return of the Patriarch. This latest expansion introduces several long-awaited additions to the game, which include a new Gunslinger class and the first Killing Floor’s classic boss monster, The Patriarch.
A trailer for the update – including footage of The Patriarch – can be seen below:
In the game’s canon, The Patriarch is the scientist behind the creation of the mutant hordes that players must slaughter to survive. Or was, anyway. Today, he’s a tentacle-laden monstrosity that would make Resident Evil‘s William Birkin proud. He totes a chaingun and a rocket launcher strapped to his arm into battle, not to mention a thirst for killing. And now he’s back for more murder, visibly worse for wear, but much stronger and bulkier than his incarnation in the first game.
The new Patriarch will employ similar tactics to his first Killing Floor counterpart: he’ll pepper you and your team with vicious chaingun bullets and rockets from afar, then summon hordes of cannon fodder mutants (or Zeds) while he cloaks himself and ambushes a hapless teammate with a piercing tentacle attack. He may also decide to run away and heal himself with a syringe. In the first Killing Floor, this healing stage occurred at specific intervals of the boss fight. Now he’ll swap between healing and ambushing when he turns invisible, which Tripwire hopes will induce panic in its players.
The Patriarch joins Hans Volter as one of two bosses who will appear in the final wave of a match. This random element is intended to keep players on their toes and to encourage them to create flexible strategies for fighting the mystery boss. No other bosses have yet been announced, but the in-game Trader does mention a Matriarch who will pilot a mech suit, from which she will be able to disengage and attack players at will.
At the same time, a new player class (or Perk) has arrived to combat the Patriarch threat: the Gunslinger. The Gunslinger specializes in accurate, powerful shots fired from midrange, and will surely be an asset to any team needing heavy amounts of firepower in quick bursts. Gunslingers will be presented with a multitude of decisions when it comes to arming themselves. They can choose to wield single pistols for superior accuracy, or they can choose to dual-wield pistols for incredible firepower. They can also choose between a variety of revolvers and magnum pistols, each of which offer varying degrees of damage, accuracy, and firing rate to fill different roles. In addition to pistols, Gunslingers come equipped with nail bombs that fill the Gunslinger’s grenade slot.
Tripwire’s design agenda for the Gunslinger includes phrases such as “increased bullet resistance” (a curiosity, since only boss Zeds can fire bullets), “increased movement speed,” “decreased recoil,” and most importantly, “stylish weapon handling.” Because any mutant apocalypse calls for some flashiness in the heat of combat. If there’s nothing else to live for in the world, you might as well do your business in style.
The Gunslinger’s passive abilities are listed below:
Shoot ‘n’ Scoot – Move faster while shooting and aiming down sights.
Quick Draw – Faster weapon switching
Rhythm Method – Each headshot will increase your damage
Bone Breaking – Flat damage increase
Speed-load’n – Faster reload
Penetration – Additional penetration
Center Mass – Increased stumble power with body shots
Knockdown – Increased knockdown power when a sprinting zed is shot in the leg
Lvl 25 zed time
Fan Fire – Shoot faster in zed time
Uber Ammo – Unlimited shooting without reloading in zed time
Two new maps have also been introduced: Black Forest and Farmhouse. Black Forest takes place in the middle of a German woodland, cross-cut by a ruined railroad track and abandoned houses. It seems to resemble many of the misty forest-themed maps present in the first Killing Floor, which means that players will likely have to take extra care to not lose each other in the middle of a firefight. Farmhouse is a nighttime bloodbath taking place on a farm estate, which looks strikingly similar to the finale of Blood Harvest from Valve’s Left 4 Dead. Tripwire is proud to announce that it’s an homage to stock horror films, and that the map should provide players with a classic arena for taking down hordes of bloodthirsty nightcrawlers.
A new avatar, the Swedish metalhead Oisten Jäegerhorn, is also available for play. He can be obtained by following the game’s official Steam page. Avatars have no affect on gameplay.
In addition, Return Of the Patriarch implements the previously announced in-game economy, the “Zed-conomy.” Players will be able to create, upload, and purchase cosmetics for their guns and avatars both in-game and outside of the game through Steam’s Marketplace. They will also be able to trade loot they find while playing the game, and purchase keys used to unlock special chests that can contain rare cosmetics. Tripwire has put special emphasis on the cosmetic portion of the Zed-conomy, stating that items found, bought, and traded through the Trading Floor will not affect a player’s mechanical statistics in any way.
The update’s full patch notes can be read here. Tripwire has not yet announced their future plans for the game beyond the evolution of the Trading Floor. But with three unannounced perks (SWAT, Sharpshooter, and Martial Artist) and possibly the Matriarch down the line, fans can expect to see more additions to Killing Floor 2’s slaughterfest in the near future.