With Valve Software having largely given up the business of making games in order to run Steam, fans of their biggest franchises like Portal, Left 4 Dead and, of course, Half-Life have been out in the cold for nearly a decade now. That’s why Turtle Rock’s announcement that they’re developing Back 4 Blood, a spiritual sequel to the much-loved PvE multiplayer shooter was greeted with enthusiasm.
Since Left 4 Dead, Turtle Rock put out the disappointing Evolve, which quickly sank without a trace. With this game though, they claim to be “going back to [their] roots.” But while the vast majority of Left 4 Dead multiplayer was done online, it also featured 2 player split-screen co-op on consoles. It was a fun mode and while not officially available on the PC release, it was accessible if you fiddled with a few config files.
With the rise in popularity of online multiplayer, and split-screen gaming largely becoming a relic of the past, it’s always nice to see developers going the extra mile to include it. The big question is though whether Turtle Rock will add it into Back 4 Blood. Their community manager Miss Murder (I’m guessing not her real name) was asked recently whether the game would feature the mode and though she wouldn’t outright confirm or deny anything, she did say the following: “No word on that yet, but happy to hear the suggestion!”
Well, that doesn’t exactly clear up the situation, but it’s at least an indication that Turtle Rock aren’t ruling it out. I get that in 2019 this might now be a niche feature, but I’ve always enjoyed multiplayer games in which the players can share a sofa with one another and yell advice in person when things are going pear-shaped. Let’s hope they get it into Back 4 Blood then, or failing that, an enterprising player mods it in.