Killing Floor

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The logo of Killing Floor.

Killing Floor is a co-op survival horror game by Tripwire Interactive; it was released on the 14th of May, 2009, and since then Killing Floor has won 3 Voodoo Extreme awards: best PC game of 2009, best shooter and best PC game expansion of 2009. Up to six players in online co-op mode, or just you, on your own, playing the solo mode. The aim is to cleanse each area of zombies in waves, until you get to the last one. The Big One. The Patriarch. Then exterminate him too. They aren't “zombies” and, in fact, are the left-over “specimens” from a cheap and dirty government program to clone soldier-monsters. The basic ones will just munch on your arm and try to disembowel you. The bigger ones were the first ones the program tried arming with a chainsaw or a blade. The program had just got on to the chain-gun and rockets when the government tried to secretly shut down the secret program.

In the typical way these things go, the program didn’t want to be shut down. The specimens got loose. No-one was left alive to turn off the specimen-cloning equipment. And now they are running amok. Well, some of them are running amok. Others are shambling amok or even jumping amok, but you get the idea.

The police were sent in, but that wasn’t even a challenge for the specimens. The first army units hadn’t been warned what to expect. The screams of “its got a bloody chainsaw!” over the radios probably didn’t do much for morale, as whole units were chewed up. Quite literally, in some cases, of course.

And now, there is just you. And a few friends. The few survivors from the first police and army units thrown in. Of course, you can’t tell anyone anything, because that would be a breach of the Official Secrets Act 1911, 1920, 1989. And that would be a disciplinary offense. So just get in there and do your bit for Queen and Country…

Zombies. Lots of them. Big ones, little ones. Armed and dangerous. Just make them all go away!

Killing Floor: The bedtime story

On the last day of August, everything changed in the bustling city of London.

A group of several thousand protesters were reported assembling outside the offices of a wealthy Biotech corporation called Horzine. The riot police were called in because the general consensus was that these protesters were the violent sort and needed a lesson in civil obedience. All of this was based on eyewitness testimony that the office entrance had been smashed to pieces. It was agreed that this was a poor way to treat the property of a renowned government defense contractor and the boys suited up, put their visors down and moved in. With a few armed Special Branch lads hidden in amongst them, because they didn’t want to miss the fun.

On arriving, the officers found the entrance to be deserted. Still, a gaping hole stood where the doors had been and there was debris, twisted metal and all the evidence they really needed to start clapping hippies in cuffs. And as though he had read the officers’ collective thoughts, one of the protesters emerged from that man-made orifice and stumbled up to them. It took a few moments for the screaming to start as this protestor, a naked, emaciated specimen, had sunk elongated teeth into the neck of the closest cop and was vigorously tearing off bits of flesh. It only took a few more moments for the Special Branch types to haul out their 9mms and the gunfire erupted.

With the smell of blood now thick in the air, the rest of the “protestors” emerged from that wound in the building. By the hundred. They howled and shambled and moved as though they had some terribly important purpose. There were little ones and large ones and those with chainsaws and cleavers instead of limbs and in the last moments of his life, the police sergeant mused that it was a bit like staring at a macabre circus troupe.

On the last day of August, London turned into a Killing Floor.


The gameplay consists of a single game type, solo or multi-player, in which the player fights through waves of zombie-like monsters (or more precisely, specimens from a failed military experiment), with each wave becoming successively more difficult, moving through each area of the level, until it concludes with a battle with a super-specimen, called the Patriarch. Alex Quick, the level designer and texture artist, has stated that "there are a whole bunch of ideas on the drawing board that we can add in after launch, including the 'Story' mode from the mod, for instance."

Levels are completely non-linear and open-ended. There are no restrictions on where players can travel—that is, players can choose where to run and fight. Up to six players can team up in an online cooperative battle with the specimens. The game sessions are fully-configurable, so players can change the difficulty, number of enemy waves, or specify which creatures compose the waves. As the player progress through waves, the tougher-grade specimens are more commonly encountered, however, customizing games will disable the progression of perks. A Software Development Kit (SDK) and level editor is included to aid in the creation of modifications and levels.

There is an array of weapons, including melee weapons, Shotguns, rifles, sidearms and other weapons. Players must earn cash from killing specimens to buy these from the Trader who sells weapons, supplies, and ammo players will need to progress through each wave, who is only accessible after completing a wave. When the next wave begins, she relocates, and near the completion of a wave, a red arrow appears on screen, directing the players to the Trader's new location. Players can also drop cash for other players to collect and spend.

A feature called "ZED-time" allows the player to see particularly gory kills, such as headshots, in slow-motion, even in multiplayer mode. It can also give the players an advantage for a brief time to carefully aim their shots.

Tactical gameplay elements exist, such as the ability to weld doors shut to direct the flow of the enemy hordes, and the gameplay encourages teamwork by giving less of an energy penalty when players heal each other, instead of themselves. Players also need to plan how to beat the final boss, the Patriarch.

There is voice chat, and automatic, randomized voice responses from character interaction and selectable voice commands, similar to Valve's Team Fortress 2 and Left 4 Dead, for communicating with other players. Another similarity is the randomized music played during setup and combat stages each level. In setup, the music is generally ambient and quiet. In combat, it is louder, faster-paced heavy metal for most maps (composed by zYnthetic), or drum 'n bass for the map Bedlam.

There is a perks system, which gives the player certain strengths and/or abilities. Players have seven to choose from. These can be leveled up as they are used, improving their effectiveness. For example, the Commando perk gives the player a discount on the Bullpup, improved effectiveness with the Bullpup and grants detection of stalkers in a small radius around him.

Features of Killing Floor

  • Co-op game mode for up to six players obliterating multiple waves of specimens.
  • Persistent perks system, allowing players to convert their in-game achievements into permanent improvements to their character’s skills and abilities.
  • Over 65 Steam Achievements, including “Dignity for the dead” for killing 10 enemies feeding on dead teammates’ corpses and “Hot Cross Fun” for finishing off 25 burning enemies with a Crossbow.
  • Watch those crucial and violent creature deaths in slomo “ZED-time”, even in multiplayer.
  • Solo game mode for offline play.
  • 9 different monster types trying to eat your face off, armed with everything from teeth and claws, through to chainsaws, chain-guns and rocket-launchers.
  • 12+ weapons for the players to chose from, ranging from knives and fire-axes up to pump shotguns, rifles and a flamethrowers.
  • Add in a welder, medical tools and body armour to help the players survive.
  • Players choose which perks to play with, so they can best balance out a co-op team to survive the horrors.
  • Open, non-linear play areas: choose when and where to fight – or run; weld doors closed to try and direct the monster horde.
  • Fully-configurable, allowing players to change things as simple as the difficulty level or number of creature waves, or go so far as to set up their own favorite waves of monsters.
  • Support for Steam Friends and other Steamworks features.
  • Includes SDK for the creation of new levels and mods.

System Requirements


  • Operating system: 2000, XP, Vista, or 7.
  • Hard drive space: 2 GB free.
CPU: 1.2 GHz or equivalent.
Memory: 512 MB RAM.
Graphics hardware: 64 MB DX9 compliant.
Sound hardware: DX8.1 compatible audio.
CPU: 2.4 GHz or equivalent
Memory: 1 GB RAM
Graphics hardware: 128 MB DX9 compliant with PS 2.0 support
Sound hardware: EAX compatible


  • Operating system: OS X 10.5.8 (Leopard), or OSX 11.6.3 (Snow Leopard)
  • Processor: Intel Mac
  • Graphics: Nvidia, ATI GPU (Intel GPUs unsupported)

Critic reviews & scores

Critic individual scores

From the highest to the lowest:

AtomicGamer: 88/100
Full review by Jeff Buckland

AceGamez: 80/100
Full review by Tom Clark 80/100
Full review

Games Xtreme:78/100
Full review by WoLf (probably the reviewer's pseudonym)

PC Gamer: 77/100

Baixaki Jogos [Brazil]:76/100
Full review (Translated by Google)

Full review by Jordan Sayer

Full review by Jeff Haynes

Full review by Daniel Shannon

PC Games Germany: 73/100
Full review (This review is not in english)

PC Gamer UK: 72/100

Full review

Full review

Game Over Online:70/100
Full review by Phil Soletsky

Full review (This review is not in english)

PC Zone UK: 69/100

Eurogamer Italy: 60/100
Full review (This review is not in english)

Edge Magazine: 60/100

Hardcore Gamer Magazine: 55/100
Full review

Absolute Games: 45/100
Full review (This review is not in english)

Critic average scores

From the highest to the lowest:

IGN:74/100 (based on 11 reviews)

GameSpot: 73/100 (based on 14 reviews)

GameRankings:72.93/100 (based on 15 reviews)

Metacritic: 71/100 (based on 18 reviews)

Metacritic's summaries of 18 reviews

Video gallery


Perks in-use

General gameplay

See also

Changes between the retail and mod version.