Back 4 Blood developers, Turtle Rock Studios, recently unveiled the Cleaners – four of the game’s eight playable characters. The spiritual successor to Left 4 Dead looks set to continue the franchise’s varied gameplay and range of combat opportunities.
Cleaners are invulnerable to the infection that spawned the game’s zombie antagonist. Each has their own personality and attributes, with distinct playstyles available.
Of the four Cleaners currently announced, first is Evangelo. His backstory is one of anger, holding a deep-seated anguish towards the Ridden – the game’s zombies. He’s armed with a machete and focuses on melee combat. This affords him increased movement, making him faster than other characters, and able to break out of enemy holds.
Next is Walker, currently pinned as the main playable character in the game. He’s the leader of the survivors, and his combat focus is gunplay. He has increased ammo capacity compared to other Cleaners, and with each ‘precision kill’ he gains an XP boost. His starting weapon is a Glock 23, which is sure to develop into more powerful guns as the game progresses.
Third is Holly, another melee-based character. She has a penchant for a baseball bat, which she nicknames Dottie. The power of her bat allows her to deal increased melee damage, and like Evangelo, her movement is faster than gun-based Cleaners. She seems more eclectic than other Cleaners, as the nicknamed bat suggests – and when delivering a mortal hit with Dottie, she gains a stamina boost.
The final Cleaner revealed by Turtle Rock is Hoffman. He’s older than the other three Cleaners we know about so far, but like Walker, is gun-based. He starts with a trusty M1911 pistol, and his battle experience means he’s more proficient in finding ammo when looting enemies. Similarly, his ammo capacity is greater than the other Cleaners, which is sure to come in handy when new weapons are unlocked.
The other four Cleaners remain a mystery, though with the game set for release this October, it won’t be long until we learn more. At this rate, Back 4 Blood looks set to reclaim the co-op shooter genre that Left 4 Dead pioneered.
Luke Hinton is a freelance culture journalist living in Cardiff, Wales. He graduated from Cardiff University with a degree in Journalism, Media and Communications, and currently balances his freelancing work with postgraduate studies. He specialises in film, TV and entertainment writing.