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Back 4 Blood Corruption Cards Explained

Fans of the long-dormant Left 4 Dead franchise have waited a long time to join up with friends and face off against zombies hordes, and Back 4 Blood promises to send players back into the action. Developed by Turtle Rock Studios — which was known as Valve South when the company created the original Left 4 Dead — Back 4 Blood looks to be a triumphant return to the franchise in everything but name.

Once again, gamers will hunt down zombies in a coop match with three other players, wading through hordes of foes while on the lookout for elites that can turn an easy run into a quick loss. Back 4 Blood's gameplay and visuals are strikingly reminiscent of its predecessors, and the game even features the return of an AI director, which orchestrates dynamic difficulty in real-time as players progress through a level.

Chris Ashton, the co-founder of Turtle Rock Studios, touched on this feature in an interview with Polygon. Ashton mentioned that players would have a chance to counter the director by playing unlockable cards, although the system was left unexplained at the time. The Future Games Show finally gave fans a look at how Back 4 Blood's exciting new Corruption Cards will actually work.

Corruption Cards allow players to boost team abilities to react to the Director

During the Future Games Show, Turtle Rock Studios' executive producer Lianne Papp walked fans through a round of Back 4 Blood. The clip showed a crew of veteran survivors called The Cleaners fight through hordes of Ridden (Back 4 Blood's term for zombies). Papp also highlighted some of the elites encountered, including the Stinker, the Tallboy, and the Ogre, a massive zombie who punches out of the ground.

The biggest departure from Left 4 Dead in Back 4 Blood is the introduction of roguelike elements, which are bolstered by the new Corruption Card system. Whenever a game begins, the AI director will play Corruption Cards which describe challenges that players will face. Papp describes two examples, "Swarm of Bruisers" and "Ridden on Fire," which indicate specific groups or circumstances that players now know will occur in their game.

Once players have seen those cards, they are dealt their own hand of Corruption Cards out of the deck they have built while playing the game. Players will need to coordinate with teammates to play cards that will deliver bonuses, such as improving weapon quality or allowing players to carry extra med kits. Choosing the correct cards as a team will maximize their chances of survival.