Hands-on with Back 4 Blood’s retail version: Watch live co-op action at 3 pm ET

2021 is apparently the year of Left 4 Dead spiritual successors, with two co-op shooters catching our attention thanks to their ties to that original Valve series: this week’s Back 4 Blood and this fall’s Anacrusis.

Back 4 Blood, developed by Turtle Rock Studios, is first out of the gate, with its zombie co-op action now officially live for people who shell out a whopping $99.99 for the game’s “ultimate” edition on Xbox consoles and PC. The more patient among you can wait until October 12, when the standard game not only goes live but becomes a part of paid Xbox Game Pass subscriptions.

If you need something to tide you over while waiting to get your band of zombie-slaying friends back together, fear not: We have our early copies of the game, and we’re eager to see exactly how it looks as a full retail product. The game can no longer hide behind the safe haze of a “beta test,” and we’ll see how game balance, technical performance, an unlockable card system, and any microtransactions play out in the real world.

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