Back 4 Blood trailer shows off the deck system that’ll change the way you play

Players and the AI "game director" will pull from decks of cards to randomise Back 4 Blood games

A creature hold the player in a gory grip

Back 4 Blood developer Turtle Rock Studios has shed some light on the AI system that will keep every zombie apocalypse feeling new, exciting, and as fresh as a rotting corpse can be. Dubbed the “game director,” the artificial intelligence will work in the background of your games, drawing from a deck of cards to see what monsters to send your way.

In a new trailer, we can see exactly how the game director will affect your games and make Back 4 Blood more replayable: by applying challenges, turning out all the lights, giving enemies SWAT armour, or offering rewards for taking down certain mutants. If you thought hunting down the army of the dead was hard, wait until they don riot gear.

We saw a glimpse of the game’s deckbuilding in the Back 4 Blood alpha, but Turtle Rock’s new trailer gives us a bigger look at what kind of cards you might pick up – and those that might be dealt against you. We saw around 60 cards in the alpha test, but this looks to have been greatly expanded for the full game, to include a wide array of options for every playstyle.

The card system is the biggest departure that Back 4 Blood has seen from its spiritual predecessor, Left 4 Dead. However, unlocking new cards seems to bring the classic zombie-killing game up to date with modern titles by utilising timed challenges and in-game currency.

You can acquire new cards as rewards, unlocked with ‘supply points’ that act as currency in the game. Earn supply points by completing optional challenges to keep your deck fully stocked, or alternatively spend them on cosmetic upgrades for your weapons and gear.

A deck of cards offering players upgrades to their stats and gear

The deckbuilding aspect of Back 4 Blood also seems to be Turtle Rock’s way of adding classes to the game, albeit classes that can shift and adapt to your playstyle. Whether you load up with medic cards to play a support role or fill your deck with explosives to blast your way out of a sticky situation, you’ll need to synergise with your team in order to survive.

You can watch the full trailer here.