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Killing Floor
Killing Floor Logo.png
Developer(s) Tripwire Interactive
Publisher(s) Tripwire Interactive
Distributor(s) Steam (online)
Engine Heavily modified Unreal Engine 2.5
Platform(s) Microsoft Windows
Release date(s) 14 May 2009
Genre(s) First-person Shooter
Mode(s) Single player, Multi player
Rating(s) BBFC: 15[1]
PEGI: 18+
USK: 18 (cut)
Media Steam
System requirements See development section
Input methods Keyboard & Mouse

Killing Floor is a cooperative first-person shooter video game developed and published by Tripwire Interactive. It was released on May 14, 2009, for Microsoft Windows.[2]



The gameplay consists of a single game type, single- 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.[3] 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."[4]

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. A Software Development Kit (SDK) and level editor are 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 "ZEDtime" 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.

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.

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 automatic weapons, improved effectiveness with automatic weapons, faster reloading with all weapons, and grants detection of cloaked specimens in a radius around him.


The game takes place in London, England. Horzine Biotech, a biotechnology company, is contracted to conduct experiments of a military nature involving mass cloning and genetic manipulation. Something goes horribly wrong during the process of the experimentations, and human subjects begin to exhibit grotesque mutations and disfigurement. They become increasingly hostile, and eventually overrun the internal security forces of the corporation.

Hours later, the first waves of the specimens break out onto the surface, disrupting a peace protest outside the well-known military contractor. Despite the best efforts of local police, the civilians are quickly overwhelmed and consumed by the seemingly endless supply of clones now streaming from the gaping maw of Horzine Biotech's headquarter. Having escaped their sterile prison, the creatures began to fan out to neighboring areas, devouring the helpless citizens of London while the Metropolitan Police bravely but fruitlessly attempt to stem the tide of mutated flesh now spreading across their city.

Desperate to contain the outbreak, the British government begins to organize ragtag teams of surviving British Army soldiers and Special Branch police officers to fight back against the hordes of mutated "specimens" now running amok throughout the capital and its outskirts. The player takes the role of an anonymous member of one of these teams as they partake in a variety of missions in and around the city of London.


Killing Floor was originally a total conversion mod for the game Unreal Tournament 2004, first released in 2005. The lead developer Alex Quick was first approached by Tripwire Interactive about porting Killing Floor to their game Red Orchestra: Ostfront 41-45, but Quick did not follow through. A few years later, when their user base started to dwindle, Quick contacted Tripwire again to negotiate the port to Red Orchestra, and its distribution via Steam—similar to what Tripwire had already done with another Red Orchestra mod Mare Nostrum—and then later, the retail game.[4] The mod version had its fifth and final official update in July 2008.

The full retail version was announced in March 2009. With the assistance of the original mod team, Tripwire would be the new developer.[5]

Killing Floor was released on 14 May 2009.


Downloadable content

Tripwire Interactive has to date released two major content packs free of charge, "Heavy Metal" and "Level Up", which add new weaponry, levels, and other content. Also available are two character packs, Outbreak and Nightfall, which add four new player avatars each.


Aggregate scores
Aggregator Score
GameRankings 72.35% PC[6]
Metacritic 71%[7]
Review scores
Publication Score
Eurogamer 7 of 10[8]
GameSpot 7.5 of 10 [9]
IGN 7.5 of 10[10]

Killing Floor was the top-selling game on Steam shortly after it was released (as of May 19, 2009).[11]

EuroGamer commented that "though not perfect", it was "clever and relatively cheap".[8] GameSpot commented that the game graphics compared poorly with contemporary shooters, and that the voice acting was bad, but considered that the sound effects were very good, and that despite its flaws, "you can't help but enjoy it."[9] Some reviewers also considered that the lack of any real plot or aim for the players other than killing specimens, the small number of existing maps, and the repetitiveness of the gameplay reduced its replay value.[12][13][14]


  1. ^ "Killing Floor rated 15 by the BBFC". British Board of Film Classification. November 2, 2009. Retrieved 2009-11-02.  
  2. ^ a b "Steam Store". Steam Store. Retrieved May 13, 2009.  
  3. ^ "Killing Floor Overview". Killing Floor Official Web Site. Retrieved May 6, 2009.  
  4. ^ a b "GT Q&A: Tripwire’s Killing Floor". May 6, 2009.  
  5. ^ Andrew Burnes (20 March 2009). "Tripwire Interactive Announces Killing Floor". Voodoo Extreme. Retrieved 5 May 2009.  
  6. ^ "Killing Floor". Game Rankings. Retrieved 25 October 2009.  
  7. ^ "Killing Floor". Metacritic. Retrieved 25 October 2009.  
  8. ^ a b "Killing Floor". EuroGamer. May 28, 2009.  
  9. ^ a b "Killing Floor Review". GameSpot. May 26, 2009. "Visually, Killing Floor compares poorly with contemporary shooters, thanks to its five-year-old engine(...)The sound effects are outstanding, especially for guns, and you can often use subtle sound clues to detect incoming enemies. Unfortunately, the voice acting and soundtrack don't achieve the same level of quality(...)Meanwhile, derivative, generic metal music does little to improve the tone(...)It's absurd and crass, and yet you can't help but enjoy it"  
  10. ^ "Killing Floor Review. 28 Days Later meets Left 4 Dead". IGN. May 20, 2009.  
  11. ^ "Killing Floor Wipes the Killing Floor". Retrieved June 3, 2009.  
  12. ^ "Killing Floor". Retrieved 9 August 2009.  
  13. ^ "Killing Floor". Retrieved 9 August 2009.  
  14. ^ "Killing Floor". Retrieved 10 August 2009.  

External links


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