In Killing Floor 2 you're always almost surrounded, with hundreds of different enemies flooding doorways, exploding out of windows and clawing their way towards you from every direction as your team of six desperate survivors empties shotguns, grenade launchers and other heavy weapons at the advancing horde.
Killing Floor 2 is horde mode writ large, video game thrash metal that delivers a bigger version of Killing Floor's pulpy thrills with plenty more content, but along the way has lost a little bit of what made the original so great, and I've struggled to put my finger on exactly why that is.
There's certainly more content than the original. There are more classes, more weapons and more official maps than the first game, and many of these additions are well thought out, too. Each of the seven classes — dubbed Perks — from the original returns in a tweaked form for the sequel and they're joined by three new entries, with each of the 10 offering a unique play-style: the Firebug is mostly interested in crowd control with a flamethrower or microwave gun, while the Berserker grabs a sword or axe and tries to goad the biggest beasties to attack them, defending against their attacks while the rest of the team pour the damage on.
There's really something for everyone between the classes, and the more you play them and gain experience, the more useful they'll be. Levelling up in a class makes it straight-up better, meaning a level 10 Medic is always going to be better than a level eight Medic due to the class benefits the game bestows on you. The only real diversity inside the classes is the bonus either/or Perk choice you can make every five levels and these all feel like immediately useful and valuable additions to your skill-set.
Unfortunately, because having more experience just makes you outright better, and you only gain experience for levelling and cash for buying better weapons by virtue of killing enemies, it can feel like a tough grind when you're outgunned by your teammates and fighting for every kill. Levelling isn't a quick process either: Although it isn't as glacial as Killing Floor's unlock process, it's a far cry from the instant gratification found in most shooters, meaning that if you want to excel with a class, you're going to need to put in the work. Some players might well find this satisfying, although if you have a yearning for continuous unlocks and progression, you won't get what you're looking for here.
The actual combat itself is quite fluid, with people moving from position to position as they get slowly overrun. It's a lot of fun, and the shooting feels suitably chunky with weapons feeling satisfyingly powerful, often taking out weaker enemies with a quick burst. Gunfire, melee attacks and explosives all take chunks out of targets too, leading to a battlefield that often looks as chaotic as it feels, awash with blood and covered in the partial remains of those you destroyed in the previous wave.
When the action gets too tough, you'll often see a slow-motion mode dubbed Zed Time kick in, allowing you to turn the tide with accurate headshots or escape from some of the most malicious enemies. Each of them feel like a real threat with the base monster, the lowly Clot, still able to murder you horrifically as it grabs you and refuses to let go while his companions try to tear the meat from your bones.