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Here’s how Back 4 Blood’s card system and Game Director will work

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Turtle Rock offers a closer look at B4B’s rogue-lite elements

A close-up of the Stinger from Back 4 Blood Image: Turtle Rock Studios/Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment

The creators of the original Left 4 Dead have a new zombie shooter, Back 4 Blood, coming this fall. The game will amp up the complexity (and, the developers hope, the replayability) of Left 4 Dead’s formula with the addition of a card system focused on gameplay customization.

As detailed in a new YouTube video, each run of Back 4 Blood is driven by what developer Turtle Rock is calling the Game Director (Left 4 Dead’s version of that system was called the AI Director). Back 4 Blood’s Game Director will play its own set of cards that can modify environmental conditions (e.g., playing in a blackout), add challenges, and send special enemies like armored or flaming zombies. The video shows the Game Director throwing mutations like the Hag and armored Tall Boys at players, ramping up the difficulty. During gameplay, the Game Director will work behind the scenes to monitor players’ actions, health, and choices to make each playthrough unique.

Players will have cards of their own to play. There will be pre-made decks and “vast customization” through cards, Turtle Rock says, letting players choose from character perks (e.g., infinite secondary ammo, health from Molotov cocktail kills) and buffs that they’ve earned through gameplay. The developer promises “tons of different cards you can earn” by tackling optional challenges and objectives.

You can read more about Back 4 Blood’s gameplay systems in our hands-on preview of the game from December.

Back 4 Blood is coming to PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Windows PC, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X on Oct. 12, after a brief delay.