Back 4 Blood will require an internet connection to play, even if you wish to play the game solo. Developer Turtle Rock has confirmed this in response to a query on Twitter, but stated they could support offline play in future.
We're looking into ways we could support offline for the future but you will need an internet connection to play at launch.
— Turtle Rock Studios is Hiring (@TurtleRock) June 13, 2021
In fairness to Turtle Rock, Back 4 Blood is an inherently cooperative experience and one that will be at its best when played with others. The game pits four human characters against hordes of AI zombies of all sizes, running through lengthy missions where close teamwork will be needed in order to survive. That said, offline play was possible for the game’s forebear Left 4 Dead, so you have to wonder why such an option isn’t offered, even if it’s for a small percentage of the player base in our increasingly online world.
One possible explanation could be the new Swarm PvP mode, which Turtle Rock unveiled at E3 2021. This game mode pits two teams of players against one another, with human players defending themselves, as the Ridden side use special monsters to try and take them out. Turtle Rock have been very keen to emphasise that they are keeping fairness in mind, especially as they will have paid gameplay content – a party leader can share access to DLC with other players though.
Another explanation could simply be that Turtle Rock want to keep tabs on everyone’s progression through the game and unlocks for the card-based difficulty modifiers and more. This is another element that we see in various games, even those that are not competitive experiences like Outriders, with developers and publishers pushing the notion that they need to keep things fair and balanced – Spoiler: they really don’t need to.
Back 4 Blood will be getting two betas this summer, the early access beta will run from August 5th to the 9th, while an open beta will run from August 12th to the 16th. The betas will be available on Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4 and PC, and will include cross-play.
It’s been a busy E3 for Back 4 Blood, with Turtle Rock and Warner Bros. revealing the game’s new Swarm PvP game mode. They’ve also dated two beta tests that will be held in August – an early access beta from August 5-9th, and an open beta from August 12-16th. The betas will be available on all of Back 4 Blood’s launch platforms – Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4 and PC – and will include cross-play.