Death to the unmarked!
The second DLC for Back 4 Blood dropped on August 30th and brought a plethora of new content for fans to enjoy. The Children of the Worm DLC makes everything new, and we’re here to break down all the goodies.
Back 4 Blood, the titular first-person looter-shooter from Turtle Rock Studios, has been going strong since its release almost a year ago. While it hasn’t come close to dethroning its spiritual predecessor, Left 4 Dead 2, it is maintaining a solid, dedicated user base that is here for all things Ridden.
And with the addition of a new Act, new enemies, new weapons, new cards, new game mechanics, and a new character, Children of the Worm brought the zombie content in spades.
The story continues
B4B’s story was always on the back burner. The main draw for players of B4B is the gameplay and the intense action. The story has always been more of a throwaway, an afterthought, than anything front and center. There certainly is a story to experience, and each Cleaner has their tale to tell, but it was never the main attraction.
In Children of the Worm, the story is the leading contender. Each level is guided by a narrative that is sometimes lacking in the main campaign.
The story of Children of the Worm follows the continued horror of Evansburg, Pennsylvania post Ridden collapse. The Ridden are still mutating, but now there are hybrid versions. Half-human, half-Ridden, all evil. And it seems these hybrids are hell-bent on capturing survivors to feed to their devil worms. Players must infiltrate their stronghold, rescue as many survivors as possible, and get out before things get too hot.
The story of Children of the Worm shows that Fort Hope is indeed one of the largest settlements for survivors, that its Cleaners are known for being supreme badasses, and that more and more people are seeking their help.
New enemies in The Children of the Worm DLC
In the Children of the Worm DLC, you’ll get some new enemies to face, and they’re called the Children of the Worm.
See what they did there?
Those half-Ridden, half-human hybrids call themselves the Marked, the Children of the Worm, and they fight alongside the Ridden hordes. It’s unclear what these freaks did to gain favor with the devil worms, but it seems to involve some kind of ritual and lots of death.
The new enemies players will face are all Marked and come with new weapons.
The Slasher is like a super evil Wolverine with alien worms in his head who communicates solely by screaming. Equipped with hefty armor and massive claws, the Slasher can leap around the map messing Cleaners up. And since his attacks inflict bleed, you’ll definitely want to keep out of his reach.
The Pussflinger is just annoying. You’ll hear his maniacal laugh before you see him. He tries to throw bait jars at you, slowing you down and summoning Ridden to attack you. He doesn’t have armor, and you should be able to dodge his bait jars easily enough.
Thankfully these are only in designated areas. They stay up high in crow’s nests or protected vantage points and pick off Cleaners from long range. Once you spot them, they’re quite easy to take out—one bullet with a sidearm will do the trick. But sometimes, they can acquire targets crazy fast, so don’t get caught out in the open.
The Crone is like a sickly Robin Hood. She runs around with a bow that shoots arrows that light Cleaners on fire. Like most of her siblings, she is easy to take out, but her damage output can be punishing. Please make sure you shoot her before she shoots you.
Every weapon carried by the Children of the Worm is now usable by any Cleaner. That means the claws from the Slasher, the bait jars from the Pussflinger, the rifle from the Sniper, and the bow from the Crone are all scattered around the map, just waiting for someone to pick them up.
- The claws are a melee weapon that barely uses stamina, causes bleed damage, and increases attack speed with each successful attack.
- The bait jar works just like the bait jar in Left 4 Dead; chuck it at an enemy, and watch a horde of Ridden spawn to kick its ass.
- The rifle is called the Lockjaw, and it’s considered a legendary weapon, which means you’ll only find it within the Ridden Hives. But it ignores armor and does insane damage, so keep an eye out for it.
- The bow is a genuinely excellent weapon we hope to play around with more. Instead of consuming ammo, it consumes stamina to shoot. You can hip fire it or aim to produce some severe damage.
A new Cleaner has joined the crew at Fort Hope. “Prophet” Dan is a mysterious character with a patchwork past and more secrets than he’s willing to share. The start of the DLC sees Dan approaching General Phillips in Fort Hope, asking for help.
Yeah, that’s for sure.
If Dan is on your team and a Cleaner goes down, you’ll immediately see some weird effects. Dan will earn buffs similar to Avenge The Fallen, along with increased revive speed and decreased damage while reviving. But even if Dan isn’t the one doing the reviving, if any member on your team is revived, one of several effects starts to happen. Offensive items just start spawning all around, copper springs up from the ground like water, or players enjoy increased damage resistance for a time.
The Lord works in mysterious ways, I guess.
Dan quickly became one of our favorite Cleaners, if not our favorite. He is the comedic relief we’ve been waiting for in B4B. While Evangelo and Holly are upbeat and Sharice and Heng bring diversity to the cast, Dan brings the humor. Listening to him roast teammates while fighting off Ogres and Hags made us laugh nonstop. Plus, anyone who says their injury is “Just a flesh wound” gets two thumbs up from us.
Children of the Worm comes with a brand new Act, Act 5, with six all-new maps. Players will follow Dan into the depths of the KC Correctional Facility to rescue his followers and discover the unbridled depravity of the Children of the Worm.
The new Act continues to take a page out of Left 4 Dead, as most maps require the players to refuel, refit, or repair objects in their vicinity. It reminded us of the original hold-out missions in Left 4 Dead—refueling Jimmy Gibbs Jr’s car, holding out until the chopper comes, refilling the boat with diesel, etc.
Just when you thought you’d gotten the hang of B4B’s deck building system, they throw you a wild curve ball. While some of the new cards brought by Children of the Worm are your standard B4B cards, buffing damage or defense, some add brand-new mechanics to the game.
Now, cards replace an entire slot in your inventory, removing your offensive, support, or utility slot entirely. However, in return, you get some strong gadgets. Experimental Stimulants, Ultrasonic Wound Therapy, and Crippling Frequency are new cards that give players powerful abilities. The abilities will cost ammo and come with a cool down, but they drastically change how B4B is played now.
One of the more minor additions is the inclusion of food in B4B. Called leftovers by Cleaners, food gives small buffs that will expire the next time you enter a Saferoom. Peanut Butter, Power Bars, and Cereal will now dot the map giving players a slight improvement in their run. It will not make a significant difference unless you scarf down every food item you see on a map. But even if you do, you’ll lose all the buffs on the next level.
Final thoughts on Children of the Worm DLC
The Children of the Worm DLC is a fantastic addition to the chaotic world of Back 4 Blood. It furthers the game’s main story, it continues to offer more characterization for Cleaners, and it brings more content for fans to enjoy.
While we weren’t too happy with the way players unlock the DLC’s new cards—via duffel bags found throughout Act 5 (we’ve yet to find one)–we do like how different the DLC makes Back 4 Blood feel. Fans were getting a little too comfortable with how the game was going, and we’re ecstatic to see it change this time.
Now let the countdown to the next DLC begin.