A player’s guide for Heng
Back 4 Blood, the gory first-person shooter from Turtle Rock Studios, is a game full of guns, zombies, and guts. It’s a chaotic experience from start to finish through post-apocalyptic Pennsylvania. Its depth, story, and lore are driven entirely by the characters players take control of.
From punk rock misanthropes to traumatized veterans, the survivors of this new wasteland are called Cleaners. They’re immune to the predations of the devil worm, the purveyor of this zombie infection, and they’re proficient with weapons, even if those weapons are nothing more than baseball bats and machetes.
He has more combat experience than Elijah Walker, and his prepper status makes Hoffman look like a child. He may be old, but don’t let his age fool you. He was helping survivors long before he showed up at Fort Hope.
Today we’re talking about the grizzled old man himself, Heng.
Heng has been through a lot. He came to America from Cambodia shortly after a war and the horrors it brought with it. He found a home in the back of restaurants that let him sleep where he worked. Eventually, he worked his way up from a busboy who slept in the broom closet to a restaurant owner with several of the most popular joints in Evansburg.
Heng is one capable SOB. During the outbreak, even though he lost his wife and contact with his daughter, he helped countless people by offering them shelter in his establishments and dishing out meals to keep them fed. He saw the government sit back and do nothing and realized it was his turn to help.
Heng’s daughter is Chenda, the KSC contact in Fort Hope who handles the supple lines. She’s also in a saferoom in Act 3, and if you bring Heng with you to that saferoom, you’ll get some heartfelt dialogue between the two.
Heng is a new addition to the Cleaner crew, added with the Tunnels of Terror expansion along with Sharice. And you’ll find that he and Sharice are the closest. Heng doesn’t get along with many people and talks about it in dialogue. Sharice asks him how he likes Fort Hope and the Cleaners. “Well, they’re loud. And I usually don’t like loud. But… they’re growing on me.”
“Just because the world ended doesn’t mean humanity went with it. There’s still hope…”
Strategy & cards
Heng has the following perks:
- Heng can sense nearby Attachments, Prepper Stashes, and Hive Entrances.
- Taking damage from a Ridden has a chance to drop an Accessory
- + 5% Team Accessory Reuse Chance
- He starts with an RPK, a hatchet, and a pipe bomb.
His first perk is pretty awesome. Since he came with the Ridden Hives, it’s understandable that he can sense them. But the addition of attachments, stashes, and in our experience, intel cards is a blessing to his abilities—also, RPK FTW.
But his other perk that has a chance to spawn an accessory if damaged by a Ridden is potentially problematic. Because it may encourage some players to let Heng get injured more often than he should. Which is a bad idea, especially on Nightmare or No Hope difficulty. Yes, his perk has a chance to spawn helpful items, but it’s a slight chance. And taking a hit for 20 damage because there’s a slim chance you might get a pipe bomb isn’t wise.
Heng is an excellent hybrid character to use. His RPK and hatchet combination works quite well together. And he’s a reliable character to take down into the Ridden Hives since he can melee well. When building decks for him, there were three avenues we pursued. We always carried one aspect with Heng, however: accessories. 5% accessory reuse chance is a thing, and more accessories mean more chances you get to reuse them.
This was our middle-of-the-road build for Heng. We didn’t lean into his melee or shooting skills too heavily but instead buffed them both. The standards like:
- Grenade Training
- Bomb Squad
- Offensive Scavenger
- Grenade Pouch
- Magician’s Apprentice
We’ve added these into the deck and some melee and shooting cards, like:
- Tactical Vest
- Silver Bullets
- Large Calibur Rounds
- Spikey Bits
- Mean Drunk
- Ammo Pouch
Embrace the melee. But embrace speed as well. Melee attack speed, stamina, and movement speed are priorities in this deck. Throw the melee cards mentioned along with
- Superior Cardio
- Energy Drink
Then beef up the melee some more with:
- Heavy Hitter
- Scar Tissue
- Battle Lust
Cover Fire Deck
When you start the campaign with an RPK, what more could you ask for? Bring a deck that will make your RPK skills the deadliest.
- Confident Killer
- Patient Hunter
- Combat Training
- Ammo For All
These are all great. Take some of the damage cards from the Hengtastic build and layer on top of them:
- Optics Enthusiast
- Front Sight Focus
- Shooting Gloves
The RPK is powerful, but it is an LMG known to be wild. Make sure your accuracy is reliable enough. If not, bring some more accuracy cards and Down In Front to ensure the friendly fire isn’t a problem.
When playing Heng, players often stack their deck with cards that buff defense and healing. This stacking allows them to throw Heng into hordes, spawn many accessories, and take minimal damage. This tactic doesn’t work with bots, on greater difficulties, or with selfish people online, so we don’t use it much. Also, who wants to volunteer to get hit all the time? Not us.
Heng bot rules. He always has a pipe bomb, he’s always pointing out intel cards we missed, and his dialogue is always so badass. “Haven’t I punched you before? East village? ’89?”
Bring Heng bot on your team, and you’ll have a much better time. The constant tossing of pipe bombs is glorious.
Final thoughts on Heng
Heng may be one of the newest Cleaners to join the Back 4 Blood crew, but we’ve put more time into his character than plenty of others. His perks are fantastic, his starting kit is the best, and his dialogue is motivational as fuzz.
Heng’s been through some of the worst humanity can muster. He found himself in war and spent his life preparing for the worst. It only makes sense that during the end of the world, Heng still has his crap together.