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Every Back 4 Blood Cleaner, Ranked Worst To Best | Screen Rant

Unlike its spiritual predecessor, Left 4 Dead, Back 4 Blood's eight playable characters, called Cleaners, each have their own unique abilities, passives, and loadouts that make them unique from the other members of the team. As such, choosing the right cleaner is one of the most important decisions that a player makes early in the game. While a player can swap between cleaners at any time between runs, the different benefits provided by each cleaner will likely alter how a player chooses to build their deck and what Cards they choose to spend their Supply Points on. In addition, after a recent update, you no longer have to unlock Back 4 Blood's Cleaners and can pick any from the start, further increasing the choices that players have and how they tackle each mission.

While the primary elements of a player's build will be made up by the Card deck they create using the game's numerous Cards, each cleaner contributes to the players in meaningful ways. Not only does each cleaner feature a personal passive ability and team passive that boosts the entire team, but they also have a unique ability that can't otherwise be acquired from Cards. Some of these abilities make a major difference in each encounter, while others are more specific, requiring a more tailored Card deck to properly utilize in Back 4 Blood. Oftentimes these abilities are far easier to make use of in a group, while others make solo play a much more viable option.

Related: Back 4 Blood's Ridden Beat L4D's Zombies In Originality & Potential

Luckily, none of the Cleaners in Back 4 Blood are useless. They each fill a unique niche on the team and help a player to stand out from their teammates. However, some Cleaners are inherently stronger than others, sometimes just due to how often their abilities come into play and make the game-saving difference for themselves or the team. When starting out, players should often consider not only the abilities that the Cleaners have but also the items that each one starts with. While these can be swapped out early on and likely won't make a difference later in the run, it can still be the element that starts a player off on the right foot when first starting out. Players can always go to Back 4 Blood's hub, Fort Hope, to not only check out the Cleaners' abilities, but also use the Shooting Range to practice with their starting equipment and determine who they feel is the best fit for their playstyle.

Walker is Back 4 Blood's standard soldier character and is designed to be well-rounded and easy to play for newcomers. Unfortunately, his lack of specialization and relatively useless ability make it hard to recommend him unless a player really doesn't know how they want to build their card deck or what weapons they want to use. On the plus side, Walker's personal passive ability gives him a +10% damage bonus at all times, which can help players keep the pressure on the Ridden.

His team passive is far less useful, providing the team with +10 Health. This is pretty negligible and will likely get eaten by trauma damage pretty quickly, making Walker a far less enticing companion to have around when Back 4 Blood's Devil Worms make their way to Earth. While he may not make the best teammate, new players might find Walker's starting loadout, which includes an M4 Carbine, a Glock 23, and a Frag Grenade, to be one of the more well-rounded and easier weapon-sets to use.

Where Walker really comes up short is in his unique ability, which gives him +20% Accuracy for 5 seconds when he kills an enemy with a Precision Kill, which is a headshot for normal Ridden and a Weakpoint kill for Special Ridden. The +20% Accuracy boost can be helpful for players that like to use full-auto weapons like assault rifles and submachine guns, or who like to use hip fire, but the low activation time means players will rarely find a use for it. In addition, Back 4 Blood's higher difficulties incorporate friendly-fire, further discouraging this kind of gameplay. Coupled with Walker's low impact on the overall team dynamic, players might feel more like they are playing Left 4 Dead 3 than Back 4 Blood, making it uncommon to find players wanting to main him past Recruit difficulty.

Taking a quick glance at Evangelo's passives, it's pretty clear that he was built to be Back 4 Blood's resident speedrunner. And when it comes to speed-running, Evangelo is a solid choice. However, when it comes to playing in a group and utilizing teamwork to take on Back 4 Blood's toughest challenges, Evangelo falls short. His personal passive ability gives him +25% Stamina Regeneration, which can greatly help him to keep sprinting and stay one step ahead of the Ridden. This can also help Evangelo attack more consistently with melee attacks. In addition, Evangelo provides a +5% Speed passive to the entire team, which can help the team keep up if Evangelo chooses to speed past some of Back 4 Blood's unusually difficult areas. Evangelo also starts every match with a Machete and Uzi, which allow him to fight well up close and evade or push through massive Ridden hordes.

Related: Back 4 Blood's Monster Designs Are Better (& Worse) Than Left 4 Dead's

Where Evangelo really shines, however, is in his unique ability, which allows him to break free from an enemy's hold or grasp once every minute. Since a grab usually requires that a teammate break you out, this ability helps to free Evangelo from the necessity of staying with his group. This is ideal for speedrunning, as teammates without proper speedrunning builds can slow down and potentially cut short a run. While Evangelo might be Back 4 Blood's ideal speedrunner, many of his abilities fall short when playing on a team. Evangelo's ability to escape a grasp can also be achieved by having a coordinated group to shut down enemy pins, and the +5% Speed passive is unnecessary and barely helpful outside of a speedrun.

Mom is one of Back 4 Blood's support units, and early in the campaign, players will likely find that she can really help keep the team alive with her strong passives. Living up to her namesake as the team mom, Mom's passives are built around giving her teammates the best shot at staying alive through their run. Her team passive gives each member on the team +1 Extra Life, allowing them each to be downed one more time before dying. Her personal passive also provides her with an +1 Support Inventory, allowing her to carry an extra support item. Having two Health Kits or Bandages can be invaluable in keeping teammates healed. These passives also make Mom's AI Bot surprisingly effective, as the AI Bots in Back 4 Blood tend to prioritize healing and reviving players.

Unfortunately, Mom's unique ability often proves far less useful. It grants Mom the ability to instantly revive a teammate once per level. While this can be useful to bring an ally back in a tight pinch, the once per level restriction is a major drawback, especially in the game's more challenging levels, where allies often have to be revived multiple times. Since some of the game's hardest challenges tend to appear towards the end of levels, Mom's instant revive has often already been used up and is rendered useless. Perhaps the ability would be more useful if it could be used once per minute like Evangelo's, or once per teammate like Doc's. The ability is still nice to have early in the game but is far less useful in Back 4 Blood's Veteran difficulty.

In Back 4 Blood, Jim is the team's expert sniper. A hunter and outdoorsman long before the Ridden showed up, Jim is an expert marksman and his passives, abilities, and loadout perfectly reflect that. Jim starts every new run with an M1A rifle, a 357 Magnum, and Razor Wire. This setup is perfectly tailored for keeping the distance between Jim and his foes. In addition, he has a +25% Aim Down Sights Speed, allowing him to more quickly aim down the sights of slower weapons such as sniper rifles. Arguably, his most powerful asset is his +10% Weakspot Damage to the entire team, which can make a huge difference when trying to defeat Back 4 Blood's toughest enemies and bosses.

Related: Back 4 Blood: How to Win Body Dump (Act 3 Guide)

Jim's unique ability might be one of the most unique in the game, and may be intriguing for players that like abilities with a high skill ceiling. The ability grants Jim +2.5% Stacking Damage with each Precision Kill (up to a maximum of ten stacks). This means that at max stacks, Jim deals a whopping extra +25% Damage with every attack. The catch is that as soon as Jim gets hit, the stacks drop down to zero, and Jim has to build them up from the start again. This once again reinforces the idea that Jim is meant to be built as one of Back 4 Blood's snipers. Unfortunately, long-range sniper builds are often ill-suited for Back 4 Blood's run-and-gun campaign, which often forces players to constantly be on the move while the Ridden swarm in from all sides. When a sniper build is viable, though, no one does it better than Jim.

Karlee, much like Mom, falls firmly into Back 4 Blood's pool of Support heroes. Unlike Mom, however, she doesn't function as a healer, but instead provides the team with utility support. Karlee's team passive provides each Cleaner with +50%Use Speed, allowing them to not only use items much faster, but also finish objectives more quickly. She also has a personal passive that give her +1 Quick Inventory. Karlee already starts with a Tool Kit at the start of each run, and with the extra Quick Inventory slot, she can purchase and carry a second Tool Kit, making her ideal for further exploring Back 4 Blood's intricately designed levels. Karlee also begins each level with a Tec9 and AK47, giving her a lot of firepower straight from the start.

Karlee's unique ability allows her to sense nearby hazards and mutations. This is an ability that players can make use of consistently throughout every level. This is particularly strong for team compositions that like to take missions slowly and explore side areas. Karlee's ability to sense hazards and mutations can keep teammates from walking directly into a trap while out exploring. Since she can also sense mutations, this helps her to alert teammates when a Mutated Ridden is nearby and help prepare them for the attack and avoid the ambush. Once Back 4 Blood's Corruption Cards begin stacking up later in the game, this ability only becomes all the more useful, and leaves Karlee as one of the most invaluable Cleaners in Back 4 Blood.

It's pretty easy to guess what Doc's specialty is just based on her name alone. As a former medical doctor and the Cleaners' ultimate healer, Doc really stands out when it comes to keeping her team alive. Her personal passive gives her +20 Healing Efficiency, making each healing item she uses heal for 20% more health. For that reason, it's advisable when possible for players to give Doc their healing items rather than healing themselves, so they can benefit from the extra healing. Doc also gives the team a 25% Resistance to Trauma Damage. In Back 4 Blood, Trauma Damage lowers a player's max health, preventing them from healing above a certain point until they find a First Aid Station.

Related: Why Back 4 Blood Should Let Players Try Out Cards In The Practice Range

In addition to her strong lineup of passives, Doc's unique ability lets her heal each teammate once per level without requiring the use of healing items. While she only heals 25 health points, this is still a vital way to help keep the team healed up. In higher difficulties and later stages, having consistent heals is a must, and Doc's unique ability is a great way to provide that. Coupled with her excellent healing passives, Doc's unique ability helps to make her the best medic in Back 4 Blood.

Of all of Back 4 Blood's Cleaners, Holly has the most eager and enthusiastic personality, so it's only fitting that her abilities are built to allow her to rush in and take on hordes of Ridden up close. On all the game's promotional material, Holly is shown carrying a spiked baseball bat, and for good reason, as her powerful kit only really shines when equipped with a melee build. Her 10% Damage Resistance allows her to soak up a considerable number of Ridden attacks and her 25% Team Stamina Bonus gives her (and her teammates) a much larger pool of stamina. Her damage resistance makes her the ideal choice for a Tank Deck build in Back 4 Blood. Her team stamina also helps to boost her melee strength, letting her sprint in close and swing her weapons for longer.

Holly's unique skill is also ideal for a melee build. When Holly kills a Ridden, she instantly recovers 10 Stamina. So not only does Holly have twenty-five percent more stamina, but she can also recover it quickly to keep hacking down hordes of Ridden without having to break to recover her stamina. With Holly functioning so strongly as a melee fighter, it can help to draw Ridden away from characters who were meant to be in the backline, such as Jim, and allow them to focus on the deadly Special Ridden. When coupled with a strong Melee Deck build in Back 4 Blood, Holly can function as a one-person army against the deadly Ridden swarms.

Hoffman solidifies his place as Back 4 Blood's most essential Cleaner with his unique skill set that focuses on stockpiling ammunition and offensive inventory items. His personal passive gives him +1 Offensive Inventory, so he can carry an extra Grenade or Molotov, which can really help to quell Ridden hordes or destroy Special Ridden quickly. His team passive gives the team +10% Ammo Capacity, keeping them in the fight for longer without having to run around and look for ammo. These abilities help to make Hoffman the perfect choice to tackle Back 4 Blood's punishing Nightmare difficulty with.

Related: How to Unlock More Outfits in Back 4 Blood

Hoffman's unique skill also sets him up for success in the higher difficulties as well. The ability gives Hoffman a chance to find ammo whenever he kills a Ridden. When the Ridden begin to swarm in huge numbers in later stages of the game, Hoffman's ability keeps him from running dry on ammo and helps him keep distance from the Ridden with a plentiful supply of ammunition. Hoffman can also use the game's ammo drop feature to keep his teammates stockpiled on ammunition when he picks up more than he needs for himself (or picks up ammo for weapons he isn't using). Hoffman's hefty supply of ammo and offensive inventory items also makes him a strong pick for tackling Back 4 Blood solo.

While each Cleaner fills an important role on the team, Hoffman really stands out among the rest as Back 4 Blood's best Cleaner. His ability to make use of his passives and his unique skill in every stage of every level, plus his invaluable support in both a solo game and on a team put him at the top of this list. Even still, no Cleaner in Back 4 Blood is a true jack-of-all-trades, and players will benefit from picking the Cleaner that best suits their playstyle and the Deck they wish to build. With plenty more content on the way, it's important that player find their best combination of Cleaners and Decks, so they can tackle whatever new challenges Back 4 Blood throws their way.

Next: Back 4 Blood Needs A Versus Campaign

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