Back 4 Blood: Children of the Worm adds a ton of content – from a new Cleaner to entirely new missions, it looks to be a breath of fresh air.
Turtle Rock Studios’ Back 4 Blood is coming up on its next expansion, titled Children of the Worm. The DLC is set to bring even more to the co-op focused zombie shooter, which initially released last fall. Since then, the game has seen additions like new playable Cleaners, underground Ridden hives, and plenty of cosmetic options for characters and weapons.
Now, Children of the Worm seems to be an even more sizable expansion. Recently announced on Twitter, it’s the second paid piece of content for the game, following April’s Tunnels of Terror expansion. That release received a mixed reception – gameplay changes were minimal, and players could unlock new Cleaners Heng and Sharice without the DLC, leaving many feeling it wasn’t worth the purchase. So far, Children of the Worm looks like it won’t disappoint on that front.
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Details are scarce, but an infographic accompanying the announcement shared on the Back 4 Blood Twitter account provides a rough overview. New additions include an 11th Cleaner, new missions and story content, and an entirely new threat for players to face. These accompany an expected selection of new weapons and cosmetic skins. All together, it looks like Back 4 Blood players are finally getting the major content drop they’ve been waiting for.
Most prominent in the announcement is Children of the Worm‘s new playable Cleaner: he stands front and center, scarred and smirking. Little is said about “Prophet” Dan, but his character design reveals plenty of details about the newest addition to Back 4 Blood‘s roster of Cleaners. He’s almost certainly Irish, as shown by the prominent flag patch on his jacket, and the inclusion of “Peter 4-12” – a Bible verse that makes reference to a fiery trial – reveals Dan’s religious nature and likely provides a glimpse into how he views the zombie apocalypse. Several other items are pinned inside his lapels which, at first glance, offer little information – but a patch featuring a clover warrants further examination. A line of text beneath is it difficult to read, but it might say “Adventure Girls.” What this might mean is unclear, but it’s possible that it was a sort of youth organization. Perhaps Dan was a youth pastor before the apocalypse? Or maybe he had a daughter, and the patch is a keepsake?
New Cleaner, new Act, new enemies. Who knew? Here's a little sneak peek of what to expect for Expansion 2: Children of the Worm. pic.twitter.com/x9GhgrCJKu
Nothing’s certain until Turtle Rock Studios reveals more information, but something along these lines would be unsurprising. As protagonists in a zombie game, Back 4 Blood‘s Cleaners face a difficult campaign, but they’re far from one-note – instead, each has a distinct personality and a surprising amount of depth for characters mostly seen running and gunning. Prophet Dan’s personality will likely shine through just as much when Children of the Worm releases.
Back 4 Blood draws heavily on Turtle Rock’s earlier zombie games, the immensely popular Left 4 Dead and its sequel. One of Back 4 Blood‘s major changes was adding a narrative throughline to the game’s campaign missions. Left 4 Dead‘s campaigns had a very loose story that primarily served as context for different levels – why, for example, players had to escape from a zombie-infested amusement park. Back 4 Blood in contrast offers an actual plot, with several narrative twists, characters beyond the playable cast, and a serious escalation of stakes. Ultimately, Back 4 Blood‘s story campaign wraps up while remaining open-ended enough to add content later – and Children of the Worm will do exactly that.
Related: Will Back 4 Blood Get New PvP Multiplayer Modes?
A fifth act, consisting of six missions, will be added with the release of Children of the Worm. This will especially excite players who wanted more missions as part of Tunnels of Terror and felt let down by their absence. Back 4 Blood, like its predecessors, included a solid mix of urban, suburban, and rural environments, but the image provided for act five shows something different – a cobbled-together construction of wooden supports and sheet metal, with tons of verticality and strange, cult-like symbols drawn on the walls. And, perched up high, there’s a trio of dark silhouettes with glowing yellow eyes. These sinister figures look like trouble, a theory that is reinforced by the DLC’s final major addition. These, it would seem, are the eponymous Children of the Worm.
Even before any expansions, Back 4 Blood‘s unique Ridden types brought variety for players to fight. From close-range brutes like Tallboys, agile, range-focused Stingers, and threats like the Hag that are best avoided altogether, Turtle Rock Studios gave players a cast of foes with varied tactics, requiring similarly flexible coordination to beat. Now, Children of the Worm might be adding an enemy unlike any ever before seen in Back 4 Blood or Left 4 Dead – other humans.
Four weapon-toting, fully covered individuals are shown off on the reveal infographic and described as a new enemy threat. Again, further information is absent, but some speculation is in order. Their clothing – armor, really – and weapons indicate that these are no mere Ridden, and possess some degree of sophistication; the same markings from the act five image appear on their gear, as well. However, a few exposed patches of skin appear withered and sickly. These enemies are likely something between Ridden and human.
Ridden come from Back 4 Blood‘s Devil Worms, waterborne parasites from another planet that transform their hosts into violent, zombie-like creatures. A laboratory breach and the subsequent spread of Devil Worms led to the events of the main game, where the parasites were able to affect huge populations uncontrolled. The so-called Children of the Worm, however, may have found some way to inhibit or slow the Devil Worm transformation and willingly taken parasites into themselves.
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Why is anyone’s guess – though the imagery provided highly suggests they’re a cult. The four new types of enemy, with their own mixture of tactics, should continue to keep players on their toes throughout Back 4 Blood‘s fifth act. Fighting enemies who have potentially retained some of their humanity could prove interesting narrative consequences, as well.
Lastly, Children of the Worm brings more standard fare to Back 4 Blood new 8-bit themed weapon skins, weapons and equipment, and skins for the main cast of Cleaners. One weapon, Lockjaw, seems to be a modified hunting rifle taken from one of the DLC’s new enemies, and there are certainly even more in store. Plus, the skins bring some fun concepts, including a baseball uniform for Holly and punk looks for Doc and Evangelo.
Children of the Worm looks to bring new life into Back 4 Blood – and after the lukewarm reception of Tunnels of Terror, players should get excited. The DLC launches on August 30, when players will be able to meet “Prophet” Dan, explore the next chapter of the narrative, and come face-to-face with the newest threat to the Cleaners. More details will likely become available through Turtle Rock as the release date approaches.
Next: Back 4 Blood’s Hardest Missions, Ranked
Source: Back 4 Blood/Twitter
Petra Jarrett is a contributing writer for games features who joined the site in February 2022. In 2021 she received a Bachelor’s of Science in Game Design and has significant experience examining and writing about game systems and experiences. In her spare time, Petra designs Dungeons & Dragons adventures, enjoys hikes, and plays board games with her family.

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