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Back 4 Blood is releasing in October from Turtle Rock Studios (original developer on Left 4 Dead) and they now have an Open Beta that anyone can try out and it appears to work with Proton GE.

It's notable because it uses Easy Anti-Cheat, and you get the EAC loading screen when you load up the game. Usually, games with EAC don't work with Proton on Linux and just block it entirely. We know that Valve has been working with the likes of Easy Anti-Cheat and BattlEye ready for the Steam Deck release but it's not entirely clear how (or even if?) it's working right now.

So if you've been eagerly awaiting it, now might be your chance to actually try it out properly before the full release. On Linux you will need the community-built Proton GE, since Valve's official Proton gets stuck on the loading screen. All game modes appear to work just fine.

How to install Proton GE on Linux to try it? With the latest version here's what to do:

  1. Download the Proton-6.14-GE-2.tar.gz file from the release notes.
  2. If this folder does not exist, create it: ~/.steam/root/compatibilitytools.d/
  3. Extract the archive downloaded in Step 1, and place the contents into the above directory.
  4. Restart Steam if it's open which refreshes the Steam Play list for Proton-6.14-GE-2 to show up.
  5. Right click on your game, go to Properties, Compatibility and ensure the box is ticked named "Force the use of a specific Steam Play compatibility tool" then select it from the dropdown box that appears.

With my own testing I have come across three main issues:

  1. Stuttering. Like a lot of Windows games run through Proton, it needs to build up a shader cache. It's far from ideal when you first start playing with it stuttering all over the place. Once it's built up, it seems performance is much better. Hopefully Valve will build up a cache for people to download in Steam like other games.
  2. In-game chat doesn't work, it just seems to disconnect repeatedly.
  3. It really doesn't like MangoHud. Something about to just makes it freeze up repeatedly. Tried through many runs, with the only difference being MangoHud and it just causes weird freezing behaviour every time it's on.

The Open Beta on Steam lasts until August 16 at 12:00 PDT / 19:00 UTC.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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21 comments
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M@GOid 12 Aug
I was waiting to come home from work and try it, but a electrical problem may prevent doing it today. So I got curious and went to look at the reviews of the open beta. And there is a lot of people disappointed with the game.

To make a long story short, you better not install this thinking it is L4D3. There is no shortage of people saying its gameplay is inferior to the Valve games.
Basiani 12 Aug
EAC loading screen appears also on HALO, but it does nothing. I mean first launch option, not second one with disabled anti-cheat.
This is early access of game, so it's normal that thare is anti-cheat that really doesn't do its job before full release of game.
Offtopic but new Battlefield 2042 will be with EAC secured.


Last edited by Basiani on 12 August 2021 at 8:09 pm UTC
Lofty 12 Aug
Quoting: BasianiEAC loading screen appears also on HALO, but it does nothing. I mean first launch option, not second one with disabled anti-cheat.
This is early access of game, so it's normal that thare is anti-cheat that really doesn't do its job before full release of game.
Offtopic but new Battlefield 2042 will be with EAC secured.

There are just too many popular titles to count that aren't playable on Linux due to anti-cheat. And the list is only going to keep growing.That's not to say there are not many games that are still playable and they are still just as fun, but for the masses those big AAA/AA titles are what create the notion of a platform even being relevant at all.

fortunately it sounds like the push for steamdeck will save the day at least when it comes to that aspect of Linux gaming.


Last edited by Lofty on 12 August 2021 at 9:55 pm UTC
BielFPs 12 Aug
I played the closed beta, and as a "pro" l4d2 player I want to say some points about the game:

Spoiler, click me

Good points:
-The weapons "feeling" are good, I liked the design and sound of all of them and there wasn't a single weapon where I found odd to use.

-I kinda liked their perk system, it's useful to balance your team if you have enough map experience and if you're going to play with a know team or with random people. Can't say about the future monetization of this part (pay to win maybe).

-I liked the abundance of random items through the map, you can decide if it's worth to change your current weapon or if it's worth to take the tool box to open some doors instead of a ammo box, a defibrillator instead of a med kit, etc.

-The button to inform you found something to others it's a thing that I miss in l4d games, so it's a very good addition

Bad points:
-The campaign is huge, I know this can sound nice but after some time it really get tiring of it. A normal l4d campaign is usually 35-50 minutes with an average team, but in B4B it take almost two hours to complete a campaign. It also has the 3 chances thing, where I failed in the final act because neither me or my team knew what to do to shot the cannon (we had to remove the "used ammo" after firing up) and I discovered it just after we lost 2 continues. In the result, 2 hours wasted because the objective wasn't clear enough. Same where there's a part when we need to rush the mines and I only knew that because a guy from my team knew it before.

-The balance of the campaign difficult parts are also bad, it's either too easy passing through the same bald common zombies (which become a little boring after some hours) and almost no special infected, or too hard when you're in a objective part of the map and the game start to spawn a endless horde of special infected (especially those big arm ones) there you'll pretty much waste all your ammo on it (and hope the rest of your team know what you have to do to progress).

-The game can be a little confusing, Like you have to pay attention and stop to read things in order to understand what's the item does or what we'll have to do. I really missed something like the director to help me making my decisions and is too much information for someone not used to this kind of game system. I'm glad in this case was localized to my language, or I would have to explain to my team wtf we need to do (I had anyway, but it was easier than a game entirely in english)

-The experience with the characters were a little... generic. The same bold zombies everywhere, acting the same way, and the fact that you don't really need to take care of each other until the infinite hordes part make me feel like no difference in playing with bots or random players. Also the voice acting is not very expressive, I almost didn't pay attention to what the characters were saying, the subs were just the same generic white text and paying attention to it would mean my team rushing without me.

Conclusion:
This game doesn't feel like a "left 4 dead 3" for me, it's more like a mix of Warhammer Vermintide + Zombie Army Trilogy, and while it's fun in the beginning it felt like one of those games where you can get bored very fast and don't know exactly why. Playing it showed me how ahead of his time Left 4 Dead is and how much the lack of Valve support impact in Turtle Rock Studio games. Back for Blood it seems like a game with potential but I can't recommend it in the current price.

About the topic, EAC is probably working due to the beta phase of the game (where everything will be reseted after, so there's no point to worry of cheaters right now) so they're probably not "fully activated" right now and I expect this to break after the full release. For those thinking about buying it to play on linux, do not do this unless Turtle Rock make a official statement about Linux or proton support, or else you might end up with a expensive game you can't play.
inckie 12 Aug
Squad uses EAC too, but it works with Proton too and has been working for while now.

So why would you assume that it will not continue to work for this game ?


Last edited by inckie on 12 August 2021 at 9:04 pm UTC
Yeah been watching linux gamecast play this since sunday on twitch its left for dead with some new features either a good thing or a bad thing depending on your tastes
Julius 12 Aug
Judging by some online comments it seems EAC is disabled in coop-mode (which makes sense), but enabled in versus mode. So the latter does not work with Proton right now AFAIK.

The game itself looks cool, but the price point is really too high for such a game.
Liam Dawe 12 Aug
Quoting: JuliusJudging by some online comments it seems EAC is disabled in coop-mode (which makes sense), but enabled in versus mode. So the latter does not work with Proton right now AFAIK.
Like I said in the article, all modes worked.
Leopard 12 Aug
QuoteHopefully Valve will build up a cache for people to download in Steam like other games.

Fwiw, Valve doesn't build those pipelines. It is users.

They play the game, they start to cache them, client collects them from users, once there are enough to ship and validate client downloads them and client starts building shaders in two ways:

1-) Either in the background

2-) Or if it didn't have time to build them and they are still pending to be processed, client goes into full blast mode ( uses all available threads on your cpu) and builds them.

For background processing default value is 1/4 of your threads iirc.
DerRidda 12 Aug
Quoting: inckieSquad uses EAC too, but it works with Proton too and has been working for while now.

So why would you assume that it will not continue to work for this game ?

There is no magic happening with Squad.
Squad works because the EAC CDN explicitly contains a wine64 binary for that game.
Yes, EAC detects that it is running in Wine and attempts to download the appropriate binary.
If the developers didn't "tick the box" for that it is likely that EAC will not work in the future with B4B.

So if anyone who tried it could check the EAC binary in their Proton prefix that would be very helpful.


Last edited by DerRidda on 12 August 2021 at 11:30 pm UTC
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