While those games have become ten years removed from their initial launch and co-op games have fallen a bit out of favor with the rise of the battle royale genre and much more online-focused competitive experiences, developer Holosparks is seeking to reignite that enjoy of hard, co-op-centric encounters with their forthcoming title, Earthfall.
Throughout PAX East 2018, we had the opportunity to check out a preview of Earthfall on the display floor (with the game now available on PC via Steam Early Accessibility), and to see what the forthcoming shooter has to offer ahead of its entire PC release and its impending introduction on PS4 and Xbox One spring.
The players, as a group of human survivors hoping to make their way through the Pacific Northwest to safety, needs to complete objectives and ward away waves of extraterrestrial forces by so needed via weapons, obstacles, barricades, and much more to avoid certain death and ward off the waves of alien invaders.
In the brief time that we had with the game, the most noteworthy component of Earthfall is the simple fact that the game is chiefly trying to be a spiritual successor to the Left 4 Dead series, which’s easily apparent from throughout the board. In the four-player co-op team into the arrangement of its assignments and objectives, and down to its enemies kinds, everything from Earthfall should feel very familiar to fans of their treasured Left 4 Dead games, but with a little more of a contemporary signature equaling today’s graphical criteria and capacities.
The game starts out with the goal of attempting to get to the conclusion of each map, in which the goal is to complete an unique and call in to get an evac. Of course, that objective becomes even harder as choke points and barriers can deter the players along the way, although the inescapable hordes of alien forces will demand that players be tactical of where and when they fight. That ties into the coordination and teamwork that players will have to use to get out alive.
Earthfall at a great deal of ways felt like putting a familiar pair of old shoes or gloves, also it’s certainly the sort of experience that I’m convinced many who have been expecting for Left 4 Dead 3 to arrive (which it may not will) will love what it’s offering. The one disadvantage to this is that Earthfall perhaps pays somewhat too much of a loving tribute to what Left 4 Dead obtained right with co-op shooter gameplay, in that there aren’theres a ton of distinguishing elements from this name to what inspired it. To some that may not necessarily be a bad thing because it’s been quite a while since Left 4 Dead 2 released — at this stage almost ten years — but in other ways it seems like a missed chance for Earthfall to have made its mark and bring some unique flair into the notion of a co-op survival shot.
That being said, there are a couple of components that Earthfall integrates to maintain the experience a little bit fresher past that. One of the features is various gear and equipment that players may utilize to aid against the waves of alien critters in their defenses. Through the surroundings, players can find and deploy equipment like barricade walls, sentry turrets, along with other parts of equipment offering a few approach for players looking to scale while waves of alien hordes come, which reminded me to a degree of these tower-defense-like elements that Gears of War‘s Horde Mode offered.
While it’s small change in contrast to the total gameplay that is still less or more Left 4 Dead-such as, the deployable equipment added a finer degree of plan than just carrying out at a specific area against waves of alien hordes. In 1 instance during our demo, 1 player of our team was using a turret gun to pin down as many enemies as possible inside of a makeshift farmhouse bunker, while the rest of our team needed to watch his back and sides to stop him from getting ambushed by alien hordes.
It’s here that I think Earthfall may distinguish itself somewhat by allowing players choose specific characters in their party. Despite the fact that there isn’t a particular course system in place, it was interesting to see some players choose kind of “specialized” roles on the staff although all characters have the same abilities, such as building up defenses, healing teammates, or utilizing heavy weaponry to take out mass hordes of aliens.
Apart from the player characters and their skills, the forces have technical characters which could make them a force to be reckoned with and their own suggestions. These types that are alien include enemies such as the Whiplash, which is a fast-moving monster using an appendage that can catch a player and scamper off leaving the remainder. The Thresher can dive and pin down onto team members and start ripping them to shreds even though a third enemy kind leave and will burst spots of contaminated gunk in the environment that could be deadly.
From my time with Earthfall, it’s clear that the game is unquestionably what some might believe “Left 4 Dead, but with aliens. ” This’s not always a terrible thing: although the game itself lacks a little bit of its own identity, openly speaking the game excels thanks to exceptional graphical performance and shooting mechanics which feels far more in-line with what players may expect from modern day shooters. While I expect that Earthfall could enlarge on its own ideas a little more and craft its own distinct take on co-op shooting, so shooting on hordes of aliens rather than zombies still feels equally as satisfying and exhilarating.
Earthfall is presently accessible through Steam Early accessibility on PC, and is also coming to PS4 along with Xbox One such spring.