While those games have become ten years removed from their first launch and co-op games have fallen somewhat out of favor with the growth of the conflict royale genre and more online-focused competitive experiences, developer Holosparks is seeking to reignite that love of hard, co-op-centric adventures with their upcoming title, Earthfall.
Throughout PAX East 2018, we had the chance to check out a trailer of Earthfall around the show floor (with the game now available on PC via Steam Early Access), and to find out what the forthcoming shooter offers ahead of its whole PC release and its impending advent on PS4 and Xbox One this spring.
The players, as a group of human survivors seeking to make their way through the Pacific Northwest to safety, must complete aims and ward away waves of aliens by so necessary through weapons, barriers, barricades, and much to prevent certain death and fend off the waves of alien invaders.
In the brief time that we had with the game, the most notable feature of Earthfall is the simple fact that the game is largely trying to be a spiritual successor to the Left 4 Dead series, and that’s easily apparent from throughout the board. From the four-player co-op staff into the arrangement of its assignments and objectives, and right down to its enemies kinds, everything in Earthfall must feel quite familiar to fans of the cherished Left 4 Dead games, but with a little more of a modern signature suiting today’s graphic criteria and capabilities.
I’m convinced for a good deal of gamers (myself included), that initial pitch is a lot to get excited about, especially given the surprising absence of games which have wanted to carry the co-op survival ring that Left 4 Dead perfected so many decades ago.
Essentially, the game starts out with the simple goal of attempting to get into the end of every map, in which the aim is to finish an objective unique and call in to get an evac. Needless to say, that goal becomes even harder as choke points and barriers can deter the players on the way, although the inevitable hordes of drives will need that players be strategic of where and when they struggle. That ties into the coordination and teamwork that players will have to use to escape alive.
Earthfall at a lot of ways felt like putting on a familiar pair of old shoes or gloves, and it’s surely the kind of experience I’m convinced many who’ve been hoping for Left 4 Dead 3 to arrive (which it might never will) will definitely love what it is offering. The 1 disadvantage to this is that Earthfall maybe pays a bit too much loving tribute to what Left 4 Dead got right using co-op shooter gameplay, in that there aren’theres a great deal of distinguishing elements from using this name to what prompted it. To some that may not necessarily be a bad thing as it’s been quite a while since Left 4 Dead 2 published — at this stage nearly ten years — but in other ways it feels like a missed chance for Earthfall to have made its mark and deliver some special flair to the idea of a co-op survival shooter.
That having been said, there are a few components that Earthfall incorporates to maintain the experience just a bit fresher past that. Among the most noteworthy features is a variety of equipment and gear that players can utilize to aid against the waves of alien creatures in their defenses.
While it’s a little change in comparison to the overall gameplay that’s still less or more Left 4 Dead-such as, the deployable gear added a finer level of plan than just holding out at a particular area against waves of alien hordes. In 1 case during our demo, 1 player of our group was having a turret gun to mow down as many enemies as possible within a makeshift farmhouse bunker, whereas the remainder of our team had to see his sides and back to prevent him from becoming ambushed by alien hordes.
It’s’s here I think Earthfall can differentiate itself a bit by allowing players choose specific characters in their celebration. Although there isn’t even a particular course system set up, it was intriguing to find some players choose kind of “specialized” functions on the staff although most of characters have the same abilities, like building up guards, healing teammates, or using heavy weaponry to extract mass hordes of aliens.
Likewise, apart from the player characters and their skills, the forces have their own tricks. These distinctive alien types include enemies such as the Whiplash, and it can be really a fast-moving monster with an appendage that may grab a player and scamper off leaving the remaining part. The Thresher snare down onto group members and can dive and begin ripping them to shreds fast, while a third enemy type leave and would burst spots of alien gunk from the surroundings that could be deadly.
In my time with Earthfall, it’s apparent that the game is unquestionably what some may consider “Left 4 Dead, but with aliens. ” That’s not necessarily a bad thing: whether the game itself lacks a bit of its own individuality, openly speaking the game excels thanks to exceptional graphical functionality and shooting mechanisms which feels a lot more in-line with exactly what players might expect from modern day shooters. While I hope that Earthfall could expand on its ideas a little more and craft its own unique spin on co-op shooting, so shooting on hordes of aliens rather than zombies still feels just as satisfying and thrilling.
Earthfall is now accessible through Steam Early Access on PC, and will also be arriving to PS4 along with Xbox One such spring.