Hey, how is everyone? I’m back this time reviewing Earthfall and as the name suggests this isn’t a positive, happy setting. Aliens have landed in hordes and destroyed most of human life… without any guns but we’ll skip over that as it is worth it for the game. I’ll say straight away this game is very similar and wouldn’t surprise me if it was announced as the next ‘Left 4 Dead’ game due to the striking resemblance and core gameplay mechanics. This is good news for all us gamers though as it allows us to dive back into the zombie/ now alien slaughter feast that was our childhood! So, for any fans of the Left 4 dead franchise definitely take a look at this game!
I said in the intro that this game uses many of ‘Left 4 Dead’s’ core mechanics so if you have played that game then you will feel very comfortable in Earthfall as it plays exactly the same. When you load the game up, you get the choice to play the campaign with friends or solo and currently, this is the only game mode. The missions aren’t too long which is good, and there are a few of them which will keep us all occupied from our real lives for a while!
You choose from 4 characters: Roy, Danny, Maya, Jonas. They don’t offer much regarding story but can be pretty funny at times. I played Jonas the most just because the thought of the trained military loosing but a middle-aged man in shorts kicking ass instead is funny. The only downside to them is when you play single player they take all the supplies. What’s that you found a great gun but want to barricade the doors before you look like a sensible player… oh, wait that firearms went because Roy over here thought taking it was a good idea. In single player, I think the actual player should get the choice of weapons and supplies while the AI wait.
Regarding combat, it is identical to left for dead. You start with a pistol and find better guns around the map. You even have the pushback option in this game as well. Melee combat is pretty pointless and isn’t done that well in my opinion. You also find medical kits, adrenaline shots and grenades scattered around the map like in left 4 dead as well. The aliens do go down pretty quick, but some alien classes can take more, A LOT MORE!
Like in left 4 dead there is more than one type of alien. The Thresher works precisely the same as in Left 4 dead by jumping at you from range and pinning you down while you wait for your ‘friends’ who just sit and watch laughing as it rips your face apart. Pro tip: get better friends than mine or play solo! The Sapper acts similar to the Boomer of left 4 dead by walking up close and exploding covering you in toxic god knows what which causes you damage. The Whiplash is a bit like an alien giraffe that grabs you and just runs away which is incredibly annoying if one of your team gets caught. You have to chase it down while at the same time you’re still fighting the other aliens. The Beast acts like the Tank and takes a ton of damage! The good news is he can fire a laser out his mouth which makes him more interesting. Did I say good news? I meant bad.
The main difference that makes this game stand out from the left 4 dead franchises, which I must say it’s a worthy successor, is the building mechanic. Earthfall lets you place barricades which are metal gates you find around the map. So you can defend a position a lot easier.
The game looks good, and the art style stays true to the left 4 dead games. All together the game does look good and fits well with the genre, but it is nothing to get excited about. However, the details to cars and other objects within the game to make the world feel lived in.
The majority of the sound in this game is screams and gunshots so all the good stuff. The aliens sound similar to when you have just woken up and try to talk with a dry throat, and it just comes out as a moany croak. They do sound pretty alien, so a plus there and they aren’t annoying. The gun sounds are pretty generic and are more of a pop than a bang, but that fits with the Arcady style gameplay. Also, with the constant gunshots, a crisp, realistic bang might start to hurt your ears after a while.
This is an interesting point. Firstly, I’ll say that the developers came out a couple of days ago with their DLC plans for the next year. Luckily all that will be added will be free because they don’t want to divide the player base. There will be microtransactions, but these will be purely cosmetic which I’m ok and looking at Fortnight’s success I’m sure most gamers are, or we just have to accept this new truth.
The free updates are quite significant bringing new levels and game modes which will keep the game fresh and enjoyable improving playability a lot more than the original game offers.
However, it is very similar to left 4 dead, and this is what I find interesting. Because looking at the game (as it is now), I would say the playability is quite limited even with friends. But I see myself occasionally picking left 4 dead 2 up and playing through it regardless of its ‘playability.’ There is something about it, and Earthfall has it too that is fun and addictive and will keep people playing for years to come.
Overall/ Final thoughts:
This game is a worthy successor to the left 4 dead franchise and makes some significant changes while keeping the core gameplay and overall feel virtually the same. There is something more satisfying about shooting zombies over aliens, but this game is still entertaining and will get continued support which any good game needs. While you play serious in single player, goofing around in multiplayer with a few mates is the ideal night, and you’ll get so many laughs I promise. I say give this game a go even if you haven’t played left 4 dead because it has fun and enjoyment at its core and a throwback to when games typically were more consumer friendly.