What is Earthfall?
Earthfall, a game that has been in pre-release on Steam for slightly over a year has finally launched into its full version, on Friday the 13th, 2018. Earthfall is developed by Holospark, who’s only other developed game thus far has been “The Impossible Travel Agency.” So what does Earthfall bring to the table that other games have not yet explored? To start with, Earthfall is a first person shooter alien survival game, crediting the alien spawn to a meteor crash that flooded the earth with various styles of aliens and ruin all around. Four random individuals, brought together under doomsday scenario, attempt to work their way through the alien infested world in search of answers as to why the aliens have arrived. Throughout the game, players have the opportunity to complete challenges; most of which are completed over time, such as winning a campaign mission with a character, killing a certain species of alien, or getting kills with different weapons within the game. These challenges yield the player with lore, where from the title screen they are able to read and gather info regarding whatever they did for the challenge. For example, killing a Sapper alien unlocks lore regarding the species. Killing them continuously will unlock more lore for that category.
How to Play
Earthfall features a total of 10 different maps for players to play through. The first five maps and the last 5 maps focus on two different survival campaigns, each providing a different quest (same characters). Each map is essentially to be a chapter of the campaign, focusing on different objectives for survival and all taking place in the first person perspective, such as repairing a van. Each map essentially features the same alien species, with a guarantee of finding at least one of every non-boss alien in each map. These different species all have different skills, some of which are basic grunts called “Light Drones”, basic but stronger and more durable “Heavy Drones”, aliens that pounce the player and leave the player immovable and reliant on the actions of teammates to be saved are Threshers, and some that explode when close to the player or the previously mentioned Sapper aliens. It is important to maintain communication between teammates, as it is easy for a player to be left immobile by a Thrasher but gone unnoticed to teammates. The player is given the option to play online, with friends or randoms, or more daringly, play alone with bots. Playing alone with bots can be quite the challenge; unless the player cranks up the level of the AI bot system of Earthfall to greater than regular, but where’s the fun in that? In regards to game difficulty, players are given the option to set the difficulty of the maps, as well as search for games online fitting their preferred difficulty. Whatever difficulty one decides to fight off the alien horde in, it provides a thrilling challenge. Earthfall’s algorithm generates a fresh experience of alien spawns on every map, creating the need to strategize differently every time the player goes in to the same map. This feature is one of the most fundamental aspects of the game, aiding in the prevention of boredom.
Despite Earthfall’s exciting take on alien survival, it has not gone without criticism. Many players have called it a Left 4 Dead re-skinned with aliens. Arguably, there are times that this feels true, as many of the aliens exhibit behaviors almost precisely similar to those of the zombies in Left 4 Dead. However, it comes down to the player whether or not this similarity turns them from the game or not. Looking at Earthfall as a fresh take on the first person alien survival shooter rather than constantly looking at how it may be similar to Left 4 Dead provides a much greater experience. Earthfall’s legacy does not stand burdened only by its similarity to Left 4 Dead, but also its rather unnecessary price tag. Arguments can be made to both sides as to whether or not Earthfall stands as a game worth $30. For 10 maps, I personally believe $20 would have been a great price and could have potentially brought more sales to Holospark’s Earthfall.
Earthfall brings an exciting and continually action-packed experience to players seeking new thrills in the alien survival genres. Notably, waves of enemies continue to spawn even when AFK, so there certainly is never a dull moment! Despite the criticism of its Left 4 Dead similarities and seemingly hefty price tag, Earthfall brings an enjoyable survival experience, and is even better when partied up with friends. The stories told by Earthfall’s unlockable lore makes it worth the grind and is sure to at least guarantee the player an alien survival experience packed with never ending onslaught! Earthfall is available across PC, Xbox, and Playstation.