Earthfall is a co-op survival first-person shooter similar to the Left 4 Dead series. While the game is currently available as an early access title on Steam, it has not been fully released on consoles, and as a result, there were opportunities for players to try out the latest build of Earthfall during E3. I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to play the title.
Before I played the demo, I was given a brief rundown of the game. The year is 2039, and aliens have knocked out all electricity on Earth. Cellphones, cars, and most things electrical have sent humanity into the dark ages. To make matters worse, these aliens have invaded, and the last bits of humanity must struggle to stay alive. The game takes places 3 months after these events, and the game focuses on a group of four survivors.
As I went to play, there were options for a lot of different levels, and there are set to be 10 different levels at launch. After searching for a versus game type, there were none, and it appears that there will not be any added versus modes added when the game launches. However, there would be a whole lot of co-op goodness, and to show that off, a level was selected for me to begin playing. I found myself a shotgun and started to plow through aliens while making my way to a dam. Along the way, there will be special alien variants that will be a bit harder to kill than normal aliens, and they will also abilities to incapacitate survivors. While progressing through the level, there were different paths that I could have taken to proceed to the dam, and there were also items scattered about waiting to be found. These little thing will definitely increase the replayability of the finished game.
In addition, every time you use an item or pick up a weapon, there is a notification about new lore being unlocked. There is a story to this game, and each alien, item, and gun you come across will have a bit of story attached to it. For instance, one of the weapons is a massive, powerful rifle that combines alien tech with human tech. With weapons like that, as well as the other useable items, you can get an idea of how humanity has been adapting to its apocalyptic scenario.
Playing through, there were many times where I would have to do an objective, but I would have to alert an alien swarm as a result. These would result in large swarms of aliens charging us, and sometimes, an alien boss would appear as a result. What was awesome about Earthfall is the fact that there are multiple bosses rather than just one boss. One of the bosses is a giant, hulking alien with the muscle to send you flying cross the map, and it is rather difficult to kill while being able to take you out with ease. There is another alien that floats midair, has shields, can teleport, and will zap you with energy, and it is a bit trickier to kill than the hulking alien, but depending on the situation, either one could be more difficult to kill. In an open area, the floating alien might be harder to kill since you can’t hide from its energy beams, while the hulking alien would be harder to deal with in closed off areas since it would be able to deal lots of damage quickly. Overall, it was a nice touch to add some boss variance to the game.
Throughout the swarms that I would summon in order to progress through the game, there would be items scattered about that were useful for setting up defenses. You can find barricades that you can put up to stop enemies from passing through a certain area, you can set up a turret that auto fires at any enemies that get within its line of site, and you can even set down mines for a deadly trap. During the last holdout of the level, I was caught off guard by an alien that ended up dragging me away from my group. At that moment, one of the hulking aliens spawned, and I got thrashed. My party tried to come help me, but they too were met with a similar fate. Team wipes during the first few playthroughs are normal, however, so it did not feel too bad to have lost so late into the level.
After I had died, my time with the demo was up, but it was revealed that I would be able to get back into the action when the game fully releases on July 13. Earthfall will be released on July 13 for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC.