If you’re a fan of squad-based shooters, this year’s list of releases is likely to be one that has got you a little bit excited, especially given the fact that recent years have seen squad-based shooters spread few and far between.
One of the co-operative shooters arriving this year and looking to reignite the excitement for the genre is Earthfall, and after having spent the last few days blasting my way through the hordes of enemies via the Early Access version of the game – and absolutely loving every minute of it – it’s time for me to tell you why you should be looking forward to playing it when it arrives on Xbox One, PS4 and PC later this spring.
If you’ve not yet heard of Earthfall, the game is essentially a love letter to Valve’s highly popular Left4Dead series. Instead of chucking us into another zombie apocalypse, Earthfall switches things up by throwing an alien invasion into the mix and sending you out to fortify holdouts and complete objectives, whilst the swarms of enemies close in your position every step of the way.
Each mission takes you to a different area, and much like Left4Dead, most objectives require you to survive a large horde of enemies before progressing to the next stage, with the areas in between each objective building you up to the inevitable fight for your life, with enemies randomly spawning in from behind abandoned vehicles and buildings.
These enemies are fairly varied too with special aliens wreaking destruction periodically to ensure the usual hordes don’t feel too repetitive. These guys are once more similar to that of Left4Dead – yep, there’s a bit of pattern going on here – and include the likes of the Whiplash which rushes in, grabs hold of a player, and runs off to isolate them. Then there are the Sappers which are comprised of poisonous gaseous sacs that explode when the alien is in the middle of a group of players, and another called the Blackout, which teleports around the area launching high damaging energy projectiles.
These are just some of the enemy classes that you will come across and they all pack a punch. That’s not to mention the fact that every enemy spawns dynamically based on how your squad is performing and what weapons you have. This makes for a completely different experience each time you jump in to a mission.
There are plenty of weapons to gather up, with more than 20 different and unique ones to find either in the environment as you pass through – be that in houses or vehicles – or by using the 3D printer to print a weapon of your choosing. You’ll never be left weaponless, especially with pistols granting unlimited ammo and melee options providing a satisfactory result once you start swinging. But it’s the bigger weapons such as the rifles that had me excited each time I found one.
What’s more, should you find yourself becoming overrun, there are also barricaded walls that can be erected along with automated turrets that can quickly help to thin the hordes in order to give you that little extra breathing room – and that’s a step up from what we saw in Left4Dead.
Whilst slaughtering aliens is all well and good however, you can’t ignore the fact that even in its Early Access form, Earthfall is absolutely stunning. From environments to enemies there is a real apocalyptic feel to things, and these see the tone perfectly set. When mixed with the creepy noises that emanate from the aliens, there is a real sense of threat throughout.
Although it would be good to see a few more levels included when the game finally arrives later this spring, there is no denying this is a game we should all be looking out for and it should go down massively well with the console masses.
Are you excited for the upcoming squad-based shooter? Let us know in the comments below or via our usual social channels.