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Review: Earthfall (PC)By Ofisil At 05.08.2018 21:03

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A cataclysmic invasion has brought mankind to its knees, with only a few survivors left... well… to survive. A story-heavy adventure? Of course not. Earthfall is basically Left 4 Dead, with the same urban and semi-wildlife locales, and the same everyman cast, but with alien scum taking the place of walking corpses. Playing through it unlocks tiny pieces of lore for everything, from the enemies and protagonists, to the arsenal itself, but this is definitely an action-first kind of experience.

With that being said, it would be great if this tried to look a bit more interesting than your generic alien B-movie. Skip that. Alien B-movies actually have more character than this. Sure, this is supposed to look mundane, as the places you will visit are everyday locations, and the main heroes and heroines are just a bunch of Homo sapiens, but that excuse can't be used for the invaders, who look like the forgettable cannon fodder of .

What matters most is how this plays, though, correct? Well, on that front, Earthfall is a co-op FPS with a pretty easy to grasp concept, especially for those who have "been there" and "done that." You fill the shoes of one of four characters, and complete a series of objectives, while you shoot through a never-ending horde of enemies, making sure to use the tools and weaponry that you find scattered around, like, for instance, high-tech barricades, mountable turrets, non-reloadable powerful guns, and the like.

The gunfights are fine and all, but, to be honest, lack that "oomph!" factor. Rather than making one feel as if truly shooting a bunch of relentless beasts, the weak weapon sound effects, and easy-to-go-down drones that make up 99% of the opposition make you feel like cutting through butter, and with a knife that's sharp but not really that fun to use. A bad game? Not at all! It's just that the world of first-person shooters has seen much better than that, with Doom being a prime example.

Sure, among the mass-produced drones there are some special baddies that manage to spice things up a bit, with acid explosions upon death, energy barriers, and so on, but they never really manage to elevate the action to the required heights, mainly because they appear way too often, and aren't really big game-changers. As for the objectives themselves, they rarely make things more interesting, as they tend to fall in the simplistic "activate X," "find Y," or "destroy Z" missions, with swarms waking up right after doing any of those.

One thing that must definitely be mentioned is that there's little reason to play alone. Apart from the obvious fact that this was meant to be played online, the bot AI, while far from stupid, is still in the primeval state of the Left 4 Dead series, meaning that they don't really do anything else but shoot at the enemy, thus don't expect them to be much help in later difficulty settings, even when in their highest skill setting.

It must be mentioned once more: Earthfall is not great, but it's not bad, either. It can offer a bunch of pleasant evenings, it performs mighty fine, and, although uninspiring in terms of audio-visuals, it's far from ugly. The problem? It all crumbles down when the replay value aspect pops up. Simply put, once completing the levels on offer, there's really no reason to replay them, and since this is mainly an online title, this isn't just a minor flaw, but the main issue.

The reason why that happens isn't the time needed to complete the whole package, which is less than five hours, and it's not even how there aren't any additional modes to sink your teeth into. The main problem is how linear everything is, as there's little-to-no randomisation to make subsequent play-throughs worth your while. Maybe future updates will add something like that, but, for the time being, there are much better co-op games to try out.

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Final Score
Co-op alien-blasting shooter, [i]Earthfall[/i], is a decent clone of [i]Left 4 Dead[/i]... and that's the problem with it, as it should be much, [i]much[/i] more than that. Simply put, the foundation is great, but the structure on top of it is not worth the rent.

5

/10

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