Earthfall is simply Left 4 Dead with aliens. In just about every way, it plays out like Valve and Turtle Rock’s classic series. Players choose one of four characters, each with their own voice acting and personality, team up with friends or others online, and survive ever-changing chapters of campaigns. The game will launch with ten chapters total, split across two campaigns, and post-release content is planned as well.
The aliens are broken up into different classes. There are commons and special types and even the specials are, in some cases, very reminiscent of the special infected of Left 4 Dead. My eventual undoing during my demo was caused by a massive hulking alien that is definitely the Tank analog. There is another that spits a type of acid bath at you too, and even one that pounces on you and attacks, which are both again unavoidably reminiscent of Left 4 Dead.
The developers seem fine with the comparisons — and why not? There’s a massive hole that Valve has chosen not to fill and as I told one of the devs on site, “if they’re not gonna do it themselves, why not you?” What’s nice about it is even as chapters play out similarly, there’s a bit more lore to be found in the world in the form of collectibles. If you loved Left 4 Dead but always wished for something more than their very sparse approach to story, Earthfall does a better job with this. It’s also many years newer, so even as an indie game it looks much better than Left 4 Dead ever did.
The structure of missions is again the same and you’ll have to deal with an AI director that tries to counter your moves with hordes and obstacles that can vary by playthrough. It will launch with only a traditional campaign mode, but it didn’t sound like the studio is ruling out Versus or other modes later.