EARTHFALL

PlayStation Official Magazine (UK) - - CONTEST - Jim_Crikey

Count­less aliens, ag­gres­sive and deadly, have in­vaded Earth. A swarm of these mon­strosi­ties rushes my three fel­low sur­vivors and I, un­earthly screeches tear­ing through the air. We hold our ground, fever­ishly emp­ty­ing clip af­ter clip into the beasts. One glitches into a death an­i­ma­tion that looks very much like it’s in the mid­dle of per­form­ing La Macarena. Wel­come to Earthfall. If you’re fa­mil­iar with PC’s Left 4 Dead – which Holospark proudly names as an in­spi­ra­tion – you’ll have a good idea of what to ex­pect from this. If you’re not, the mere phrase ‘four­player co-op shooter’ cov­ers a lot of ground. Hu­man, AI, or a mix of the two, there are al­ways four char­ac­ters work­ing to­gether in this FPS ad­ven­ture. You’ll have to turn the oc­ca­sional valve or fetch the oc­ca­sional mis­sion item, but this is al­most en­tirely all about the shooting, and there’s noth­ing wrong with that.

Well, ac­tu­ally, there sort of is some­thing wrong with that. Some­thing you’ll quickly learn is that most of the weapons sound and feel more like cap guns than mil­i­tary hard­ware. There’s a huge flamethrower called the Reaper that’s ex­tremely sat­is­fy­ing to use, and the rare – though ex­tremely de­sir­able – en­ergy gun the Valkyrie is fun to fire. Gen­er­ally speak­ing, ev­ery­thing else on of­fer is func­tional… but not much more than that. Earthfall could do with a gun-beef­ing up­date.

PIS­TOL ROVERS

Speak­ing of up­dates, while cur­rent and fu­ture cos­metic items are avail­able for mi­cro­trans­ac­tions, all post­launch game­play con­tent will be com­pletely free, some­thing we very much ap­prove of. As it stands at time of writ­ing, there’s a to­tal of ten stages split into two cam­paigns. De­spite the mul­ti­player fo­cus, there’s a strong story pres­ence. Each stage be­gins with a brief cutscene, and the three chaps and one lady con­stantly nat­ter on like apoc­a­lyp­tic gos­sips dur­ing play. As you might ex­pect of a shooter, the story’s noth­ing spe­cial, but there’s a very real ben­e­fit to hav­ing such vo­cal char­ac­ters.

Ev­ery­body starts off with a pis­tol… and that’s it. You have to find and col­lect heal­ing items, and any other weapons, as you ex­plore the level. Now, here comes the sci­ence bit: ev­ery time some­body, hu­man or AI, comes across a pickup they’ll au­to­mat­i­cally call out to the oth­ers. “Com­bat ri­fle here!”, “Med­kit!”; that sort of thing. It’s an ex­cel­lent ad­di­tion that works in con­junc­tion with the re­stric­tions on what you can carry (only one of each heal­ing item, pri­mary weapon, and grenade type) to en­sure that ev­ery­body has a chance of half-de­cent gear. Okay, so you could limp up to find that the med­kit you’re so des­per­ate for

“THE THREE CHAPS AND ONE LADY CON­STANTLY NAT­TER ON DUR­ING PLAY.”

This is not good. Your health de­pletes rapidly, and only a team­mate can save you.

INFO

FOR­MAT PS4 ETA OUT NOW PUB HOLOSPARK DEV HOLOSPARK

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