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Co-op alien blaster Earthfall is free for the weekend and cheap to keep

Earthfall getting on its feet again

Let's not beat around the bush - Earthfall is Left 4 Dead but with aliens instead of zombies. It's also free to try for the weekend, and very cheap if you want to keep it. Launched in July, Holospark's co-op FPS never quite caught on, despite looking like a perfectly decent way to spend a few hours exploding stuff with friends. In the end it never really had enough players to sustain itself the way Left 4 Dead did, which brings us to this free weekend and steep sale, shortly after the release of a bunch of free content. Below, a trailer for that first big update for the game: Invasion.

Earthfall is very Left 4 Dead. Three campaigns, split into five maps each, with basic alien swarmers (mostly melee), and an AI determining just how many get thrown at you. It's immediately familiar stuff, and while there's a handful of special aliens, they're mostly borrowed concepts too, complete with the Beefy One, the Drags You Away one, the Pouncy One and so on. Not bad, but familiar. Outside of that, it does have some ideas of its own. Defence scenarios let you build barricades and deploy turrets, and upgrade walls with elemental traps to make them easier to hold.

It's a nice-looking game though. While I've always appreciated the design of Left 4 Dead, shooting zombies never really felt quite right to me - it's like I'm just waving my gun at the enemies and they're being polite enough to fall down. The shooting in Earthfall feels a bit more solid. Not quite up to Left 4 Rats (Vermintide 2) levels of oomph, but pleasant. Personally, I'm most looking forward to Generation Zero's open-world take on the four-player shootfest,  but I reckon I'll be putting a few hours into Earthfall over the next couple days, now that there's people to play with.

Earthfall is free to try on Steam now util November 19th (Monday), and a relatively small ten gigabyte download. Until then, it's also 66% off, bringing it down to £8.08/€9.51/$10.19 if you want to keep it.

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Dominic Tarason