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Earthfall

Platform(s): Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Genre: Online Multiplayer
Publisher: Gearbox Publishing
Developer: Holospark
Release Date: July 13, 2018

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'Earthfall' (ALL) Developer Interview With Holospark

by Liam Craig on May 15, 2018 @ 12:00 a.m. PDT

Earthfall is a 4-player co-op shooter where a ragtag bunch of survivors band together to fight back against an alien invasion in the year 2032.

The end of the world is here! Emerging from the devastation of a global meteor strike, aliens swarm the landscape and ravage the planet. Everyday people must stand together and fight back with a wide variety of weapons, supplies, and defenses as they battle through the towns and wilderness of the Pacific Northwest.

Inspired by classic shooters like Left for Dead, Earthfall players employ team-based tactics to fortify holdouts and complete objectives under unrelenting attacks from alien hordes. Utilizing a wide variety of weapons and supplies like barricades, turrets, 3D printers, players must use team-based tactics and defenses while exploring the towns and wildernesses of the Pacific Northwest.

Earthfall features a complete story-mode, wherein players will uncover the reason for the invasion, and more.

WP: From what's been said about Earthfall, it sounds like you're big fans of the Left 4 Dead series. What parts of L4D are you keeping, and what parts are you jettisoning from your design? Has anyone from the original L4D team gotten a chance to play Earthfall and given any feedback? How's the L4D fan response been?

A: We loved Left 4 Dead, we just wanted to see more. Our thought wasn’t so much what to jettison anything as Left4Dead is a classic, but what we could deliver on well. We are a pretty small company, so our plan is to keep focused, deliver a great core experience, and then continue to expand out the game.

The fan response has been great as Earthfall takes a familiar concept and updates it with modern graphics and game mechanics.

WP: While we're on the topic of L4D, did anyone from your team work on that series? What other games might we be familiar with that they worked on?

A: While we don’t have anyone from the L4D games, we have built an amazingly talented team who have worked on games such as F.E.A.R. Condemned, Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor, Destiny, Call of Duty III, BioShock infinite, Dawn of War III, inFamous 2 and other great titles. We all love FPS and specifically co-op games.

WP:  You've announced recently that Earthfall is coming to consoles. Will it ship at the same time as the PC version? While it seems like Sony won't allow cross play with other consoles or PC,  will there be any sort of cross-play between Xbox One and PC?

A: Earthfall will be coming to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, at the same time that the PC version on Steam moves out of Early Access. Cross-Play is something we would love to do but is a huge undertaking in resources. Our goal right now is making the best game possible on each platform.

WP:  From what we've heard so far, the game will feature drop-in/out cooperative gameplay, with lots of weapons and enemies. For those that have watched the trailers and thought, "It's just L4D with aliens", what are some special features that you think make Earthfall stand out on its own?

A: We experimented with tons of ideas, but one of our biggest features is the ability to barricade yourself from swarms of enemies. You can find deployable fences to protect yourself and your team, as well as setting up kill zones for the aliens. The 3D printers are also a core part of our world and provide players the ability to print their own guns.

We’re huge fan of zombies, but we went with aliens because they worked better with the story we were telling as aliens have motivation and can react to those pesky humans. This gives us some great options in how we move the lore forward as people play the game, as well as directions on where to go as humanity attempts to fight back.

WP:  How will the game's AI work? Is it going to use a Director-styled intelligence that responds to how the players are "playing"? If players are having a hard time, will it ease up, for example, and if others are just running through each level, will it throw up some sorts of roadblocks?

A: Yes, we have a director style AI system that dynamically spawns enemies and reacts to players decisions. Each map has its own setup on how enemies will react, with some levels built for the player to travel to an escape point, and others are focused on protecting and gathering resources. Each level has its own pace that varies based on how well the player is doing, making it a different playthrough each time.

WP:  From what I've played of the Early Access build, there's plenty of modern weaponry, but what sort of alien tools and weapons will players get their hands on?

A: There’s a mystery as to the aliens and their apparent lack of weapons technology, but there are scientists working on the problem, and eventually they’ll start experimenting with alien artifacts and start developing weapons based on those experiments that players will be able to get their hands on.

WP:  Can you describe some of the aliens, and what types of threats they pose in-game?

A: The base enemy, the drones, swarms players to try and overwhelm and devour them. There are different kinds of drones, such as Heavy Drones, Spitters who spit acid at you, and so on. We have a number of more special enemies, such as the Whiplash, a creature that grabs humans by the head and runs off with them to eat them at its leisure, or the Thresher, which hunts players and rips them apart with its claws. We also have bigger, more powerful enemies, like the Beast, a gigantic monster with a plasma blast, and the Blackout, a tentacled horror that flies around the battlefield taking out players.

WP:  With the game being set in the Pacific NW, will there be any maps set in environments like deep forests, or small towns? Maybe a trip to Seattle for some alien-assaults around the space needle?

A: Seattle is ground zero of the impact, and all contact with it was lost shortly after the event. The survivors have fled east into the mountain ranges around the Pacific Northwest where we set most of our locations in Earthfall, including a national park area, a hydroelectric dam, and a small, quaint town outside of Seattle. Our offices are in Bellevue, just outside of downtown Seattle, and we’ve spent a lot of time exploring cool areas for reference.

WP:  What's the game's price going to be? Are you going for a full $60 on all platforms?

A: Earthfall will be available for $29.99 on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Steam. For those wanting to join the fight early, you can pick up Earthfall right now on Early Access.

WP: Thanks for your time!


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