[Review] Earthfall: Alien Horde – Nintendo Switch

Written by Thomas Haroldsen

Reviewed by Thomas

  • Developer: Nimble
  • Publisher: Nimble
  • Release Date: 29/10/2019
  • Price: $19.99 / £17.99
  • Review code provided by Nimble

Intro

Smoke wafted from the barrel of my MP5x as I reached for another clip. A horde of extraterrestrial invaders pressed closer and closer. Fortunately my son, brother-in-law and a total stranger kept them at bay as I prepared for the vicious onslaught. Earth has fallen and few survivors remain. Aliens litter the streets and attack on sight like rabid beasts. Such is the premise of Earthfall: Alien Horde.

Right Two Alive?

I try to make it a point to avoid comparing games I review to other games. With Earthfall: Alien Horde, the similarities to the long lost Left 4 Dead series is unquestionable. Swap the over saturated zombie premise for aliens and you have a decent clone. In fact, Earthfall takes a lot of what made the other franchise fun and added to it. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery after all.

Earthfall is a first-person shooter game which emphasizes teamwork to survive. There are two modes to enjoy. Campaign delves into the lore as it follows four survivors through the infested world. Colorful comments from the downtrodden team tell the story in little snippets. If you’re a keen explorer you’ll even find items which unlock more history of what happened and details on the tools which aid you. Each level has set objectives which need to be fulfilled to progress before swarms of outer space intruders overwhelm the group. Stay stationary too long and it can cost you as ammunition is limited on your main weapon. Despite an unlimited pistol or melee weapon of choice as a backup, you can only survive so long in one place.

Brace for Impact

The alternate mode is Invasion. Similar to campaign you and three other survivors must work together to repel swarms of enemies. Unlike the campaign mode, your goal is to stay on your feet for 20 waves of increasingly difficult attacks. Multiple enemy types will keep you on your toes. Though Earthfall didn’t invent the wheel when it comes to creatures that tow you away from your team or pin you to the ground, the variety is a nice touch. Run off as a Lone Wolf and you’ll suffer for it. Each level has traps, weapons, and several devices geared toward aiding your fight. As you advance through multiple waves you can unlock new areas to make your last stand. 

Earthfall is a blast to play. With drop-in 4 Player co-op and a capable AI, the game thrusts you into the action and seldom lets up. There was little shortage of online compatriots to join your cause. Nearly every match at various times during the day I met a new stranger willing to help defeat the horde.

Lock and Load

The graphics is where Earthfall takes a step back. There are plenty of enemy variants and even customizable characters, yet the details seemed blurred on the television and handheld. Quite often the enemies would warp through walls or have appendages cut in and out of the background and other objects. Fire from napalm grenades or the flame thrower lacked the full textures or they loaded too late. 

Lay Down the Cover Fire

The music had an eerie quality to it but among the chaos was hardly noticeable during forays with alien fiends. The sound effects were spot on and well implemented. Alien screams would clue you into different creatures about. Cries for help from fallen teammates would snap your attention away from bloodily cutting down lines of drones.

Breach! Breach! Breach!

Aside from graphical glitches mentioned above, it would be prudent to call out connection issues. About 30% of my online games resulted in some sort of connection issue. My son dropped from a few games completely. Luckily he could simply rejoin thanks to the drop-in feature. Other times the frame-rate would take a dive and sputter when large hordes close in on one location. Local wireless ran a bit smoother but did drop the connection once. The Nintendo Switch Online Voice Chat App worked rather nicely and was very helpful when playing with my brother-in-law.

Final Wrap

Earthfall has a healthy online community and packs a lot of quick action with immense fun. Despite some of the graphical and connection issues, it was still a blast to play. Anyone who enjoyed a similar zombie franchise should pick this up. Sure, parts feel a little too cloned but there’s enough to make it different and it’s enjoyable enough that you won’t care. Earthfall: Alien Horde should swarm onto every Switch entrusted to an FPS/Survivor fan.

Pros

  • Intense co-op combat
  • Creative stages
  • A Blast all around

Cons

  • Graphical issues
  • Occasional connection errors

Verdict
Earthfall: Alien Horde is a welcome invasion on any Nintendo Switch with its credible co-op mayhem.
4/5

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