There were more than a few standout games for me at E3 this year, I’m looking at you Control, but I also had the chance to go hands on with Earthfall for Playstation 4 and Xbox One. I hadn’t heard about Earthfall prior to setting up E3 appointments, but after checking out some videos I didn’t want to miss out.

Earthfall is pretty similar to Left 4 Dead. This was something the developers made clear to me during my demo. Developer Holospark misses games like this, four player cooperative titles with big set pieces and big enemies to take down. We won’t be getting a new Left 4 Dead title anytime soon, and this is where the developer decided to step up. Instead of reinventing the genre, they decided to trade zombies for aliens, and implement some really cool environmental features that help add a new element of strategy instead of just running and shooting.

The level I played took place over a few different types of areas. The level began with a mountain trail, a decent assault rifle, and enemies all over the area. Gunplay felt really good with tight controls, and controllable recoil. Players have a wide variety of weapons to destroy enemies with. There are some staples in the library like an AK and akimbo pistols, but there are also alien weapons scattered around the level. Some of these weapons are extremely powerful, so they aren’t something players should get used to having all the time. Using alien weapons is was really smart and allows some different variations for weapon choices.

Moving off of the mountain trail I ended up in a factory building filled with aliens. Most of the enemies I encountered were pretty standard cannon fodder, but there were other enemies. One enemy that I can’t remember the name of caused all of the smaller enemies to become enraged and attack viciously. Also, a giant beast can appear dynamically in some (maybe all?) of the levels. While I was playing through my demo, I was told that some playthroughs can be differently from others. Near the end of the factory portion I was traversing a narrow corridor filled with pipes. I heard a roar from behind me, and all of a sudden I’m sprinting towards the exit.

I came out on top of that encounter in Earthfall, but died when another one appeared during the final battle of my demo. The environmental interactions in Earthfall I mentioned earlier were really fun to utilize to fortify buildings I was defending. Building doors can be fortified with barricades to keep enemies out. The aliens can destroy them, but it helps delay them entering a little bit, so it might be more useful if players are soloing stages. I didn’t ask the developers if enemies scale with more players, which was a missed opportunity on my part. In addition to fortifying doorways, kerosene tanks can be placed at the bottom of all fortified doors, creating a fire doorway, so even if enemies do come through, they are damaged by the flames.

I’m sure there are more different types of environmental actions like these, but I did play through an entire stage, so we will find out more when the game releases. Earthfall has been in early access on PC for a little while now, and I’m sad I’ve missed out until now. There are ten stages for players to go through, and the stage I tried out took me about 45 minutes, so theres a good amount of content. Earthfall launches July 13th for Playstation 4 and Xbox One, and anyone who wants to fill that Left 4 Dead hole in their heart should really have this one on their radar.

Earthfall launches July 13th for Playstation 4, and Xbox One. Preorders are available here.