Review: Earth Defence Force 2025
Earth Defense Force 2025 is the long awaited return in the Earth Defense Force (EDF) series from beloved Japanese developer Sandlot. The insects return from dormancy to disturb the peace with over-the-top action and massive city-leveling explosions that will entrench the EDF and the citizens of earth into a state of emergency.
- Graphics have some what improved since the last game. Buildings have more details, Civilians run around and the levelling of buildings look a lot more realistic. Character models have a great deal of detail.
- The music is still as cheesy as you would expect and its a good thing as it is a huge part of its charm.
- Enemies have had a face lift too, While the ants and jumping spiders still look the same. The newer bugs have a more realistic movement and look about them, The fact that there is more of them even with more detail is excellent news.
- AI is improved for both allies and the bugs themselves. Allies will fight and re act to situations all on there own. Seek out a group of them and approach the leader (he has an arrow above his head) and they will follow you into battle. The bugs still swarm and engulf you but this time they will flank you from the sides, have rogue bugs all around. The bugs will not always make a bee line for you either, instead just going merely for who ever is closer. Also a big thing is the ants, They now longer snipe you from miles away with pin point precision. To returning players you know this is a good thing.
- Bugs have new attacks like ants can grab you and attempt to eat you, spiders will grab you with their web and drag you to them. They can also tangle you up in their web. Both attacks will harm you but you can stop it by killing the bug or destroying the web. Captured AI or co op partners will have an icon above their head to alert you.
- Higher bug count on screen, Buy quite a huge amount.
- You can customise your character, Albeit just the different colours of your helmet and armour. Better than nothing.
- AI allies have more vocabulary now including the one that sees them singing various songs. Other than that you still got all the army talk and acknowledgement speeches.
- New locations with a lot more in them, Down town areas have loads of buildings, car parks, train stations and many more. The game just feels a bit more real with all the normal looking scenery.
- Draw distance is a lot better, being able to see absolute carnage a few blocks over is brilliant. You can make out land marks and see ships high up in the sky.
- Pick ups in the field are back. Killing bugs will randomly drop either armour, health or weapons. A bigger health pack can also be found. They drop more dynamically now, so for instance if it drops onto a hill it will now roll down the hill. Similarly if an item is dropped from a great distance, it will bounce off the floor, walls etc.
- There are four classes to pick from:
- Ranger: Your beginner class, has rifles and rocket launchers as its forte.
- Fencer: New to the game and is basically the tank class. Moves slow but has huge armour points, a shield and the ability to drop in support like vehicles. Also has the unique ability of duel wielding different weapons at the same time. Both can be fired simultaneously.
- Wing Diver: Has low armour but can fly and has long range weapons.
- Air Raider: Able to paint targets for heavy weapons to take out. Used best in co op games s he has no personal weapons.
- There are five difficulty settings again this time. Easy, Normal, Hard, Very Hard and Inferno. As you increase the difficulties you will fight stronger bugs and there will be many more of them. In Inferno they will actively hunt you down so be prepared.
- The UI is a lot cleaner and to the point. You clearly know where you are going and what needs to be done. Levels have an icon to show what difficulties you have finished it on. A detailed rolling stat screen is available. Here it will go into huge detail on your activities. Stats such as bugs killed, % of levels completed on x difficulty etc.
- Loads of weapons to unlock. Armour collected gets added to your total amount at the end of every level completion.
- Online is easier to set up and you can setup private rooms with ease. Browsing available rooms is simple and has loads of details on the room such as difficulty, level selected and how many players currently in the lobby. When you host you can even choose if text talk is enabled and what you can and cannot say. Even setting up a room greeting is available. Text that is very deep and you can have full conversations using it and its simple to use in game as well as the lobby. Worth noting that you can send and receive game invites.
- Online is solid, You can heal/revive team mates with a simple button press but be warned that picking a fallen co op partner up will take half your own health bar.
- Four player online co op with two player splitscreen available for playing the campaigns. A new death match mode is available for split screen play.
- Any levels you complete online stay online, They cannot be transferred to single play but pick ups do carry over.
- Levels are in general very short enabling good pick up and play sessions.
- Game will auto save after every level and any changes to settings will trigger a save.
- Multiple save slots are available but online and offline can all run off the one save.
- Settings allow you to change the usual suspects like audio and sensitivity. You can change the button load out to different pre set layouts depending on your style or preference.
- Vehicles are back and haven’t changed that much in all honesty.
- Full Platinum trophy if that’s your bag.
- With so many levels and the prospect of multiple play throughs, You can expect RPG levels of game play from this title.
- Cheesy story but that’s part of the charm. New players will wince at the dreadful voice overs and pathetic news broadcasts.
- A lot of the same enemies from the previous games.
- Gameplay is very repetitive and new comers will grow tired of the same old shoot bugs and collect pick ups mentality.
- Occasional pop up especially in built up areas. Its mostly trees but the odd building has being known to just appear!
- Screen tearing coupled with slow down is very common.
- Civilians make so much noise (justified really as I would scream if 50 foot bugs started running around my town) it over powers the bugs, gunfire and really hurts your ears.
- Cannot turn on friendly fire so you may accidentally off your support team without realising.
- Unlocking new weapons takes absolutely ages compared to the older games. For every 5 I would say you get a new weapon, Difficulty is suppose to change this but I have seen little evidence of it. The same goes for armour, You can pick up a good 20 armour drops and only see a one or two pint increase on your armour stat.
- The homing weapons still have dodgy aiming, Instead of homing in on the closest enemy, It will instead go for one miles away and behind a wall!
- Killing bugs will leave a body behind obviously but the body will block your ability to move, collect items and shoot other bugs.
- You need to play through the game multiple times to get all weapons etc. Finishing a level on hard doesnt auto complete the easier levels. And with online being separate again, You can see yourself doing the same level at least 6 times!
- Not a game for trophy hunters, The sheer wealth of gameplay and unlocks to collect, you will spend weeks unlocking all trophies.
In Summary, The game sticks very much to its roots. Why not? It did it all so well, When I say well I mean it did it in its own unique B movie way. The one thing they have changed and could maybe put people off is the grinding. There is a huge emphasis on grinding levels for possible unlocks. The complete a level several times is nothing new to the series but the frequency of unlocks are and one it didn’t need. In a lot of ways it feels like a downgrade from Insect Armageddon. Yes it has better AI and more urban areas, But I would say it felt better and more polished than this one. Its still worth a play through but the structure of everything in IA (Insect Armageddon) is better. The colour palette used in this is very grey and black with a few dashes of colour. Online is busy and solid but for how long I don’t know. Don’t get me wrong, I am a huge EDF fan and I like the new additions but I just wish they stuck to IA’s advancements instead of the earlier EDF titles. Its worth a play through just because its a new EDF game, But for everything else its a long hard slog to the finish line. I await the next gen EDF with baited breath as I think they have pushed the limit of the current hardware.