REVIEW – Earth Defense Force 4.1 is a remake of the original PlayStation 3 game Earth Defense Force 2025 which was a weird Scifi action? …Shoot’Em up/ Hack’n Slash game. The series has earned a bit of a cult following both in the West and East, but never really became that much of a mega hit. For a lot of people, it seems like a Dynasty Warriors game with a sci-fi paint job. However, it is much more than that. With upgraded graphics, more guns, more levels, and just more of everything this game seems to be the ultimate EDF experience to date. The question is, however, is it worth to set the world aflame against the giant robots, ants, and world eaters? Or should we just barricade ourselves and avoid this invasion? Find out here!
The Earth Defense Force series has never been strong regarding its stories. The basic premise is that the Earth gets invaded by aliens, and you must defend the planet against them – with varying degrees of success. The story always gets turned and twisted so that the final resolution is just moments away, before suddenly twenty more motherships and hundreds of new enemies appear out of hyperspace.
That’s pretty much the story. There are maybe a few cutscenes during the 99 missions. However, the radio chatter does add to … well, a sort of immersion. It is entirely a huge list of clichés, and screams of horror on the battlefield. If you are into this type of humor, you’ll love it if not well maybe then you should mute the chatter (just to keep your sanity).
Guns, ammo, tanks, helicopters, artillery, explosions gaah… everything!
So the story is not the best thing in the series. Then why do I enjoy it so much that I could barely put it down after two days? Well to be clear when you are looking at the screenshots of Earth Defense Force 4.1 you are probably thinking: „My god that is a horrible, ugly looking game, I shall pass this game for something else.” Yes the game looks like a late
Yes the game looks like a late PS3 game, but it does things that no other game has done for a very long time. Namely, it is bloody fun to play it. Sure you can have the prettiest graphics, but when have you seen hundreds of giant insects, dragons, and evil robots trying to kill your ass. Speaking of killing while X-Com deals in covert operations and most army forces would try to minimalize structural damage the EDF, on the other hand, will demolish everything in sight, and I mean that. Are ants crawling on a giant skyscraper? Hell, use a 10 siloed rocket launcher to clear them away. Is a giant alien lizard wrecking the city? Then use your personal rock em sock em giant robot, and have a punchathon in Tokyo! A
Speaking of killing while X-Com deals in covert operations and most army forces would try to minimalize structural damage the EDF, on the other hand, will demolish everything in sight, and I mean that. Are ants crawling on a giant skyscraper? Hell, use a 10 siloed rocket launcher to clear them away. Is a giant alien lizard wrecking the city? Then use your personal rock em sock em giant robot, and have a punchathon in Tokyo! A huge number of enemies? No problem just call in an artillery strike to wreck two blocks with the ants flying all over the place, or a tank that fire such a huge weapon that it physically moves the tank backward metres!
I could go on listing the unbelievably awesome scenarios that I encountered in this game, but I do not want to spoil it.
The game has 89 offline mission, while 98 mission can be played online, all of the missions can be played through multiple difficulties with four different classes with varying playstyles. The four classes are the Ranger (easiest class to master) which has the usual weaponry available such as grenades, machine guns, and rocket launchers. The Air Raider can call in air strikes, and vehicles, plus provide the team with different buffs. Wing Diver is … sexy lady with big guns in the air (that’s pretty much it), and the Fencer, which can carry four weapons that can be very heavy (giant railguns, and mechanical spear launchers).
All the classes, difficulties, and weird enemies provide a lot of fun filled hours, and excitement, as none of the missions are easy. Most of the times however, unfortunately, it just boils down to: Clear the enemy. There is no variation on the missions besides a few changes here and there, but in the end, we all have to kill everything in sight. Which is a shame as I would have loved to deal with certain enemies in a different way, or maybe be on the offensive once.
Alone you fail?
The game has splint screen local co-op option and four players online. Which is great, because some of the missions are pure hell with certain classes while others will just be a breeze. The online multiplayer is setup in a weird way: There’s no drop in for ongoing matches, which means you’ll end up sitting in a game room for a few minutes before the original players finish their mission. This is highly annoying and really wish they would have fixed this by the remake of the game since this was present in the original EDF 2025. However once you get into a map with three other players, the fun will not stop, and I found myself completing around 10 or so mission with a random group. Luckily even though there is no drop-in, the gear you earn during the multiplayer sessions are transferred automatically to your singleplayer session. Which is great because grinding out armor and new weapons would be a pain if it would not transfer.
„OUT OF AMMO!”
So while everything seems awesome with Earth Defense Force 4.1, unfortunately, there are some pretty hefty issues with the game. Even though the game has been ported to the PlayStation 4, and got a bit of a graphical upgrade, there are still times when the framerate decides to jump out the window. Although this only happens when a gazillion enemies and effects are on the screen.
The other major problem is that the vehicles and general movement in the game can be sluggish or just plain awkward. Controlling a helicopter is pointless, and moving around to pick up crates can be a real pain (which is important if you want to have more armor, and better weapons for the next mission).
The game can also be really frustrating when playing alone, especially during some of the later missions, so I’m not too optimistic about survival chances once the game’s online lobby becomes a desert.
„Kill em all.”
In the end, Earth Defense Force 4.1 is the definitive experience if you want to check out the franchise. It is weird; it has some issues, but this probably one of my all-time favorite PlayStation exclusive games of all time. With a lot of content, and new updates, EDF 4.1 is a must have for all those who want something wickedly chaotic and fun. It is not for everyone, especially due to its cliché radio chatter, and chants, but the scope of the game is something that is not seen every day. A must have if you can look past the dated graphics.
+ Best Co-op game
+ Lots of enemies, weapons, and encounters
+ Combat is fun
– Vehicle controls are bad
– Can get too difficult if played alone
– No drop-in multiplayer (SERIOUSLY!)
Publisher: D3 Publisher, Agetec, Xseed Games
Genre: Action TPS
Release date: February 12, 2016