Tech News on G4
New Earth Defense Force, a great distraction
Apr 15, 2014
By Alexander Cattani - G4 Canada
The Earth Defense Force series has always been known for it's frantic action and self-aware style. When brought up in conversations, things like "Guilty Pleasure" or "So bad it's good" often come up. Coming into the series' latest instalment, having never played an EDF game before, I was intrigued to say the least. After about my second hour of game time, I knew exactly what I was in for …..an amusing, ridiculous and, at times, frustrating shooter that truly is one of a kind.
Earth Defense Force 2025 drops you in the middle of enormous scale conflict between Humans, Giant Insects and Giant Robots. Being a member of the Earth Defense Force, your mission is pretty straightforward - take no prisoners and lay waste to anything that isn't human. This type of 'shoot first and ask questions later' style of gameplay is what EDF is all about. Pick a class, select your weapons, head into battle -it's just as simple and no frills as it needs to be.
When it comes to gameplay, you are given four distinct classes to choose from. The fairly standard Ranger, who acts as your typical ground unit. The Wing-Diver, who is your death from above class sporting a fun-to-use jet pack. The Air-Raider, a tactician of sorts, with the ability to call down vehicles and devastating air strikes. And finally, the powerhouse of the four, packing Gatling guns, artillery shells and a massive hammer no less, the Fencer.
When playing certain missions though, it's clear that some of them were designed with a specific class in mind. Though I didn't mind being pushed to use other class types, it would've been preferable to select them at my own pace.
An inherent problem with a game like Earth Defense Force is its repetitiveness. I found playing in short bursts to be the most rewarding. Believe it or not, eradicating mass hordes of giant insects and robots wears a little thin over time. It's not that the game isn't fun to play; it's just that there is not enough depth to sustain long sessions. Furthermore, the way the game controls can be hit and miss. Playing as the ranger class for example, the controls are smooth and perfectly twitch-based. But, let's say you want to hop into a vehicle that you called down using the air-raider class. The gameplay goes from fast and intense to slow and dull. The vehicles simply control abysmally. Everything from the speed, steering and firing is so poor that it might make some players rethink ever using them again. Something as simple as having an aiming reticle on the tanks cannon, would of greatly rectified this issue.
Another instance where EDF stumbles is in its performance. It's understandable that having upwards of hundreds of foes on screen will cause some stutter, but in EDF'S case, it seems far worse than it should be and really put a damper on gameplay. Split screen mode greatly intensifies this problem making it borderline unplayable at times. A competitive mode is also offered but comes off as thrown in for the sake of it, and is nowhere nearly as fun as the base game or the co-op modes. The narrative and dialogue in EDF knows that it's bad, thus making it more entertaining. The cheesy dialogue mentioning "Giant Insects" and "Saving the world" should put a smile on anyone's face when playing. It knows it's not trying to be anything more than a goofy B-movie inspired game. Moreover, The extremely dated visuals work towards bringing out the campy budget theme the game is going for.
Earth Defense Force 2025 is a frantic, self-aware shooter that, if taken in doses, can be a great weekend distraction. Anyone looking for something deeper and sustainable may need to turn their attention elsewhere.
Earth Defense Force: 2025
About G4 in Canada
G4 Canada (formerly TechTV Canada) launched in September 2001. G4 is the one and only television station that is plugged into every dimension of games, gear, gadgets and gigabytes. Owned Rogers Media Inc., the channel airs more than 24 original series. G4 is available on digital cable and satellite. For more information, see www.g4tv.ca.