Michael Leparc On March 27, 2014 at 11:54 am

Earth Defense Force 2025 MP_EDF 3I suppose at this point it would be keen to point out the similarities between sports games and Earth Defense Force. What’s that you say? What on earth could the two have in common? Well, they both differentiate their sequels by changing the year; and they also avoid radically changing the setting, characters, and gameplay, settling for little tweaks here and there instead. That being so, the question when it comes to purchase is not so much whether the concept itself is worthwhile any more (if you know what you’re in for and like it, then this EDF is still a hoot), but whether it does enough different to merit buying into another season.

Yes, once again we’re battling an amalgamation of giant insects and alien robots, because yet again the EDF failed to purge every last bit of them from the solar system. The panic of the soldiers and news reporters gets drowned out by all the carnage so repetitiveness of this story line doesn’t really get to you at least.

From the gameplay perspective, EDF 2025 actually borrows from its previous spinoff, Insect Armageddon, by dividing the game among four classes: Rangers (kind of like your default soldier), Fencers (heavy duty assault class in full armor), Air Raiders (basically a support class for co-op that calls in air strikes and whatnot), and finally Wing Divers (like the Jet Armor class and Pale Diver in previous games, an all female class with advanced alien style weaponry but low hit points). I personally enjoy playing the last class the most, because it’s much easier to get around the huge maps with and with the right weaponry it isn’t too squishy of a class. Ranger is what veterans of the series would be most familiar with however and the easiest for newbies to get into. Other than that, every mission is pretty straightforward, kill everything on the map, buildings in your way be damned. The only trick is figuring out how to kill each enemy as you encounter them, but they’re all pretty much recycled from previous games again, as once again you deal with ants, then spiders, then spaceships, etc. The environments take you from the city to the underground to the shore much like before.

Where the game really shines if you can find a group to jump into or a group of friends to put together is the multiplayer though, with the different classes and a dedicated support class, it becomes much easier to challenge the higher of the 5 difficulties offered and unlock the craziest and most powerful weapons (up to 175 different types and variations per class!), which often trade off accuracy or energy use for greater damage, which is less of a handicap when you have others ready to cover and or revive you. You might think I’m knocking the game for pointing out everything that isn’t really new to the series, but it’s still a blast to play in spurts and the over the top action and set pieces are still worth it as a throwback to the old school, particularly if you haven’t played an EDF before. I just think only the hardcore will really notice and appreciate the changes made between 2017 and 2025, and personally I found myself worn down by all the sameness in the end.

Being a 360 and PS3 title still, EDF 2025 continues to fight the battle between throwing as many enemies on screen as possible while still leaving the framerate playable, so while not being the most gorgeous shooter out there by the long shot, I think credit still needs to be given for its performance in the face of such nearly insurmountable odds. I did notice the underground segments were incredibly smooth compared to above ground, so the engine does take advantage of more simple environments. The incessant chatter of your AI buddies and the screaming citizens got on my nerves quickly once more, so I can’t complement the sound too much, which is very retro inspired overall and makes it easy to notice when you pick up weapons and armor upgrades at least.
Honestly, not much can be written about Earth Defense Force that hasn’t been written before. You can check out my reviews of the Vita port of 2017 as well as Insect Armageddon before it, but the main takeaway is if you’re looking for some old fashioned, mindless alien killing with others then this is your drug. If you’re looking for a little more depth or story or pretty pictures then, not so much. Sandlot knows its audience, at least.


It is what it is. Kill endless waves of aliens. Get new weapons which make it fun to kill the next wave in the next mission. Co-op is a blast.


Slightly better than before, but still forced to make compromises for enemy count.


Grating on the ears, mostly the voice acting that is.


It’s good at what it does, but doesn’t really aspire to more.

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