Earth Defense Force 2025 is a seriously fun third-person shooter experience, so long as you don’t take it seriously.
Sandlot and D3 Publisher’s latest entry in the Earth Defense Force series continues humanity’s fight for survival against giant alien insects in a not-too-distant future. A unified global army has begun to combat these creatures emerging from underground nests, and it is up to you (and up to three friends online) to make a difference.
Players can choose from one of four soldier classes in their military efforts, each with various abilities that can change the very way they view the battlefield. Rangers are rather straightforward infantrymen with your standard loadout of assault rifles, snipers, grenades, and the like; a great choice for beginners. Wing Divers use jet packs and lasers to provide air support from on high. Fencers are heavily armored units that can take four weapons into battle, including Gatling guns, deflective shields, and ultra-powerful hand cannons. Air Raiders, my personal favorite class, are support units that can summon vehicles and air strikes into the field as well as health recovery and shield packs.
You’re going to need all of those weapons and more if you want to stand a chance against EDF 2025’s baddies, especially at the “Hardest” and “Inferno” difficulty levels. Biological units like ants, spiders, bees (all the sizes of tanks, mind you) fight alongside mechanical menaces that include giant bipedal robots with plasma cannons and four-legged force field generators among others. The enemy can come at you from above, below, or straight ahead, and becomes even more of a threat when trekking through confined areas like tunnels and narrow alleys between towering buildings.
Even with more firepower than a Starship Troopers squadron, Earth Defense Force 2025 suffers from a lack of polish. I found the cheesy dialogue to be a distraction, as was the erratic movements of enemy units climbing up towers and buildings. Teammate AI is sub par, often shooting into cavern walls or buildings for naught if they detect a bug just beyond it. The few times enemies managed to down me was due to clunky controls while maneuvering tanks and APCs through cityscapes. Be warned, swarms move far faster than you think and can overwhelm even the most agile units if caught off guard in the chaos.
Earth Defense Force 2025 is better suited for lampooning on an episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000 than an extended play session, but it is still worth a few rounds- particularly online with friends who are in on the joke. If you give the game a real opportunity and look past its presentation, you’ll be surprised how much of a good time EDF 2025 can really be.
Earth Defense Force 2025 is available now on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.
EDF 2025 Launch Trailer