Earth Defence Force 2025 Review
The Earth Defence Force games are an acquired taste.
They’re buggy, repetitive, clunky but above all they are absolutely undeniably fun as hell.
A lot can be said for a game where one of your default starting weapons can completely level a building in a direct hit, and stage one usually has a body count into the hundreds.
The previous game, Earth Defence Force: Insect Armageddon, was a bit of a misstep, with the simplistic formula being tweaked and ending up being quite dull.
However, the developers behind the original EDF games – Sandlot – is back to deliver what fans consider to be the true sequel to EDF 2017.
So, for some reason the Ravagers have come back to have another pop at destroying all life on Earth, and the EDF set out to deal with them with their devil-may-care attitude to collateral damage.
What this means is another load of levels of gigantic B-movie insects and robots to blast your way through.
They’ve ditched the ‘objective’ based missions that appeared in Insect Armageddon and instead go for the classic EDF formula – kill everything on the levels, find better weapons, repeat. Simple.
Or not, as the case might be.
Classic Earth Defence Force
The EDF games are all pretty tough, and 2025 is no different. You’ve got five difficulty levels (ranging from Easy to the terrifying INFERNO difficulty), which not only dictate how tough a test you’ll face, but also what weapons the enemies will drop.
The harder the stage, the better the possible drops – and you’ll need them.
From the off, you’re only ever a few decent hits away from death, so getting armour and weapon pickups will give you a better fighting chance as the difficulty increasingly ramps up.
The enemies are the usually cast of outrageously oversized garden insects and robots, as well as some new stuff, like gigantic Chinese dragons.
They’ve also been given some new attacks. For instance, the ants can now pick you up and send you ragdolling through the air.
Everyone who plays games knows that being ragdolled is almost always hilarious, and it is no different here.
Seeing poor civilians or sometimes even yourself get flung from the top of a multi-story car park by a humongous formicidae, screaming or shouting some of the most bizarre dialogue, has yet to get old.
Sandlot has half-inched the ability to choose different classes from Insect Armageddon, which goes really well with the four player online co-op.
Co-op In EDF 2025
Ranger is the standard EDF type soldier, Wing Diver is an airborne class that uses plasma weaponry and a jetpack, while the Fencer is a heavy weapons class, utilizing a shield and can do huge damage with its close range weapons or cannon.
The most interesting class is the Air Raider, who is basically a support class, and can drop vehicles, create health generators and summon airstrikes for the other players, as well as a few other tricks.
I have fond memories of the split-screen two player carnage on offer in 2017, but the addition of two extra players and more varied classes only ups the ante.
With four players fighting against what appears to be insurmountable odds, trying to work as a team while the land and sky is swamped with hostiles, the multiplayer often teeters on the edge of being one of the most epic sci-fi battles you’ve ever seen and an absolute comic farce.
The visuals have been slightly improved since Insect Armageddon, and although still not the best looking game around by some margin, there’s a load of cool touches that have been added this time around.
Buildings now crack and lose chunks, as opposed to just breaking apart as they collapse, and while the framerate still drops in some of the more hectic moments, is far more stable than any previous entry in the series.
Despite all this, there’s a certain air of spectacle to Earth Defence Force. The first time you see an army of giant ant crawl over some distant buildings, or when you first see the mothership open and the sky fill with enemy fighters, it’s quite incredible, in its own little way.
Earth Defence Force 2025 Review
And that’s the thing. For what it is, Earth Defence Force 2025 is perfect.
It isn’t aspiring to be some high art, desperately seeking to be accepted by the mainstream media and being used to justify the existence of videogames to people that literally could not care any less.
It isn’t about emotions or an allegory for man’s inhumanity to other men or something like that.
It is a videogame, warts and all, where you run around and shoot things that are bigger than you (and continue to get even bigger) until there is nothing left to shoot. What more could you possibly want?
Version Tested: PS3