The winter season is not a time for me to find much free time, and now with my amiibo obsession taking up a lot of my days off, I haven't had much time to play games at all. Thankfully, I made myself sit down and play Eath Denfese Force 2025. I'm really glad I did. To be honest, this is my first experience with the Earth Defense Force series, and I wasn't expecting much from it. I know it's a well-loved series, but a Japanese thid person shooter that started out on a budget series? I was expecting some over the top action, and not much more. A good few hours of gameplay and then it will sit on my shelf for a while before I pick it up again. For a lack of better words, I was wrong.
Earth Defense Force might have graduated from its budget title beginnings, but it still has that budget, or indie feel and it really capitlizes on it. Conceptually, it's just a basic sci-fi third person shooter with a ridiculous concept of the world being invaded by both giant bugs and aliens. You are a member of the greatest army of all time: Earth Defense Force and your mission is to kill every giant bug and asshat alien out there. You get to pick one of four classes, two weapons, you armor color and then ROLL OUT! It's time for you to blow up some alien bug scum! As far as classes go, you have your Ranger, a typical foot soldier. You also have the Wing Divers, an all-female class armed with jetpacks. You also have the Fencers, who are your basic tank class, and then there are the Air Raiders, the support class, which lay down turrets and stuff. I've only played as a Raider so far, and it's been really fun so far. You get to pick two weapons, run aound and shoot everything that might be bad. It's fun and it's so, so satisfying. The difficulty is ridiculously easy for the first few stages, and then the learning curve goes through the roof. The fast-paced action and the over the top enemies make me wonder if this is the best third person shooter ever made, but it really can't be.
While the gameplay is really, really fun and addivtive, it does suffer from a lot of faults. I'm not going to blame the developer for the awfully ridiculous story. I mean, come on. I'm playing a game where aliens are dropping giant ants from flying saucers. The game is supposed to be ridiculous. The graphics? Yeah, they'e petty awful especially for a game that was released in 2013, but I doubt this game has a AAA-style budget so I'm not going to point fingers thee. I will say that the programming can be a bit shoddy here and there. The AI can be a bit atrocious. I've seen many NPCs just shoot randomly into the air for no reason because there were no enemies around, and sometimes shoot at a building when an ant is hanging out on the other side. Oh, and the enemies? Sometimes it seems like they forget their own size and will get stuck in tight areas, or fly into each other. I mean, it's not really bad. I've definitely have seen worse, but the game's AI seems to be stuck in the PS2 era. At least it brings some comedy! What I was really impressed by though was the music. They didn't seem to go budget title there, with hiring Masafuni Takada, the same guy who composed music for Killer7 and God Hand.
All in all, this game is very enjoyable. I would highly recommend this game to anyone who wants to play a refreshing take on the sci-fi shooter genre, or anyone who likes weird games to be honest. I was going to write a conclusion with all kinds of tie-ins to Halo and the Alien series, but honestly I just want to go back to playing this game, so play it. EDF! EDF! EDF!