Not all action games are created equal. Sometimes you just have to kick back and relax with a game that’s a little below standard – like Earth Defense Force 2017. I’m compelled to call it a cheesy sci-fi sort of game, one that you can accept with a grain of salt provided you don’t take a lick of it seriously. Kind of like Sharknado – er, wait, nothing’s as cornball as Sharknado, I take it back.
After growing fond of that game, I was excited to see what the sequel Earth Defense Force 2025 had to offer – and I’m happy to say that it’s more of the same. While that may be a disappointment to those who actually enjoyed themuch more serious Earth Defense Force: Insect Armageddon, I’m glad that Sandlot stepped back in for development, because that team knows just the right amount of cheesy goodness to put into an action game such as this. Welcome back, champs.
In EDF 2025, you’re part of a militant force fighting against the Ravagers, a strange alien race consisting of giant starships, robotic forces, and bugs and spiders that have grown in massive size. Apparently, destruction of the Earth is their forte, and it’s up to you to take them down while there’s still some planet left to brag about.
This time around, you’re not just stuck on the ground battling enemies. There are various classes available to choose from, starting with the Ranger and working your way up. The Wing Diver is a suitable “death-from-above” kind of soldier, though she’s a bit short on armor (probably to get up in the air, or just look sexy) and her short-hand weapon is the equivalent of a Fourth of July sparkler.
Much better is the Fencer. What he lacks in speed, he makes up for in heavy firepower – and mowing down an armada of ants in a single blow is unlike anything else. You can play around with each of the classes and see who suits you best, or better yet, team up with a friend to deliver two kinds of assault in one on an invading force. The game supports both local and online, and it’s quite enjoyable.
Most of the missions are about the same, with you blasting waves upon waves of enemies while collecting health and power-ups. Still, it’s great unleashing so much chaos. Plus, like the last game, you can bring down the tallest of structures with a few well-timed blasts. Ever watch a building covered in ants comecrumbling down? It’s probably the greatest thing ever. Try it.
On the technical side, EDF 2025 is a bit of a slouch. The graphics are good, not great, and slowdown and weird sprites pop up all too often. In addition, the hit detection is ridiculous, especially when a well-timed attack on an enemy turns into accidentally obliterating a few civilians – and fellow soldiers – just because they ran in the way. Thanks, jerks.
The audio’s good too, but it’s almost as if Sandlot wanted to drive the cheese factor a little too close to home. Too often, voice actors will have ridiculous dialogue to say, like a scientist boasting how important it is to track progress in the creatures, or humans who would rather run around talking about how sad things are, instead of, you know, running for cover or something. At least the music’s good, and the “EDF” chants never get old.
If you can accept its shortcomings – Titanfall, this ain’t – Earth Defense Force 2025 is a fun, breezy sci-fi romp that’ll get you through a few weeknights or weekends with ease. The weapon selection is vast and awesome, and blasting enemies to pieces never goes out of style. Just make sure you don’t take this seriously – that’s what Insect Armageddon did, and look where that got us. Go cheese or go home.
The Bottom Line Accept Earth Defense Force 2025’s credibility and storyline with a grain of salt, and you’ll coast by just fine on its wildly fun gameplay. Bring a friend and double the fun, if only to watch ants gush into orange piles of goo. Hey, they deserve it. EDF for life.
- Fun to play, with lots of ridiculous science fiction scenarios
- You can play with a friend locally or online for double the damage
- Unique weapons and classes really go a long way
- Presentation is below par – especially by 2014 standards
- Too many people get in the way of your shots, which could hurt you
- Voice samples are so bad, you'd think Lindsay Lohan had a hand in it