Earth Defense Force 2025 is a manic third-person shooter developed by Sandlot that pits you in the shoes of an EDF soldier amid an alien invasion. The games concept is totally ridiculous and the action even more so with the game delivering its fair share of insects and robots to kill amongst its wealth of single-player and co-operative missions. While the game is well suited as a single-player title, the game really comes into its own through offline and online co-operative missions where the chaos is multiplied and cranked up to 11.
Earth Defense Force 2025 is a dumb game, there’s no two ways about it. It’s a dumb shooter and soon into the opening minutes of this title, you will quickly realise just how much of a brainless shooter this game really is. The action that the game bases its entire self around requires absolutely no thinking power at all and the gameplay is as much of a straight up shooter as possible, with absolutely nothing detracting from the gunplay. Throughout every single mission that you play, you will do nothing but point and shoot, and it’s the brainlessness of all the chaos that is both the rise and downfall of the game.
Though intelligence in games is often a sort out quality, the very unintelligent design of EDF is strangely enough part of its charm. It’s all just so brainless and it’s fun to turn off your brain for a while and spend your time mindlessly shooting at everything that moves. At all times you are swarmed by a ridiculous amount of enemies, and the constant engagement with insects, robots and spaceships will have you hooked for a few hours while all the violence and destruction feels surprisingly fresh. It’s during this short period of time when the game comes across as rather fun, though once the novelty of destroying everything wears off, what you are left with is an experience that fails to develop and become nothing more than the same thing over and over again.
It’s a real shame that the mission structure fails to offer variety, as playing the game really does offer a glimpse into this titles potential. Unfortunately, being tasked to do nothing but kill all enemies in each area really wears thin after the tenth time of doing so. Occasionally the game does try new ideas out, and at times you might be tasked with destroying dropships, but these are few and far between and just like with the bulk of the gameplay, these mission types become increasingly less interesting each time you complete them. It’s not even as though changing the difficulty does much to spice up the missions either as unless you are playing on the very hardest of difficulties, the game fails to pose much of a challenge at all.
Thankfully the game is able to somewhat save itself from such a premature death thanks to the inclusion of four different player classes that are actually very nicely put together and offer a variety of play styles. There is the Ranger character who acts as the traditional foot-soldier capable of using a number of different vehicle types and perhaps the most varied weapons arsenal. The Wing Diver is easily the most interesting class out of the lot and aside from being able to use a devastating array of energy and plasma weapons, also has the ability to fly around in the air and completely change the way you approach both the enemy, and your objectives. The Fencer class is effectively a giant tank-like mech that can be equipped with 4 weapons that hold special properties. Lastly there is the Air Raider class, who apart from being the least interesting of the lot, allows the ability to call in air raids, summon vehicles, and generally assist the battlefield.
Each class has a custom inventory that can be swapped out as much as you want in between missions, and this system works well and does it’s best to add longevity to this otherwise decaying game. There are so many weapons for each class that it’s difficult to count them, and it’s always rewarding to find that you have unlocked new weapons after each mission. While some weapons are standard fare (more-so in regards to the Ranger), there are plenty of unique weapons thrown in that are very fun to use and make dull missions that much more bearable. All these classes and their assorted arsenals are interesting to play as and do quite well to add more life into the dull gameplay, it’s just a shame that experimenting as different classes doesn’t stop the action from becoming boring a few hours down the line.
Perhaps the worst offender of this whole title is that of the presentation, something that certainly wouldn’t have looked good at the start of the current generation, and would have still looked out of date in the late 90’s. Character models are blocky and horrible, environments are incredibly low detailed with horrific textures placed onto them, the animations are barely passable, and the games audio is nothing short of appalling, a feat that is not aided by the hammy voice acting and cliché dialogue. While graphics are never the most important thing in a game and rarely drag a title down, this game in particular takes a hit because they don’t just look bad, they look horrific. To make things worse, the game struggles to cope and performance issues are rife from the get go. Even when nothing is happening on screen the game fails to even peak at 30fps, and when the action starts getting messy there is evident slowdown that considerably tarnishes the flow of the gameplay. It’s honestly criminal that a modern game such as this can have such horrible presentation and performance issues.
So where does the game sit then? Well, Earth Defense Force 2025 isn’t a bad game, though it isn’t a terribly good one either. At its core it has some neat ideas, and though the whole games concept is incredibly dumb and totally ridiculous, there is some fun to be found in the gameplay for a few hours. It’s a massive shame then that the good is buried under a considerable amount of mediocrity that really weighs the game down. The presentation is shoddy, the performance is terrible, and the mission structure offers very little variation, quickly turning the gameplay into nothing more than a repetitious onslaught. Unless you are a big fan of the series, it’s hard to recommend this game to anyone. If all you want is a brainless shooter that requires nothing more than a steady aim and an urge to wreak havoc, you could do far better than this particular title.
- The four player classes are well built and all offer different play styles.
- The extensive amount of weaponry provides different ways of playing.
- The gameplay is fun to begin with…
- …But becomes repetitious quickly.
- Shoddy presentation, with the graphics in particular looking two generations behind.
- Horrible performance issues that get out of hand when action gets busy.
- Uninteresting mission structure.
- Lack of a challenge unless playing on the harder difficulties.
Disclaimer:All scores given within our reviews are based on the artist’s personal opinion; this should in no way impede your decision to purchase the game.