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I rarely like opening reviews with the titles of the game. It’s weird to me and it seems like I’m almost proclaiming something with an air of arrogance, and aristocracy whenever I open a paragraph with the name of the game, and some subjective opinion following afterward. But I hate to say it, that’s exactly how I wanted to open this review. And I say that because it actually has a bearing on the review, instead of being a cheap writing parlor trick in this one particular instance. The game that has provided that instance is Earth Defense Force Insect Armageddon. And the statement that would have opened the review was something along these lines….
“Earth Defense Force Insect Armageddon takes a singular concept and stretches it out like taffy.”
But I didn’t open my review like that, because I felt there should be some scenery on the drive to that statement. But really there isn’t much scenery to be had. Sure there’s the setup in and of itself that is interesting enough. You are a turbo charged mega solider of the future, and you have to stop giant insects from smashing your neighborhood Detroit into tiny little bits of rubble. And everyone knows that the best way to keep giant insects from destroying your neighborhood, is by shooting high yield weaponry at them regardless of the threat of collateral property damage. I mean what’s a few exploded cars anyhow? And so what if you downed a few apartment complexes, skyscrapers, and office buildings in the name of defending humanity right? Exactly.
The game also makes sure that you’ve got plenty of variety in how to take down your insect adversaries, and gives you the option to pick four different classes, each with their own unique unlockable weapons, but the two most interesting and powerful are the Battle, and Jet armors. The Battle Armor basically transforms you into a walking tank, and the Jet Armor predictably equips you with a jetpack so you can rain death from the skies. The other classes… Trooper, and Tactical have their own strengths and weaknesses, but pale in comparison to the other two classes, and I would be hard pressed to recommend that anyone play as one of them, but with enough people who knows. Thankfully the game comes built in with tons of online features, and good old fashioned split screen coop (console versions only) and this helps to ensure you’ll always have some help around should you choose, and it’s probably a wise idea.
The game’s learning curve can be very sudden for those who haven’t played EDF before, and the game is fairly relentless, even in the earliest stages. That’s not to say that the game ever reaches old school levels of impossibly hard, but it’s tough enough to present a genuine challenge to experienced gamers. The game tends to amp it up with increasingly huge odds against you in sheer numbers, and with bigger and badder enemies in virtually every single level. By the time you get to the final level, you’re fighting two giant behemoths, swarms of alien ships, and insects all at the same time, and wondering how the earlier levels even annoyed you. The game does all of these things wonderfully, but sadly the game is a huge holding of one single note.
There is almost nothing else to be experienced from the game. Yes there are weapons, and you can buy more weapons as DLC, and play through the game multiple times to level each suit of armor, but really once you beaten the game you won’t want to. If not because the game has an unsatisfying ending that will leave you baffled, but also because you’ll just be doing the same thing over and over again, which is what you were doing in the first place. There is no other experience to the game other than running city streets and blowing up insects, and giant things. There’s a brief turret section or two, but those are arguably less interesting than just running around city streets murdering insects. Fortunately what’s there is fun enough to blast through at least once, but unfortunately that’s all the life you’ll get out of this one as there isn’t anything else to the game.
Earth Defense Force Insect Armageddon takes a singular concept and stretches it out like taffy. Dammit…
Earth Defense Force Insect Armageddon is available now for PC, PS3, and Xbox 360
It was developed by Vicious Cycle Software, and published by D3 Publisher
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