By: Nick Farinola // Edited by Joe Ahart //
Odds are you’ve probably have never heard of Earth Defense Force. Admittedly, it sounds like a campy, ‘80s sci-fi B-movie. If you guessed that, the good news is that you’re not very far off. The Earth Defense Force series is the video game equivalent of those kinds of movies, and everyone should understand that before playing any of them…I can’t stress that enough. In terms of presentation, the EDF series will never win any awards for its overall graphical presentation — or win any awards in general come to think of it. If you’re one of those people that favor gameplay over graphics, then man, you’re in for one bloody, insect-y treat. The simplistic story goes as follows; in the year 2013, deep space radio waves are picked up by scientists on Earth. The Earth Defense Force, a unified multinational military sponsored by nearly every country, is created in response to the uncertainty of the extraterrestrials’ motives. In 2017, all hell breaks loose when the insects arrive. Earth Defense Force 2017 was the first game in the series to be released in North America, followed by EDF: Insect Armageddon, EDF 2025, and EDF 4.1. Here’s my list for why every gamer needs to play at least one EDF game, so sit back, relax, and try to take this game seriously.
NUMBER 1: I’ll Have Extra Cheese With My Wine, Please
Topping off this list is a much-needed layer of cheese. Doesn’t matter the kind or how old it is — the cheese is everywhere. Here are some examples of the dialogue in EDF 4.1: Shadow of New Despair:
Soldier 1: “If something happens to me, take care of my family.”
Soldier 2: “Nope.”
Soldier 1: “If we make it through this, I’m buying everyone dinner!”
Soldier 2: “I like food!”
Soldier: “This armor repels giant insect ac…AAAAGHHHHH!!!(Dies from Giant Insect Acid)
I think you get the point. Everything from the over dramatic dialogue to the insect, machine-gun-frog and dragon aliens oozes cheese…but it’s absolutely glorious.
NUMBER 2: We Want Diversity!
The EDF have quite the opposing force in each and every game. Not only will you be fighting the insect armageddon, but you’ll also face off against giant dragons, spiders, spaceships, giant robots with lasers, 500-foot tall ‘50s-inspired green aliens, robot insects, spider walker things, and even a machine gun-wielding frog in EDF 5. Talk about enemy diversity. It’s all bat-shit crazy, but the best part about it all is the fact that you are able to pretty much take down anything with a standard assault rifle. Constant chaos, unlimited fun.
NUMBER 3: We’re Gonna Need a Bigger Boat
Not only does EDF offer some crazy enemies to fight, it also throws hundreds of them at you at a time! I’m not kidding, towards the later levels of each game, there are hundreds of explosions, skyscrapers falling, dead bodies and insects all over the screen. Yes, the frame rate does suffer at times, but realistically, it’s a technological achievement. The sheer chaos that ensues is breathtaking…it really does feel like you’re playing Starship Troopers. The ants are usually very easy to kill, but in clumps they can become extremely intimidating. There isn’t much strategy in terms of exterminating your enemy other than, well, shooting, vaporizing and exploding!
NUMBER 4: Suit Up, Recruits
As I had previously mentioned, the infestation is overwhelming at points, but thankfully the EDF has a few tricks up their sleeves. Other than standard military weapons, you can take control of mechs and wing gliders to better traverse the environment and to protect yourself. Some of the games have class-specific characters each with their own unique set of weapons! These weapons sure do pack a punch, but do be careful of your aim…it’s inevitable to accidentally take down a couple of skyscrapers (it wasn’t accidental).
NUMBER 5: When Will It End?!
EDF 2025, without DLC, set the new record for longevity in the EDF series. With 85 single-player only levels, and 9 more being multiplayer only, 2025 continually gets more outrageous. DLC included, the level count rises to 139! As expected with most video games, EDF gets more difficult as you progress based off of mission objectives, number of enemies, and bosses, but never once is it stale. Help this franchise grow in North America!
Well, there you have it! That’s my list for why every gamer should play at least one EDF game. What makes these games so appealing is the idea that they embrace being video games. It’s completely self-aware, and never once takes itself seriously. Seriously, you’re missing out. Have any questions? Hit me up on Twitter @fick_narinola21, or leave a comment down below!
Earth Defense Force 5 was announced at TGS 2016, and was released on December 7, 2017 on the PS4 only in Japan. U.S. release date — December 11, 2018.
Earth Defense Force: Iron Rain, which takes the series in a less-campy, more dramatic direction, was announced at TGS 2017. Release date TBD.