Earth Defense Force 2017 was a cult hit for publisher D3. Vicious Cycle, taking over the reins of the series for EDF: Insect Armageddon, is trying to drop the “cult” and just make a hit. They seem to be hitting the right notes.
In the Japanese-developed previous entries (only one of which made it Stateside), you and a friend took on random alien baddies in a third-person shooter environment, defending locations, completing objectives doing whatever it takes to survive the situation you’re in. The one string holding it together was shooting aliens. That part’s still intact, for the most part, except now those aliens look like various bugs and spiders. If there’s one thing we want to shoot more than gruesome aliens, it’s probably gruesome aliens that look like those little creeps that sneak their way into our homes. Those guys need to go down. We’re happy to help.
The main thing that makes Insect Armageddon better than others in the series is a class-based three-player campaign. There is a larger 6-player online mode if you need more players, but much of the effort has been put into creating a deep story experience with two friends, or one if you play locally. (Whether they help or not, you’re working as part of a squad, so they essentially replace AI teammates.) Your classes are based on your armor type: jetpack, battle, tactical and trooper. Want more mobility? Jetpack is the way to go. Like to run and gun? Trooper’s your cup of tea. Like me, and would rather let some turrets help you out than rely on your own aiming skill? Join me in tactical armor. You can upgrade various aspects, find more weapons and such, but your basic strategies will be based on that armor choice.
We’re looking forward to checking out the full campaign when it releases, and we don’t have to wait long. Earth Defense Force: Insect Armageddon releases July 5.