When I popped in Earth Defense Force – Insect Armageddon, I though to myself, well this isn’t going to be any good especially with a price tag of $39.99 for a new copy, but boy was I wrong. This game is endless amounts of fun and although the campaign is short the fun certainly does not stop there with a Survival mode and a Campaign remix mode. To top it off you can have up to three players destroying giant sized insects in co-operative mode in the campaign modes while Survival mode lets you play with up to six players c-op. Don’t worry couch co-op friends their is of course a split screen local co-0p mode. Sure killing giant insects does not sound as fun as actually doing it, but when you are in the middle of a swarm of ants the length of a one story building or so, things change.
Now the whole game takes place in a city so there are building all around you. Not a problem as the environment is completely destructible so at times when you need to get to an area by destroying a 12 story building, sometimes it’s just fun to blow them up and watch them collapse to dusty rubble. When it comes to what weapons you want to destroy these buildings with… well there are A LOT, with that being an understatement. There are over 300 Weapons in the game as well as four upgradable armor types. With four different Classes or ‘Armor Types’ as the games calls them, you can play each level as either the same class or a different one, while leveling them up in your goal. The nice thing though is that no matter the class you play, you can still unlock weapons and things for other classes, but you must be a certain Tier to use the usually better weapons which you can only get to by playing that class.
The four classes or Armor Types are Battle, Jet, Tactical and Trooper with each of them having their own good as well as bad qualities. For instance, Battle is a monster that just looks like he was made to cause massive destruction but he is slow, but can use the most devastating weaponry the game provides, while he also has a shield and does not receive damage from his own artillery. Jet can fly, but only for a short period though get a high vantage point can be a big plus, however as the fastest class, he has the lightest armor protection. There then Trooper who is the only one who can wield any weapon in the game and Tactical can lay down mines, turrets or sensors as each class has both their good qualities as well negative ones. With each class being able to use specific weapons that can be found by being dropped by boss-like enemies being defeated, so in a way the game even has a loot system. You will have the option of choosing between the following weapon types; Assault Rifle, Grenade Launcher, Machine Gun, Rocket Launcher, Missile Launcher, Shotgun and Sniper Rifle.
When is comes to enemies, you sure have your giant ants, tarantulas and even huge flying wasps which quite frankly a bit frightening… especially if you are allergic to them. But then come the robots; don’t ask me how the insects have acquired these things but their are giant drop ships that deploy more and more insects to brighten your day. Then there are huge robots that stomp around town shooting lasers at you while they even deploy insects. Then there is of course the gigantic 100 foot tall robot that towers over you and wind up have to catch up with just to kill it with out being crushed by one stomp of his foot. Ticks are also an annoyance as they will latch on to you as you have to rip them off. Each enemy has weapons that are more useful against them as do classes but it is usually the bigger the better.
The campaign is fairly short unless you are playing on the Insane difficulty, which speaking of difficulties there are three of, being Normal, Hard and Insane. If you are not playing in co-op you still have you two AI partners to help you out and revive you if you get downed, but once you beat the game you can make it even harder by turning the AI off leaving just you and the insects. While the game can get repetitive, mostly with seeing the same settings constantly, it always helps to play the game co-op which could not be more easy as you either join in on a game or create one and people will join, but if you want to play co-op right away, just click quick match puts you right the action with a team.
Now there is a Survival Mode that puts you along with five other players up against wave after wave of increasingly difficult enemies and you can only play as the Trooper class. There are six Survival missions being Cornerstone, Shallow Grave, Pain Garden, Original Sin, Marooned, and Double Whammy. How many waves are there exactly and is there an end to it? Well that is up to you and your team to find out but never the less the game provides tons of replay value. You can only acquire the highest armor upgrades on the highest difficulty setting so you will have to step up your game if you want to get the most out of it. Playing through the campaign multiple times is actually the only way you will get all the weapons and armor, so the game will take up much of you time if you can into it. There is also Remix Campaign mode where you play the campaign with new and different enemy types as well as ones that were there before so you never know what you are going to get making it rather difficult and very unpredictable.
Earth Defense Force – Insect Armageddon was clearly a budget title with flaws such as the sounds not being very impressive and graphics not up to par with triple A titles. But if you can past all those things and just enjoy what the developers have done with the game it becomes so much fun that you could careless about stupid little things that don’t make this the game of the year. On to of that if you want to call this a low budget title, then it has got to be the best one I have ever played. If you are playing the game just to complete one play-through then you won’t get much out of the game, but if you really want to unlock all the good stuff and see what the game is all about with a bunch of friends, than this game is for you.
This game was reviewed on the Xbox 360.
Over 300 weapons, different armor types 3 play co-op campaign, 6 play co-op survival mode.
Low budget sounds, graphics are not exactly great but they are not bad. Can get repetitive. Same scenery entire game.
A game that you really have to play to understand just how annoying an ant can really be.