Vicious Cycle Software, Inc.
Rating Guide: How I Review Games
Earth Defense Force 2017 was one of those guilty pleasures amongst gamers. You knew it wasn’t the best game out there but it was arguably one of the most entertaining. It had crazy weapons, big ass ants and a lot of explosions. And what gamer doesn’t love that right?
I finished EDF 2017 wanting a sequel and I finally got one. However, I’d rather just have the old one back.
Gameplay, Graphics and Sound
Earth Defense Force: Insect Armageddon is the follow up to EDF 2017, one of the Xbox 360′s better surprises. You are Lightning Alpha and you have more ants, more spiders and more huge robots to save the world from. The insects are just as they were in the original game albet with a few minor tweaks. They aren’t just the red ants you remember from the first game. They have a bit more detail and they even come in two forms (regular and robotic). The same goes for the spiders in the game.
A new thing in the game is the introduction of character classes. You can choose between four different types of EDF agents; Tactical, Trooper, Jetpack and Battle. I preferred the Jetpack guy because he moves really fast and he can fly. They each have their own special attribute assigned to the Left trigger (except the Trooper, he has no special) and they each have their own set of weapons they can use. From a weapons point, I enjoyed the Tactical class and the turrets he can deploy. The Battle class was just too slow. You can level each class up to gain access to different attributes and weapons but you likely won’t want to after the first playthrough.
Taking a big step back in the sequel were the explosions, the environment, the destruction and the element of chaos. In 2017 you felt like you were surrounded by an insurmountable task and you really couldn’t believe there were these huge friggin’ insects all around you. It felt unreal and you had this sense of “wow, I’m a bad mofo” when you finally got through them. But in Insect Armageddon you just feel stuck in a stale world with big things flying at you.
The wasps, huge spiders spitting baby ticks, and the mechanical Hectors were just stale. The screenshots that you see didn’t do a good job in painting the picture that you actually have in the game. They didn’t even have any memorable boss battles to speak of. The agents themselves felt short in design despite having different character classes and the weapons didn’t pack any real punch. I really enjoyed toppling buildings in the first but I don’t recall even caring that I did in Insect Armageddon. There was a noticeable drop in framerate even trying to blow things up.
The hit detection in the first was nowhere to be found in Insect Armageddon. I didn’t feel any of the power that the weapons were supposed to have. There are vehicles and mechs you can use but even they are left as an afterthought. Two players can hop into a tank to do battle but it just isn’t that much fun. There are stationary guns available as well but these fall far short from what you’d expect. They fire white bullets and there is absolutely zero in terms of hit detection. I won’t even mention the few aircraft shooting scenes.
I’m not really sure why but Insect Armageddon just felt disappointing. It was over in the blink of an eye and I left wondering if there was any threat. I didn’t get the sense that I had just gone through a huge wave of huge ass insects on my way to saving the world. I said to myself after finishing the game … “is that it?”. It was over before I even got a chance to dig in.
Sequels are hard to develop because they never quite capture what was so good about the original. Earth Defense Force: Insect Armageddon figured you could just throw some huge ants at people and they’d love it all the same but it’s missing everything that was so interesting about the first. The game was just sloppy at almost every turn and that “bugged” me. It really seemed like a puzzle that wasn’t pieced together properly.
Xbox LIVE Extras
Another new addition to the game is the 3-player online co-op. You can get with a few buddies and play the game together and fight some alien scum. That isn’t so much fun but thank the heavens for Survival Mode. You can play with 5 friends (that makes 6 players) and go against wave after wave of the enemies in Insect Armageddon. It’s frantic and it’s just plain fun. It actually helps you forget how disappointing the offline aspect was.
Earth Defense Force Insect Armageddon had one of the easiest jobs out there. All it had to do was make the insects bigger, badder and more bad ass and watch the fanboys smile from ear to ear. However, it didn’t do that. I’m pretty sure it had the same amount of insects in it and had very little variety in terms of boss battles.
If not for the Survival Mode and my nature as a man to prove my dominance over big ass insects, I’d recommend everyone pass this title up. However, Survival Mode with friends is fun and those of you who enjoyed EDF 2017 will likely find reason to at least finish the campaign once.
They call me "The Velvet Voice". I like sunshine, games and large amounts of money. I'm a Microsoft Xbox MVP and an Author. Check out the book about my journey through the gaming industry Press X to Reload and The Terribly Terrific Travels of Timber Timmins on Amazon.com. Support the site and buy 'em. Take a look at my About Me bio for more on me.