Game: Earth Defense Force: Insect Armageddon
Genre: Third Person Shooter
System: Xbox 360
Review By: MrB4
I’ve never been a person who enjoys mindless video games all that much, but there are times in which we all need to take a break from our complicated lives to take part in something that is simple, yet a whole lot of fun. That is exactly what EDF: Insect Armageddon, which is the sequel to the 2007 quirky third person shooter Earth Defense Force 2017, sets out to do, and it succeeds in some ways more than others. Sure the production values are dated, the dialogue may seem a little too cheesy, and killing an endless amount of bugs makes you feel like you are auditioning for a role in an upcoming Starship Troopers film, but when a game like this is doing all of these things on purpose, trying to criticize its flaws becomes difficult to do. Put the brain on the back burner for now, and get those trigger fingers ready because its time to save the world from a bug infestation once again.
Story: The bugs are back, and are looking to seek revenge on the EDF by destroying the city of New Detroit. You are part of a team called Lightning, who is set out on a mission to retrieve an item only known as “The Box”. In order to accomplish this task, the group must seek out and destroy every insect that comes in their way. Aside from this brief overview, there is not much of a story here at all. There are no cutscenes to speak of, and the in-game chatter does little in the way of providing any form of information to the player, but they are humorous at times, so it’s not all that bad. Once again, we are presented with a simple reason for moving forward, and sometimes that’s all I need.
Graphics: The overall look and feel leaves alot to be desired. Level designs are bland and repetitive, and don’t offer much in the way of variety. More often than not you will find yourself traveling through the same city streets over, and over, and over again. Character models looked okay, and had a decent amount of animations to them, but they lacked having any real sense of personality. Adding the ability to destroy every building in sight did add a little bit of visual flair to the overall package though, and I have to admit that there were times that some of the bosses did scare the living crap out of me with how big they were, but still, even for a budget title, alot more time and care could have been put into giving this game a little more style.
Gameplay: About as simple as it gets, move from checkpoint to checkpoint, take out all of the enemies in each area, then rinse and repeat this process until each mission is over. There were a few boss fights and vehicle sections thrown in the mix to spice things up every once in awhile, but in the end, it all boils down to destroying everything in sight in order to progress the story. The control layout was simple and easy to understand, and didn’t become a nuisance even during the most hectic of situations, and I appreciate that.
Just a fair warning to those of you who decide to play through the campaign by yourself, it can get boring, and annoying rather quickly. Being able to have a couple of friends around to help out definitely makes the overall experience that much more enjoyable. What makes this even better is that people can play co-op online and offline with up to 3 players (2 for offline play). My only complaint here is that the online play did tend to lag at times, but since this could have been done for intentional reasons, I’ll let this problem slide.
There is also quite a bit to do once the story is over as well. Up to six people can participate in a self explanatory survival mode, and there is a campaign remix feature also included where the enemy layout changes from stage to stage, each of which can also be played online with friends. Throw in multiple character classes, each with their own specific weapons and abilities to acquire by earning points during missions, and the overall replay value on offer here is rather impressive.
Sound: My ears were begging me to plug them because of how bad the dialogue was, I mean come on, how cheesy can it actually get?The background music fit each situation appropriately, and added a certain level of tension to encounters, which helped in keeping my attention focused on the screen at all times. Sound effects were pretty good, the explosions of buildings in particular had quite an impact to them, but I did experience times where the bullets from my gun wouldn’t make any sound at all, and that’s something that you just don’t allow to happen in shooter games.
Wishes or Changes: As I have said before, one of the major things that I would like to change about this game is how it looks. It just felt a little bit too retro by today’s standards. Reducing the amount of lag that occurs during online play should have been something that the developers might have wanted to take into consideration before release. Including some sort of an actual story would have also been greatly appreciated.
TQ Bottom Line: EDF: Insect Armageddon is a budget third-person shooter experience that can be enjoyed in short bursts with friends, and there’s not much more to it than that.
Final Score: 3 out of 5 Michelas!
Earth Defense Force: Insect Armageddon
Developer: Vicious Cycle Software
Publisher: D3 Publisher