Giant Insects! Killer robots from outer space! Cheesy voice acting! These terms on their own may have you thinking of B-movies, and you’re not too far off. Earth Defense Force 2025 is a quirky budget title from Japanese developer Sandlot, who also made Earth Defense Force 2017, a previous entry in the series.
At a glance, EDF may seem a bit lacking: visuals that are almost comparable to the PlayStation 2 era of gaming, a questionable framerate, and cheap audio design, but EDF’s charm, campy humor, and fun gameplay save this title from becoming the generic bore fest many may perceive it to be.
The third-person action in EDF is satisfying and surprisingly varied, with four classes to play and swap between: Ranger, Wing-Diver, Air Raider, and Fencer. Each class has a unique feel and combat style: Fencers are huge power-armored troopers that boast large weapons. Air Raiders play a supportive role, and can call in various vehicles and air strikes. Wing-Divers are highly mobile and excel at hit-and-run tactics. Rangers are a basic jack-of-all trades class reminiscent of previous entries of the series.
Another department that EDF knocks out of the park is in the variety of weaponry. Each class of soldier boasts their own arsenal of unlockable weaponry to accumulate and experiment with. The weapons can range from typical assault rifles to outrageous rocket launchers capable of leveling cities. Even the vehicle selection gets crazy with the addition of overly massive tanks and mechs to pilot.
In EDF: 2025, you might find the variety of modes a bit sparse, there is the offline campaign, online co-op campaign, and a versus mode to occupy your attention. Both campaigns are nearly identical and the mission variety can quickly become stagnant with the repetitive goal of killing all of the enemies. Progression through the campaign is extremely lengthy with 90+ missions to complete on the five different difficulty settings. One thing players may find annoying is that campaign progress is not shared between single-player and online multiplayer, and something even more tedious is that online progress is not shared between players. If you’re not hosting the match, your only progress is in the weapons and armor you accrue in those sessions.
All things considered, Earth Defense Force: 2025 is an average game that is worthy of trying. Players who can appreciate this action-packed romp for what it is will find dozens of hours of entertainment awaiting them. If you plan on picking it up, it is recommended that you don’t go it alone, bring a friend over for some good couch co-op or play together over the Internet for a good time.