EDF! EDF! EDF! EDF!
Just like when you sit down to watch a movie, choosing a game to play is quite often dependant on your mood. Maybe you fancy some complex puzzles to test the brain? Or perhaps an epic story that goes on forever? Maybe you feel like some suspense? Or are in the mood for competition? Then, sometimes, plain and simple fun are the order of the day. Like watching an old B-movie with friends, you don’t care about the characters, the story is non-existent and the set-pieces are laughable. But you all sit there and enjoy the damn movie anyway.
It is for those times that Earth Defense Force: Insect Armageddon, from Vicious Cycle, will surely hit the spot. The title really does say it all with the Earth being invaded by Alien robots and giant insects, and the player taking on the role of a member of the Earth Defense Force and charged with protecting Detroit across 15 crazy, bug-exploding missions. With some unbeleiveably powerful weapons and fully destructable environments, my question would be “Who will save Detroit from you?”
Unless you happen to have a serious phobia of insects (in which case why on earth would you buy this game?), Insect Armageddon is an absolute blast from start to finish. The fact that it finishes all too quickly is a shame, but the game encourages replayability, more on which in a moment, and an incredibly difficult six player survivial mode which sees the player and five friends facing off against wave after wave of creepy giant insect death.
The missions themselves are relatively straight forward, usually consisting of reaching an area and then making it safe by wiping out all of the giant insects, or disptaching a giant robot or spaceship. The sheer number of enemies that flood these areas is quite impressive and results in absolute chaos. At any moment you can be set upon by a bunch of giant ants, whilst giant wasps fly around tryign to sting you, big, ugly ticks are trying to leap on your back and big, hairy spiders are jumping over buildings in a single bound. Once the player and the rest of the team start firing their incredibly powerful weapons, the entire screen will be lit up by explosions, smoke, falling buildings and insect innards. It really is a thing of beauty.
There are four different armour types in the game, each with their own purpose. The Trooper armour is the standard and has access to the most weapons. The Jet armour can fly, but has less protection, Tactical armour can deploy turrets and the Battle armour is slow, has the most protection and the biggest weapons. As the player progresses, they will earn expereince for each of these armour types, allowing them to level up and gain access to different weapons. Because each of the armour types levels independantly from the others, it is almost like having four different characters and players will find themselves working through the game multiple times in order to max the levels on each armour set and see all that the game has to offer.
Then there are the weapons. A game with giant insects deserves to have some pretty impressive weapons, does it not? Homing shotguns, ground-to-air missile launchers and pesticide rifles are only a mere drop in the ocean of 300 weapons availalbe in the game. Most of these weapons, once the player reaches the required level, can be bought through the load-out screen. However, some of the rarer weapons will bnedd to be picked up in-game as drops from particularly mean bosses. The player will also have the chance to play with some impressively large turrets, mech suits and even tanks throughout the game.
Besides the previously mentioned survival mode, friends can get in on the action with local co-op for two or online co-op for four. This will ramp up the chaos in the game and provide hours of fun. There are three different difficulty levels within the game, ensuring that anyone can get in on the bug-blasting action, especially as the player essentially can be revived three times on the battlefield before failing the mission.
Earth defense Force: Insect Armageddon is a game that doesn’t take itself seriously, and that is what makes it great. There is no depth, no emotion and certainly no thinking required. What it does instead is offer the pure enjoyment that can only be found from shooting a giant ant in the head. Despite the relative lack of missions, the game will last ages as the player keeps coming back for just a little more action and to unlock some of the even more powerful weaponry. EDF: Insect Armageddon is the perfect stress-buster and so much fun.