Earth Defense Force 2025
The cliché says Earth Defense Force is a B-game series, modest in its budget and cack-handed in its execution, but with a knowing wink and a sense of fun for those taking it on its own terms. It’s the simplest of modern shooters, but has a scale that’s unmatched by any other game. Giant wasps swarm in numbers that blot out the sun, colossal spiders flood city streets, bosses fill the horizon, and walking robots tower hundreds of feet overhead.
Calling it a B-game forgives a lot that’s unforgivable in contemporary design. It forgives the framerate drops. It forgives the repeating textures and the tatty polygons. It forgives the same old levels you’ve already played in EDF 2017, and the same old enemies introduced in the same old order.
There’s the templated beach, ravine and city maps; the modestly retextured giant ants, spiders, drones and machines; the same saucers in the sky and the same mothership with the same attacks. But where 2025 tries something new, it’s invariably both good and bad. The physics powering the spectacular building destruction will leave you ragdolling down a hill for half a minute or more when it goes wrong. The enemy additions are equally mixed: Shield Bearer robots force you to change your strategy, but Retiarius spiders can impossibly lasso you from halfway across the map without warning.
And the new class system offers variety, but the Wing Diver is too weak, the Air Raider too limited and the Fencer too slow to be used alone. They’re all different flavours of support class built for online play, but the secondary classes you’ll have ignored and left unlevelled in the campaign make a poor case for selection when you play with friends.
Online co-op was the final step for EDF to take after 2017 so thoroughly explored guns ’n’ bugs, but even in the endgame 2017 never felt quite so mindless and exhausting. Its 50 levels are dwarfed by the 85 in 2025, where ideas are repeated and the weapon droprate has been reduced to accommodate the length and intended online replays.
Where 2017 offered surprising new guns every few levels, 2025 doles them out steadily, almost as if it were afraid of running out. It never does. After 30 or 40 levels, you’re into the realm of fire-andforget homing missiles and indiscriminate bullet hoses. EDF was never about careful aiming or strategic cover or any of the other things that drive modern shooters, though – it’s about superior firepower earned through RPG grind, but 2025 has made the happy grind gruelling.
EarthDefenseForce2025 simply ignores Vicious Cycle’s middling Insect Armageddon spinoff and slots into the series right after 2017. Despite the eight-year gap between events, it’s as much a remake as it is a sequel