Back once again for the OTT blaster
Long standing regulars of the EDF series will need no introduction to Earth Defense Force 2: Invaders From Planet Space. A whisper in their ear of an “enhanced release of the original EDF2” and a quick round of “EDF! EDF! EDF!” will tell them all they need to know. Newcomers to the series will need a bit of an intro but hold on to your hats as it won’t take long. The Earth Defense Force games are third person shooters that are like a hybrid of Godzilla, Starship Troopers and so many hammy space invader/giant bug-related B-Movies. Think hordes of big bugs, spaceships, fire breathing monsters and you or a team of up to four players blasting the bejesus out of them.
Once you boot up the game for your first play you are greeted by a few screens telling you that in 2017 aliens attacked earth and mankind sent them packing, and that in 2018 the Earth Defense Force (EDF) was rebuilt. This brief intro proves there is no need for over-elaborated intro scenes detailing a lengthy or somewhat complicated storyline. Nope, with EDF it’s all about simplicity. You are greeted with Giant Ants attacking London, a news reporter announcing that the “Buggernauts are back and have already destroyed several cities across the globe!” and within seconds you’ll be hammering the R button so that your soldier can send the Buggernauts a ‘Welcome back to Earth’ kiss with their weapon of choice.
This simple loosely-plot-based approach works well with the EDF series. When you have destroyed the all enemies to complete the mission you are greeted with only a screen showing what pick-ups you collected during the mission. From there you can dive straight into the next mission and commence blasting. However, chances are you won’t get very far if you do this and a wiser move would be to check out the weaponry you’ve collected and alter your loadout to weapons that pack a bigger punch. The weaponry section also allows you to change your soldier class as well as see your arsenal of weapons which includes assault rifles, shotguns, sniper rifles, rocket launchers, missile launchers, grenades and specials weapons. The more you play the more weapons will be dropped during gameplay, so by the end of it you’ll feel like Neo in the “Guns, lots of guns!” scene.
There are three soldier classes on offer in EDF2: Infantryman, Pale Wing and Air Raider. The differences between the soldiers mean that you will probably settle on your favourite early in the game and stick with them, but it is worth playing as the other soldiers as each is unique. The Infantryman is the jack of all trades, easy to use, skilled in combat and the perfect soldier for beginners. Pale Wings are the all-female elite. Then there’s the Air Raider who is a whizz at calling in the aerial bombardments and is probably the best soldier to use in multiplayer games.
With seventy eight missions to complete, five different difficulties levels, three vehicles and over four hundred weapons to add to your arsenal, it is clear Earth Defense Force 2: Invaders From Planet Space packs a punch, but there is also Wi-Fi and ad hoc multiplayer modes on offer too. Both of these modes let you get your Co-op on and work as a team, or if you want to mix it up there is a Rumble mode where you can take on your comrades.
Graphically parts of EDF2 are a little disappointing. The cutscenes do look a little washed out but you could argue that the B-Movies the game takes its inspiration from look just the same. Overall it holds up well, especially in the missions where you have so many enemies on screen at once; the game runs without any stuttering whatsoever.
As for the trophies, in EDF2 there is a healthy stash of them available with fifty eight bronze, three silver, a gold and a platinum for the taking. Most of these are for killing a set number of enemies, obtaining weapons, increasing your amour and a few multiplayer trophies for good measure. If you want the platinum, though, then you are going to have to sink some serious hours into this game. You have to clear all missions on all difficulties with each of the three soldier classes. As these don’t stack that means you’ll need fifteen complete playthroughs.
Earth Defense Force 2: Invaders From Planet Space is a must buy for fans and newcomers alike. It’s so OTT but that’s what the EDF series is renowned for. You can have a quick ten minute blast or knuckle down for much longer sessions and still be yearning for more. You definitely won’t tire of introducing your rocket launcher to a spider, sending it hurtling skyward in all its ragdoll glory. BOOM.
NelMaNo Rating – 8/10