Monday, June 13, 2011
Earth Defense Force 2017 - Join the most brotastic alien fighting force ever!
Before we delve into today's topic I'd like to explain my logic for choosing what to write about each day: there isn't any. I use a random line picker to choose what system I'm going to write for the day and I immediately know the game I want to talk about, today it told me to talk about the Xbox 360. In a system that is plagued with first person shooters, brown and bloom, and crying children in online communities, we get a game that truly makes a stand. It doesn't stand for high definition, it doesn't stand for innovation, and it certainly doesn't stand for plot. This game stands for one of the most important things we often forget about in video games today: FUN.
Earth Defense Force 2017 was brought to us in the states in 2007 by D3 Publisher and developed by Sandlot games. This is the first game of the popular "Earth Defense Force" series to make it to the United States as most of them have stayed largely in Japan, with one release making it to Europe. Being a third-person shooter, this game is a homage to cheesy alien invasion movies everywhere, you're sure to spot more than a few references. The long and short of the premise is this: aliens known as the ravagers have appeared before earth and are suddenly dropping GIANT ANTS AND ROBOTS to kill us all. Not just any giant ants, mind you, but giant ants that SPIT ACID. You are part of the elite known as "Storm-1" and it's up to you and your fellow EDF brothers to save the planet from extinction. As with many of my games, the story isn't all that important, but there are cutscenes with a news reporter that help give you the impression that serious s*** is going down.
Just from the first stage, you're given an assault rifle and a rocket launcher to defend yourself with. And they both have unlimited ammo. You're going to need it. From the get-go you and a handful of A.I controlled EDF soldiers are taking on an entire wave of giant ants and the game is basically telling you not to worry about civilians, allied soldiers, or even buildings all you need to do is survive. More often than not you're constantly under attack from ants coming in all directions and I'm sure one of your many rockets is going to miss and hit a building, bringing it down to rubble. But that's ok! There's no penalty for collateral damage so feel free to raise as much hell as possible while fighting off the alien invaders. Soon enough you'll be finding weapons on the field that you'll be able to use in the next stages, in fact there are over 150 weapons to use in the game that range anywhere from sniper rifles to heat seeking missile launchers! Each weapon has a use because soon you aren't going to be fighting giant ants for long, they're going to make each stage more and more difficult adding in giant spiders (Oh god no.) and flying spaceships until you end up fighting godzilla and then, ultimately, the DEATH STAR! Well, not exactly, but it's very similar to it. There's also vehicles you can use like a mech and a helicopter, but the controls for them are pretty awful so you're going to stick to being on foot for a while.
Graphically this game isn't much to look at, animations are stiff and all the ants have this plastic look to them. But it adds to the humor to the game, like when you run right up to a giant ant and blast it in the face with your shotgun, you'll send that ant flying off hundreds of feet away just from the sheer force of your weapon, it's all very unrealistic but totally awesome. My favorite thing about this game though is the voice acting of your fellow EDF soldiers. While this game may not have online play, there's a sound icon over the head of each soldier that is currently talking and they always have something to say when it hit's the fan. They'll mourn the loss of one of their comrades, they'll scream in pain from being burned alive by acid, they'll express sheer anger and rage at their enemies, but they'll also cheery loudly just before and after battle chanting "EDF! EDF! EDF! YEAAAAAAAAAAAH!", while many would write the voice acting off as "bad", I think the voice actors enthusiasm really enhances the experience of the game. You'll start to feel attached to your fellow soldiers, and a smile will come to your face when you find out one of them has survived the onslaught.
This game is a cult classic on the Xbox 360. Many who played it simply can't stop playing it because it's one of the most addicting games out there. While it lacks online play, there is 2 player split-screen co-op which is all kinds of awesome! I'd dare say it's one of the best co-op games of all time. This game is kind of hard to find in public now, but luckily you can find it on Xbox Live's games on demand service as a downloadable title. Despite it's simplicity, it got really popular among niche audiences and now a sequel is in the works and due out on July 5, 2011! Be sure to check out Earth Defense Force: Insect Armageddon when you're done with this game, it looks like it's going to be great!