Originally released six months ago on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, Earth Defense Force: Insect Armageddon is finally making its way to the PC. That's good news for anybody who likes to squash giant alien insect invaders, all while crushing large sections of the fictional city of New Detroit. Unfortunately, I have bad news for anybody hoping for something less repetitive and shallow. For better or worse, this remains the exact same game that caused so many divisive opinions when it was first released last July.
Earth Defense Force: Insect Armageddon marks the third installment in Sandlot's humans vs. giant insects trilogy (which also includes Global Defense Force and Earth Defense Force 2017). While the concept is ambitious enough, this has always been a series based around cheesy open-world action at a budget price. Insect Armageddon is no exception, offering only a few hours of gameplay, mediocre graphics and a repetitive campaign that is unbearable if you're playing by yourself.
Here we see New Detroit being overrun by giant alien insects. Your job is to team up with three other characters and destroy this scourge once and for all. You do this by running around large city areas shooting giant ants, spiders, ticks, wasps and the like. Eventually the game will teach you to destroy the insect's nest (such as a giant ant hill), otherwise you'll be left to fight a never ending supply of bug baddies. Other enemies may require a more direct shot, but this is a basic concept that gets repeated level after level until you beat the stunningly short game.
There are four classes to choose from, each with their own sets of abilities and weapons. My favorite was the Jet class, which allows the player to both speed around the level and fly above it with an exclusive jetpack. The Battle class is the other side of the equation, a slow-moving, heavily armored fighter with large guns. Then there's the Tactical class, which allows players to put down turrets and other helpful items in the middle of battle. The final class is the Trooper, a well-balanced soldier that is able to use every type of gun.
The game makes an excellent first impression. There's something ridiculously exciting about see a bunch of enormous bugs speeding at you. It's even more exhilarating when you realize you can take down any building, sign, bridge or monument that stands between you and safety. With so much over-the-top action happening at once, it's easy to get sucked into the game within seconds of starting it. Unfortunately, it doesn't take long for this euphoria to wear off.
While the non-stop action persists through the game's short campaign, you'll quickly realize that every level is essentially the same old thing. They may throw a new wrinkle at you, but you're constantly being asked to do the same thing over and over again. Worse yet, the unspectacular level designs all start to blur together, something that made it hard to appreciate the progress I was making in the game. At the end I felt like the action overstayed its welcome, even when it clocked in at a mere five hours.
Even with a budget price, Earth Defense Force: Insect Armageddon is tough to recommend. The mediocre graphics and monotonous gameplay bring down an otherwise solid premise. This is only worth playing if you have friends to play with, solo players should take a can of Raid to this repetitive mess.
This product was submitted by the publisher for review. As a rule, Defunct Games does not review games we spent money on. However, that does not always apply to classic/retro games. This specific product, however, came straight from a PR guy for the purposes of being reviewed!