Earth Defense Force 2017 Co-Op Review
EDF! EDF! EDF!
If you've ever watched an old school Godzilla movie, you already know what it feels like to play an Earth Defense Force game. Giant oversized creatures, lots and lots of destruction, and plenty of cheese make both the game and those movies equally "B." While Earth Defense Force 2017 was a title released early on in the Xbox 360 life cycle, it immediately gave the series a foothold in the West, where up until that point it was mostly unknown. Now some years later the game is being re-released on Sony's PlayStation Vita with cleaner graphics and enhanced co-op. Could Earth Defense Force 2017 Portable become an "A" title?
You are dropped into the boots of an EDF soldier tasked with defending Earth from an alien invasion. While the invasion initially starts off with giant ant enemies, things quickly progress with spaceships, robots, spiders, and giant mechanized vehicles all becoming targets to take down. You'll initially be armed with a simple machine gun and rocket launcher, but killing the thousands upon thousands of enemies will yield random weapon and armor drops. Post mission you'll unlock new and more powerful weapons to use in what becomes an addictive collection game. The weapons come in numerous varieties too - rockets, heat seeking missiles, shotguns, sniper rifles, and even tools like a bot that can heal allies are all found on the battlefield and all have a "better" version as well.
The missions themselves are pretty straight forward - it comes down to kill everything that moves. What makes EDF exciting is the sheer number of enemies and the scale of enemies thrown at you. Looking at a cityscape you'll see hundreds of giant ants crawling up and down buildings. The skies will be filled with UFOs that unleash dozens of flying aliens ships. Huge drop ships that take up city blocks will drop large robots that lumber at that height of skyscrapers. The best part about all of this is everything in EDF's world is destructible. Those ants on the building? Kiss them both goodbye. The UFO that crashed into the bridge? Better call a road crew. There's no such thing as collateral damage, it's all fair game.
Guns aren't the only thing at your disposal either, at times you'll find tanks, helicopters, hover bikes, and even mechs to assist you in the destruction of the Ravagers, the name for the alien race that is attacking earth. These small diversions are still a pain to control, but do deal plenty of damage. Speaking of controls, the dual analog sticks of the Vita work perfectly, and there's some minor optional touch screen controls for things like the camera.