Publisher: D3 PUBLISHER
Release Date: Jul 18, 2016
Available Platforms: Windows, Xbox One, PlayStation 4
Reviewed Platforms: Windows
There is only one other Earth Defense Force game has been on PC, EARTH DEFENSE FORCE 4.1 The Shadow of New Despair is the one that gets it right: 1080p, 60fps, and even anti-aliasing. While the game itself isn’t a visual powerhouse, this is the best a Earth Defense Force game has ever looked. EARTH DEFENSE FORCE 4.1 The Shadow of New Despair is also the best-playing game of the series – combine this with the ability to play cooperatively online with a friend, and you’ve got magic in the making. EARTH DEFENSE FORCE 4.1 is not technically or visually impressive, but it makes a case for unadulterated fun being core to a game experience over the latter.
EARTH DEFENSE FORCE 4.1 The Shadow of New Despair is an enhanced version of Earth Defense Force 2025 (known as Earth Defense Force 4 in Japan) that comes with new missions, gameplay fixes, and improved textures and HD packs. As someone who hasn’t played an EDF game since Earth Defense Force 2017 on Xbox 360, I’m finding my time with the game to be of pure joy. EARTH DEFENSE FORCE 4.1 The Shadow of New Despair‘s simplicity is to the game’s benefit to not be bereft with cutscenes and story that sully the experience of blasting insects or aliens or robots.
There are four character classes to play, each with their own trade-offs. For instance the Ranger, a soldier-type class can’t carry heavy weapons but moves faster than the Fencer. Each class can be customized with weapons, like the Fencer who could have a minigun and shield, or go all out with two miniguns, but with the downside of moving very slowly. Then there’s the Air Raider who can call in airstrikes and plant traps for enemies. The fragile but powerful Wing Diver allows you to take flight and moves the fastest in any of the game’s missions can do some serious damage. Speaking of, everything in a map is destructible, from homes to bridges to skyscrapers it can all come crashing down. It seems that casualties are an acceptable loss here.
With close to 100 missions, a lot of them can be repetitive or similar-feeling. This is offset by the ability to collect loot. Yes, while the game does not resemble an RPG, there is loot to obtain. Completing missions on the higher difficulties nets you the chance of receiving more and greater rewards. With a promised 800 weapon selection, across each of the four classes, proves there’s longevity, a little grinding, but a lot of killing to do in the game.
EARTH DEFENSE FORCE 4.1 The Shadow of New Despair‘s graphical options for a PC game are a bit bare bones, but it most definitely looks and plays better than its console counterparts. Even elements of the game’s UI and gameplay is old school in design, reminiscent of the PS2 era that this game series was born out of. It’s definitely a preference whether you like that era of games or not, to whether you will tolerate how this game functions.
EARTH DEFENSE FORCE 4.1 The Shadow of New Despair is in a lot ways not a good game by today’s standards, but is incredibly fun and varied that is a great way to just turn your mind off and smash bugs, aliens, and big gnarly robots into oblivion. The loot system is a great “carrot on a stick” mechanic to keep playing and working towards finding real gems of weapons that will aid in cleansing Earth. It is wholly satisfying upon mission completion to hear the chants “E-D-F! E-D-F! E-D-F!” because that’s how I feel about developer Sandlot I am when I’m playing EARTH DEFENSE FORCE 4.1 The Shadow of New Despair.
Retails for: $49.99, Recommended Purchase Price: $39.99
A Steam code was provided by the publisher for review purposes.