- System: PS4
- Publisher: D3 Publisher
- Developer: Sandlot
- Release Date: December 11, 2018
- Rating: M for Mature
- Genre: Action
- Players: 1-2 (Online 2-4)
- Official Website: https://www.d3p.co.jp/edf5_en/
Who it Caters to
Earth Defense Force fans, gather around! We have some good news to share with you all! Once more developer Sandlot and D3 Publisher has teamed up to bring yet another entry in the series stateside. Titled Earth Defense Force 5, this latest entry is chock full of new enemies to face down and new weapons to unleash upon them. Yet, will you still love this beloved franchise even now, or can a newcomer for that matter? We shall detail what to expect as long as you scroll on down and continue reading our review of Earth Defense Force 5 for the PS4.
What to Expect
As per usual, we’ll assume most of you know what Earth Defense Force is but in case you don’t we shall simplify what to expect in terms of gameplay. Earth Defense Force 5 follows the same theme as the previous titles with players taking control of an EDF unit and being tasked with defeating monsters and aliens alike. You accomplish this goal by simply arming yourself with guns and various tools and unleash mayhem by blasting anything that looks to be considered a threat. It’s a mindless fun type of concept, but it’s one element that we’re glad has never been removed from the Earth Defense Force franchise. With that being said, let’s now dive into what you can expect from Earth Defense Force 5 and where it succeeds and falls short.
The one element that will keep you hooked on Earth Defense Force 5 is the laundry list of missions to take on, weapons to unlock and the ability to play cooperatively. Just like the past titles, Earth Defense Force 5 is almost like the Diablo series where killing enemies and beating missions earns new gear that can be used by one of several classes you have in Earth Defense Force 5. Players can assume the role of Ranger, Wing Diver, Air Raider and Fencer. The Ranger class is a simple soldier class capable of using various guns and running around while doing so. The Wing Diver is a female only character who can fly—which is very helpful for some missions—unleashing her weapons on enemies on the ground or above. Air Raiders essentially are support classes that can place turrets down, use vehicles and can utilize special team orientated perks. Then lastly, we have the Fencer class which is a mini mech soldier who can use close range weapons and acts a literal tank. All four classes have their uses and are fun when you begin to learn them but it shows off one issue right away with Earth Defense Force 5.
While gaining loot in game is fun—and kind of addicting—it stops being fun when some of the loot you get is pretty horrendous. A lot of the weapons in Earth Defense Force 5 feel kind of strange with some being powerful and others being almost jokey. Take for example the burner which is a flamethrower that’s range is only a mere few feet away. It’s silly to kill an enemy with a gun like that but equally it just seems like wasted space to even have it included. Every class has weapons like this too where they could have been scrapped entirely and no one would be any wiser. It’s not a major gripe but it makes for a confusing concept when you have hundreds of weapons to obtain and a few dozen are kind of useless.
Thankfully though, you won’t often care about meh loot when you begin fighting in Earth Defense Force 5. Controls feel responsive and it’s always fun to lay waste to hundreds of monsters in one huge attack. We commend Sandlot for making Earth Defense Force 5 run so smoothly even when the chaos on screen becomes almost overwhelming, but equally wish they didn’t include the strange cinematic camera they added. During some of the bigger story moments, the camera will shift from your current view and focus on something larger but when you regain control it tends to make the camera slam into the ground or in the sky. On normal or hard, this isn’t too annoying but on higher difficulties, this can cause you to face a possible death and that is where it becomes irritating.
Now you can play Earth Defense Force 5 all by yourself, but we think this is where many will get bored. The best way to enjoy Earth Defense Force 5—as its always been with the series—is with friends either split screen or online. 2 Players can join forces and kick alien butt together or 4 players online can really bring the hurt to the enemy. For our review, we couldn’t gather 4 players unfortunately, but we were perfectly satisfied playing split screen and flying through missions on normal. Avoid playing alone for too long is our best advice though, Earth Defense Force 5 is fun, but it’s repetitive and we have to make that very apparent.
Honey's Gameplay Consensus:
- Same simple but fun shooting gameplay
- Hundreds of missions, weapons and items to unlock
- Funny dialogue that had us cracking up at times
- Split screen and online play makes for the best experience
- Hard mode and up will truly test your EDF skills
- Some weapons are utterly useless
- Playing alone can allow repetition to seep in
- Full price for a budget-like game is a bit shocking
- Cinematic camera moments can be quite annoying