The lights are on
Earth Defense Force 2017 is one of my favorite games this generation. If running around for a dozen hours killing giant bugs satisfies your need for some shootin', you can't go wrong with 2017. The problem with it's sequel, Armageddon, is that it lacks much of what made the last one so great. The varied levels, the long campaign, the constantly dropped loot are all missing this time around. It hurts to see so much sacrificed.
The level design is the same throughout the entire campaign. I hope you like city buildings, since unlike 2017, there is absolutely not variation in the level design or battlefields. Also missing is the long single player game. With only 15 missions that can't be beaten in about 3 hours, you are left with a very, very short experience. In 2017, the single player lasted 10 or more hours, and the levels were varied. In Armageddon, not only are you fighting in the same area over and over again, you are fighting the same 5 enemies and doing the same objectives over and over and over again.
What hurts most however is the loot drops. In 2017, after nearly every mission, you unlocked new weapons to try out. There were a ton of them, and all different. It was a loot lovers dream. In Armageddon, you have to play 5 or 6 missions over again just to level up once, and you will unlock just a few weapons in each class. This means that you will have to play for hours just to unlock a few more weapons. Compared to 2017, where weapon drops happened all the time, this is upsetting.
It is also worth pointing out that the sound design is not mixed very well, on a 5.1 surround sound setup it is next to impossible to hear your own gun firing. And what's up with the lack of rumble? I am firing a gigantic weapon that obliterated an entire city block, and I don't even get a little rumble?
Enough about what is bad, what about what is good. Well, the graphics are greatly improved. While it still does not hold up to modern shooters, the fact that so much destruction can go on all at once and still retain a solid frame rate is pretty darn impressive. The vehicles are also greatly improved. Piloting a Mech or Tank feels great. And using the turrets are a blast.The game is also very funny. Your partners will often spout line like "Oh No! We lost medium armored guy!" and "What's this invisible wall blocking our path?".
The Enemies are still fun to fight. Spiders still jump around like crazy. Ants still swarm, and Robots still stomp around angrily. The enemy design is very limited compared to the last, but it is not a deal breaker. The inclusion of online multiplayer and a Survival mode was a great addition. I fear that their inclusion may be why the campaign is so short and the game lacks many features, so I am not sure if it was worth it in the end.
Overall I enjoyed my time with Insect Armageddon, but I couldn't help feeling disappointed at every turn. This is supposed to be a sequel. I wanted a longer campaign, more enemies, and varied environments. I got none of that, which may reflect the $40 price tag. If you have not played either of these games, I suggest picking up 2017 first. If you enjoy it, play Insect Armageddon. It is not as good, but it gets the job done.
Awesome review, I didn't know that first one even existed, but you swayed me into maybe buying it, thank you sir!
2017 has spoiled us with it's massive amount of content for $40. Well if you have played Global Defense force (EDF2) you should remember when they brought the franchise to the 360 in the 1st place we lost a good deal of content (most notably pale wing) and the stuff that ended up in 2017 (EDF3) is mostly reused from the previous game.
It's not really the sequel I wanted either but just know that it is coming. D3 announced EDF4 a couple of months ago (there's a teaser trailer for it) and it will hopefully be everything I want it to be.
It has rumble, you just have to turn it on in the Options menu. I know, it sucks when you have to tell you controller to shake.
Great review. I absolutely loved 2017 & still do. I do like this one quite a bit but I couldn't help but feel disappointed like you,maybe 2017 spoiled us with everything & we got used to that....who knows. Now they added some great features (different classes,new bugs & survival mode) but it didn't have that crazy overwhelming feeling like 2017 did.
Definitely a game I'll play a ton of but with different expectations I guess.