The lights are on
Seven years after we stopped the first invasion, everything seemed to be okay. With the last giant insect killed in 2017, the world had begun to rebuild. Society had regained its foothold - or so we thought. As it turns out, millions of giant insects have survived underground. In addition, the robot attackers have also returned with vengeance on their minds. How is humanity going to save itself? With courage, perseverance, and more crazy weapons than ever before, that’s how.
While certainly not known for the depth of its story (giant bugs and robots attack and you have to destroy a ton of them), the real shine of the Earth Defense Force series is seen in the action. If you’re looking for unwavering and constant combat with countless enormous foes, look no further; go pick this game up today. After you pick your class, set up your gear, and sit through an erroneously long load screen, there is no settling down. Wave after wave of ant, spider, bee, or 10-story tall mechanized biped will crash unto you with relentless force. Each mission, of which there are 85, will take you between 10 and 20 minutes, depending on your difficulty and gear.
Unique Classes and Weapons
When you reach later levels and tougher enemies become more and more frequent, it will get harder and harder to progress without going back and grinding. Killing enemies yields shield upgrades and potential new weapons. I have invested dozens of hours into 2025 and a sizable chunk of those hours were spent going to earlier missions and grinding for stronger weapons and armor before attempting to progress further.
This may sound bleak, but when you account for the four unique classes, each with their own specialized weapons and sets of skills, it can get surprisingly addicting trying to find new weapons and testing them out on the hordes of bugs. The most entertaining class by far is the Wing Diver. The class speaks for itself: fast, destructive weapons and a jetpack that can blast you to the top of any skyscraper makes it the most entertaining and practical choice for a lot of missions.
That isn’t to say that the other classes don’t have their own merits, though. Every class has their own particular intricacies as well as plenty of unique weapons to unlock. Finding a new stronger weapon is always satisfying.
No Subtleties in Story or Dialogue
I’m not going to pretend like I was expecting a ton of layers to 2025’s story. I’m glad that they didn’t try to make this game Halo or even Gears of War. The appeal of a b-movie-esque game like 2025 is to drop you right in the action with awesome weapons to kill giant enemies. For that, I applaud the game. But in the short cutscenes before missions or the snaps of dialogue during them, the cheesy voice acting tries far too hard to deliver a somewhat serious story. I never even laughed at how cheesy it was as I was far too busy being annoyed by how out of place it all felt. Every aspect of the story is spelled out with absolutely no subtlety or exposition. At no point is it clever, funny, or interesting. There’s even an option to skip all cutscenes which you won’t regret using.
Technical Problems Galore
This is one game in particular that I feel could have used a next-gen port. The amount of enemies on-screen and particles being shot from your guns could have benefited from the upgraded hardware. In addition, the AI of your fellow EDF soldiers is almost embarrassing. Expect them to shoot at walls or run directly into the face of a giant ant. They aren’t a hindrance, but they don’t provide much help other than by supplying a steady stream of annoying banter with one another.
Earth Defense Force 2025 is a blast to play if you enjoy hard grinds, countless unlockables, and outlandish gameplay. While there are a few kinks in the presentation, 2025 is a fun game to pick up and play when you have a few hours to kill or if you have a friend over and you are inclined to blow up a few giant insects. The amount of interesting weapons to unlock in each of the four classes is enough to keep you coming back. If you’re looking for any amount of depth, however, this is not the game for you.
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