Voice Module








In Memory
Sean Pettibone


EDF: Insect Armageddon (PS3) ReviewEarth Defense Force: Insect Armageddon (PS3)

The second EDF title, Insect Armageddon takes the simple, straightforward approach that made the first game so appealing and adds a few new elements, such as different armor modes to make the game slightly deeper. A more varied number of insect opponents, air-borne foes and boss battles add to the replay value. Its simple approach to shooting recalls earlier light-gun shooters, and the on-rails missions only add to this feel. Its not the deepest game on the market, but its pick up and play approach makes it instantly appealing and entertaining for players looking to add a simple arcade-style shooter to their library.

Earth Defense Force: Insect Armageddon isn’t the typical shooter in the modern FPS mode, and instead shares more in common with classic light-gun shooters like Time Crisis. This is a follow-up to the cult smash released a few years ago and takes on a few changes. The biggest new feature this time around is the ability to change between three types of character armor for each mission. There’s the standard armor which allows decent movement and firing, while the new heavy armor mode offers more protection at the expense of speed. Most interesting is the new flying armor that lets you jump up much higher and move around faster, but does so while limiting your fire-power. EDF’s plot is fairly simple and once again finds a city under attack from waves of insectoid space aliens who are intent on destroying everything in their patch. They attack relentlessly and in vast numbers and your charge is simple. You need to defeat every last one of them or at least hold them at bay until heavier reinforcements arrive. The game allows you to destroy as many as you can find, while also inflicts additional chaos with its destructible environments. As you go through the game’s different stages, you’ll be accompanied by several other EDF soldiers who will help you along the way, covering you at certain points and joining in with additional firepower to help clear sections of the city.

The camera system is fairly simple and this straightforward approach emphasizes the game’s focus on action and shooting. Your view is fixed behind the main character throughout and you can move the camera around. It’s a bit limiting in this respect, but it allows you to concentrate on the enemies as they approach. Firing your weapons is a simple task with aiming in the general direction usually offering success, though you will find most of the foes you face take only one or two shots to take down. You can also use a secondary weapon such as grenades to wipe them out as well. While the initial weapons are fairly simple and straightforward, you can upgrade these to more powerful versions in later stages. In addition to firing your standard weapons, you can also take command of gun turrets which allow you to clean out areas much quicker. Each level is divided into different way-points, that you have to move to progress. These are usually clearly marked on your HUD, which shows where you need to get to before the next area opens up. Most of these missions basically require you to survive the waves of attackers, though some have more interesting objectives. In some areas, you have to attack a spawn-point, such as an ant-hill, place explosives on the structure and move back. Most of EDF stays true to the first game’s visceral hit and run mechanic, so it retains most of its original arcade values.

As you progress through the game, the enemies you face become increasingly aggressive and attack in much stronger waves, so you need to wipe them out quicker. You’ll also have to deal with more advanced foes, as the initial giant ants give way to spiders, robots and even more intimidating boss characters known as reapers who are multiple stories high and fire massive laser bursts at your EDF team. These are difficult to take down and require patience and maneuvering out of their line of fire in order to survive. Once the enemies reach you, they’ll attack at such a close range that they’ll inflict massive damage, which can result in a quick end. You can wait and see if one of your companions will revive you, resurrecting you where your character fell. This makes progression through the levels a bit easier than you’d expect. The early stages are probably going to be cakewalks for most players, but the latter areas ratchet up the intensity with more foes attacking simultaneously, with many stages also including air-borne attacks to increase the overall intensity of battle. It never becomes as intense as something like Gears of War, but it definitely makes EDF more challenging as it goes along. You can choose from several levels of difficulty during the game, and can also challenge other players online to co-op matches, which have the potential to be a lot of fun.

From a visual standpoint, EDF can best be described as simple. Its texture mapping is fairly plain and most players should have little trouble discerning which of the enemies they’ll be facing. The character animations are decent and while the city is rendered in a kind of flat approach, it works because the sheer number of opponents assaulting you makes you focus more on them, and not on the light-sourcing or shaders. EDF’s plot is fairly simplistic and it doesn’t need a lot of exposition, but the dialogue from the other characters is still repetitive and somewhat redunandant. Enemy designs don’t stray too far from the insect mode of the first game and you can almost predict what the next creatures you’ll face will look like ahead of time. The game’s short levels are easy to blow through and its quick campaign mode can be completed straight-through in only an hour or two if you get everything right. Of course, its this very simplicity that is the key element of its appeal. You don’t have to sit through hours of exposition and elaborate cinemas, just pick up your gun and start shooting anything that moves. To compensate for its lack of depth, several online modes are included and there are extras to unlock as well. While Earth Defense Force: Insect Armageddon might not be the most elaborate game on the marker, it still provides a fun diversion that delivers mindless shooting and accessible fun. EDF’s approach is simple and this makes for an entertaining title that you can jump right into or out of with little effort.

- Michael Palisano

Grade: B

> Related Reviews 

Infamous (Playstation 3)
Street Fighter IV (Playstation 3)
Super Street Fighter IV (Playstation 3)
Marvel vs. Capcom 3 (Playstation 3)

Tekken 6 (Playstation 3)
Soul Calibur 4 (Playstation 3)