Giant bugs are invading Earth and it’s up to you to stop them! Earth Defense Force 2025 is the latest in the series of video game third person sci-fi giant bug shooters (reviewed on PS3 here). Pick a class of defenders like the Ranger or Wing Diver and venture into a slew of single player missions, or work together with up to four others online to complete objectives.
When you first start the game, you are prompted to pick one of four classes, but you can change them later on. Each class has different strengths and weaknesses. The Ranger class is your standard ground soldier. He can hold lots of weapons, but can only stay on land. The Wing Diver class can fly, but has less armor and can’t hold as many weapons (but is a more fun class to play as, in my opinion). There are two other classes that have their own abilities as well. Play control is easy to learn and just like most other third person shooters.
You can play single player missions by yourself or co-op split screen with another player. Missions are pretty simple and mostly consist of ‘shoot all the bugs.’ So nothing is very complicated. In fact, if arcades were still popular I would imagine you’d see this game there first. As you shoot bugs, they may leave behind health pickups, red boxes that can increase your armor after you finish the level, and green boxes with weapons that you can use on the next mission. You can also do a Vs. mode with another local player with split screen, or you can do co-op missions online with up to four others.
The game has some minor problems, like some graphical glitches and camera angle issues. It’s hard to tell which bugs are dead and which ones are still alive because the carcasses stay on the screen for so long and can clutter up the area. And some may find the game a bit corny, and it is in a B-movie sort of way. But the main problem I had with this game is that I got the digital version to review, and I couldn’t find an in-game instruction booklet anywhere to save my life. If there is one it’s very well hidden or I’m just an idiot. Luckily the game is pretty easy to figure out, but I feel like I could’ve written a better review if I knew better how to play the game from the start. So I would get the physical version of the game if I were you. But even then, there’s no guarantee there’ll be instructions there either. I imagine you can go online to read instructions, but nobody should have to do that.
Otherwise, however, this is still a fun little action game. The giant ants and spiders you have to shoot look cool crawling around buildings and such, and the graphics are colorful and not all brown and gray, like many other games of this ilk are. There are multiple difficulty levels, so anyone can play. Even I enjoyed the game and plowed through many missions without any trouble (on the easy setting), and I’m not very good at third person shooters at all. If you enjoy corny films like Starship Troopers and Godzilla, and want a third person shooter with that feel, than this game is for you.
Earth Defense Force 2025 is rated M for Mature with ESRB descriptors of Blood and Violence. Really, only the bugs get the brunt of the violence. When you shoot them, they explode in a spray of red stuff. Humans can get chomped, trampled on, and stuck on giant spider webs, but I didn’t see a single one bleed or die a grisly death. But you do hear people scream out cries of anguish like, “Noooo, Aaarrrgh! I don’t wanna die!” and stuff like that. I heard someone say ‘Hell” once, so bad language is used very sparingly. So even though the game is rated M for mature, I’d be OK with teens and even some kids playing it. It’s no worse than some of the corny sci-fi movies and TV shows out there, and with parental supervision, I imagine this would be a fun bug-blasting game to play co-op with some kids. They probably already play pretend games like that outside anyway. This game might scare very young kids or anyone afraid of bugs. But otherwise, I don’t think it’s as bad as the M rating would make you think.