Hidden Gems: Earth Defence Force 2017

By Brian Arnold on February 14, 2011, 8:09PM EDT

In this day and age, it would seem that the Triple A titles rule the industry, but there is something to be said for a few niche titles, and Earth Defense Force 2017 is one such game! Big explosions? It's got it. Over powered weapons? They're there. Super-sized insects to destroy? You've got it.

Earth Defense Force (EDF) is not a complicated game by any measure. In fact, every level essentially plays out the same: eliminate all enemies and move on to the next stage. The story goes as follows: in 2017, the "mothership" arrived at Earth and began releasing UFOs. These UFOs housed many different insects and large mech robots who proceeded to attack everything. The EDF was born to fight the creatures, and fight them you shall.

When you go into battle, you can take up to 2 different weapons with you, each will have unlimited ammo. You can choose from assault riffles, rockets, missile launchers, sniper rifles, and a wide variety of special weapons like turrets and grenade launchers. Each weapon type has its uses and advantages and each have better/updated versions that can be collected by killing enemies. The most powerful weapons are truly capable of the most devastation imaginable.

What I find to be most enjoyable is laying waste to the buildings in a city. One shot from an explosive weapon will level any building in its path. Is that skyscraper in your way? No problem. Need that house moved to clear your line of sight? Coming right up. Is that high-rise building hindering your ability to blow the sh*t out of an insect? It shall impede you no longer. Wreaking destruction is truly a gratifying experience!

The 50+ levels that the game features never felt repetitive even though your objective stays the same throughout: destroy everything. Each stage brought challenges and unique strategies in order to complete it successfully. Each level can be played on one of five different difficulty levels, and strategy becomes an absolute necessity on the harder difficulties. Playing co-op with a friend provides an extra layer of help, not to mention an extra layer of awesome fun. Let your friend go be insect fodder while you blast them into oblivion.

I'm not naive enough to suggest that the game is perfect: the frame rate can tank if there are a lot of explosions on screen and a level can go from easy to terrible with one spider insect that hits you with its web. However, the game is not meant to be an in-depth dramatic story with character development. It's meant to be mindless fun; it's the game to play after a long day at work when you need to simply chill out for a while with a beer (or a root beer for those minors out there).

So, if you like shooting things, try this out. If you like mass carnage, try this out. If you like blowing the hell out of stuff, try this out. If you have a phobia of any kind of insect, get your revenge by trying this out. It's a unique experience that is hella fun to play. Get your copy of Earth Defense Force 2017 and begin your career as an exterminator!

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