The Earth Defense Force series is one that I have been introduced to before. On the PS4 I jumped in at Earth Defense Force 5, followed by Earth Defense Force: Iron Rain. These titles are realistic-looking third-person shooters that pit the multinational army known as the EDF (Earth Defense Force) against extraterrestrial threats attacking the Earth. Primarily large alien insects that look like ants that are trying to destroy the planet.
Earth Defense Force has had a total makeover looks-wise for this spin-off. Instead of a realistic look, everything has a 3D voxel look to it. Essentially everything looks blocky with bright and vibrant colours. Instantly the extraterrestrial ants feel a lot less creepy, they are actually kind of cute. Nothing looks cooler than an army of large LEGO ants attacking a large building!
The other biggest change is how you earn weapons and items in the game. In the previous titles, you had to collect boxes that the enemies would drop when they were defeated. Once you completed the mission you would get these as mission rewards. In World Brothers, if you pick up boxes in the level they will either replenish your health or add to your SP meter that allows you to do big attacks. Getting new weapons comes when you rescue the three other teammates in that level.
There are six different alien motherships that are attacking the earth with four different classes of aliens. There are Aggressors, Ravages, Invaders and a new type known as a Dark Tyrant trying to take over and dominate. You play as a commander of a new EDF that is assembled to try and defend the planet. The name of this team is totally up to you, EDF: World Brothers allows you to create a team with the name and emblem that you choose. There is a ton of customisation that can be done here, so go crazy and make it as unique as you like!
We see that the current state of the Earth is a planet that is now broken into blocky chunks. As you take down the enemy you will travel to each of these pieces which is a different area of the world. One section is set in China as you see the Great Wall in the background, then another is set in Egypt with the pyramids. So you are essentially exploring some of the Seven Wonders of the World while you try to destroy the hoards of alien bugs.
When you complete your missions in all the different areas of the world new “brothers” and “sisters” will be unlocked to join your team in battle. Before they join, they will need to be rescued first. If you follow your map with the radar these fallen soldiers are easy to see as they are shown as a glowing purple exclamation point. All you need to do to save them is to stand over them and hold the B button down. The more teammates you find the better your chance at winning.
If you happen to fall in battle, no problem! You will come back as one of the other members of your squad. This allows you to continue the fight, or you can return to the spot where you were defeated in battle to revive your original character. Once all members of the team have fallen, you will have to change your strategy. This may require changing up the members that make up the squad or focusing your attacks on different areas of the level. To make the missions a bit easier to handle, try to find the nest where all the insects are originating from. If you destroy this then you can stop the huge stream of invading alien bugs.
Earth Defense Force has 62 different characters to recruit for your team. Each character has three different forms; alpha- ability boosted, beta- speed boosted and gamma that boosts SP moves. So in total 186 possible teammates that can be selected to form your personal Earth Defense Force. If you miss rescuing some of these characters during the missions you will have another chance once you get up to Mission 46, all of the possible “brothers” and “sisters” will be available here. Each character when they are low level can only use a certain type of weapon, so you can’t just give everyone rocket launchers right off the bat. The more you use a character the more they will level up so this will influence how you make up the team. Plus only the members you take to the mission will earn more HP. So if you are trying to make a strong team, especially if you are playing on a harder difficulty. Chances are you are going to end up taking the same characters a lot since they will be stronger.
Earth Defense Force: World Brothers looks great. Every character, building and alien bug look like they were created by hand with LEGO pieces. Since there are so many different characters available they all have their own unique look. The Pirate Brother is dressed exactly how you would expect with a pirate hat and eyepatch, and the Amigo Brother is wearing a bright and colourful poncho with his matching sombrero. The costumes are so much fun! I had a great time playing to find out which character I would find next and what their weapon of choice would be and what their outfit would look like. Who doesn’t love finding out that Samba Sister’s weapon is a Thunder Bow that shoots lightning (why isn’t it called Lightning Bow?) I’m not sure, but either way, it is super cool.
Earth Defense Force: World Brothers really is a simple game. Find and destroy all the alien bugs you can find and repeat. This sounds like it could get boring, but for me, it really hasn’t. You start at the beginning with just a rifle to use against a small number of bugs but as you progress you gain more weapons and the action and insanity also increases. As you complete more levels, you have such a large variety of characters and customisation options available to keep the game fresh. I was always trying out new weapons and teams of characters to see what combinations were the most effective, and which of the team members had the coolest looking SP attacks. Plus the huge variety of enemies is great, you not only see ants and spiders, but at one point a huge kaiju that looks like Godzilla. That in itself is freaking awesome!
Earth Defense Force: World Brothers is definitely my favourite from the titles I have played in this series. I enjoyed the huge amounts of customisation, the variety of quirky characters, and the progression of difficulty and insanity in the missions. I played the game on Normal, but if that’s too easy for you just crank up the difficulty level. At any point in the game you want a break from story mode you can hop online and create or join a room to play with others online. I personally haven’t tried this out yet because I’m having a great time going through the story. Who knew I would love destroying alien bugs and creatures so much!
EARTH DEFENSE FORCE: WORLD BROTHERS (Reviewed on Windows)
Excellent. Look out for this one.
An incredibly fun and great looking voxel style game that has you working with people all over the blocky world to take down the alien insects trying to take over the Earth. The game is full of action and insanity that will keep you entertained for a long time!