Earth Defense Force 2017, known in Japan as Chikyū Bōeigun 3, is the third game in the series, previously released for the Xbox 360 back in 2007. It was the first game in the series to be released in North America. Published by D3, this is a newer version of the Xbox 360 game, which now makes it multiplaform.
The story takes place in 2013. It begins when radio waves from deep space are picked up by scientists, proving to humans that they are not alone in the universe. A unified multinational military called the Earth Defense Force, was founded a few years in the aliens are proven to be hostile. There are a total of 60 Missions you can play ranging from difficulties of Easy, Normal, Hard, Hardest and Inferno. It is recommended that you might want to only play on Easy or Normal when you first begin. This isn’t one of those games where you can play on the Hardest difficulties from the start, even though they are unlocked for you.
EDF is not graphically impressive, granted it did come out more than half a decade ago so I can forgive it for that. As far as the sound effects and music are concerned, they are spot on and great. Sound effects between menus make it feel like an old school game, but the female tutorial voice in the menus may get repetitive. During gameplay all of the soldiers will have continuous dialogue throughout the battles. When the EDF soldiers behind are shouting “EDF EDF!” every step of the way, it never gets old.
If you’ve never played an EDF game like myself then your in for a treat. The player takes control of an EDF soldier, who is apart of the elite unit Storm 1. To fight these alien forces the player has access to over 150 weapons in the game. They range from assault rifles to rocket launchers. You also have access to grenades and laser weapons, but only 2 weapons are allowed into a mission. I found this to be quite a let down considering the amount of weapons you have access to.
Some levels also contain vehicles which can be mounted; a tank, a helicopter, a hoverbike and a bipedal mecha are available. I thought vehicles and mechs were a good idea but every single vehicle it. Hoverbikes can’t strafe and are a bit too fragile, helicopters can strafe but can’t manually descend so you have to wait for it to descend on it’s own, mechs take too long to turn and the splash damage from a tank or a mech could be fatal if in close proximity. They are some good things about the vehicles like the fact that hoverbikes are super fast and mechs, when faced in the right direction, can obliterate anything in it’s path. However, most of the time I found myself not using them for the fact that the bad things about each of them heavily outweigh the good.
The game has 53 levels featuring destructible environments. It takes place in settings such as cities and underground caves. There is no penalty for collateral damage that is inflicted on the environment. For instance, buildings will crumble after sustaining a single hit from a rocket launcher or grenade. Which I’m glad it doesn’t because the game gets way too hectic to be caring about a civilian’s house in the middle of no where. Granted it doesn’t make sense why you shouldn’t have to protect buildings, but I guess EARTH Defense Force cares about the safety of EARTH and not something so minuscule in comparison.
Before this game came out, EDF 2017 could only be found on the Xbox 360. Considering the game is quite old,I’m trying not to nit pick as hard as I could. Little things like not being able to sprint, would have been nice for a game that has such big environments at times. The main differences between the two versions are that this Vita version has online co-operative play for up to four players and 360 version was 2 player local co-op only. This game also includes return of the Pale Wing character from Earth Defense Force 2 a hot futuristic female jet trooper and more weapons and future dlc.
The Pale Wing character is an additional character you can unlock in the Vita version of the game. One side of me almost couldn’t get through every single mission before I did this review. I originally intended to leave Pale Wing out of the review….BUT I’M GLAD I DIDN’T. Pale Wing is cool because you can fly through all the stages that were a pain to travel through by foot. She moves slower than the EDF soldiers and also has somewhat of a weaker defense.
Pale Wings bread and butter is her jetpack, her jetpack allows her to fly across the battlefield making herself the fastest thing in the game when it comes to transportation. It determines how much she can fly with an energy gauge at the right side of the screen.
Her Weapons work differently too. All of her weapons are futuristic and are energy based. She has Laser powered weapons such Short-ranged, Mid-ranged, Ranged, Homing and Torpedoes. Her arsenal is far more deadly than any EDF soldiers and with the combination, of her jet pack this character is all about speed and offense.
I did not get to play a lot of online play on account of it’s definitely hard to find lobbies. The little online play that got to experience was quite fun.This game was definitely made for online I just wish there were more people playing it online. The frame rate will suffer at moments but the lag is nothing to worry about.
I’m going to be honest with you when I first got this game I thought it was going to suck major balls. Looking at the game from the outside, it was not visually appealing. Like I said before, this game is very old and I’m surprised they didn’t do Insect Armageddon. It definitely was better than I expected and had chaotic moments that were very impressive. The game is very addicting especially if you have a co-op team you play along with. I wouldn’t recommend paying $39.99 for the game but $29.99 is a good price. $19.99 or lower is a steal and if it ever comes to PlayStation Plus it’s DEFINITELY worth downloading.
+ Over 150 Weapons to choose from
+ Music, Sound Effects and Dialogue between EDF Soldiers during combat is great
+ Replay Value is amazing especially with the inclusion of Pale Wing
+ 4 Player Online Co-op is always welcomed in my opinion
+ Impressively Steady Frame Rate for the amount of Chaos going on at one time
- Graphically and visually may turn majority of people off
- Only 2 weapons out of over 150 can be brought with you into battle is kind of dumb
- Vehicles are basically useless because of major control issues on each vehicles