Earth Defence Force 4.1 is an absolutely fantastic arcade game. Straight out the bat, I will fully back that sentence. A standalone expansion of earth defence 2025, comes to ps4 with a shiny lick of upscaled paint. Does it have its flaws, of course it does. The game suffers horribly with texture pop in and frame rate issues, at times, slowing the game down to an absolute crawl…but that is all I had issue with. If you are able to oversee those problems then you will really enjoy what this has to offer. For newcomers to the series you will have a blast, for series regulars, I guess it’s more of the same, and I am assuming that if you have made it this far into the series, then like me, those few issues don’t detract from the fun.
There is a loose narrative to the game, you are a select core of army soldiers who defend the earth “The Earth Defence Force” from varying hostile forces. 4.1 See’s you defending the earth from the Ravager’s who are an alien, biomechanic entity who seem hell-bent on invading and destroying the earth and all who inhabit it. This invasion has awoken a giant breed of insect ants and spiders this is where the game starts you off, you pick your class and your loadout, and then you are dropped into a fully destructible open environment where you shoot all around you until everything stops moving. Eventually this leads you to the invasion of the ravagers, this invasion is what has awoken the giant insects, so you have a war on two fronts.
You are given 5 classes to choose from. I personally feel the wing diver is the strongest contender. She has a suit that allows you to fly/glide around the map, opening up a whole new tactical approach to dealing with your enemies. Weapons come in their plenty in this game, which adds to massive repeatability. You will not unlock all weapons on your first playthrough. Unlocks come from picking up weapon’s crates that drop on the ground, these are not marked with specific weapons, so can only assume its random and if you collect a duplicate then that is what levels up that gun. Armour upgrades work in the exact same fashion, find a crate. That gets tallied up at the end of the mission then applied.
It seems like a fairly old way in this day and age to have an upgrade system like this…but it is one that is very much welcomed. No fussing over stats or skill points. See what weapons you unlocked/upgraded…Try them out, if they do not work for you then move on to the next ones, this game screams for load out experimentation. At times this it gave me thoughts of Starship troopers, mixed with War of the Worlds, with a touch of Attack on Titan. One moment you are held up in the underground subway system fending off giants ants in a bid to stay alive, the next you are standing on a beach shoreline watching these hulking machine behemoths slowly Make their way towards you whilst you desperately try to stop them.
This game although an old game bought forward to the new generation of consoles gives an amazing sense of horror and scope. If you are not being swarmed my mass amounts of enemies on-screen at one time trying to protect your squad, yourself and the earth from annihilation, then you watch as these mechanized Kaijus come lumbering around high story buildings. This gives memories of first watching Attack on Titan as you run between buildings before you notice this head looking over you, you snap into action, then it’s on. The gameplay is exciting enough to keep you coming back for more, you have different classes with their own unique abilities (wing diver is where it’s at though) and you have weapons to try out.
This is the perfect game to let of some steam too, if you have got 10 – 30 minutes spare, then perfect. Each mission at the most will take 15 minutes and you have 89 to complete, 93 if you decide to take the game online. I personally have had so much fun with this game and will be playing through this on its hardest difficulty just to see if the challenge is raised. Take it from me, go and get this game, you won’t regret it. Just kill waves of enemies then move on. What more do you want.