Earth Defense Force: Insect Armageddon by Namco Bandai review

Wave-assault third-person shooter... with creepy-crawlies
Photo of Earth Defense Force: Insect Armageddon by Namco Bandai
£29.99

It’s hard to remember a time when action shooters weren’t entirely dominated by military invasions by righteous soldiers into evil dictatorships, or a band of elves/dwarves/mages against despicably evil wizardry. Not since the time of the Serious Sam shoot-’em-ups has there been such a strong reminder of what it’s like to just blast away at endless hordes of baddies.

A follow-up to the 2007 release, Earth Defense Force 2017, Insect Armageddon is a full-on bug-hunt strongly reminiscent of the intense fight scenes in hit action movie Starship Troopers. You’re a badass soldier assigned to help protect the citizens of the fictional town of New Detroit from being overrun by the creepy-crawly invaders who appear in ever-increasing, malevolent waves.

Enjoy Co-op and Survival
There are four different armour packs to choose from – regular Trooper; Tactical (in which you can plant mines and turrets); the toughened but slower Battle; and the fun Jet, which lets you fly around the battlefield.

Not only can the armour be upgraded as you progress but you get to play with as many as 300 different weapons ranging from assault and sniper rifles to grenade and rocket launchers.

Much of the combat involves blowing up anthills, downing laser-firing spaceships and teaming up to destroy bosses, which can be done via online Co-op – or you can throw yourself into six-player online Survival mode while all hell breaks loose in the style of Left4Dead.

Virtually every building is destructible and tactically it’s highly satisfying to watch a completely bug-ridden skyscraper collapse into dust.

Frenzy of destruction
There are sequences in which you can use tanks and mechs to mow down some of the hordes and this provides a bit of (light?) relief from the unremitting attacks. The game’s graphics are not the most sophisticated, and the fighting areas are very limited – but the sheer adrenaline rush of the non-stop action is far more important than stopping for sightseeing.

Our only major gripe is that having some checkpoints available during missions would have been a serious improvement, avoiding some real frustration.

Company: Namco Bandai

Website: http://www.edfia.com/

Positives
  • Non-stop energy buzz.
Negative
  • No mission checkpoints.

Verdict

Earth Defense Force: Insect Armageddon is a timely reminder of the adrenaline rush that we all used to get when playing breathless wave-assault third-person shooters, with plenty of replay value thanks to the Co-op and Survival modes.