Earth Defense Force: Insect Armageddon Review


A game like Earth Defense Force: Insect Armageddon should be a breath of fresh air. The game doesn’t take itself too seriously and those qualities are what made its predecessor somewhat of a cult classic. This time around, EDF has lost much of that appeal. What gamers are left with is a tedious third-person shooter that provides enjoyment for short bursts of time.

If the title isn’t obvious enough, Insect Armageddon involves huge waves of insects attacking the fictional city of New Detroit. It’s up to you and the rest of the Earth Defense Force to rid the city of this menacing threat. That’s pretty much all there is to the paper-thin storyline, but a strong plot isn’t necessary (or worth the trouble) when giant spiders and wasps are attacking you.

The premise is incredibly silly, and your team will often deliver amusing one-liners as you’re shooting the invading insects. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem like the developers took the concept far enough. The humor in 2007’s Earth Defense Force 2017 was much more effective, and there was a certain charm to the ridiculous premise. With Insect Armageddon, the tone lands somewhere in the middle of its predecessor and modern-day shooters. It’s obvious that the sequel has been westernized, and it doesn’t quite work. This also makes the gameplay issues that much more glaring.


Insect Armageddon functions like a rather standard third-person shooter: you shoot, reload, and use a few special abilities while numerous waves of insects attack you. Your goal usually boils down to getting from point A to point B or defeating a group of enemies, so things are kept relatively simple. This formula works and the game is a lot of fun… for about 10-15 minutes. After that, tedium sets in, and the game feels like a chore. Enemy types are recycled, the shooting feels unsatisfying, and battles drag on for far too long.

The one aspect that keeps the single player somewhat interesting is the inclusion of four different classes. The Jet class increases your speed and allows you to fly around, and the Battle class acts as a walking tank. In addition, the weapon drop system found in the previous game has been replaced with an unlock system that provides some sense of progression.

The best way to play Insect Armageddon is cooperatively. Both split-screen and online multiplayer are supported for the campaign, and there’s even a survival mode for up to six players. This is the game’s horde mode where you hold off endless waves of insects (even though the entire game feels like one big survival mode at times). Playing with a few friends makes the game a bit more enjoyable, but it only hides the mediocre gameplay for so long.

From a presentation standpoint, Insect Armageddon isn’t going to impress anyone. Textures are bland, the enemy designs are often uninspired, and worst of all the city of New Detroit is pretty boring and lifeless. Despite these facts, it’s hard to fault the game’s visuals considering it’s a budget title ($40). On a positive note, the environments are destructible, which is always a welcome addition. Also, the audio isn’t too bad with some serviceable voice acting and decent sound effects.

Earth Defense Force 2017 wasn’t very good but you couldn’t help enjoying it. Insect Armageddon, on the other hand, just isn’t good. There will always be room for video games that provide mindless fun, but Insect Armageddon‘s repetition is just too hard to ignore. Couple that with the decrease in humor and a very short campaign and you have a disappointing sequel.


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Author: Anthony LaBella View all posts by
My first experience playing a video game blew me away. The fact that Super Metroid was that game certainly helped. So I like to think Samus put me on the path to video games. Well, I guess my parents buying the SNES had a little something to do with it. Ever since then my passion for video games has grown. When I found that I could put words together into a coherent sentence, videogame journalism was a natural interest. Now I spend a large majority of my time either playing video games or writing about them, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

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