Rating : 5/10
I’m a bit of a newbie when it comes to the Earth Defense Force games, in truth, I didn’t know of their existence until this one. That said, I was a massive fan of It Came from the Desert so I figured it was worth a punt. I wasn’t wrong, it’s hilarious fun, shooting up giant bugs, how could it not be?
And yet… there are problems. Although each mission is only five or 10 minutes of shooty-shooty bang bang squish the giant ant/bug/mech/rebel it gets repetitive, especially with 52 missions to grind through. Mind numbingly so.
Yes, there’s a nice steady flow of new toys to shoot with like the “Naughty Boy” missile launcher (the names are deliciously OTT) and four “PA-Gear” exoskeletons, but there’s no escaping the grind. Even in online or split screen multiplayer, you’re going to face that bullet sponge enemy that needs the new hotness gun to kill it and have to grind away at earlier missions to afford your new toy.
Visually it’s an Unreal Engine game so it’s pretty enough with a nice variety of character customisation options and paint schemes for the exoskeletons, but you can see that the detail has been cranked down to fit all the explodey bits and giant creepies on the screen at the same time. The voice acting is … average at best and feels rather “phoned in”. It is a real shame as there was a chance to really add some depth to the game soundscape rather than have generic “cocky special forces” squadmates giving you the nickname “closer” and being straight from an SYFY channel direct to streaming movie of Sharknado-esque quality.
After 16 years of the franchise, one would hope for some more polish in the sixth iteration rather than endless dodging of incoming fire while attempting to unload every last bit of ammo into the belly of yet another ant the size of a house.
If you’re a fan of the previous titles, go ahead and buy Iron Rain, you’re not going to be disappointed by this one. If you’re not a rabid fan of giant bugs, give it a miss or pick it up in a sale. It’s a giggle after all if a little frustrating.
Vendor of anecdotes and drinker of coffee “Mr Woot” currently resides in the South West. He tends towards the sesquipedalian.