Earth Defence Force 2025 PS3 review – run-and-gunning can be alienating

Earth Defence Force 2025

Were you to hand a game developer from the late ‘80s a world of 21st century technology and talent, it’s likely they’d make Earth Defence Force. It’s a series about hundreds of guns, millions of giant bugs to fire them at and an entire planet’s worth of skyscrapers to demolish. You’ll love it because, like Contra 3 or Smash TV, it feels great and everything explodes. But those games had five and three levels, respectively, while EDF 2025 repeats that same bit of dizzying violence for 85 levels.

Earth Defence Force 2025 PS3 review

There’s a limit to how much abuse one brain can take, and it turns out that limit is 85 levels. The simplicity of EDF is what makes it a cult fave (and like many ‘cult favourites’, EDF has never been especially well-made). It’s a game about nothing more than fighting overwhelming odds with even more overwhelming firepower, and a game where the usual shooter contrivances like cover and a careful aim are largely irrelevant, because so long as you’re looking in the right direction, something is dying.

Earth Defence Force 2025 PS3 review

Earth Defence Force 2025: 50% shooting, 50% bugs

Maybe it’s a giant ant. Maybe it’s a big robot. Maybe it’s a flying saucer or a Death Star-like mothership, but by the time you’re a few hours deep into the game, you’ll have dozens of multi-lock missiles and cluster bombs and 200-round machine guns to choose from and you’ll have given up aiming a long time ago.

EDF isn’t about shooting; it’s about grinding for new weapons to face even more enemies on even harder levels, and in online co-op, which extends the life of those 85 levels and the handful of exclusive co-op missions. The shooting just happens to be glorious so you end up shooting until you realise you haven’t done anything that resembles ‘skill’ in around 50 levels, and you’ll go loopy. EDF 2025 is proof it’s possible to have too much of a good thing.

Our Score

Score: 6