Earth Defense Force: Insect Armageddon Review (PC-Steam)

Posted by Jim Cook, Dec 24, 2011 05:56

Earth Defense Force: Insect Armageddon stands out by being very well aware that it can’t directly compete with high-budget shooters. It doesn’t even try, instead opting to offer third person shooter mechanics that are good enough and then coasting to the finish line on the strength of its premise: co-op play where you and a few friends take on hordes of insects straight out of ’humans versus giant menace’ B-movies. Taking on the role of sci-fi marines, it’s up to you to save humanity.

Earth Defense Force: Insect Armageddon (PC)Mostly a port of the console version, the PC release of Insect Armageddon mostly differs in more readily offering mouse and keyboard controls (though gamepads remain supported, it appears). You’re given your choice from a few different sets of marine armor, each with different abilities such as being able to fly for a short time or deploy a turret gun, and then pick out a couple weapons. Once everyone is ready, you’re immediately thrown into the action against tons of giant bugs. The small ones are human-sized, but you’ll most commonly fight against ones as big as a bus and there can be dozens of them chasing you at any given time. Your weapons are thankfully equal to the task, as while most of your shooting is done with a generic assault rifle there is nothing stopping you from whipping out rocket launchers and other heavy ordnance if the enemies become too numerous.

While there are mission objectives, they’re very basic and mostly excuses to put you in neat situations. For example, you might be tasked with charging a (giant) ant-hill and planting an explosives charge on it before pulling back to a safe distance. Fighting your way through the alien bug horde is the key point here, since planting the explosives only takes a few seconds with proper covering fire; the real point was just having fun taking the fight right to the bugs you spent most of the level running away from. Likewise, being told you need to get to a certain location is usually just the game’s way of getting you into a highly mobile shootout with bugs chasing you on all sides.

Given this emphasis on wild action, the developers made several wise choices. The most prominent of these is that you’re given plenty of firepower, such as the previously mentioned rocket launchers. Some are straight-firing models that either home in on the target or are very accurate, but others revel in random destruction and fire an erratic spray of several rockets all at once! If that sounds like a recipe for wanton damage to the surrounding area, you’re right. Thankfully, the game doesn’t mind if you level a few buildings on your way to the mission objective so long as you succeed in the end. Letting the players go nuts in this way is one of Insect Armageddon’s strongest points, and you’re given plenty of chances to do so.

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Our Rating for Earth Defense Force: Insect Armageddon Review (PC-Steam)
7.0 Replay
Definitely a linear game, and repetitive mechanics set in sooner rather than later, but this is an easy co-op game for friends to agree to during those "I’m bored," "me too" days and that should bring you back a few times.
6.0 Graphics
While well designed, the graphics are clearly showing their age compared to more recent competitors.
7.0 Sound
The soundtrack is hard to notice over the sounds of combat, though said effects are decent enough on the ears.
8.5 Gameplay
Intuitive third person shooter play pits you against enemies in all sorts of city environments, with a series of unlockable weapons that make fights even more wild. It gets repetitive after a while, but you’ll have plenty of fun by then.
8.0 Multiplayer/Online Content
Working with a few friends to blast your way through tons of huge insect aliens is easily the best reason to play Insect Armageddon. The in-game voice chat is always on and will require some volume tweaking before it’s useful, though.
8.0 Overall
Decent game mechanics, a low price, and a great concept combine to make an interesting experience. Insect Armageddon will only be of interest to those who enjoy frantic co-op shooters, but if that describes you then rest assured that this game will serve you well.

Rating: 3.0, votes: 1

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