We traveled to the city of San Francisco to test exclusively the new video game of the franchise japanese Earth Defense Force: Iron Rain, which not only is being developed by a different team, but that bet is finally established at the hearing of this part of the world. Elements such as the ability to create and customise your character, online modes competitive, and to locations outside of Japan that we can completely destroy are some of the new scenarios that are helping to give you that push.
If you’ve never heard of the series, Earth Defense Force appeared in 2003 for the PlayStation 2 as a shooter in the third person, developed by Sandlot and distributed by D3 Publisher. Your mission in the game is to face an alien invasion that has taken the form of giant insects, from ants to spiders, a task that only the esquadrón EDF can cope with. Using two weapons at once (which have infinite ammo for the most part) and getting objects to improve your character during several missions, the players are shooting at everything that they bring them closer, no matter how colossal it is, or how much collateral damage will produce many impacts and explosions.
Since then, they were mutating, having several main game and a series of spin-offs. In the beginning the focus was on Japan only, though after you arrived in Europe and the united States over the years. It always remained as a series is pretty niche, but this audience was growing with the time. With Earth Defense Force: Iron Rain, the plan is to reach even more people, as happened with the saga , Monster Hunter , and the launch of Monster Hunter: World.
Digital Trends went to a private event to be able to test the new campaign and multiplayer prior to its launch on PlayStation 4 on April 11.
The Story mode was divided into different missions, each one with its own degree of difficulty beyond which we could choose before starting to play. The same you wore to cycle through cities, deserts, and sewers to fight against enemies specific. Some were the most rudimentary of the franchise, such as ants giants that kept appearing, and of which you had to keep you away if you didn’t want to be severely hurt. Others had aspects more robotic, and by far the more interesting designs, being small units that are teletransportaban for each area shooting as giant structures that needed to be attacked at weak points to only then be able to attack the core and win the mission.
Without doubt, the differences in intensity are more than welcome, but are designed so that the players can continue with the spirit of the franchise: some missions, getting the necessary materials to unlock better and thus be able to embark on the scenarios more difficult, with the best possible equipment. The fact that you can customize your character in Earth Defense Force: Iron Rain adds a touch that had made a wish earlier, being able to change not only the physical aspect, but also add a different armor, change their colors or placing some more objects that are nonsensical, as the head of an ant or antenna, to your character. The soul of being a japanese game there was no hand, no doubt.
THE FOCUS ON THE GAMEPLAY REMAINS INTACT
One of the questions that arose to see the character editor was if we could come to find collaborations with other franchises in the future, something that has been seen on several occasions in Monster Hunter, for example. The producer Nobuyuki Oakajima told us that “one of the main things that we had in mind was to change locations in order to attract the western audience, adding cities such as San Francisco to the missions”, and although there are still no plans for this particular item, yes there will be updates and patches for content in the future after the official launch.
The soul of being a japanese game there was no hand, no doubt.
Other aspects that were used for this title in particular is to add a focus to the campaign, featuring cinematics between missions that tells a bit of the background of Earth Defense Force: Iron Rain. So that we could see, this is not anything out of the ordinary, fulfilling but not surprised too much at the level content, but that’s okay. The focus of these games was always in the game mechanics, and it is something that remains intact in this installment, with the exception of a few new elements.
Now, virtually everything that we see on the stage can be destroyed with our weapons, and the same applies to the enemies. See a horde of ants to giant climbing walls or dodging a beam from an enemy that ends up impacting a nearby building never ceases to amaze on a visual level, and makes the fighting much more intense. The weapons range from pistols and assault rifles, to bazookas and swords. It is quite varied, and the more missions we complete, the more weapons we can unlock to the next round.
In terms of characters, there are a total of four classes to choose from: the Trooper is the most rudimentary of all, but is a combination of agility, thanks to which you can dodge and carry heavy weaponry. The Jet Lifter has a focus air, they were able to use a jetpack for so long as energy has our character, and without a doubt was the most fun that we were able to prove, gaining ground and firing at everything that we crossed, while we were also able to escape danger easily if the situation dictated it.
The Heavy Striker is quite the opposite, appearing almost as a centurion, you can barely come off the floor, but has the highest defense class available and you can protect yourself from projectiles with a temporary shield. Finally, the Prowl Rider seems to take inspiration from the anime Attack of the Titans, being able to catch objects and structures to propel themselves in the air, making it rather weak against enemies but offering unique versatility for those players who choose to do so.
A NEW MULTIPLAYER MODE DESIGNED EXCLUSIVELY FOR THE WEST
In terms of the multiplayer mode that we were able to test, was presented something complicated in the beginning, but gradually we got used to the style of play. In the same, the players are divided into two teams that are fighting between themselves to get the highest score, which is achieved through the collection of minerals that can be deposited on terminals that change their position on the map. What is interesting is that not only we will have to survive and attack the other side, but also survive waves of enemies that will be on the road bothering you.
Another item that we liked was that once you die in battle and you’re waiting for revive, you can choose between three options for improvements or items to continue in the battle, besides being able to get better weapons as he progresses the game. These are divided into rounds, and won the best-of-three. Fortunately, we were able to play it with other people at the event and we thought it was more than fun, it turned very frantic for the latest instances due to the amount of enemies on the screen. When we asked about it, the producer said that this multiplayer game mode was thought exclusively for the public the west, since we are “fans of the online modes competitive.”
Earth Defense Force: Iron Rain is presented as a great bet for those players who are looking to embark on a franchise that is totally new.
With a story mode that offers dozens of missions to complete, a value of replayability clear from the first moment because of all that you can unlock, the ability to play co-op with up to 6 people simultaneously, and the mode, competitive multiplayer, Earth Defense Force: Iron Rain is presented as a great bet for those players who are looking to embark on a franchise that is totally new. And also, for veterans looking for something different than what you are accustomed to, but at the same time does not leave you feel like the titles you love from years ago.
To finish, due to being a first with so many elements and systems involved, we asked the producer Oakajima if you could sum up Earth Defense Force in just a few words, which only responded with a laugh at the beginning. Followed by this, told us that from their point of view, “Earth Defense Force is to endure when everything is believed lost, and be that light of hope for humanity in spite of the difficulties ahead”.
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