I’ve never heard of Earth Defence Force until this game was brought to my attention.
I downloaded the portable version to my PlayStation Vita and was pleasantly surprised although it wasn’t to last. Earth Defence Force Portable by Sandlot and D3 Publishers is a part of Earth Defence Force 2017 that was released for the Xbox 360® back in 2007, which featured a far out there story including Aliens and giant bugs and your average shooting mechanic that had been seen so many times before but, for some reason, was quite exhilarating.
Scientists have proved that mankind are not alone in the world and a unique specialist task force has been assembled to protect us in the event that these Aliens turn out to be hostile, namely the Earth Defence Force (or EDF). In 2017, it comes to a head that UFO’s begin to appear over Earths major cities seemingly led by a huge spherical UFO hovering over Tokyo. It isn’t long before giant acid spitting Ants begin emerging from these UFO’s terrorising the human race to which EDF’s gaffers have named the Ravagers even though their intentions are unknown.
The huge ship then drops a huge Mech before retreating creating a new threat to the EDF. It’s your job as the assortment of EDF units to take them out. The story is as farfetched as you can imagine from the moment I mentioned giant ants which didn’t do a lot to keep me interested, it was like something from a Saturday morning cartoon back in the early 90’s and the EDF commanders and troops have no personality failing to bring some sort of life to this game, which is a shame.
The gameplay is really what shines the most in Earth Defence Force Portable with its constant shooting and blowing things up and the controls are tight to boot. It’s a basic run-and-gun game with little variety yet the arcadey feel of the game overall is enough to keep things exciting but only for a short amount of time. It’s not long before boredom sets in, with doing the same thing over and over. There are vehicles to commandeer but these do nothing to spruce things up for the long term.
There are loads of weapons ranging from Assault rifles and pistols to rocket launchers and lasers each with their own characteristics. The giant ants scale buildings but the movements are very glitchy which is noticeable from the off as 20+ giant ants wander frantically in front of you whilst one or two of them try to kill you yet they seem to be able to walk through each other, very bizarre however I liked the fact they can scale buildings. Explosions are everywhere as well as health and item pickups mainly being ammunition which are dropped for your victims. If you stick with this game enough, the chance at unlocking Palewing to play as who plays completely different to the troops thanks to her jetpack however you have to finish the story to unlock her which is a real pain.
Thanks to the Vitas OLED screen, this game looks sharp and colourful however the graphical detail is bare minimum; locales are lifeless and bland with the feeling of recycled backdrops and enemy assortments. The ants do look like ants however when they die, they go stiff and are able to get bounced around like ping pong balls which destroys any possibility of realism from the game however the mechs look good. The online multiplayer is a great addition exclusive to the Vita version which allows co-operative play which breathes new life into EDF Portable and tends to be more exciting than playing on your own.
Earth Defence Force Portable is a faithful action packed port of an Xbox exclusive however the action soon becomes dull and repetitive due to its lack of variety. It would have been nice to have Palewing from the start but unfortunately enduring the main story is required first. The story is farfetched and extremely forgettable I mean giant ants seriously??
Earth Defence Force Portable
Publisher: D3 Publishers
Release Date: 16th January 2013
Story – 2/5
Gameplay – 3/5
Graphics – 2.5/5
Overall – 2.5/5