Earth Defense Force 5 – Review
Follow Genre: Third person shooter
Developer: Sandlot
Publisher: D3 Publisher, Sandlot
Platform: PS4
Tested on: PS4

Earth Defense Force 5 – Review

Site Score
Good: Fluid, Arsenal, Missions
Bad: Difficulty at times, Graphical prowess
User Score
(6 votes)
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VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 8.7/10 (6 votes cast)

We’ve had a few games of the Earth Defense Force series appear on the site before, and while they never shattered any records, these games were easy to get into, especially if you’re into old school Toho movies. Toho movies often revolve around giant monsters, such as Godzilla wreaking havoc upon a city, or in the case of the EDF series, alien invaders, which happen to throw many giant monsters and other abominations your way. The latest installment may be called the fifth installment of the main series, excluding a couple of other releases with other subtitles, it’s actually a sort of reboot to restart the story from scratch, and a bit differently than the other games.


If you’re hoping to buy a game in the EDF series for its story value, it’s best to find another incentive or drop the game altogether. If you can work with a cheesy alien invasion plot, together with many one-liners, simplified announcements from the acting commander of the EDF, and news messages that are thrown around, then you’ll certainly enjoy this title. Earth Defense Force 5 is all about an unsuspecting version of our Earth being attacked by alien invaders, who not only seem to have the upper hand in terms of technology, they also have a seemingly endless supply of gargantuous monsters at their disposal. As the game progresses you’ll learn a bit more about these so called invaders, as well as what you can do against them, but you’ll stay on the surface of the waters that are the story in EDF 5, rather than tread in the deep blue seas.

Even though this game is already the fifth installment, not counting spinoffs or rereleases, it’s actually a bit of a reboot, as the story starts from scratch. The EDF might be the most powerful army on Earth, they have zero experience when it comes to the alien invaders, or aliens in general for that matter. The monsters that are being introduced don’t follow the same pattern as they did in the other releases.


The EDF series hasn’t gained its popularity because of its great graphical prowess, but instead due to its lack thereof, even if EDF 4.1 looked quite spiffy in comparison to other titles from the series. The entire series feels like a B-movie production, which actually makes it a lot more likeable and convincing in the Toho-style we mentioned in the intro. You’ll notice that the surroundings will be copy pasted throughout the game, and that they are somewhat lacking in detail and feel a bit more suitable for a game that appeared on the previous generation of consoles. The character models feel a bit dated as well, except for a few of the classes that feel somewhat more detailed than others, but eventually it’s the monsters and robotic enemies that steal the show in this game. The textures of the enemies are done in a better fashion, same for the blood that comes pouring out when you blow them to bits with your weapons. It has to be said however that there is a lot of texture popping present in the game, even when standing still.


The music provides a proper background, but you’ll mostly have to do with the screams of innocent civilians, the many bullets soaring through the sky, distant explosions, the sound of monsters, buildings collapsing and so on. Other than that, there’s the very cheesy voice acting, which once again heightens that ‘intentional’ low budget feeling that makes this series so amusing.


Earth Defense Force 5 is, just like its predecessors, a rather frantic third person shooter, in which your enemies range from giant insects and monsters, to robotic foes and flying saucers. You’ll be able to choose from four classes, each having their own unique traits and abilities, such as summoning vehicles, flying, providing support, or if you’re looking for the middleman, you can opt for the ranger, who is pretty much the go-to guy when wanting to play the game without too many whistles and bells. Before you step into the game however, you can opt to play solo offline, split-screen offline or duke it out with a four man team online.

The difficulty in the game is pretty much the same as it was in previous titles, where you can bulldoze your way through most missions, without taking too much notice on your HP bar. Nonetheless, some missions prove to be a bit trickier and don’t work with a gung-ho attitude. The further you progress, especially for the last few missions you’ll notice that caution is mandatory if you want to make it out alive, and that some missions do take a rather long time to finish. There are over a 100 missions to be found in EDF 5, and if you want to clear them with all characters, on different difficulty levels, you’ll be spending quite some time away from the outside world.

Truth be told, collecting weapons and gear might just be the most fun part about the EDF series. During each mission crates will drop, they will either contain weapons (or gear), armor or health. The latter is purely for healing purposes during missions, while the armor will increase your overall HP for all the following missions (you’ll have to collect armor for each class, in order to level them accordingly). Last but not least, the weapon crates can provide you with new shiny weapons, but also those you already own, allowing you to strengthen your existing weaponry. It’s a fun detail, that while you’ll collect more items for the class you’re playing with, you’ll also pick up some items and armor for those you’re not playing with, making sure you don’t have to start from zero if you ever decide to switch, or simply want to do another playthrough with another class.

The basic controls of the game are often quite easy to understand, while some classes are trickier than others. It’s often the vehicles that handle a bit less desirable than the characters or the weapons they utilize in the battle against the invaders. Other than that, the camera doesn’t always provide the best angles, especially when walking between different buildings, standing too close to one, or having monsters nearly riding your back. Overall most problems are minimalistic, but an awkward camera angle can spoil the fun from time to time.


While some aspects may have seemed quite negative when reviewing Earth Defense Force 5, the series is a total blast, and this last iteration is no exception. While the graphical prowess may have taken a step back compared to EDF 4.1, the game constantly throws hordes of enemies at you, which you can destroy with hundreds of different weapons, spread across four different playable classes. If you’re not keen on the solo experience, you can take out your frustrations online with up to three extra players or with a friend locally. Perhaps a reboot of the series wasn’t needed in terms of story progression, it’s fun that this title tries to mix things up, and doesn’t follow the same formula as its predecessors.

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Rating: 8.7/10 (6 votes cast)
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Earth Defense Force 5 - Review, 8.7 out of 10 based on 6 ratings

Aspiring ninja.

1 Comment

  1. […] D3 Publisher Inc. is proud to announce that Earth Defense Force: Iron Rain is out now exclusively for PlayStation 4. The first installment of the games series dates all the way back to 2003 and was released for the PlayStation 2. The game is slightly reminiscent of the Starship Troopers movie from 1997. You’ll be joining a special unit in a global Earth army to fight against giant insects, kaiju monsters, and alien invaders. The game is made to be played in co-op, together you take down an almost endless stream of monsters with an almost equally endless amount of weapons. You can find our review of  Earth Defense Force 5 right here. […]

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