Earth Defense Force: Iron Rain – Review
Follow Genre: Third person shooter
Developer: Yuke's
Publisher: D3 Publisher, Sandlot
Platform: PS4
Tested on: PS4

Earth Defense Force: Iron Rain – Review

Site Score
8.5
Good: gameplay, Amazingly beautiful graphics, Good storyline
Bad: Changed loot system
User Score
7.3
(3 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 7.3/10 (3 votes cast)

Oh we are the valiant infantry, we are the alpha team with passion and camaraderie! If you have by any chance played the previous game, chances will be high that you know this iconic marching song from EDF 5. Earth Defense Force was a game that always took our hearts by its ‘low budget’ looks and simple-to-learn gameplay. It was a brainless shooter that could be enjoyed with a friend and a great game to blow off some steam too. However, this time it feels different as the beloved formula has been altered for Iron Rain, a spin-off title of the series.

Story

Each game in the series has had this same ‘first encounter’ to ‘boss fight’ style of storyline, with many soon to be forgotten characters. In the first ones there wasn’t much of a backstory. While EDF 5 did focus on the whole world falling apart and the death of many humans, this game turns the tables. The developers have put more effort into creating a story and relatable characters, rather than the many teammates that died after a few hits. Your new teammates all have names and personalities. You will like some and hate others, but most importantly, you are the Suicide Squad. The game starts with an event around six years after the first encounter and after the incident, you awake seven years later with invaders that took over a large part of the Earth. Once again, it is up to your squad to wipe the aliens and rescue humanity again.

Pieces of story are brought to you by teammates interacting in-game, portraying how it is living in a world ravaged by monsters. After each mission there is a short cutscene flowing together the missions. Overall this goes at a nice pace, having you keep track on events around the world and how the team feels about it.

Graphics

The first thing you notice about the game is the drastic increase in quality of the graphics in EDF: Iron Rain. Previous iterations had simple yet effective graphics, but now it looks like a HD remaster made by the best of ‘triple A’ designers. Characters look more complex with more detail and monsters have received an upgrade. Some are easily recognizable from the past but there are many new enemy types present to make your life harder. Because all these improvements will require more processing power, the developers have decided to decrease the amount of enemies on the screen at the same time. Luckily there are some clever ways to disguise this, as some fights will be as hectic as other games. The HUD has received a makeover as well, making things more streamlined and allowing for more vision on the battlefield

The game looks astonishingly nice but sadly the camera angles aren’t that good. You can choose between right behind the character or a more centralized view like in the previous games, but it feels a bit worse. A new feature are the large character customization options, making it fun to finally put a face on the hero of humanity.

Sound

Thanks to the more in-depth storyline, you now have uniquely voiced characters. In the previous titles you had a few different voices depending on the class. In Iron Rain, however, each individual has its own personality and traits. When designing your character, you can select between three voice types, the original EDF trooper, a smooth younger soldier or a rough veteran.

The music in Iron Rain is deep orchestral movie, which suits a very cinematic setting. It creates the proper tension and drives you to the edge of your seat during hectic battles. The sound effects are crisp and on point, and in this game the voice acting makes the entire package a lot more qualitative.

Gameplay

Earth Defense Force: Iron Rain is a third-person shooter in which you must save our beloved planet Earth from the evil invaders from outer space. EDF games have always been loved because of their budget approach. The titles were designed like many B monster movies, making them authentic and with the addition of great gameplay, many fans were always pleased with this approach. The addicting looting gameplay combined with the random chance of getting new weapons and the fun brainless shooting made this a good title to have around in the house. Now with Iron Rain it seems that the developers have finally set foot into the fancy side of gaming and have altered the way the game is played.

The story starts with a cadet that is part of the ground troops when an invasion is happening. After he is saved by a comrade; you take down the attacking ship. Seven years later you awaken and are prepped for the fight. After customizing your character, you are dropped in the first mission with your new squad and immediately the whole new gameplay is discovered. In the previous iterations you collected weapons which had a random chance of being a new or better version. Armor was collected and each point was one extra hit point. Now, instead of looting the items and getting weapons randomly, they need to be purchased. This will guarantee you upgrades but will leave you sitting with a little RNG hunger since it was fun to finally get a really good gun early on in the game.

Times are harsh; while in EDF 5 the government paid each soldier handsomely for their service, it seems that this time you will need to take care of your own paycheck. By collecting energy gems, you can purchase and develop new weapons, armor upgrades and armors. Another new feature is the ability to take items with you into combat. Don’t worry anymore about not having healing items at your disposal, now you take them with you in the field for some immediate healing. Need some crowd control? Lob a few grenades at those pesky insects. These items aren’t free, so you get charged after each mission. In the previous games it was quite frustrating that there was no time to loot everything that dropped if you killed the last enemy. To collect everything, many players opted to leave one or two hostiles alive, so you could calmly collect everything. In this game, you get 30 seconds to gather all the leftovers on the field.

Just like in every EDF game you are blessed with infinite ammunition. You’ll just have to keep an eye on the reload times, as some weapons allow for a quick reload, very much like the ones in the Gears of War series. If you want things to go faster, you could always go into overdrive. This mode will allow its users to do actions much faster and take down many enemies in quick succession.

Controls remain the same, but gameplay can feel a bit different because the class system has been omitted from the game. This doesn’t mean there aren’t any different play styles, as you can switch your power suit to your playing style. While the ground suit gives you move defense and the roll ability, the jumpsuit is like a Wing Diver from the previous games allows you to take on your enemies from the sky. There are still many missions in the game but everything falls better in place with the many interactions with teammates.

Conclusion

The new EDF game looks so beautiful that you almost think that it’s from another developer. With slight changes made to the gameplay, it makes for a new take on the franchise. This makeover is an interesting change, as it shows us how a Triple A version of the EDF series would look like, without harming the fun mechanics. The camera angles might not be that good, you will get used to it eventually. While it now is a full-priced title, it’s still worth to pick up right away.

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Rating: 7.3/10 (3 votes cast)
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Earth Defense Force: Iron Rain – Review, 7.3 out of 10 based on 3 ratings
MC_JP
MC_JP


Never give up on a dream. It might be a long nightmare, but one day it will change into a beautiful reality - MC_JP 2014

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