Earth Defense Force 5 (PC) – Review
Follow Genre: 3rd-person shooter
Developer: Sandlot
Publisher: D3 Publisher
Platform: PC, PS4
Tested on: PC

Earth Defense Force 5 (PC) – Review

Site Score
Good: stress-relieving, non-stop action, small vs big
Bad: lacks any form of depth besides collectable weapons, lots of ''useless'' weapons
User Score
(2 votes)
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VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 8.0/10 (2 votes cast)

Earth Defense Force is a series that’s been hopping along since 2003, and, despite what the title of the current game might make you believe, the series actually has had more than five games. Overall, you could say it’s actually a (small) franchise. A franchise that made its mark with its own quirkiness and way of fighting. The ”fifth” Earth Defense Force game already came out on PS4. Now, a good year later, it’s also out on PC. So it’s time to recheck what’s going on at our precious Earth.


Earth Defense Force has always had somewhat of a ridiculous notion to it. EDF 5 is no exception to this rule. The game only has a ”story” mode, with multiple campaign levels. Which is kinda weird for a game like this because everything about it feels a lot like an arcade-type of game, meaning you would expect something else for you to play around with. Anyway, the story is here, and it’s true to the series, though it’s not a piece of literature.

It is, however, at times hilarious in its own way. For some, it might feel like it’s trying a bit too much to make you laugh, but it certainly has its moments. You start during a tutorial level in a ”secret military base”, where stuff quickly goes down as giant ants come through the hallways and the intercom is alerting all troops. You are called a ”civilian” and the EDF will take you to a ”safe place” while they also give you a weapon… You go from one ”safe place” to another as you seem to be very helpful to the armed forces. Delightfully (or annoyingly) oblivious as every person you ever speak to is wondering ”which country made these weapons”, while ominous things fall from the sky. The entire game is a lot like a B-grade sci-fi movie, without really caring about directing everything you will see and, instead, focussing on having fun.


The graphics in EDF 5 are a bit disappointing in a way. The models and animations of most of the characters surrounding you might as well come from 2003 till 2005, and other than that there’s simply not much to be seen. The graphics are basic, to be short, but then again it doesn’t really matter for the game since it’s just an action-heavy shooting fest. There are some small in-game cutscenes that can be a bit annoying (especially at the highest difficulty) because they let the game continue but basically render you impossible to properly play. Altogether, it’s not detailed, but the game doesn’t care since it wasn’t going to take itself seriously at any point anyway. And in this case, neither should you.


There is some music present in the game, but it’s mostly noticeable in the main menu and upon a special moment such as a victory. During the game itself, you mostly notice the sound effects and voices that tell you a little bit of background story as well as that they ”enhance” the experience of the B-grade sci-fi movie you play through. Civilians screaming for you to save them, silly military troops guessing what’s going on, and sometimes also complete parts of news broadcasts, letting you know little by little what the current state of the world is. It’s one of the aspects that make Earth Defense Force most recognizable, cause it’s used as the main medium to turn any situation into something silly.


Earth Defense Force 5 is a third-person shooter where you can go totally wild on alien forces. Every time you start a new mission, you can pick one of four characters/classes and load them up with anything you gathered for those specific classes. The ranger, your starting class and the easiest to control, is pretty straight forward. Two guns on him, and a support item. Guns can be anything from assault rifles to shotguns to grenades and more. Blast away with whatever you choose, and call it a day.

Is it really that straight forward you ask? Well… Yes. That’s actually the entire game. But the hilarity that’s added sometimes and just the stress-relieving aspect of going through many monsters and other enemies is enough to stay entertaining. The game is available for online games up to 4 players and also has split-screen. So the other classes, which do play differently but maybe not as smooth as the ranger, are a welcome addition when playing together as you share the fun. There’s the Wing Diver who is good at short-range, can fly, and deals high damage (but with low HP). The Air Raider which is more of a tactic backup class as you give information to support ships that come in to help you, and the Fencer, who is incredibly slow but has giant (long-range) weapons to back up your teammates.

Most campaign levels only have a single type of monster, making it feel a bit boring at times perhaps, but there is something done very well about EDF 5 that just keeps luring you back or makes you say ”just one more mission”, clicking the next one. Enemies drop crates of Armor, Weapons, and HP, which gradually give you more HP as you play, new weapons, or heal you on the spot. Annoyingly enough, not every weapon is as useful as it seems though. And it could be that you have to restart a mission a couple of times to find something that works for the enemy at hand. This seems like the biggest plothole, cause it takes away from the fun of shooting stuff as well as that it gnaws at the feeling of ”us big guys are winning from impossible odds”.


Earth Defense Force 5 has some entertaining bits. The voices and sound effects, and the smooth way that you can just carve your path through waves of monsters as you collect and shoot your weapons of choice. It has a bit of a downside as well, mainly that there’s no depth in any way. Especially for a PC release that’s a lot later but still at a high price (50 euros/dollars), it could have had more. But what it wants to do, being funny in its own way and giving you something fun to do, it does well.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 8.0/10 (2 votes cast)
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Earth Defense Force 5 (PC) - Review, 8.0 out of 10 based on 2 ratings

I'm a game designer, developer, and reviewer. I've been reviewing for since 2017.

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