Tech News on G4
'Defense Force', a great summer find
Aug 12, 2011
By John Powell - G4 Canada
For gamers, this has definitely been a cruel, cruel summer. Visit Xbox Live or the PlayStation Network and you will see the lack of blockbuster titles has gamers playing older titles shelved for such dry spells as everyone waits for September to roll around.
In one of the slowest summers in video game history, 'Earth Defense Force: Insect Armageddon' is such a welcome distraction. It is a quality distraction too. Developed by Vicious Cycle Software and published by D3, 'Insect Armageddon' is everything that something like 'Crackdown 2' was not.
Enlisted in the Earth Defense Force, you are 'Lightning Alpha' - the leader of an elite squad of soldiers sworn to protect Earth from any invaders or aggressors. The latest threat to our beloved mud ball is an alien offensive on the city of New Detroit.
Not sure what happened to "Old Detroit" but then again, maybe we don't want to know.
The aliens have turned our own planet against us by mutating and commanding the insects. Giant, grotesque ants, spiders, wasps, ticks, scorpions and all sorts of other creepy crawlies team with the alien forces to exterminate all of mankind. The alien forces are comprised of heavily-armed spaceships, giant robots (both humanoid and insectoid) and other nasty mechanical threats.
Hint: The brightness of the "lights" on each spaceship and robot reveals how weak they have become when under attack. When the "lights" are dim, they are done like dinner.
Before each chapter, you can select from four classes of upgradable soldiers who can employ up to 300 unlockable weapons.
The classes are:
Trooper: Your standard grunt who has way more weapons at his disposal.
Tactical: He blows stuff up real good. A solid support grunt and the only class who can use mines, explosives and some special long-range weapons.
Battle: Slow as molasses but boy, does he pack a punch and is his armour fierce. He can also go Super Nova, releasing all of his armour's energy in a far-reaching blast that can annihilate multiple targets.
Jet: Is the fastest soldier due the jet pack on his back and flying skills. He has to be quick though because his armor is so darn poor.
During the single player or co-operative campaign missions, you will be blowing up anthills, destroying waves of insects, protecting patrols, rescuing citizens, self-destructing helicarrier black boxes and generally fragging anything with more than two legs, made of metal…or both.
'Insect Armageddon' doesn't offer anything outside the ordinary but it is a great example of a game that pulls off a tried and true formula very, very well. A bit more depth and a bit more scope would have elevated it well above your average third-person shooter; still, you can't beat exterminating giant insects and dismantling giant robots.
Earth Defense Force: Insect Armageddon
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G4 Canada (formerly TechTV Canada) launched in September 2001. G4 is the one and only television station that is plugged into every dimension of games, gear, gadgets and gigabytes. Owned Rogers Media Inc., the channel airs more than 24 original series. G4 is available on digital cable and satellite. For more information, see www.g4tv.ca.