EDF is it’s own thing. It’s an arcade shooter where you mow down waves of bugs, spiders and other robots while collecting silly weapons and slowly becoming stronger as you go through a bunch of maps with little objectives besides killing everything. Lousy technical performances and limited couch co-op, however, are limiting my ability to enjoy the new PS3/Xbox 360 one. How does the PC version of the last one fares?
It’s much better, technical-wise. The game is well playable without any slowdowns or loading problems. Splitting rockets that explode into a bunch of homing missiles that glow green, bullets that bounce around, buildings break, all without issues… But the scope is much smaller in this game, the maps are smaller, there are very few less enemies on-screen at the same time, while making the game play better, it’s also more boring.
To compensate for that, they’ve added voice acting and missions where you need to go to places and hold E to activate a thing and if anything hits you the bar empties and you have to hold E again. I’m not a fan of the mission structure in EDF:IA, there are only 15 missions (compared to the 50+ of the other games) and the voice acting, story and situations the game puts you through are quite irrelevant and useless. Closing down anthills, for instance, now requires you to hold E long enough while not being hit by anything. I’d rather shoot the anthill. It’s a bit easier with friends, while they’re not busy shooting at you with grenades.
The maps are boxed in transparent red walls. You can shoot through them and enemies can move right by them without problems, there are two things you can’t do, however, and that is walk through them and destroy any buildings behind the walls. It’s obvious that the actual size of the level is smaller than what it appears to be, and that’s all right. The problem arises when enemies crawl around and behind buildings out of your reach and decide to stay there for some reason. Being unable to go forward in a mission because you’re waiting for enemies to move towards you is frustrating.
The class system is pretty okay, you have four classes, each with their own experience levels and weapon sets. I’m not sure what the strength of the regular trooper is, but otherwise you can have turrets, a shield or the ability to fly. You gain credits by beating missions and with them you can buy new weapons. I’m not sure if it’s just an impression but I feel like there are less guns in this game, at least they drop less often than in the other ones. Enemies are more or less EDF staples with dropships and Hectors and spiders and whatnot. What I like here is how you can tell how damaged an enemy is by how dark its weak points are. Useful!
EDF:IA is still a blast to play with friends, but it’s lacking in scope, not enough missions, not enough different maps, too much useless padding. I wish they’d remake EDF 2025 instead!