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Earth Defense Force 2017 Portable Review

Earth Defense Force 2017 Portable Review

Developed by Sandlot and published by D3, Earth Defense Force 2017 Portable or EDF 2017 for short is a follow up to Global Defense force. The game was originally released on the Xbox 360 in 2009 with a PlayStation Vita release during 2012. Does EDF 2017 make you want to save the day? Or will you be rooting for the other side?

The core of the game is split up into stages in which each one offers a little more on the current situation, the story and your objectives. From here you can also choose the difficulty level you want to tackle the stage on along with the weapons you want to take with you. Most stages take place in a city environment however at certain points you’ll be going underground and even battling on the beach.

EDF 2017 is a third person shooter and therefore the addition of dual analogue sticks on the PlayStation Vita makes things a lot easier as one is used to control the player, while the other is for the camera. Even in saying this, the game does offer the option to control the camera using the touch screen on the front or the touch pad on the back of the PlayStation Vita. With this kind of control set up, I found that using the touch interface for camera control wasn’t as great as using the stick due to the camera snapping back into place once you release the pressure.
Ermm... ok.
Sometimes enemies will drop items when taken down and these can vary from new weapons, health and ammo. Any ammo collected in one level will always be carried on to the next and weapons found is added to your inventory, some of which are incredibly powerful. The higher the difficulty you complete a level on, the better chance you’ll have of picking up weapons that deal serious damage. Before each mission you can pick what weapons you want to use with some being more advantageous for the current task then others. During my playthrough, I tended to stick with the MMF40A-RA Sniper Rifle and Stingray ST Rocket Launcher as neither take much time to reload and do a decent amount of damage.

Along with the weapons that you carry with you, some stages also include heavy machinery that you can use. This includes tanks, helicopters and mechs which can give you an advantage when being overwhelmed by the opposing forces. These are usually more helpful against enemies that have slow movement but the downside being that it can be destroyed relatively easily.

The enemies themselves don’t prove to be much of a challenge but then I guess it depends on the way they were designed to attack. For example, the giant ants have to get really up close in order to cause any damage while the spiders can shoot their web at you from a distance. In saying this, it’s also connected to the difficulty you decide to play on, seeing that on “Easy” some enemies can be taken out with one shot, but anything higher than that requires multiple attacks.
Loads of heavy vehicles at your disposal.
If there is one thing I can say about Earth Defense Force 2017 is that the game is incredibly addictive. It gives a sort of adrenaline rush when you have the decks stacked against you with what seems like an endless amount of enemies surrounding and trying to attack you all at the same time. This is furthered even more where in some cases I found myself completely alone, having to take down several giant robots as the rest of my team was wiped out.

At certain points, the game's framerate does suffer because of the number of enemies being on screen at one time. While in most cases it handles it pretty well, sometimes it significantly slows down; for example, the giant robots shoot multiple beam like attacks and when there are multiple robots on screen, the game has trouble rendering everything at a decent speed.

While there is the option to take the game online and play with the world, I wasn't able to access this feature due to no one actually playing the game. Here you can play Co-Op and Versus either locally or online.

Graphics/ Sound
Now that it’s come to the PlayStation Vita, I expected the game to look a little more refined however due to some of the actions you can perform; the hardware may have not been able to handle more than that. Buildings look kind of drab and while the game claims to take you around the world, no effort was put into really distinguishing the battlefields from one another, something that could have been easily fixed with landmarks. While the environment themselves may not look so pretty, its destruction physics is done really well, in most cases, the buildings being the source of this so when they crumble, it looks relatively smooth and therefore makes the destruction seem more believable.

Sound work is average at most with voice acting being downright horrible. Lines are delivered with practically no energy and when soldiers die, their screams sound more annoying rather than trying to make you feel like you lost a comrade in battle. Soundtracks do their part to get you pumped and ready to take on hundreds of enemies.

In the game there are two types of controls, Basic and Advanced with each catering to not just your level of experience with the game but with shooters in general. For those that are regulars to the shooter genre, the advanced set up will feel easy and comfortable to use. The Basic set up configures most commands to the buttons and no longer makes the right stick useable as the game opts to automatically control the camera for you. I gave the basic one a shot and while making certain commands easier to reach was good, the auto camera control was pretty slow, especially when turning.
So why am I by myself?
The map is featured at the top right of the screen with colour coded icons so you can tell who from who. Blue is for your allies, red is for the enemy and grey/white are for the civilians  There are also green icons which indicate pickups that you left behind.

One area that I really enjoyed was how quick you were able to switch between weapons. While it may be somewhat unrealistic it works for the game’s purpose and keeps the action constantly going without the player feeling cut off by that 2 – 7 seconds of animation between changes

Above we already spoke about the enemy AI however in during missions you also have your own team helping you take out the opposing forces. While at first glance this is helpful seeing as you are confronted by hordes of bugs, it’s also completely useless as I’ve found them being wiped out pretty early on. Even on the “EASY” difficulty, your team can’t seem to hold their own ground, leaving you to do most of the work. When I think about it logically, this is all probably due to the fact that your team cannot get any of the health pickups.

Final Verdict
While Earth Defense 2017 Portable lacks in the visuals department, there’s no doubt that the game is super addictive and fun to play. There’s just something about facing a ridiculous number of enemies at once and not only that but coming out victorious at the end. If the next addition to this series manages to bring the level of its graphics up a notch or two, we’re looking at a serious contender.

Gameplay = 7.5/10
Graphics/ Sound = 6/10
Design = 7/10

Final We Know Gamers Score = 6.9/10
Had a chance to play the game? Tell us what you thought in the comments section below! Or tweet me on Twitter - @wkg_liban
Earth Defense Force 2017 Portable Review
Reviewed by Liban Ali
on Mar 29 2013

Rating: 6.9/10

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