Earth Defense Forces 4 Tokyo Game Show 2012 Hands-On Preview -- Bugs, Bugs Everywhere!By Nikole Zivalich - Posted Sep 21, 2012
Earth Defense Forces 4 was announced only a few weeks ago but thanks to alien-technology, it was playable at Tokyo Game Show 2012. Like the previous installments in the EDF series, Earth is at war with enormous and wildly aggressive bugs. These alien bugs outnumber us just as the little insects here do. We're going to need a lot of Raid!
The next game in the bug-squashing series is a sequel to EDF 2017 and marks the return of the Ravagers. Earth Defense Forces 4 takes place in the not-so-distant future of 2025. Justin Beiber is in prison, consumers are waiting in line for iBrain4S, and humanity in general is attempting to rebuild since the events that took place almost a decade before. As the humans of Earth are frantically trying return to normalcy, the enemy is breeding below Earth's surface. To defeat their enemy, humans will need to use the old tech the Ravagers left.
My time with Earth Defense Forces 4 was brief. The booth-dudes (what do we call male booth-babes? Human beings? No, I like booth-dudes.) handed me a timer set for 10 minutes. They didn't even deduct time for loading screens!
I immediately jumped into a city full of tall skyscrapers, each connected by an intricate web. Spiders the size of six Cadillac Escalades called each web home. These spiders were indiscriminately grabbing civilians and soldiers alike, pulling them up into their webs. A quick cutscene showed a new character to the game, a female with a jetback and mech-wings, trapped in sticky lair of some menacing spider. "Have no fear damsel! I'm here to save you!"
So actually I let her die, but not on purpose. Since I couldn't understand the controls (konichwa, language barrier) I didn't know how to jump and instead kept rolling into the object I wanted to get past. Turns out if you press A while running you roll, but to jump you can't be in motion at all.
The rest of the controls came much more naturally. I was armed with two main weapons, an automatic rifle and a RPG. The mega-spiders were the only enemy in this level, using anything other than the RPG would have been madness. Every few spiders I blew up left behind health, ammo and armor. The abundance of ammo meant I never needed to worry too much about the spiders.
The spider level lacked the urgency I felt in past games so I switched over to a robot level. This map also took place in a metropolis, but there were no bugs to be seen. 4-story tall robots marched the streets, shooting lasers at everything that moved. No cover and no ammo drops meant I was quickly outnumbered and bleeding health. If you're looking to panic, look no further than this mode.
Earth Defense Forces 4 plays exactly like you would expect it to. I didn't notice any grand improvements, feature additions, or anything that would convince me this title was a step-up from the last. One of the major complaints about past EDF games is the graphics, sadly, nothing has changed here either. I've only played 10 minutes of an early build of the game, so there's definitely time for all my issues to be fixed.