I had a chance to play a little bit of Earth Defense Force 2025 multiplayer and the first mission I played had dragons. Yes, dragons. I picked the Wing Diver and chased the dragons into the air with a shotgun-like laser weapon.
Flying around shooting hordes of dragons was enjoyable, but the Wing Diver feels designed as a solo class. Meanwhile, the Air Raider is the exact opposite.
The Air Raider is a class designed for the game’s four-player co-op mode. While the Air Raider has weapons like explosive rounds, this class’ specialty is calling in air strikes and summoning vehicles. One of the new mechs that you can summon using the Air Raider is basically a walking fortress with a ridiculous amount of hit points, and the catch is players have to work together to control it.
I hopped in the pilot seat and drove the humongous robot slowly towards my teammates. Soon, the other players jumped in to control the guns and we were an unstoppable death machine. Since we were all controlling a different part of the mech, it looked like it was doing an awkward dance while it sprayed missiles at alien ships.
The giant mech felt similar to the Fencer class, another new addition to the Earth Defense Force series. This class can carry four weapons, including a giant hammer or sword. Aside from arms like the Gatling gun, most of the Fencer’s arsenal requires players to get close enough to the action to attack.
That’s where using the Fencer can be frustrating, since you move slower than an oversized slug and Earth Defense Force 2025 has big maps you need to cross. In multiplayer, one player can choose the Air Raider and summon a bike to drive the Fencer around. In solo, the Fencer only has thrusters for movement so it’s kind of like air dashing through a battlefield.
Being ridiculously overpowered and wildly firing at giant bugs is what makes Earth Defense Force entertaining, and so I decided to try the game out with the weakest weapon possible—a hand torch with zero range.
I was determined to see if a ranger could kill just a single ant with only the Torch (not a medieval torch, a can of hairspray and a lighter) and walked right up to an ant and “fired” away. All that came out was a tiny little flame maybe an inch away from the Ranger. I dodge rolled around the ant’s attacks and kept trying to hit it with the puny weapon. I’m not sure if I ever hit it, but this kind of wackiness is what makes Earth Defense Force 2025 unique.
Earth Defense Force 2025 comes out today for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. While the game supports online multiplayer, you won’t be able to play with gamers from Japan. Siliconera confirmed with a D3 Publisher representative that people who purchase the English version can only play online with other people that bought the English version.