Earth Defense Force 4.1: The Shadow of New Despair was playable at Tokyo Game Show, and if you played any of the other games in the series you have a good idea of what to expect. Since this game is a continuation of Earth Defense force 2025, it has the same four classes—Ranger, Wing Diver, Air Raider, and Fencer.
I picked Wing Diver and equipped a homing missile as my a secondary weapon before flying out to blast some ants. The one thing I noticed is that the graphics are improved from the PS3 and Xbox 360 games. Most notably, the draw distance is greater and the giant ants that swarm the screen are shinier.
On the other hand this is an Earth Defense Force game, and the title isn’t visually groundbreaking—nor does it need to be. Sometimes, enemies will clip through buildings, but that doesn’t really matter. What makes the Earth Defense Force series fun is the simple pleasure of blasting bugs with friends.
The Tokyo Game Show demo had a stage where a Godzilla-like monster with a lightning breath attack showed up near the end of the level. I flew around the creature firing homing missiles which didn’t even scratch it. The Godzilla-clone spat out a breath attack and eliminated all of the other friendly soldiers in one blast. Then reinforcements came—four helicopters dropped in a giant mech. (We couldn’t take photos, but the trailer below has snippets of the fight).
The hulking mech made the screen shake each time I took a step forward. While you sacrifice mobility by piloting the mecha, it made up for it by being super powerful and had over 30,000 armor.
For comparison sake, the Wing Diver only had 300. The mecha could only use punching attacks. L1 made the left arm swing and R1 activated the right arm. While I attacked, ants crawled over the mecha and stayed on even when I moved around. After pummeling the Godzilla wannabe the monster ran away and the mission ended.
Earth Defense Force 4.1: The Shadow of New Despair is slated for release in 2015 on PlayStation 4.