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PS Vita Game Review

Earth Defense Force 2017 Portable


Format: PS Vita
Namco Bandai Games Europe
RRP: £31.99
Age Restrictions: 16+
Available 16 January 2013

Without warning Earth's skies are darkened with a swarm of spaceships, spewing out intergalactic horrors. Giant robots, drones and creatures invade, the only thing which stands between mankind and annihilation is the Earth Defence Force...

Review imageEarth Defence Force 2017 Portable is a portable version of 2007's Earth Defense Force 2017 third person shooter combat game from Namco Bandai. The whole thing has an anime mecha look to it, with a large slice of fifties B-movie cheese on the side.

Trophy addicts will be please to learn that the game also incorporates these, most of which are within easy reach, although to get them all will take some work. The trophies for the various levels are not stackable, so you would have to conservatively play the game through about ten times to get everything. That said, after the first play through, you also get access to Palewing, an EDF special female operative with a flying pack.

Review imageThe majority of the game happens in a single city, though there are a number of missions chasing down creepy crawlies through underground tunnels or across the countryside in totally destroyable environments.

You play an EDF ranger thrown into battle against giant ants which shoot orange gloop from their butts; giant spiders with life sapping webs; and giant mecha robots. Each of these have differing strengths and weaknesses.

Review imageYou do have a team with you and the ability to recruit more, but how much you use this is dependent on which level you play the game - easy, normal, hard, hardest and inferno. Inferno is insane, but does get you some of the best weapon drops.

On easy mode you can play much of the game ignoring your fellow squad members, you get to run around retiring, with extreme prejudice, everything in sight, blowing up buildings, useful for gaining access to the helicopter which was parked there, picking up tanks and gun bikes, for carnage on an Armageddon level.

As you battle through each level, killing the bad guys will make them drop more armour, increased health and more importantly different types of weapons and ammunition. If you’re playing on easy level, you will still get some good weapons, but the real heavy duty stuff is only found on the hardest levels.

Review imageAll of this becomes more important as you progress as you can not only use a range of weapons, but also load them with specific munitions. Some are appropriate for up close and personal melee action, although against the giant robots ranged and guided missiles will save your butt every time.

The game screen shows your perspective of the battle, over the ranger's shoulder. The left stick controls movement, the right rotates your perspective. To the left you see your health bar with radar on the right; the O button allows you to swap between your weapons with the right buffer controlling your jump.

Review imageThe gaming area also contains a number of heavy duty vehicle, a speeder bike, a tank, an armoured walker and an attack helicopter. They take varying levels of skills to use, but their extra fire power is worth it.

Were there not so many things to play with in your weapons play box, the game might have felt a little repetitive, but both tactics and the right choice of weapon soon become vital if you are to survive. As you progress against waves of enemies the game becomes increasingly more difficult, worry not because you can replay any previously played levels to increase your stamina.

Review imageYou can play the game in story mode through its story levels or go online to play with others, in a four person co-op feature. Getting a game was easy and even when your weapons and abilities are still at the novice level, I still found the community to be inclusive and welcoming, and something you don’t often find in online mode.

What starts life looking like a repetitive experience soon becomes addictive, add the welcoming online community and you have a game which will keep you going for many hours.


Charles Packer

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