Monday, March 23, 2009

On EDF2017.

I got a sudden urge to dust off my copy of Earth Defense Force 2017.

The operative term here is "cathartic bliss."

Strictly speaking, this game is a mess. With 150 weapons, they basically chucked the concept of balance out the window (arc welder dealing zero damage? wtf?). As far as I can tell, they made up as many variations on the basic types (assault rifle, shotgun, grenade, rocket, etc) as they could think up, utility be damned. Framerates are wildly unstable, and for a game that runs at 20 fps the graphics would not impress on the PS2 (but for the sheer mass of objects on screen). The difficulty curve is wildly unstable, until ramping into the stratosphere for the last act. And vehicles? Why did they bother, exactly? When a mech traverses at half a degree per second, or a helicopter's weaponry is impossible to aim, one would be better served staying on foot.

What this game reminds me of is, of all things, Syndicate. Perhaps with some Rampage thrown in.

Seriously. You're tossed into a cityscape with bottomless firepower and plenty of stuff to destroy, and no one cares one iota about collateral damage. Is it tactially prudent to level the five city blocks between you and the objective? To hell with prudence, does it sound like fun to level every skyscraper on the map with hand-grenades, because you can? Yes, you can drop an apartment block with anything explosive, as long as it's close enough. Hilarity ensues. Especially with low-res wackyphysics in place.

Oh, and the enemies are a combination of giant insects and giant robots, two things that need nothing but lots of killin'. Never mind the torrents of (awfully-rendered) green blood or *huge* explosions when the killin' is accomplished. Oh yes.

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