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Platform

Xbox 360

 

Genre

Action

 

Publisher

D3 Publisher

 

Developer

Vicious Cycle

 

ESRB

T (Teen)

 

Released

July 5, 2011

 

 

- Good fun with some friends (even online!)

- Campaign banter between the Commander and Control

- Some really, really huge enemies

- Vehicles are actually useful this time around

 

 

- Not sure why there had to be character classes - After a couple hours the action feels repetitive (when playing alone)

- Weapons feel and sound underpowered

 

 

Review: Earth Defense Force: 2017 (360)

Review: Red Faction: Armageddon (360)

Review: MDK 2: Armageddon (PS2)

Review: Spawn: Armageddon (PS2)

Review: MotorStorm: Apocalypse (PS3)

 

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Earth Defense Force: Insect Armageddon

Score: 6.5 / 10

 

earth defense force insect armageddon          earth defense force insect armageddon

 

With Earth Defense Force: Insect Armageddon's predecessor, Earth Defense Force 2017, the allure for me was the fact it felt like action figures running around in a balsa wood environment as ants the size of tanks and giant UFOs appeared with only one directive: destroy the player. It was like 1980's GI Joe fantasy brought to digital life and all pretence of seriousness was dropped in favour of outright fun and city environments that crumbled with misplaced rocket fire. This next instalment in

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the EDF series eschews the whimsy of plastic men running around inside a Japanese monster flick in favour of something just a little bit different and possibly more "realistic" (the word being used here in the broadest sense possible).


Buildings can take a few hits from heavy artillery before crumpling into the ground. This was actually hard for me to get a handle on. Was I missing the building? Was there a shield in

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place protecting the building? No, it just took more power to bring it down.


Insect Armageddon also features four different character classes, each with different limitations and advantages. This choice makes a lot of sense when playing online, either through the Campaign or Survival mode. A good team will always feature a mix of classes, but it seems to make little difference in the single-player campaign.

 

Choosing a Heavy offers destructive stopping power and has the most health of the four classes. He can also equip an energy shield. That's all the player needs to consider. Kill the ravagers before they get too close and be able to withstand some punishment if they do get close.


The character classes also fragment the weapon selection. EDF 2017 had a huge list of crazy weapons, like the Turtle Rocket (if memory serves), which the player could fire and then outrun to the target. Stopping power and damage was awesome, but one really needed to consider when to use it. Or even equip it all during the pre-mission selection process. The player can only carry two weapons at a time, which is a carry-over from EDF: 2017, but there's much less consideration or thought required in choosing a weapon because the weapon list is so much shorter.

 

earth defense force insect armageddon          earth defense force insect armageddon

 

The weapons in Insect Armageddon feel underpowered for the most part and they all certainly sound that way. There's little "oomph!" to these weapons, no throbbing bass (aside from the some of the vehicle weapons), even if the visual effects can be pretty darn cool to watch.


The campaign is straightforward and shouldn't pose much of a difficulty in completing, unless the rigours of repeating the same tactics against the same enemies again and again start to make the player lose interest. So it's fortunate that the game supports multi-player co-op through the campaign. The banter between the Commander and Control can be funny, but it's nothing to the fiction spun by player commentary. And if being on Xbox Live is an impediment, Insect Armageddon supports two-player split screen.


Insect Armageddon is missing the magic B-movie sensibility of its predecessor -- Insect Armageddon looks too sophisticated! -- but it's still an okay action game to play with friends and strangers who would rather blast giant monsters than serve as cannon fodder in Call of Duty or Battlefield.

 

- Aaron Simmer

(July 22, 2011)

 

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