Top critical review
EDF 2025 is a bona fide Alien Invasion Simulator!!!
on January 28, 2015
That's right folks, EDF is a genuine alien invasion simulator. And like in a real alien invasion, the aliens will not take pity on you, they will swarm you all at once, and they will introduce new mega boss beasts to you by the truckload and all at once while you stand there holding your trusty M16 knock-off. While this is all well and good for preparing you for the arrival of our future alien overlords, I'm not sure that it makes for a fun and enjoyable game.
Snarkiness aside, I'm a fan of the EDF series, have all 3 games, and accept it for what it is. And just like any time you have something fun that is heavily flawed, it's hard not to get grumpy about it. Here are my pros and cons for this newest entry in the EDF franchise.
-Action, Action, Action! Each level (of which there are many) starts off quickly, and ends quickly. There are rarely any times in which there is not something to blast on the screen. However, the game does follow the old-school theme of requiring that every last bad guy die a horrible death before the day is done. So, if you miss some alien hung up on a tree or something, be prepared to backtrack to it, because the mission won't end otherwise.
-Oh, the Destruction! You can blow up just about everything, and it is extremely satisfying to bring massive structure down with a few well placed mortar shells.
-The Story! It has some of the best 50's era pseudo-science this side of an old black-and-white theater. It's cheesy...it's lame...but it does keep the story moving forward.
-Coop! Few games lend themselves better to playing with a friend than EDF. It's nice to have that option.
-The anti-screen shake feature! The absolute first thing you should do when you start this game is turn off screen shake. Seriously, you will thank the developers for including it. Because without it, you will start suffering from Shaken Gamer Syndrome within the first 30 minutes, and frankly we're not sure if the condition is reversible.
-Mobility Issues: This game should really be called the Walking Dead Aliens. With the exception of the flying characters, your protagonist moves at an excruciatingly slow pace, and running never seems to be an option. The exo-suit class is even worse, although you can chain dash at a slightly faster speed than walking if you've equipped the right weapons. This is ok in early levels where objectives are right next to one another, but later on when you have to traverse large maps, it really kills the fun. Imagine yourself in an alien invasion. Now imagine yourself walking across Detroit. Yeah, it's as much fun as it sounds.
-Aiming: Aiming is loose and imprecise, especially with some characters like the exo-suit characters for whom aiming is a lot like trying to aim after you've downed a whole bottle of vodka.
-Camera Issues: I'm deducting a full point for the fact that anything can and everything will get between your view of your character, completely blocking your view. Inexcusable in a modern game, and EDF is not the only one that is guilty of it.
-Balancing: The game has some real balancing issues in regards to the difficulty curve, especially at later levels. It wouldn't be so bad except there are no checkpoints, and some levels can be extremely long when you're clearing wave after wave of aliens while trying to destroy their spawn point. Luckily, the game allows you to pick the difficulty before you start each mission.
-Ratings: A game like this practically begs to have some kind of scoresheet after each level so you can see how you did, but unfortunately it doesn't have one. No kills per player, no percentage accuracy, no cost of property damage caused. There is an overall career tally of kills for a player, but nothing by level, giving you very little reason to repeat an old level once, much less doing it 4 times (once for each class which you are "encouraged" to do).
-Now with more Stuttervision! Granted, the Xbox360 is a last-gen system, but massive frame rate drops are no deterrent to the developers as they throw every explosion, bullet, collapsing building, and giant alien they can on the screen all at once. It would be understandable during certain key scenes, but it happens all the time in the game.
So, all in all, EDF 2025 is right in line with the previous entries. Which is to say that it is a flawed experience that can be fun for the right kind of gamer. Cheers!