Earth Defence Force 4.1 is the perfect game for shutting your brain off to enjoy some simple action. A cult classic series on consoles, is now available to try on your PC.
Just released in July, the Earth Defence Force (EDF) series makes it's debut on PC with its most recent title, Earth Defence Force 4.1 - The Shadow of New Despair.
If you haven't played a EDF game before, or even heard of the franchise, the EDF games are old school, mindless fun shooters. EDF games come with a heavy dose of “B Movie” style mixed with some light RPG elements. As you play, your characters will gain additional hit points, and new, more powerful weapons. This extra firepower lets you tackle multiple difficulty levels as you continue to improve your character.
If you enjoy a serious story, high production values, and lots of polish in your games, you may want to look elsewhere for your action. The EDF games are notorious for having loose controls, and below average stability.
So if the EDF games aren't polished, why should you waste your time and money on them?
The thing that makes EDF worthwhile, is its dedication to pure fun vs a dedication to providing a smooth and high quality experience. It's just a entertaining game to play with your friends. Name another game where you are going to have to fight off hundreds of giant ants and spiders with rocket launchers and other heavy ordinance that can easily level an entire city block. The weapons, destructible city environments, crazy vehicles, silly enemies just add up to a stupid fun experience too good to not enjoy.
In the end, the EDF series kind of feels like a crazy mod more so than an official release. Sandlot manages to blend the perfect amount of cheese, with dumb action to make an enjoyable game to play with your friends. While everything isn't perfect, it's close enough to provide a good enough experience to be able to enjoy the game. By removing the barrier of providing a triple A level of polish to everything, EDF allows Sandlot to add a ton of crazy stuff you just don't see in other games, all in one package.
So how is the PC port vs the PS4 version? Well if you have a half decent gaming PC, you can expect a massive framerate boost and and a more stable framerate overall vs the PS4 version. I also found the mouse and keyboard much easier to control and aim vs using a gamepad. Sure some of the vehicle controls in the game are still terrible, but this is due to bad vehicle implementation. Some of the vehicles in the game handle so poorly it doesn't matter what input device you use to control them. I've found that the precision of the mouse and keyboard can help some of these awful vehicles, but don't go in expecting a miracle if you are a PS4 vet.
On the not so good side, the port doesn't feature standard graphical options you would expect for most PC games. If you are using an ultra wide display, or want maximum control over your display settings, EDF 4.1 will disappoint you here. Alt-tabbing is a bit unstable. I've only have had two crashes with my time with the game, and both were due to me alt tabbing out of the game.
The Multiplayer lobby on the PC version is exactly the same as the one on PS4. Multiplayer supports up to four people per lobby, and you can use the steam overlay to invite your friends to your game.
One suggestion I'd make is to disable chat in the room options when you create the game room, or in-game voice will be enabled for everyone with no way to disable it unless you all mute each other.
Local split screen is also supported, which is a nice feature for those who like to play with a friend in person.
The only downside is if you are using keyboard and mouse, the in game menus can be difficult to navigate as some use the arrow keys and others use WASD. I often get confused on which menus use what which can cause me to stumble my way through configuring games and my character.
Ah this is a really tough one to recommend, I can see the sloppy presentation and lack of polish really turning off some people.
I'd say as a solo game, it isn't really worth the price of admission. A lot of the fun comes from playing with your pals and laughing at all the strange and fun EDF has to offer.
I'm going to suggest a try before you buy here. Thankfully with Steam refunds, you can play for up to two hours and get your money back. If you aren't enjoying the game after the first few missions, go ahead and grab a refund, if you like the first mission then hang on tight as EDF is a wild ride, best experienced with good friends.