There are two types of video games in modern times: those that present it as a cinematic work of art that is no different from a Hollywood film with a high budget and that still presents gameplay as a focus with “pleasure” as a priority. Games with the first approach are usually the most popular and often talked about, given the experience that usually ends strongly arouses feelings by leaving a deep memory. While the game with the second concept is usually often ignored because it is considered not “serious” in terms of the theme. Even if you believe it or not, not a few games from the second category end up dazzling. One of them is Earth Defense Force from D3 Publisher.
So like the previous Earth Defense Force game, the Iron Rain series is still focused on the struggle of special forces – EDF to dispel alien attacks that try to control the earth. But it comes with a new and different timeline, you will enter a war that has been going on for a long time with the EDF condition that you could say, competent enough to dispel many similar attacks. It’s just that, the alien forces from where this came from, are not something that can be underestimated.
The first invasion occurred in 2028 with aliens officially getting the name “Aggressor”. For the first time the world united and built special forces to dispel weapons of war with technology they had never seen before. The organization was called Earth Defense Force (EDF) which had lost in the initial battle, but succeeded in gaining strategic advantage after the exoskeleton technology called PA-Gear made them look like a superhuman. Successfully winning the battle, EDF managed to destroy the master plane which they named as Hivecraft. But unfortunately, winning the battle is not the same as winning the war.
Seven years after the “victory”, humans still have to fight the remnants of the problem brought by Hivecraft to earth. The animals that they had brought, especially large, super deadly insects such as ants and spiders did not stop breeding. Slowly but surely, they continued to carry out attacks after attacks to destroy human civilization, with numbers that seemed to refuse to decrease. You acted as one of the troops who managed to destroy Hivecraft 7 years ago and now must re-drain your sweat to ensure the earth, the house you love, but here.
Finally stepping into the current generation, there are no more sentences that seem to explain our first reaction when we see Earth Defense Force: Iron Rain. After being trapped with past visualizations that seemed nothing special in the past, we finally found a series that at least left a little “up-to-date” traces in it, while maintaining the same core gameplay. Everything is built with optimization which is also supported by comfortable framerates that are more consistent than what the Earth Defense Force 5 has to offer before. At least the appeal of this one, Earth Defense Force: Iron Rain feels more modern.
You will feel this visual improvement from the very first time you tasted it. Almost everything is now built using high-definition textures with better lighting effects. The building destruction system due to the effect of your attack is still maintained, but it must be acknowledged, but it leaves behind the “debris” of old technology in it. Instead of being destroyed beautifully, elegantly, and in full detail, this collapsed building will still end with large pieces that will then disappear from the screen quickly while sacrificing a little of your framerate every time it happens. But if there is one thing that contributes significantly to this improvement is the quality of the visual effects he offers.
To design the main character you are using, EDF: Iron Rain still injects a level of customization that is quite varied to develop the cosmetics side of your character, from just clothes to even face shape. What we like actually comes from the opportunity to use 4 types of PA-Gear, each of which acts like a class in an RPG game. Unlike the previous series which binds each of these classes with specific characters of a certain gender, EDF: Iron Rain combines it with characters that you have already built from the beginning. Not just different colors and large bodies, some classes such as Heavy Strikers, which seem to be called “running tanks” or Prowl Rider, make mobility the focus, they now come in different costumes. At least for this one business, EDF: Iron Rain does his job well. While for monster design? Take it easy, you will still be faced with Kaiju-Kaiju who now looks more fierce.
Core EDF: Iron Rain like the other EDF series is still struggling in the battle against giant monsters, which can move from the city, to the vast wilderness, to the cave. By using the weapon you choose before starting the mission, this action is carried out. The battle will take you against a variety of enemy variants, from “just” giant insects that you can kill with a few bullets, humanoid monsters with metal armor which of course presents more deadly attack variants, to giant spacecraft that will continue to spawn monsters keep busy you. The core of the EDF game: Iron Rain is still the same.
But of course, Yuke’s concoction game and no longer this Sandlot doesn’t necessarily just “mimic” the old series and only offer more qualified visual quality. After all this is a new series with a different story, which opens opportunities for Yuke to inject whatever they want. One of them of course comes from the design of the enemy you are fighting with and the level of difficulty you believe or not, higher.
The presence of Overdrive may sound like something clichéd and simple, but it acts as a sufficiently effective counterweight to the higher levels of difficulty we have mentioned before. With the extra defense you get every time the Overdrive is triggered, you can now kill more monsters more effectively. But of course, considering that it can only be used once / battle, storing it for really fierce conditions for your safety is strongly recommended. Unfortunately, this Overdrive does not necessarily make you more resistant to the body. The rag doll system that we hate can still happen in a real condition, it should make you super strong. What makes it in certain conditions, makes your Overdrive a shorter period more decorated during the ups and downs.
But Overdrive does not always come with a stronger form of character. For specific classes – Prowl Rider which acts like a character in Attack on Titan, Overdrive is present with special effects. Instead of appearing super strong, the Prowl Rider character will bring up a specific monster – be it ants or spiders that will act as your companion at that time. The spider, for example, can bring out smaller spiders and tie the enemy who is your main target. So not all Overdrive always ends up being a status strengthening system.
If there is one thing we have to complain about and regret from EDF: Iron Rain is a variant of weapons that is no longer “interesting” Earth Defense Force 5. Although we ourselves do not know whether the fall of these weapons occurs randomly or appears as a specific reward from each the mission that appears, but the variations offered no longer end as crazy as the previous series. We have just entered chapter 50, and as far as the eye can see, there are no weapons with a variety of super destructive effects that EDF 5 for example, usually already available since the beginning of the battle.
Unlike the previous series which only dropped these weapons and let you use them, EDF: Iron Rain demands a specific resource. To unlock weapons that are divided into various categories and qualities, you have to pay a sum of money – which of course is obtained as a reward for each mission you successfully complete. Not only that, you also need to prepare the appropriate Energy Gems. There will be three types of Energy Gems which are divided into three different colors: red, yellow and blue, each of which will fall from a specific enemy. Opening a new weapon will require you to sacrifice the resources that are needed.
EDF: Iron Rain makes this weapon select system more complex than just “determining the right weapon in the right situation” typical of past EDFs, which uniquely provides a gap for craze and fun. In Iron Rain, a concept like this does provide an extra layer of strategy above the higher level of difficulty, but on the other hand, it feels “robbing” one of the concepts that makes this franchise so fun in the past. Slow but sure, along with the progress of the game, we began to miss the presence of super crazy EDF 5 missiles, which used to always produce smiles every time they were shot. You can see mechanical adaptation like this as an advantage, but unfortunately for us, especially with the super annoying rag doll system that we talked about before, it feels like getting a sense of fun without thinking EDF should.
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