Earth Defense Force 4.1: The Shadow of New Despair

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Percentile Rank

Earth Defense Force 4.1: The Shadow of New Despair is ranked in the 28th percentile of games scored on OpenCritic.

Rating Summary

Based on 40 critic reviews
Fair Man

OpenCritic Rating

65

Top Critic Average

33%

Critics Recommend

Based on 40 critic reviews

Score Distribution

Unscored Reviews

ACG
Buy
ACG

Top Critic

Buy
Jul 19, 2016
Earth Defense Force 4.1 Review video thumbnail

Scored Reviews

Hardcore Gamer
4.5 / 5.0
4.5 / 5.0
Dec 8, 2015

It would be easy to blow off Earth Defense Force 4.1: The Shadow of New Despair as just another HD remake, but that wouldn't give it credit for how much better it plays now that it's got appropriate processing muscle behind its enemy-packed levels. Simply put, Earth Defense Force has never looked or played as good as this, and while the framerate still drops a bit when the action gets particularly intense, it's never anything but playable.

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CGMagazine
9 / 10.0
9 / 10.0
Aug 8, 2016

Earth Defense Force 4.1 is a smoother, more polished version of the same cheesy, excellent product that Sandlot's gotten so good at making.

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Gaming Nexus
8.5 / 10.0
8.5 / 10.0
Dec 8, 2015

Killing giant insect scum was has never been as fun and addicting as it is now. The four different classes provide four different and fun ways to play the game and there is tons of replay value here to keep you killing incest for many months to come.

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Niche Gamer
8.5 / 10.0
8.5 / 10.0
Aug 7, 2016

Earth Defense Force 4.1 is a fantastic example of what games are capable of – being big, dumb, and an absolute ton of fun all at the same time. Lots of content, presentation so silly that it's heartwarming, and giant swarms of bugs and robots to blow to smithereens alone or with friends make me come back time and time again. It's a high recommendation to basically anyone – you're never so high and mighty as not to deal with some giant insects.

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GameCrate
8.3 / 10.0
8.3 / 10.0
Dec 18, 2015

Earth Defense Force 4.1 isn't out to change the action genre, or win any technical awards for that matter. It simply provides a fun, over-the-top experience where you lay waste to aliens – and the city, oops. It's built pretty solidly, though, and is a sheer joy to play, whether alone or with friends. And when you hop into the helm of a mech, your heroic meter will definitely jump up a notch. Here's to you, EDF!

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Destructoid
8 / 10.0
8 / 10.0
Dec 8, 2015

If I were to stick with a single installment going forward, this would be the one. Some of the upgrades fall short of expectations, and a good deal of the content is overly familiar at this point, but The Shadow of New Despair still represents the series at its best.

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PC Gamer
80 / 100
80 / 100
Jul 27, 2016

No polish or refinement, just lots of giant ants and plenty of ways to kill them. Ridiculously fun at its best, which it frequently is.

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Saving Content
Jul 29, 2016

While the game itself isn't a visual powerhouse, this is the best a Earth Defense Force game has ever looked. EARTH DEFENSE FORCE 4.1 The Shadow of New Despair is also the best-playing game of the series – combine this with the ability to play cooperatively online with a friend, and you've got magic in the making. EARTH DEFENSE FORCE 4.1 is not technically or visually impressive, but it makes a case for unadulterated fun being core to a game experience over the latter.

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Worth Playing
8 / 10.0
8 / 10.0
Jan 5, 2016

Earth Defense Force 4.1: The Shadow of New Despair isn't a game for those who want to be dazzled by graphics. It may be impressive in terms of how many enemies can be on-screen in relation to their size, but issues like screen tearing and unstable frame rate don't exactly make it showcase material. It also isn't a game for those who want a deep narrative, as the simple setup is undermined by dialogue that makes you scratch your head. It is, however, a game built on mindless fun, and it delivers that in spades, even if some may say it feels like a slog at times. There isn't much here for Earth Defense Force 2025 players, especially since it doesn't include the three previously released DLC packs, but new players will fall in love with this title almost immediately.

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Forbes
8 / 10.0
8 / 10.0
Jul 10, 2016

Overall, 4.1 is a raucous and fun shooter with a different as well as more open ended approach compared to the more scripted movie wannabe type games out there.

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DarkZero
8 / 10
8 / 10
Mar 7, 2016

The game is huge at close to a hundred levels, with some very reasonably priced DLC that makes an already vast experience half as massive again.

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Wccftech
7.8 / 10.0
7.8 / 10.0
Mar 7, 2016

It may look rubbish but EDF 4.1 plays brilliantly. You just have to try this game, it's loads of goofy fun.

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Gamers FTW
7.5 / 10.0
7.5 / 10.0
Apr 8, 2016

Earth Defense Force 4.1: The Shadow of New Despair won't win any prestigious awards, but it still manages to be a fun little cult offering that will please those looking to simply have a good time. If you don't expect anything serious or realistic to come out of it, you'll definitely enjoy blasting away at your enemies while listening to some of the silliest dialogue ever put on a game

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GameGrin
7.5 / 10.0
7.5 / 10.0
Mar 1, 2016

A great shooter that offers a surprising amount of variety and content. The mechanics may be simple but EDF 4.1 showcases spectacle above all else and it always proves to be thrilling.

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Kinglink Reviews
3.5 / 5.0
3.5 / 5.0
Feb 16, 2019

A solid representation of the B-movie in video game form, for better or worse. It’s got a lot of laughable moments, with a few design issues and crashes but they don’t ruin the fun.

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GameSpew
7 / 10
7 / 10
Feb 12, 2016

Whether it's locally or online, playing in co-op makes Earth Defense Force 4.1 truly shine; its unsophisticated shooter gameplay being perfect for chilling out with a friend on the couch or with up to three allies on the internet

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ZTGD
7 / 10.0
Ken McKown

Top Critic

7 / 10.0
Jan 15, 2016

There is a lot to EDF 4.1, but nothing about it is going to change players' minds if they never enjoyed the series. The same rinse and repeat game play exists, the performance is still questionable, and the repetition is real. Still for those that enjoy it, this is by far the best the series has been to date.

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Gamers Heroes
7 / 10
Gamers Heroes
Johnny Hurricane

Top Critic

7 / 10
Dec 31, 2015

The price point is going to be the big killer for this game. It comes in at $49.99 when it seems like it should be a 30$ game. Overall at the price point, I just can’t recommend it to anyone who isn’t big into the franchise already.

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MonsterVine
3.5 / 5.0
3.5 / 5.0
Dec 9, 2015

EDF 4.1 is easily the best in the series thanks to its improved performance and is a great jump on point for newcomers.

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PlayStation Universe
7 / 10.0
7 / 10.0
Dec 9, 2015

Varied and fun to play, Shadow of New Despair captures the intensity and feel of 70's and 80's monster/sci-fi movies, though its difficulty curve is sometimes hard to swallow.

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Push Square
7 / 10
7 / 10
Dec 9, 2015

From each individual line of dialogue to every jagged texture, Earth Defense Force 4.1: The Shadow of New Despair is so bad that it's actually pretty bloody good. A game that knows exactly what it's doing and sticks wholeheartedly to its stupidity, it's a refreshing experience that's bolstered by an admittedly addictive gameplay loop. Whether alone or with friends, it proves to be an accessible hoot that packs plenty of fun – provided that you leave your brains at the door.

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Video Chums
6.7 / 10.0
6.7 / 10.0
Jan 12, 2016

As with most games in the series, Earth Defense Force 4.1 is an absolute riot at first.

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PlayStation LifeStyle
6 / 10.0
6 / 10.0
Dec 9, 2015

Earth Defense Force 4.1: The Shadow of New Despair is amazingly dumb, which is exactly the reason the series became such a cult hit in the first place. The dialogue and voice acting are awful, the sound mixing is abysmal, the graphics would have seemed dated two generations ago and the gameplay is a simple exercise in mindless destruction. But as with all glorious garbage of this nature, there's a certain je ne sais quoi about the way it comes together — or rather, fails to come together — that makes it perfect for multiplayer hilarity. Leave your brain at the door and you'll probably have a good time.

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COGconnected
60 / 100
60 / 100
Dec 9, 2015

Each available class truly does provide a unique element to the gameplay, with completely different tactics and strengths. It's just a shame that the level design isn't as variable as the class system.

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TheSixthAxis
6 / 10
6 / 10
Feb 19, 2016

Ultimately EDF4.1 ends up being an addictive game that is full of alien squishing fun on a huge scale, but as a last generation port to PlayStation 4, it ends up being far too expensive. I shall await with bated breath for a true sequel.

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God is a Geek
6 / 10.0
6 / 10.0
Dec 8, 2015

A brainless shooter that manages to be fun despite poor aesthetics and a host of technical issues.

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Slant Magazine
Jan 6, 2016

It doesn't ever completely shy away from using filler material after successfully building so much momentum.

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Digitally Downloaded
Dec 15, 2015

I highly recommend playing Earth Defense Force 4.1: The Shadow of New Despair with a friend or three. And then, only if you're all fans of incredibly cheesy science fiction films. If you can get the right group together, the fact there are over 100 levels to play through means this will be a lot of long-lasting fun. The team behind this game knows exactly what it is trying to deliver, and in terms of the pacing and explosive combat, Earth Defense Force usually delivers nicely.

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CGMagazine
6 / 10.0
6 / 10.0
Dec 14, 2015

Earth Defense Force 4.1 is the videogame equivalent of a 'so-bad-it's-good' B-movie.

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Cubed3
5 / 10
5 / 10
Mar 31, 2016

Despite being good, clean, mindless fun, Earth Defense Force 4.1: The Shadow of New Despair lacks the depth and polish to elevate it above its peers, and likely won't appeal to those unwilling to commit to the grind. Fans of past iterations in the series will no doubt lap it up voraciously and call out anybody who disagrees that it's the greatest thing since...well, the last EDF game. While it's fair to say that it does have a certain low-tech charm best enjoyed in small doses, extended sessions only serve to emphasise the shallow, repetitive gameplay, with prolonged exposure inducing what can only be described as brain atrophy. So bad it's good? Yeah, probably.

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NZGamer
5 / 10.0
5 / 10.0
May 27, 2016

EDF4.1 won't win any awards but, if you can look past its failures, it's a pretty fun game.

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5 / 10
Dec 11, 2015

I almost wish Earth Defense Force 4.1 offered the ability to upgrade your weapons rather than crossing your fingers and hoping you'll get some good weapon drops after each mission. More bizarre, though, is the absence of any sort of mission score screen. Nobody seems to care how long you took, how many of your fellow EDF soldiers died alongside you, or how many pedestrians became bug lunch, although these factors seem to be mysteriously tied into what sort / caliber of weapon drop you get afterward.

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Digital Chumps
4.6 / 10.0
4.6 / 10.0
Dec 8, 2015

Earth Defense Force 4.1 is a lesson in how endearment can turn into exasperation. Like the best magic tricks, it's astounding the first time you see it, but a waste of time when the performer can't figure out how to move on.

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Twinfinite
2 / 5.0
2 / 5.0
Dec 8, 2015

Earth Defense Force 4.1: The Shadow of New Despair has some good features. One amazing class, destructible environments, and tons of onscreen enemies sounds like the makings of something great. But the highly repetitive missions, dated graphics, forgettable story, and lack of anything worth sticking around for make the game a largely forgettable experience.

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GamingBolt
4 / 10.0
4 / 10.0
Dec 18, 2015

Earth Defense Force 4.1 is a game only for diehard EDF fans. Other than that it will look and play like a shovelware title that can be found on the Wii back in 2005.

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We Got This Covered
Dec 8, 2015

Earth Defense Force 4.1: The Shadow of New Despair still has all of the series' quirks which fans love and detractors dislike. It's a flawed experience, but it asks players to overlook its shortcomings in order to have a laugh.

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Metro GameCentral
4 / 10
4 / 10
Feb 17, 2016

A remake of a rehash of a disappointing sequel… that only hints at what Earth Defense Force could be if the series would only show some forward momentum.

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Attack of the Fanboy
Dec 8, 2015

Earth Defense Force 4.1: The Shadow of New Despair is not an enjoyable game thanks to the ugly graphics and repetitive nature of the gameplay. It does not help that enemy types and levels are reused over and over again too.

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The Jimquisition
3 / 10.0
3 / 10.0
Dec 19, 2015

This is not so bad it's good. It's just plain bad, and there aren't enough giant insects in the world to convince me otherwise.

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