Earth Defense Force 4.1: The Shadow of New Despair
Top Critic Average
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.