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I recently got Earth Defense Force 2025 and while I was expecting to have fun, I did not expect the game to be deep or engaging. Giant insects and robots? Sounds like a silly romp that might entertain for an afternoon or two. Turns out EDF is one of the deeper and more challenging titles you will play this year. It also has a series of features that compare very favorably to Destiny. In many ways, EDF is the game Destiny wanted to be.
Let’s start with the 900 pound gorilla: content. I’ve heard that part of Bungie’s design philosophy on Destiny was based on the observation that gamers would play Halo levels over and over again. The skull system in Halo is pretty cool, forcing you to adapt your play style to counter the limitations you voluntarily apply to your next playthrough. Bungie wanted to give those repeat players a reward for playing a map over and over again. Trouble is, Destiny doesn’t just double down on the replay concept, it leans on it like a crutch. If there were more to do in Destiny, it might have snagged those GOTY accolades they so clearly wanted. EDF is on the other side of the spectrum; there are somewhere in the neighborhood of 90 missions, some of which are taking me 30 minutes plus on normal. In contrast to the $100 bucks for Destiny and a season pass, EDF has a wealth of content for about 10 bucks, and most of it is highly replayable.
Replayability is one of the things that surprised me the most about EDF. Once you beat a level on normal or hard, hardest and inferno difficulty levels await you. You’ll need to use different weapons, different classes, different tactics, and a team that is communicating to beat a level on inferno. The giant ants that look a bit corny on normal are fast and vicious on inferno. They are terrifying and will fuck you up. At its most chaotic, an EDF level really does feel like you are fighting for your life against forces that could destroy the whole earth. So how will you get those cool new weapons? Well you won’t need any strange coins…
EDF loot drops are straight forward: kill a giant robot or nasty spider and they will drop armor and weapons. Play on a harder difficulty, get better guns. No pouring bullets into an empty cave, no limits on how much gear you can get per week. No disappointment when you finish the mission and fail to get the drop you wanted. Every green crate is a winner. Each of the EDF classes plays very differently, uses different weapons, and has different levels of challenge. Start with ranger and work your way up to Wing Diver. There is enough variety and challenge to keep you going for months. Let’s start next Friday. Who’s down for EDF FNF?