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Earth Defence Force 2017 Xbox 360

Published by: D3Publisher
Developed by: SANDLOT
Release Date: Out Now

With how elaborate many games try to be these days it's refreshing to see a game that simply gets on with the action with a minimum of fuss. Earth Defence Force 2017 is an arcade third-person shooter that's low on frills and high on action. It doesn't offer any online play but what it does offer is plenty of missions that are fun to play through. If you have a friend to play through the game with you, you really are in for some great arcade-style action.

The story in Earth Defence Force 2017 is simple: Earth has been invaded by an alien race and it's your job, along with the rest of the Earth Defence Force, to get rid of the aliens. You'll have to get rid of millions of giant ants, spiders, robots and other monsters. Naturally you'll need plenty of firepower to do this and the game doesn't disappoint in this respect as you'll have access to assault rifles, rocket launchers, grenades, flamethrowers and much more. The main game contains over 50 missions and your first play through will take around a dozen hours. Of course the time it takes to play through is dependent on the difficulty level you play at and there are five difficulty levels available ranging from Easy to Insane. Some of these missions are fairly long whilst others will only last a couple of minutes. Aside from the main game, which can either be played as a single-player game or in a co-operative fashion, there's also a Battle Mode for two players.

The missions in Earth Defence Force 2017 are uncomplicated and leave you in no doubt as to what needs to be done. Prior to a mission you'll get to choose your equipment. You can only carry two different weapons so you'll have to choose the weapons that fit your style of play. To begin with your choice of weapons will be limited but as you play through the game you'll gain access to many more. The goal in each mission is simply to take out all of the enemies. The enemies aren't challenging when taken individually. The challenge comes from the number you have to face. The trick is to avoid being surrounded or cornered by them. Essentially the enemies have one instinct and this is to go for the throat. You won't find them using any elaborate strategies or making use of cover. They simply want to destroy everything in their path and that includes you. Rather than making the game seem limited, it actually works in the game's favour. The action is intense and immediately accessible.

There are some aspects of Earth Defence Force 2017 that could have been better though. The game's missions could do with a lot more variety. For the most part you're doing the same things over and over again. Whilst this isn't necessarily a bad thing when the action is coming thick and fast, after a while you do begin to wish that some engaging and challenging boss battles had been thrown in for good measure. Occasionally you do get to control vehicles such as tanks, airbikes and helicopters but there's not enough variation. With some missions you have to trek for a while, on foot, before you get to the enemies. Whilst it's nice to have a little calm before the storm, sometimes you wish you could get to the battle a little quicker. Some form of online play would have been good too, even if only an online co-op mode had been included.

Graphically Earth Defence Force 2017 isn't anything special but for the most part it looks OK. There are plenty of destructible structures which adds to the atmosphere. What is impressive is the sense of scale. Some of the enemies you'll face are huge and this really adds to the experience. The fallen enemies disappear after a few seconds but whilst this does look a little rough it's understandable because had the fallen enemies remained onscreen the sheer size of them would mean that your view would soon be obstructed which would be very irritating. Load times are about average and for the most part aren't distracting. The frame rate does dip when the action is at its most hectic but it's nothing that spoils the flow of the game.

Earth Defence Force 2017 doesn't offer subtitles but that's not to say the game is a poor experience for deaf gamers. The game begins with a scrolling text introduction that sets the scene rather well. A short text summary is given for each mission. During the missions a text notification will appear when you are reloading. The health, weapon, armour and other icons are absolutely huge. The radar that's displayed in the top right of the screen shows you the locations of the approaching enemies so you'll always know where you have to head next. There are some omissions though. Whilst you're browsing the menus there is verbal information that gives you some basic instructions and this isn't subtitled. During the game there are plenty of verbal communications from commanders and other officers and none of this is subtitled. Fortunately you can still play the game without any of the verbal content but it's still a shame that subtitles weren't included.

If you're looking for an arcade-style third person shooter then Earth Defence Force 2017 is well worth the asking price. Incidentally the asking price is a modest £24.99 and can even be found online for as low as £17.99 which is an absolute bargain. The game may lack a deep storyline and the AI may lack the finesse that you've come to expect from most shooters these days but Earth Defence Force 2017 swaps frills for thrills and in many respects is all the better for it. Whether you're playing solo or with a friend the game is a lot of fun and quite unlike anything else on the Xbox 360 at the moment. At the bargain price this is going for, every 360 gamer should give it a go.

Overall Game Rating 8.0/10

Deaf Gamers Classification

DGC Classification C
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Earth Defence Force 2017 is an enjoyable arcade-style third-person shooter that swaps frills for thrills. At the bargain price this can be had for, you'd be mad to miss out on it.