Review: Earth Defense Force 4.1: The Shadow of New Despair – Despair Peeks In On Earthlings

Earth Defense Force 4.1_LOGO

+Multiple classes that feature quite a bit of variation in weapons
+Rather nicely updated graphics compared to previous titles
+Online cooperative play is rather enjoyable
+Narrative of the game will remind many of Godzilla style movies

Intermittent frame-rate spikes can take away from enjoyability
Enemies can at times be overwhelmingly hard to tolerate



When entering the first mission it’s hard not to find yourself squinting at the ridiculously chosen type of enemy as those giant ants come scurrying across the map in a hurry. The evident choice is one of a few things that will make friends roll their eyes as the game quickly enters the cheesy category, but remains an enjoyable game that those who give it a go will enjoy. To be honest? As my first foray into the franchise, this game is rather enjoyable, loony, but enjoyable as players will take on with collecting new weapons to use for each of the games playable classes.

It’s hard not-to-say that the game carries on the legacy that XSEED Games has become known for, which is in-depth attention to detail on the games that they are working on and ensuring that they bring over the quality we would expect had we gotten the original title, which this games does seem to show off quite a bit. Their attention to the details with the voice acting offers up a great bit to show off the efforts that they have gone through in order to preserve these elements from the original title from Japan.

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While it’s hard at times to overlook just how corny the game is, it doesn’t take away that the game has quite a bit to walk away with when it comes down to how enjoyable it is, but also what brings forth the game’s replay value. What causes this replay value is quite interesting as players will find themselves delving into the same missions multiple times as each playable class such as Fencer, Ranger, and Wind Divers. As players get underway the missions can become rather repetitive as they find themselves trying to repeat them across multiple difficulties in order to get the games complete experience.

The nice part to this portion of the game? The fact you can do this in multiplayer with friends in order to keep the game more-so alive than you already have been is astounding as I’ve found myself constantly remaining in multiplayer lobbies in order to once more continue the adventure. Though this game follows a singular note, one that is painstakingly obvious. The game is all action, in that alone, that means the game is about one instance – shoot it all, ask questions later, and blow everything to smithereens before asking any, err… No questions once done. Because, well, everything’s dead. Unlike most games, this one didn’t receive much polish that would allow for the game to present itself among its next-gen peers.



As a game that proves that it hasn’t been fully refined, Earth Defense Force 4.1: The Shadow of New Despair proves itself as a problematic game, one that looms over it is the game’s graphics engine, which many have begun to criticize as it almost stands between the PS2 and PS3 ages of graphics engines, which to say the last, is a bit dumbfounding with the power of the new-gen console as well as the capabilities of engines that are available for use. While many such as myself can look past this, it’s a critical thing to think about when it comes to games no matter how corny they are aiming to be. While this is only one of the milder complaints in comparison to frame rate issues or the likes.

The game does suffer from some of its own problems that can be noted by the sudden spikes of frame rate based on what’s going on within the game such as tons of insects, explosions, alien robots or the likes. It’s here where the game begins to show its lack-of-programming prowess in order to better utilize the console it has released on as well as the hardware available in order to ensure the game is a solid launch for all to enjoy. The brighter side of it all? There’s little-to-no lag on the multiplayer side of the game, which is nice as this is something that seems to be a rather large focal point for the title.

Earth Defense Force 4.1: The Shadow of New Despair – PS4 (Reviewed)
Developer: Sandlot
Publisher: XSEED Games
Cost: 49.99 USD
Release Date: Now Available

Even with those minor things said, Earth Defense Force 4.1: The Shadow of New Despair attempts to bring the series back for another spin so that fans will once more find themselves etching along city streets with friends in order to save planet Earth from a menacing alien threat that does not seeks to let humanity remain in peace even after several years of no encounters. If you’re one for adventure with friends as well as have the tolerance for high repetitiveness? Earth Defense Force 4.1 is right up your alley, but those seeking a lack of repetitiveness and want enjoyability based on a singular playthrough – this is absolutely not your game as the game seeks reward through repetition.

Our review is based upon the final version that the publisher provided us with.  For information about our ethics policy please click here.

 Final Score: 6 out of 10

About the Writer:


Dustin is our native console gamer, PlayStation and Nintendo reviewer who has an appetite for anything that crosses the boarders from across the big pond. His interest in JRPG’s, Anime, Handheld Gaming, and Pizza is insatiable. His elitist attitude gives him direction, want, and a need for the hardest difficulties in games, which is fun to watch, and hilarity at its finest. You can find him over on TwitterGoogle+, and or you can find him on PSN with RaivynLyken.

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