Friday, September 17, 2010

Earth Defense Force Insect Armageddon Update: No Sandlot (!), BUT It's Still Going To Be A Blast

In only slightly shocking news (well, to some of you out there - I predicted this a few weeks back), Earth Defense Force series creator Sandlot is not involved in the development of the upcoming Earth Defense Force Insect Armageddon. Instead, D3 has announced that veteran developer Vicious Cycle (Dead Head Fred, The Return of Matt Hazard) has taken on programming duty for the upcoming third-person shooter set for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 as a Spring 2011 release. The company's Vicious Engine is quite a versatile one, so I'm expecting the game to be a more than worthy expansion to the groundwork laid by Sandlot.

Breaking down the announcement piece by piece, let's start with the cover art:

Excellently done and it's nice how it's a riff on the cover to EDF 2017 (I see flying ants or wasps are back in the mix - yes!). So far, so good...

As for the developer... Even if you've never heard of Vicious Cycle, I'll bet you've probably played some of their games...

My only request is I'm hoping the team has played through all the original Chikyuu Boueigun games, particularly the second installment. It was the best one in the series thanks to the wide variety of obscenely challenging enemy types and Pale Wing, a female character who could use a jet pack and had her own set of fantastic energy-based weapons. I'd also say a female character is necessary in the game just so the option to play as one is there.

Anyway, let's boogie on over to the press release and see what's what...


Join the Earth Defense Force in the Battle Between Man and Giant Bug in Earth Defense Force®: Insect Armageddon™ This Spring

The bugs are back in Earth Defense Force: Insect Armageddon, and its no picnic for the world’s elite soldiers as the most concentrated giant insect invasion ever threatens human civilization unless the Earth Defense Force (EDF) can stop them! Earth Defense Force: Insect Armageddon from D3Publisher (D3P), is a co-op multiplayer Arcade Shooter that gives the player the ability to destroy thousands of giant bugs and turn an entire city to rubble in an unforgettable gaming experience built for replay. Earth Defense Force: Insect Armageddon will be available this spring in North America for Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft and PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system and is under development by Vicious Cycle and is currently rated “RP” (Rating Pending) by the ESRB.

About Earth Defense Force: Insect Armageddon

Taking place in the fictional city of New Detroit, Earth Defense Force: Insect Armageddon is a completely new game developed by Vicious Cycle that takes on the concept of Earth Defense Force 2017 (Japanese Title “Earth Defense Force 3” developed by SANDLOT). Insect Armageddon continues to follow the rich history of casual fun and addictive gameplay that made the franchise a cult classic. Insect Armageddon also adds a new aspect to the Earth Defense Force series that was born in Japan, with additional elements for all EDF soldiers to experience. The Campaign mode that lets up to three players team up online to battle the insects and aliens across a completely destroyable city.

Every EDF soldier is armed with over 150 weapons and four upgradeable armor sets and engages in nonstop arcade action that is the fastest and deadliest in the series. In addition, the game also features a six-player Survival mode that pits a human squad against a nonstop onslaught of the largest enemies the aliens have to offer. New Detroit’s giant bug problem is unavoidable, and mankind’s last hope lies with the Earth Defense Force to defend the world from the insect swarm, even if it means blowing up the entire city as part of the extermination process.

Well, I'm definitely psyched by the new additions and the screens look great so far (memo to D3: MORE screens, please!!!). Online play should be a huge help in boosting the franchise to the next level of acceptance by a wider range of players and Survival mode with six players sounds great. As long as there's a solid, lengthy single player campaign (yes, there are a LOT of folks out there who still crave solo play in their action games) and that pure, crazy EDF action to dig into for hours on end, the game should keep even the skeptics happy.

Sure, I'll miss Sandlot's assorted quirks, but as long as the new game keeps the same crazy spirit intact, adds enough great new elements and is a ton of fun, I'm dancing in the streets before the giant spiders start bouncing around and I need to run like hell for that rocket launcher.

More on Earth Defense Force Insect Armageddon as news comes in - stay tuned!

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