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Earth Defense Force: Iron Rain Review




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New looks do not hide good, old-fashioned fun.

I have this thing. I hate cucumber. I hate it so much. But no matter how much I explain, why most people do not understand it. I just have to taste it differently than other people. It's a fundamental, maybe even genetic difference. I understand, others do not. I think D3 Publisher may have realized that there is a similar problem in the heart of the Earth Defense Force series ̵

1; an Earth Defense Force: Iron Rain is only moderately successful in solving the problem.

EDF is the anti-cucumber. Fans love the quantitative and qualitative access to content. his huge, wonderfully pointless fighting scenarios; Is it that it is said to be funny ? and even the way the obsolete-looking series of the series runs across the screen with a perverted, stubborn charm. You may be able to say that I am one of these people. But no matter how much you show it to friends and try to demonstrate its charm, most take a look and go: "It looks like a PS2 game, please leave me alone. I'm trying to sleep. "

Earth Defense Force: Iron Rain, it seems to me, is a deliberate attempt to see if even a few people could be persuaded to enjoy this cult favorite if he filtered some of it. essence de cucumber . D3 has taken the EDF license (hopefully temporarily) from mainline developer Sandlot and handed it over to Yuke's, who is famous for his work on the WWE 2K series. The spin-off was released a few months after the last western release, Earth Defense Force 5. It uses a whole new engine, a more flexible approach to the class system, and a more serious story (well, as serious as alien invasions and genetically engineered ants can be) ,

What does not change Yuke is the core concept: this is still a game where you constantly land with pre-picked weapons in a large area of ​​52 missions and shoot the absolute shit out of a selection of giant insects. B-movie aliens and occasional kaiju knock-off. And frankly, if Iron Rain is an attempt to make EDF more palatable for the mainstream, it probably failed. But that's because the game is a little bit more secure, which means it's almost a lot of fun almost without exception for the same reasons as in the mainline games.

Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain

The most obvious change, of course, is how it all looks. Unreal Engine was introduced to give Iron Rain a smooth, if somewhat anemic facelift, compared to what we saw a few months ago. The results are a bit uneven. The lighting is often charming, and your (re-customizable) character is a real pleasure when panned to the screen during miniature intro cut scenes. When I saw my own soldier landing on the battlefield for the first time, I felt delighted. Seeing him doing the same thing for hours later, except wearing the orange hotpants I'd bought for him, and tossing a laser cannon the size of a moped, I felt even happier.

On the other hand, better character models for the many, many enemies only serve to highlight the poor appearance of the low quality animation. Worse, iron rain is bad. The fiendish bargain behind EDF is that its poor appearance has literally allowed hundreds of enemies and allies to cross the levels with minimal impact on frame rate, but Iron Rain can not. On a PS4 Pro running in 4K, stuttering happens occasionally, especially when buildings collapse and explode. With a standard PS4, the frame rate suffers regularly and unfortunately. The fact that many levels feel a little less populated than would be expected from recurring fans seems likely to be the biggest charge for Yuke's change for fear of the strain.

Bitter fans may feel similar to how Iron Rain tells his story. Older games hover with utter negligence at the idea of ​​bringing things like "reasons for it to happen," instead of putting you into a ridiculous fight for a ridiculous fight without much interruption instead. By contrast, Yuke's has deliberately endeavored to contextualize the history of EDF by introducing ever-recurring characters from characters you fight, a more complicated conspiracy, even a socio-political background (mostly through loading) screens and random dialogues) in which companies are now financing the last remaining armies in the world, in return for soldiers having to buy their weapons with polluted material.

Although I'm a little sad that what we've lost on the way, the brute is odd fights as and alongside generic soldiers (and the ability to let them all sing on command). As Iron Rain continued, I began to love how much effort there is. If you try to take yourself seriously, EDF will be even funnier, especially as English voiceover artists throw themselves full in hammy performances. One must unfortunately call the German scientist Dr. Listen to Mengel to be believed.

It is in these twists and additions to the expected that I think Yukes has excelled, most obviously in how he changed the choice of a style of play. Traditionally, the classes of EDF lock you into a play style, with the weapons being unlocked half randomly and on a class basis. Iron Rain smooths the system a bit. Unlocks are awarded based on the completed mission, and your character can freely switch between different exoskeleton (PA) rigs, each with different strengths, weaknesses and special abilities.

You can equip any two weapons and a set of limited weapons – use items for each PA Gear outsourcing. This means that you can build a flying-capable character by using the innate escape option to use only heavy weapons with absurdly long reload times. Likewise, a heavy PA Gear option that extends reload times can more than compensate for this disadvantage when you use two-weapon weapons. Who cares about long reloads when you have two miniguns with huge clips? It feels like a freedom of violent expression and becomes even better in a 6-player co-op multiplayer mode when all use the same pool of items for a completely different effect.

It means that the madness of a traditional EDFs classes have been pushed away a bit. Gone is, for example, the stupidity of the Air Raider, a class that consists almost entirely of air strikes or 'Mechs of skyscrapers. But Iron Rain mitigates that with a lot of choices. Once I finish the campaign, I'm still not close to unlocking any of their hundreds of weapons. Yet my arsenal contains a shotgun that for some reason does more damage when its bullets hit the ground around an enemy, a rocket launcher that splits a single rocket into 30, when fired over a sufficient distance, claiming orbital bombardment , and a laser cannon that (according to the menu's description, by the way) can fire a projectile every 30 seconds that turns into a "small star" upon impact.

Equipped items include bounce bait dolls, strafing EDF fighter jets, floating grenades that fire lasers indiscriminately, and a variety of vehicle crashes ranging from 'Mechs to planes to an unusable pickup truck whose only capability is the Horn is (and even a horn) ammo count). I have reliably changed my utilization of almost every mission, simply because there are so many possibilities. The only thing I have not changed for a while is the ability of my PA gear to summon a huge scorpion to ride on. If you try to tell me that this is less fun than the ability to move up in eight directions, I'll call you a liar.

This constant change is an integral part of the design. Iron Rain recognizes that the introduction of new enemy types (and there are many, from baby birth spiders to spider-bear UFOs to orbital rockets that transform into walking chitinous tanks) are not enough to change the basic routine: reload-repeating , But change as you shoot in every mission, and this routine is disturbed. The curiosity is always rewarded (unless you accidentally choose the grenade launcher, which only fires a big sticky mine lead and then has to reload forever – this just sucks.)

There are some strange design decisions along the way. Some types of enemies can be completely immune to energy weapons, but the developer (understandably) does not destroy what you'll see when you join a mission. This means that if you're armed with energy weapons, at best you'll have to wait for your human or kI staff to do all the work, or just stop immediately and start over with a new charge. It's a relatively rare problem, but it does add a bit of care to how Iron Rain gives you information about what you should do (a minor problem when trying to attract a new audience).

This It achieves its nadir when you suddenly blow up scores of unrelenting sponge-ball sponges, scorpions, UFOs, or the larger structures that spawn them, against the a ) is not as interesting as to fight "several dozen ants" were for the majority of the campaign and b) is so unrealistically unreactive that if you figure out how to defeat them, they already become boring.

It's a nice metaphor for the work of the developer as a whole. When Iron Rain tries out something completely new, it's rarely as fun as the mainline games, for fans or newbies. It is best if the EDF template is changed a bit and a new twist on an old idea is presented.

The Judgment

At first sight, I feared that Iron Rain was somewhat lobotomized like EDF – a little "saner". more accessible, but it lacks a certain something for the process. But as I played more, beginning to immerse myself in meaty, 15 to 20-minute battles, changing my load over and over again, and seeing how it could feel with friends, it became clear that this was far more than an experiment in the game Disinfection. Iron Rain is a real side effect, a new version of an existing and popular (okay, somewhat popular) idea. It has not done enough to attract an audience that wants readability and good looks. Paradoxically, it would have done too much for some fans who were dyed in wool. But for me, Iron Rain is more than a pleasant experiment, a game that feels like it was made by fans of the series with their own ideas. Some work, some do not, but never miss – and if you can not enjoy new ideas at the same time, when you shoot a 30-foot spider into your terrible face, what are you playing games for? Place?


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