The Earth Defense Force series has been around a long time and World Brothers is here to make the franchise fresh and exciting again.
I've been playing the Earth Defense Force series for about a decade and frankly, they're not technically great games. Sure, running around as a little gunner while shooting at unimaginably massive insects is inherently a lot of fun but the franchise has never quite reached a level of quality that deserves mass appeal; until now, that is! That's right; I had a blast with Earth Defense Force: World Brothers and its new colourful voxel visuals are just what the series needed to symbolize its fresh start. In fact, I find that the bright and silly graphics suit the over-the-top gameplay perfectly and it's a huge difference from the usual drab aesthetic, especially Iron Rain which tried to look more realistic and in my opinion, that was an awful decision. Anyway, EDF games are more than graphics so let's get to the gameplay!
If you've played any previous Earth Defense Force game then you'll know exactly what to expect before diving into World Brothers. You essentially run around, aim, and shoot as your character of choice. Meanwhile, each character has a unique ability such as dodging, flying, or grappling lines that you can fling yourself around the environment with; that one's my favourite! You can also equip weapons from a vast assortment of types and each individual one has its own unique handling and stats such as ammo and damage.
All of this ties into something awesome in Earth Defense Force: World Brothers; its character recruitment system! In each mission, you can find 3 folks who need help and upon rescuing them, they become selectable from then on. If you ever rescue a duplicate character, they level up so it's never a waste of time to seek them out. I absolutely loved this system and couldn't wait to see who I'd find next.
That actually leads me to my next point; the humour in Earth Defense Force: World Brothers is fantastic. For starters, there's a full English voice cast which I wasn't expecting and hearing the wide variety of characters interact made my gaming chum and I regularly laugh out loud. Many of the characters are stereotypes so listening to how they discover cool new things or don't understand each other's cultures adds a fun layer to the onscreen chaos. Sure, the chatter can be a bit too crowded at times but it's funny nonetheless.
I personally prefer playing Earth Defense Force games multiplayer and World Brothers allows you to enjoy it with up to 4 simultaneous players either locally or online. On the plus side, your campaign progress is carried over no matter how you decide to play so you can work through a few missions solo in between gaming with friends and continue without issue. This is especially good news considering just how huge the campaign is. You'll travel to a wide selection of recognisable countries and typical locales like a farm and a desert. Plus, coming across treats like rideable vehicles and tanks is always fun. With all of that being said, I wish that you could play with a combination of local and online players because I would have loved to team up with online folks while having a fun couch co-op experience, too.
After playing the average Earth Defense Force game for a handful of hours, I usually become too bored to keep pressing on so I'm happy to say that World Brothers has much longer lasting appeal due to its well-implemented variety of characters, weapons, and missions. You can also swap between 4 characters on the fly so that adds a layer of freshness and keeping an eye on their special gauges only to unleash a devastating character-specific attack whenever one is full is always satisfying. Plus, some of those moves can be exceptionally fun to watch and deploy. With that in mind, the core gameplay doesn't really change all that much, especially after you experiment with most of the weapon types and become accustomed to what each ability is capable of so it still gets quite repetitive after a while.
Just when I thought Earth Defense Force was becoming stale, World Brothers came along and renewed my faith in the franchise. Its bright voxel visuals act as the perfect reflection of its improved and varied gameplay as well as its excellent sense of humour.
- + Tight action-packed gameplay with a huge campaign and super-fun multiplayer
- + Awesome visual upgrade and great humour
- + Loads of enjoyable weapons and abilities
- - Although it's great fun, the core gameplay still gets tiresome after a while
- - I wish you could play with a combination of local and online players