EDF 5 Review – EDF EDF

Platforms: PS4 (reviewed)
Developer: Sandlot
Publisher: D3 Publisher
Release: 11th December 2018 (West)
Price: 59.99


I still remember the days when I sat before the TV, watching tons of different movies and series. However, certain series will always have a special place in my heart and one of those franchises is Godzilla. All of those Japanese movies and their often bizarrely bad production values vibrate an aura I crave while never satisfied with simple “trash” or “B-movies”. This franchise can satisfy this certain hunger like nothing else, at least when it comes to movies. Yet, one day I discovered EDF and fell in love with it, through and through, as it is so similar but offers such a different feeling at the same time.

So let´s talk about the latest EDF, the fifth part, and why it is just the one thing everyone expected and why that´s simply perfect.I mean, we´re still shooting at giant ants and what-not with tons of guns and tons of trash!

Do I even have to talk about the plot? Sadly, I have to, because the game itself thinks it´s worth taking up the player´s time. You know, when I first started EDF 5, I expected a first mission filled with giant ants, trashiness, trashy English dub and everything that makes this thing is entertaining. What I got however, was a tutorial with, admittedly, pretty bad voice acting but almost no action. Instead it focuses on having me follow a slow commander until the mission´s over without any guns or enemies. Great. It´s the worst thing one could do as an opening act. Even though the game is pretty much a playable trash movie,  it fails to understand it´s not fun to play the boring passages about one. At least show them but don´t force me to waste 20 minutes before I get for what I came for.

Anyway, yes, the beginning isn´t good nor really fun but once EDF 5 finally is set free, everything a series’ fan could wish for is here. Naturally, levels are still flooded with aliens, even more than before and the EDF EDF EDF is the only force able to stop this invasion.

Even though there isn´t a new solider class or anything gameplay changing elements, it still works. Before each mission you can choose from the four different soldier classes, the Ranger, Wing Diver, vehicle-summoning Air Raider or heavy Fencer. The real meat is once again the weapon selection, where you collect dozens of different weapons for the class you´re playing during each level, offering dozens of new, explosive things to play with.

Using this huge selection of laser beams, rocket launchers, rifles, disk launchers and even controllable tanks or artillery to obliterate the thousands of enemies, while they burst into thousand little pieces is the center of it all, who would´ve guessed. And what to say, it works just as good as in 4.1, mainly because it´s pretty much the same with more stuff and oh boy, the stuff sure is nice. The one thing I had the most fun with were undeniably the added selection of enemies, covering nearly any absurd animal in giant form you could think of, even frogs! EDF 5 knows exactly that it´s trash and celebrates it bigger than ever with a mixture of missions and enemies that build upon the solid foundation.

I always aloved the way EDF games brought diversity into the experience through creative missions like dark caverns, different enemies with their own environments and strategies and all that on top of simply being fun for shooting big things. EDF 5 has all that and more, due to the bigger scope of recreating even cringier trash-movie moments, throwing references around, overloading levels with enemies and pretty much taking every single concept to its top. Still, I only wished the armor and weapons would collect themselves instead of forcing you to run through these giant levels to pick up all those crates, as well as giving you proper hit feedback.

Another aspect I can´t quite wrap my head around is the mediocre performance in the PS4 version. Given, EDF always ran like a snail when many enemies were on-screen but this time, Sandlot added neat things like fancier gore for the ants in particular, better feedback when you hit an enemy through it, yet, this also seems quite taxing on the PS4, so I wonder if it would´ve run better without it. Otherwise, there aren´t many visual improvements over 4.1, sure, everything looks a bit nicer but overall, only the size and number of buildings and especially enemies increased, which isn´t a bad thing at all, the graphics are part of its charme.

Conclusion

EDF 5 is exactly what you think it is: Another EDF. Featuring the same mediocre graphics and performance, as well as the same amounts of fun shooting giant aliens and seeing how they burst open brings. Actually, due to the added crazy enemies, dumb moments and added focus on the trashiness, this might even be my favourite part, when you´re not against occasional boring hiccups without much to do!

[A Review Code was provided by D3 Publisher]