At New York Comic Con 2023 The Workprint had the chance to try out the sequel to the EDF series with Earth Defense Force 6. A fun first-person shooter that sees powerful gunplay hold off swarms of alien invaders. We played the game while speaking with the game’s producer, Noboyuki Okajima for a demo rife with weapons and surprisingly diverse combat.
In EDF 6, although humanity won the war against the aliens known as Primers, 90 percent of Earth’s population was destroyed in the process. Civilization stands on the brink of collapse. Earth Defense Force 6 takes place three years after the events of Earth Defense Force 5, set in the year 2027. Attempting to rebuild humanity, the survivors must battle against the Primer’s remaining alien colonists, invasive organisms nesting in the depths of the Earth and its ruins who increase in size and threaten to end what remains of humanity.
In this one, The Earth Defense Force (EDF) is once again called upon to protect the planet from aggressive extraterrestrial invaders and determine the true purpose of the giant ring-shaped object that has recently appeared in the sky. Will you triumph or will this be humanity’s last stand? The outcome is determined by you.
The game will arrive on PS5 and Steam, with the Epic Games Store shortly after. Having played the game, the tutorials are straightforward standard FPS fare. Characters are broken up into four classes: Ranger, Air Raider, Wing Diver, and Fencer. Each is armed with new abilities and equipment. We played as the Ranger and Wing Diver classes.
The game is set in intense stages where massive swarms of aliens attack the EDF squadron. Players need to hold off against each wave while achieving objectives and collecting items to power up their weapons, heal lost hit points, and retain armor. The mechanics are your basic first person shooter type with two primary weapons you use to hold off hordes of enemies that flank you at every corner. Thankfully, you’ve got a squad to help protect you, along with nifty in-game mechanics such as destroying buildings to help maintain sight lines against the enemies on your radar. The game also features hundreds of missions and unlockable weapons for massive replayability. It even touts a two-player co-op with split-screen or online play, with 140 possible missions and 5 levels of difficulty.
At the NYCC demo, we played as the basic Ranger class, who came equipped with your base assault rifle and an explosive weapon such as a rocket launcher. There are also useful grenades which have a wide spread. For our latter playthrough, we played as the flying Wing Diver class, who had the ability to fly with a jet pack – though that was limited in that using it drains an energy bar.
Probably the best feature about the game, whom according to Okajima is “Based on your player’s playstyle and level of difficulty.” The end of match loot dropped is customized to your gameplay style. The loot mechanics are based on player performance, making for a lot of content to play for those who attain the best guns in the game. For instance, things like damage per second and reload speeds may increase if you use a lot of assault rifle play. The thousands of weapons dropped can be leveled up to 8 stars (and if you’re lucky, found at 5), with some coming at higher levels. Atop of this, extra weapons already attained are used to upgrade your guns. So picking up green weapons crates are key.
The maps are customized with situations set according to the type of alien invasion, sometimes culminating in a sort of boss fight. Weather its giant frogs or a swarm of killer bees, the objectives seem to be a seek and destroy hives or attain objectives in accordance to the type of aliens faced. Overall, this is a very fun game for fans of shooters against swarming aliens/creatures, with enough differentiation in terms of enemy types. It’s also neat that some classes perform better per situation/level so you’re encouraged to try out every class and try out all mechanics of play.
The original EDF series is now celebrating its 20th anniversary, having sold over 5 million units worldwide. After two decades of relentless alien invasions, the Earth Defense Force series has grown into a beloved and iconic saga, captivating players around the world with its exhilarating gameplay, memorable characters, and a relentless mission to defend our planet from extraterrestrial threats. Earth Defense Force 6 also earned a User’s Choice Award at the PlayStation Partner Awards 2022 and also received the “Award of Excellence” at the Japan Game Awards 2023.