EDF4 (12)

We can’t state enough how big of fans our gaming staff is of Sandlot’s and D3 Publisher’s run-and-gun ant exterminating simulator Earth Defense Force 2017. If this proves anything, it’s that the secret to making an enjoyable game doesn’t lie in huge budgets or overplayed gaming conventions.

After being sidetracked a bit by the western developed Earth Defense Force: Insect Armageddon, a fun installment that kind of missed the point, it seems from the recent batch of screenshots that Japanese developer Sandlot is back in the swing and truly ready to take this series to the next level with Earth Defense Force IV.

Well, maybe not so much, but they are ready to bring back that cheap aesthetic that made the Japanese installments so charming to begin with. Nothing in the world beats those cheap soldier character models and paper mache Japanese apartment buildings. I see them everyday, and trust me, Japan is just a huge multi-billion dollar shanty town of mismatched buildings crammed together wherever space is available. Not many games do a better job of recreating that feeling than the EDF games.

Of course, the true stars of the games are the giant monsters these poor souls have to fight against. Giant ants and giant robots are making a return it seems, but the spiders have gotten a much needed overhaul. Maybe they won’t be so hard this time!

They’ll have to contend with a new unit though. Making a comeback from Earth Defense Force 2 on the PlayStation 2, the jet pack Valkyries are read to dive bomb these monstrous insects back to the core of the Earth from whence they came.

If you can’t tell, I’m super pumped! Earth Defense Force IV will be released for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 with online co-op. A PlayStation Vita port of Earth Defense Force 2017 is also in the works. No name or release date for the Americas yet, but trust me when I say we’ll be all over this one.