EDF 2017 Portable is a enhanced port of Earth Defense Force 2017 for the PlayStation Vita. It casts the player in the role of Storm 1, an elite soldier in the Japanese branch of the Earth Defense Force, tasked with defending the world from the invading horde of giant insects and killer robots.
In addition to keeping all the content from the original Xbox 360 version, Portable adds 7 additional missions, 4 player online and local co-op play, new weapons, as well as the ability to play as a Pale Wing - the female jet pack equipped soldiers from Global Defence Force.
In 2013 the Earth receives a radio signal from space - quickly recognized as evidence of intelligent alien life. While many start imagining them as peaceful beings, coming to share their knowledge with humanity, the world governments are wary, and in 2015 they decide to form a unified Earth Defense Force to be ready in case these aliens should prove to be a threat.
Then, in 2017, the aliens arrive, hovering over the worlds major cities in gigantic spaceships. Initial attempts at communicating with them prove futile, but they soon make their intentions clear enough as they unleash a horde of giant insects, killer robots, attack ships, and gargantuan beasts to prey upon the people of Earth. Naming the aliens Ravagers, the Earth Defense Force takes up the fight, but finds itself outnumbered and outgunned. Continent by continent the EDF is forced to withdraw, with only one branch experiencing some degree of success. Spearheaded by its elite Storm 1 unit, the Japanese branch manages to hold its own against the Ravager menace, until finally it is the only thing left standing between humanity and complete annihilation.
Rather than being a sequel to the earlier EDF games, Earth Defence Force 2017 is a retelling of the plot of the first EDF game, released in the west as Monster Attack on the PlayStation 2.
Earth Defense Force 2017 Portable is a fast paced, mission based third-person shooter. Lacking the tight corridors, regenerating health or a cover mechanic common in other contemporary shooters, it is instead focused on exercising crowd control on large, open battlefields. Also important is making the most of the games two weapon two weapon loadout system, as bringing the wrong weapons on a mission can make it hard, or outright impossible in some cases, to complete.
The game has 60 relatively short missions, and is focused on replayability, using the persistent upgrade system to prepare the player character for tackling the games five difficulty levels - Easy, Normal, Hard, Hardest, and Inferno. Upgrades come in the form of items left on the battlefield by defeated enemies - smaller enemies may leave one item, while larger ones will always leave several.
There are four types of items in the game:
- Armor upgrades - gives the current character a permanent hit point increase upon completing the mission.
- Weapon case - gives the current character a random weapon upon completing the mission. The quality of the weapon is dependent on the mission and the difficulty level, and may be one the character already has.
- Small medkit - restores a bit of health to the character
- Large medkit - restores a good amount of health to the character
Aside from certain limited use weapons, everything in the EDF's arsenal has unlimited ammo, so the game has no ammo pick-ups.
The game has two playable characters, Storm 1 and the Pale Wing. Each character is upgraded separately, and has its own repository of hundreds of weapons.
Storm 1 is a male EDF trooper, and the protagonist of the Earth Defense Force series. He lacks any special abilities beyond being able to dodge roll to the side and jump over small obstacles. His main focus is his huge array of different weapons. The weapons are divided into eight categories, each generally containing armaments conforming to a certain type, though all of them have exotic variants that may deviate from the others significantly:
- Assault Rifles - Basic rifles with high rate of fire, and moderate damage and range.
- Shotguns - Fires multiple bullets at once, in various spread patterns.
- Sniper Rifles - Slow, but high damage and with zoom functionality.
- Rocket Launchers - Fires unguided rockets in a straight line.
- Missile Launchers - Less damage than rockets, but will home in on nearby enemies automatically.
- Grenades - Very powerful, but limited range and often hard aim.
- Special Weapons - Turrets, bombs, acid/flame guns, fear projectors and other highly exotic weaponry.
- Tools - Shields, healing items and other support equipment.
Storm 1 also has access to the game's four vehicles:
- E551 Combat Vehicle Gigantus - A basic tank, it offers good mobility, but its only weapon is a slow firing grenade canon, making it helpless in close range combat.
- EF24 Combat Helicopter Bazelato - The only flying vehicle in the game, it offers twin machine guns and missiles with limited homing capability. Its controls are however slow to respond, and the craft has difficulty effectively engaging ground targets.
- SDL2 Airbike - The fastest vehicle in the game, it is also very frail, and armed with only with twin machine guns.
- Battle Machine Vegalta - A heavily armed bipedal mech, it boasts the most formidable arsenal of all the vehicles, carrying a gatling gun, a rocket launcher, and a flamethrower. Its firepower is however offset by its slow movement rate and turning speed.
The vehicles provide extra armor and firepower, at the expense of reduced mobility. They scale to the chosen difficulty, and can be further enhanced with certain weapons. They continue to function until they've taken too much damage, at which point the pilot is ejected and the vehicle explodes.
The Pale Wing is a female EDF soldier, armed with energy weapons and a jetpack. She is a hidden bonus character, and unlocked by completing the final mission with Storm 1 on any difficulty. Originally introduced in the second EDF game (released in Europe as Global Defence Force), she is a product of human adaptation of Ravager technology, making her appearance in EDF 2017 non-canon, and therefore not acknowledged in the game's storyline.
Her main differentiating features are her jetpack, her weapons, and the energy system that powers both. The jetpack makes her much more mobile, letting her expend energy to fly around the battlefield at great speeds. As a trade-off, she is unable to make use of an of the game's vehicles, and starts with half the health of Storm 1, gaining additional health from armor upgrades at a reduced rate. This makes constant movement to avoid enemy attacks important, as she is frequently too frail to soak up damage the way Storm 1 can.
The Pale Wing has access to an entirely different collection of weapons, though as with Storm 1 they are grouped into eight categories:
- Short-Range Weapon - Short range, but with comparatively high damage output.
- Mid-Range: Laser - Continuos stream of damage to a single target
- Mid-Range: Torpedo - Streams of energy missiles
- Mid-Range: Beam - Powerful spread beams with high energy drain.
- Snipe Weapon - Long range weapons with zoom.
- Ranged Weapon - Explosive plasma missiles and grenades
- Homing Weapon - Homing energy projectiles
- Support Weapon - Bolts of energy that will hover and fire projectiles over an area for a time
Rather than reloading her weapons, the Pale Wing recharges them with her available energy. Some weapons have magazines, and will only drain energy when empty. Others do not and will thus continually drain energy when fired. A few come with their own energy source and do not drain the Pale Wing at all.
Because of her reliance on expending energy to use her abilities, managing her available energy becomes an important part of playing the Pale Wing. Energy will only recharge when she's not using any of it, and if she completely drains her remaining energy her suit will overheat. This triggers a full 10 second recharge where she is unable to fly or recharge weapons, leaving her extremely vulnerable.
The game has 60 missions, following Storm 1 from the start of the Ravager invasion to the final battle against the alien mothership.
|1||Arrival||City||Alien space ships hover over the city. The EDF stands by in case something should go wrong.|
|2||Invasion||City||Giant ants are rampaging through the city. Storm 1 is sent in to protect the civilians.|
|3||Melee||City||The ants continue to overrun the city. Storm 1 is ordered to assist the Ranger units in clearing them out.|
|4||Landing||City||As Storm 1 and 2 continue to clear out the remaining ants, the true nature of the Ravager ships is revealed.|
|5||Search||City||The EDF marshals it forces and launches a combined air and ground assault on the Ravagers.|
|6||Air force||City||With the EDF air force wiped out, it's up to the ground units to hold back the Ravager fleet launched by the mothership while civilians are evacuated.|
|7||Takedown||City||The Ravager ships keep deploying new ants, leaving the EDF facing an unending horde of enemies. Storm 1 must figure out how to take the ships down.|
|8||Mobilization||City||Storm 1 joins the Ranger units in moping ants up after the previous fight, but soon learns that more Ravager ships are on the way.|
|9||Tsugawa||Beach||Hectors, giant Ravager robots, have been spotted at sea, lumbering towards Japan's shores. Storm 1 and 5 are sent to repel them.|
|10||Arms||City||The Hectors were stopped at Tsugawa, but a second force made it through to the city. Storm 1 rushes back to intercept it.|
|11||Infiltration||Underground||The ants are building an underground nest. Storm 1 is sent to clear it out before they start reproducing.|
|12||Reinforcement||City||Storm 1 returns to the city to face a new enemy - giant spiders.|
|13||Retaliation||City||More spiders flood the city. Storm 1 joins up with the Ranger units to take care of them.|
|14||Fortress||Beach||While investigating a sighting of the Ravager mothership near the coast, Storm 1 finds it has deployed a gigantic walking fortress.|
|15||Blockade||City||The fortress is headed towards Tokyo. All troops in the area are ordered to try to stop its advance.|
|16||Multiplication||City||The bugs start flooding into the city from holes in the ground leading back to their underground nests. It's up to Storm 1 must to collapse them as they appear.|
|17||Nesting||Underground||The bugs have started to reproduce in their underground nest. Storm 1 is sent in to destroy it.|
|18||Dino-mech||City||A giant fire-breathing creature rampages through the city. It's up to Storm 1 to take it out.|
|19||Umbra||Countryside||The Ravagers are deploying bugs in the countryside. Storm 1 is ordered to clear them out before they start nesting.|
|20||Artillery||City||Storm 1 returns to the city to find it assaulted by a new type of Hector armed with heavy artillery cannons.|
|21||Crimson||Beach||The coastal areas are terrorized by a new type of ant, protected by a tougher, red exoskeleton. Storm 1 is in for quite a fight.|
|22||Trapped||Countryside||The Storm unit finds itself ambushed on its way back to the city.|
|23||Expansion||City||Bugs are pouring out of numerous holes hidden in alleys and tight streets. Storm 1 must root the out.|
|24||Interception||Beach||A huge Ravager force is converging at the coast. Storm 1 must keep them busy while the EDF prepares for another strike at the underground nests.|
|25||Descent 1||Underground||The EDF begins a major assault on the bugs nest, with Storm 1 accompanying the advance team.|
|26||Descent 2||Underground||With the entrance secure, the EDF forces move deeper into the tunnels.|
|27||Descent 3||Underground||The Storm unit finds itself cornered in the underground maze of tunnels, facing a massive Ravager counterattack.|
|28||Descent 4||Underground||In spite of many casualties, the EDF forces have reached the deepest part of the nest. It is time to face the ant queen.|
|29||Assault||City||The Ravagers have deployed a force of Hectors into the city. All nearby units are ordered to help defend.|
|30||Anchored||Countryside||The mothership has landed near the coast. The EDF decides to attack, hoping to catch it unaware.|
|31||Advance||City||A group of Hectors are advancing on the city. Storm 1 joins with the local Ranger teams to destroy them.|
|32||March||City||A horde of spiders are appraoching the city, but the EDF has a sniper team ready to take them out. It's up to Storm 1 to keep them safe.|
|33||Surprise||City||The Fortress has seemingly shut down for a while. Seeing a chance to take it out, the EDF launches a surprise attack.|
|34||Breach||City||As the Fortress is close to turning Tokyo into rubble, the EDF launches a desperate plan to assault it from below.|
|35||Sweep||Countryside||With the Fortress defeated, the EDF pushes its advantage, and starts clearing out a gathering of bugs in the countryside.|
|36||Thunder||City||The EDF's edge is short-lived, as the Ravager mothership appears over the city, ready to strike.|
|37||Eruption||City||The bugs have opened multiple holes around the river. Storm 1 must take them out before the city is overrun.|
|38*||Cavaliers||City||The mothership reappears, launching a fleet of gunships to terrorize the city.|
|39||Surrounded||City||As news about the EDF being forced to abandon Europe comes in, the Storm unit finds itself surrounded by Ravager carrier ships.|
|40||Legion||City||Two more gigantic Vallak creatures attack the city. Storm 1 is assigned to help the Omega special weapons team in taking them down.|
|41||Return||Countryside||The Storm unit is ambushed in a tight canyon on its way back to base.|
|42||Occupation||City||A massive force of Ravagers has occupied the city. Storm 1 must sneak in an launch a surprise attack.|
|43||King||City||Bugs have invaded part of the city, and recon believes they are being controlled by huge master spiders. Storm 1 is sent in to take on these new foes.|
|44||Spearhead||Countryside||The bugs have open a new holes in the countryside, and have now stationed Hectors to protect them. Storm 1 must fight his way through and close them down.|
|45||Extermination 1||Underground||The bugs have dug out a new nest, and Storm 1 is sent in to secure the entrance - a huge pit filled with Spiders.|
|46||Extermination 2||Underground||Continuing into the nest, the EDF enters giant chamber where bugs are pouring out of tunnels at the to. Storm 1 must climb the treacherous path up and close the holes.|
|47||Extermination 3||Underground||The EDF reaches the deepest part of the nest, and prepares destroy it.|
|48*||Glow||Underground||Just as they thought they'd cleaned out the nest entirely, the EDF forces encounter a new threat - ferocious glowing green ants.|
|49||Uprising||City||With their nest destroyed, the leader bug has been forced into the open. Storm 1 must fight his way to it and take it out.|
|50||Wrath||City||With their leader killed, the bugs remaining in the area swarm the city, out for revenge.|
|51*||Fortitude||City||A new walking fortress appears, guarded by a fleet of gunships.|
|52*||Precipice||Countryside||A horde of bugs are gathering in the mountains. The Storm unit is sent to take them out.|
|53||Elite||City||Having destroyed the European EDF command center, the Ravager's elite armored red gunships arrive in Japan. The Storm unit is ordered to launch a surprise attack.|
|54*||Arachnid||City||Multiple bug tunnels have opened in various parts of the city. Storm 1 must find and close them all.|
|55||Unknown||City||While the EDF forces in the rest of the world collapse under the Ravager attack, Storm 1 must face a cybernetically enhanced version of the Vallak monster.|
|56*||Royalty||City||Storm 1 is sent out to investigate reports that the ants have turned part of the city into a nesting ground for a new type of bug.|
|57||Convergence||City||As the Ravagers gather in the ruins of Tokyo for a final assault, the last remnants of the EDF launch a desperate counterattack.|
|58||Inferno||City||Ravagers continue to arrive, and the EDF remnants find themselves surrounded.|
|59*||Grave||Beach||The EDF is forced to retreat to the coast, but the Ravagers pursuit is relentless.|
|60||Starship||City||The mothership appears over the city, tearing through the few remaining EDF soldiers until only one remains standing. The fate of humankind rests on Storm 1's shoulders.|
(*) Missions marked with an asterisk are unique to EDF 2017 Portable, and are not found in the original Xbox 360 version.