Everyone gets excited when they hear the announcement of a sequel to a good game. How often do you see people getting excited for the sequel to a bad one?
Today is one of those days. Japanese publisher D3 has announced that Earth Defense Force: Insect Armageddon, the sequel to the poorly controlled, ugly, shallow, and totally beloved third-person shooter Earth Defense Force 2017, is coming to the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 in the Spring of 2011. D3 has also announced that this latest installment in the franchise will not be handled by Sandlot, the studio originally responsible for the EDF games. Instead, Insect Armageddon is being developed by Vicious Cycle, the North Carolina developer that brought you Eat Lead: The Return of Matt Hazard.
== TEASER ==Earth Defense Force: Insect Armageddon will once again drop you into the role of the less-than-capable Earth Defense Force, a multinational task force that’s technically supposed to save the Earth from destruction by giant bugs. It’s hard to tell though, since the real specialty of the EDF seems to be laying waste to every bug, skyscraper and bus in a two-mile radius. But, as the last game taught us, if you blow up enough cities, you'll eventually get the bugs, which is good, because the giant ants are back, and the safety of the Earth can only be preserved by blowing up every city on the planet. In this case, you’ll join an EDF squad stationed in the United States, and work to rid the city of New Detroit from the alien insect menace.
New Goddamn Detroit.
In addition to a brand new campaign, Insect Armageddon is adding a slew of new features to the game, with a particular focus on co-op multiplayer. Players will be able to go through the entire campaign online with up to three other EDF soldiers, bringing with them new vehicles, new armor sets, and over 150 different weapons. And, if wave-based combat is more your speed, EDF will also include a new “Swarm” mode that teams six human players against a horde of giant insects, competing in increasingly tougher firefights in order to ensure the survival of New Detroit.
Make no mistake, though; Earth Defense Force 2017 doesn’t have a cult following because it was a good game. No, EDF is beloved because it is a profoundly stupid game, a bad Michael Bay movie in video game form. It was a game where your controller spent more time rumbling than not, where the screen was constantly filled with fire and explosions and acid and giant ants and robots and collapsing buildings and nonsense. It was a game dumber than it was broken, and that’s being generous. But it was dumb on a grand scale; It had more “dumb per pixel” (or DPP) than just about any other game on this generation of hardware. And it was cheap too; Earth Defense Force 2017 retailed in the US at $40. You could probably find a copy of 2017 nowadays for $15 at most retailers, if you want to get a sense of the particular flavor of EDF. It was the perfect game to love ironically, and only a handful of other releases have come since that vie for that title.
But that leads us to the important question; do you want a “good” sequel to Earth Defense Force 2017, or a true sequel? If EDF is a straight-laced Third Person Shooter, is that going to be able to draw in the same small group of fans as the previous entry? Or does the game need to be dumber, more chaotic, more ridiculous, uglier, and trashier than its predecessor? And can an American studio deliver that particular blend of stupidity and silliness that made the previous game a cult hit? You don’t have much time to decide if the sequel will provide the bug-killing fix you need; the insect invasion lands on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 next Spring.