Earth Defense Force: World Brothers | Preview, the right opportunity

Earth Defense Force: World Brothers | Preview, the right opportunity

Earth Defense Force

The glory of Earth Defense Force is now immortal in the Japanese landscape, thanks to its B-Movie nature perfectly in line with the humor of the rising sun and able to resume the styles of parodic Americanism and monsters from the largest Kaiju encyclopedia. Here at home, however, EDF is a brand linked to one of those very small niches of loyal enthusiasts, so much so that in general the critics welcome the various chapters with an all too severe warmth. Of course, it can be said that EDF is not the example of a triple A production with high values ​​and the fact that it is a third-person shooter with particular levels may lead to judge it harshly for a certain technical backwardness, but all in all it is perhaps in the its distortions that there is the charm of EDF: "so bad it's so good", as the Americans would say.

But even for a stable franchise like Earth Defense Force it is time to change, to try to move away from its loyal audience and try to intercept a whole new audience. And a proof of this path came with Earth Defense Force: World Brothers, a title in Voxel that transforms the "seriousness" of the classic style into a universe of Minecraft-style blocks, where allied forces and monsters from all chapters of the series are unite in a struggle between dimensions and lands.

The game was released in 2020 in Japan but will only arrive in May here in the west, but for the occasion we had the opportunity to participate in a preview session with the development team of the original series, that of World Brothers and Iron Rain consisting of Yuke, and the Earth Defense Force Game Producer Nobuyuki Okajima.

A new Earth Defense Force for a new audience

As mentioned, Earth Defense Force World Brothers is one of the main line spin-offs, just like the recent Iron Rain was. World Brothers, however, is a clear change in tone, ideas and fruition, so much so that it can be said to be one of the most innovative experiments in the franchise. From the on-screen test that showed us the basic functions of the game, the sauce at the base does not change that much: there are missions to be carried out in which you have to defeat the gigantic threats on the screen and save some key objectives between a massacre and the other. The more you kill, the more points you score, the more experience you gain and level up. The key feature for World Brothers lies in its cast, the largest ever seen on Earth Defense Force and comprising of new characters along with numerous heroes from the brand's various histories. Each character has their own unique abilities and iconic weapons, as well as being able to be recruited directly on the battlefield, rescuing them from "difficult" situations.

You can have up to four heroes on the battlefield and, if you wish , as many players to command them in local or online co-op. At the center of it all is pure fun and perhaps even more marked humor, considering that the small block characters are often parodies of their more serious counterparts (if we can consider them as such). In the presentation we saw, the development team also showed some heroes related to nations such as Amigo for Mexico. As much as this, today, may be a perhaps too stereotyped humor, we do not hide the fact that we laughed heartily as the Icelandic woman armed with a rifle and yodel summoned a windmill to defeat an alien mecha of EDF: Iron Rain.

With such an approach, and a very colorful style, the goal of D3 was to appeal to a young audience and they seem to have succeeded. In fact, asking Producer Okajima how the game went in Japan, he replied: “All the other games we have produced are titles that can be considered hardcore and always had a rating higher than 16 years. With World Brothers, we lowered that threshold to 12 and thus saw a new wave of users. While our data indicated that PlayStation 4 was the platform of choice for our hardcore fans, the Nintendo Switch version is depopulated among the youngest, so much so that we have seen several middle and high school kids playing it together. Among other things, in Japan there are a lot of magazines aimed at teenagers and children, and for the first time the latter have talked about Earth Defense Force with a lot of enthusiasm thanks to World Brothers. "

And indeed, seeing the game in action, we understand how it could have attracted a large audience on Nintendo Switch. The portability of the console combined with the speed of a single mission are elements that promote cooperation for up to four players even in the moments of pause between one lesson and another or on public transport journeys. It is no coincidence that portability is one of the pillars of oriental gaming and if titles like Monster Hunter have thrived thanks to this approach, the choice of Earth Defense Force to fit into that trend has proved particularly apt, as evidenced by the success of the game in homeland.

More than anything else, each mission is set in colorful worlds with hundreds of creatures on the screen and attacks to experiment with, completely destructible areas and vehicles always available, among which we can also include giant mecha. So every pre-digital kid's dream where he would take his biggest puppet and trample all the smaller ones by feigning an attack in the city. Beyond that though, World Brothers also remains deep in its RPG component just as hardcore fans remember it, with characters, weapons and stats that can level up and be deeply customized.


In short, perhaps overcoming the obstacle of an artistic style marked by an audience different from the usual, Earth Defense Force: World Brothers seems to be an excellent chapter in which to spend hours and hours even in portability, which is not not bad considering that it is a carefree fun. For us Westerners, the release that will see the light in our market will be equipped with the voices in English and as strange as it may seem in this specific chapter it really makes sense to see them so loaded in the tone, especially because the voice actors have worked hard to recreate the accents. of the various areas.

The localization of the texts at the moment seems to be only in English for us, while the language of the spoken language can be set to Japanese or English as we prefer. In general, however, when asked if this is a trend that EDF will keep in the future, Okajima hopes that the game will also be successful here: "Given the warm welcome in Japan, we want to carefully observe the path of Earth Defense Force World Brothers. also in the West. If the public appreciates it as much as it has been with us, we will surely produce more chapters with this particular approach. "

From what we have seen, Earth Defense Force: World Brothers could really be the ransom for EDF often" beaten up " ”For an unconvincing realistic style. Here, given that we abandon that road to propose a cartoony scenario, what remains is all left to the gameplay and the pure fun of repelling aliens on lands made in blocks. And perhaps, precisely because it focuses everything on this type of comedy, it will be the perfect opportunity to show how much EDF's playful skeleton is worth living at least once in a lifetime.

Waiting to enter the galaxy of World Brothers on PlayStation4, Nintendo Switch and Steam, you can pass the wait with Earth Defense Force 5 available on Amazon!

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