Earth Defense Force: World Brothers review for PS4, Switch, PC

Platform: PS4
Also on: PC, Switch
Publisher: D3 Publisher
Developer: Nyamyam
Medium: Digital
Players: 1-4
Online: Yes

It?s apparent right off the bat that Earth Defense Force: World Brothers isn?t your typical EDF game. Rather than the series? usual PS2-level graphics, World Brothers finds the franchise trying out voxel art graphics. This means that a) EDF: World Brothers is probably the best-looking game in the series so far (which, obviously, isn?t a high bar to clear), and b) the whole thing looks kind of like a Lego game.

The Lego vibe gets stronger the more you play. There?s a lot more obvious humour in these games than in your typical EDF game, with plenty of self-aware jokes — they may not always be funny, mind you, but EDF: World Brothers definitely makes more of an effort. The voxel army men and women also look very much like they come from a Lego set of soldiers from around the world.

Mind you, that latter thing isn?t a good thing. While it?s nice to have the EDF army feature a little more diversity, some of the representation is a little heavy on the stereotypes. I mean, the Mexicans wear sombreros and ponchos, while the Dutch soldier is called Tulip Girl, and her special attack involves windmills. As the kids used to say, some aspects of this game are a little problematic.

That said, provided you can overlook that bit of unfortunate stereotyping, EDF: World Brothers deserves no small amount of credit for playing around with the series? formula in a bid to liven things up. You build your own squad, for starters, as the game allows you to mix and match between characters you save throughout the game. What?s more, the characters each have different strengths and weaknesses, as well as their own special attacks. For a series that?s never gone further than ?shoot bugs, blow up buildings”, this represents a major step forward for strategy.

I will note, though, that this change isn?t completely positive. Your weapons aren?t as strong here to start, and you need to move up to higher levels if you want to be able to use the more powerful rocket launchers and bazookas. Thankfully, the game offsets this a little by not skimping on unlocking new characters, which means that you can have access to plenty of different types of weapons fairly early on, even if they?re not quite as strong as what you got right off the bat in previous games.

Earth Defense Force: World Brothers could have gone horribly wrong. I mean, yes, the series was starting to feel a little stale, but at least it was comfortable. Trying something so new could have been a huge misfire. In this case, though, it?s not. World Brothers takes the series in a somewhat new direction and it mostly succeeds in what it wants to do, which means that it?s worth playing whether you?re a newcomer to the series or a grizzled EDF vet.

D3 Publisher provided us with an Earth Defense Force: World Brothers PS4 code for review purposes.

Grade: B+