Earth Defense Force: Insect Armageddon is a non-canon side-story set at the same time as Earth Defense Force 2017. Rather than being developed by Sandlot, it was developed by US-based Vicious Cycle Entertainment for the PS3 and Xbox 360. It was officially released on July 5th, 2011 but was available for pick up from pre-orders as early as July 2nd. It is the second game available on the Xbox 360 and the first on the PS3 in the series. It is also the first game of the series available for the PC, with a Steam release for Windows PCs in December of the same year.
Insect Armageddon is set in North America in the city of New Detroit, during what is supposedly the same Ravager invasion depicted in 2017. Players take control of Lightning Alpha, the leader of Strike Force Lightning, implied to be the American analog of the Storm Teams used by the Japanese EDF.
The game features many mechanics not seen in other EDF games such as a Gears of War-style active reload and a weapon purchase system and experience system in addition to the drop system of other games. It was also the first in the series to have a revival system for downed teammates in co-op.
There are over 300 weapons in Insect Armageddon. Assault Rifles, Rocket Launchers, Missile Launchers, Grenade Launchers, Shotguns, and Sniper Rifles. Most weapons can be purchased through the new credit system while many very powerful weapons have to be collected by killing giant enemies.
In addition to the player's weapons, three vehicle types can be found at preset locations in the campaign and in survival mode. These are:
- Turrets - autocannon (Gatling gun), anti-aircraft gun, missile and anti-tank varieties.
- Tanks - one player controls movement and the main gun, two others can operate the machine gun turrets.
- Mechs - equipped with a Gatling gun and heavy cannon/
There are four upgradeable armors in Insect Armageddon. Each one has its own advantages and disadvantages and starts at tier one. They can be upgraded all the way to tier eight by earning experience points.
Battle: The Battle Armor is the heavy tank type in the game. Can use highly explosive weapons at close range while barely any damage done to yourself. It can use an energy shield which enables it to use explosives at close range. It also has a bug zapper and a area effect weapon called a Blast Wave.
Jet: A homage to Pale Wing from Global Defense Force. The Jet Armor has to balance the use of energy between flight and reloading weapons. They have the lightest armor and are unable to use shotguns.
Tactical: The Tactical Armor is the support type in the game. They specialize in laying down turrets, radar, and mines. Turrets are separate from the weapon slots, so players are still able to carry two weapons.
Trooper: The Trooper Armor is the basic jack of all trades type in the game. It is similar to Storm 1 from the last game and is the only class capable of using every weapon type.
Up to three players (2 players local) fight through a campaign of three chapters set in New Detroit, each with 5 levels. Any slots not taken by real players will be filled with AIs, though this may be turned off after beating the campaign on any difficulty. Unfortunately, this is the only EDF game where gunfire from NPCs can harm player characters, and the NPCs are deeply stupid when it comes to using grenade and rocket launchers.
The story takes the players through a number of different areas with semi-destructable environments. This game features a very different design ethos than the other installments, as it involves a number of objectives, though these often boil down to "go here" and "defend this area." There is no aggro system, all enemies are instantly aware of the location of Strike Force Lightning as soon as they spawn in.
Progress is linear and dictated by translucent red barriers explained to be Ravager Shield Screens which appear if the player moves close to them and block off access to areas that are "ahead of" or "behind" the current encounter. This kind of "gated" level design is typical of seventh-generation console games, as it allows the number of textures in RAM to be controlled more strictly. This was important given the higher graphical expectations on consoles with relatively low RAM, with Microsoft's Xbox 360 stipulation of no mandatory hard drive usage and Sony's relatively slow Blu-Ray drive limiting access speed. This design results in Insect Armageddon being one of the most graphically stable games in the series, but was criticized by fans who felt it lacked the "feel" and sense of scale of Sandlot's EDF games.
|Chapter 1||Invasion Alert • Firebase Clyde • On the Run • Ditchslap • The Daddy|
|Chapter 2||Industry • Predation • Trash Island • Hectored • The Cube|
|Chapter 3||Downtown • Busy Work • The Package • Mushrooms • Big Trouble|
Campaign Remix Mode
The same as the campaign mode, but enemy waves are randomized (from a pool of enemies for that level), rather than being the same every time; this can include minibosses and enemies that would not normally appear on that level, such as a Hector Mk II appearing on level 2-2. Remix mode does not count towards achievements and is only available after completing the campaign at least once on any difficulty.
Up to 6 players (2 locally) fight against increasingly difficult waves of enemies. Class is locked to Trooper and weapons unlocked in the campaign cannot be used.
D3 Publisher of America announced two DLC packs for people who preordered the game. Pounds of Pain the Battle Armor weapon pack features 15 weapons and is exclusive at Gamestop/EB Games and Death from Above, the Jet Armor weapon pack features 15 weapons and is exclusive at Bestbuy. Both of the preorder weapon packs are now available as a DLC to everyone for 240 Microsoft points. There are four DLCs for the Steam version, with 10 weapons for each class; presumably in this version some of the XBox DLC weapons are no longer DLC-only.
While it was mentioned at the time of release that if there were sufficient demand, there would be additional DLC levels which might give closure to the campaign's abrupt cliffhanger ending, these did not materialise. D3 Publisher sold off Vicious Cycle in 2014, making it extremely doubtful that Insect Armageddon's ending will ever be followed up on.
The United States release of the game does not come with a game manual with the case, this was most likely done to save money. The manual must be downloaded from the publishers website at: http://www.d3p.us/Manuals/EDF_XBOX360_manual-fordownload.pdf.
The manual from the website contains information on controls, overview of gamemodes and explanation of the HUD which are written in both English and French.
The European release of Earth Defence Force Insect Armageddon comes with the same or similar 5 page manual but comes in German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Swedish, Finnish in addition to English and French.
|Main series and remakes||Monster Attack • Global Defence Force / Earth Defense Force 2: Invaders From Planet Space • Earth Defense Force 2017 / Earth Defense Force 2017 Portable • Earth Defense Force 2025 / Earth Defense Force 4.1: The Shadow of New Despair • Earth Defense Force 5 • Earth Defense Force 6|
|Spin-offs||Space War Attack • Global Defense Force Tactics • Earth Defense Force: Insect Armageddon • TapWars: Earth Defense Force 4.1 • Earth Defense Force 4.1: Wing Diver The Shooter • Earth Defense Force: Iron Rain • Earth Defense Force: World Brothers|