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Earth Defense Force: Iron Rain (アース ディフェンス フォース アイアン レイン, Āsu Difensu Fōsu Aian Rein) is an EDF title more along the lines of Earth Defense Force: Insect Armageddon geared more toward Western audiences, with a more serious tone and using none of the classic Sandlot EDF assets. It uses Unreal Engine 4 rather than Sandlot's custom engine. A Japanese PS4 release date was initially set for late 2018, but the game was delayed into 2019. It was released simultaneously worldwide on April 11, 2019. A PC version was released on the Steam platform on October 15 2019, with the Golden Storm DLC following on October 29.

Plot

2028: Invader Attack from the Outer Space

In year 2028, earth was attacked by the outer space invader “Aggressor”. The huge levitation object called the “Hivecraft“ which is indeed 1km in total length, came flying suddenly from the outer space, and began to attack all parts of the world by dropping numerous insect looking huge creatures and murder weapons. It flew over United States to Russia, Asia, the Middle East, and Europe only in three days. Human beings established a ground defense force (called the EDF) ahead of the national fence and fought back against the invaders. However, the war situation was in bad condition and the beautiful cities began to turn into mountain of rubbles. As a result, the important military bases of the world that could possibly be opposed to the invaders were all already destroyed. There were nothing left for the human beings to do and all they could do was to wait for the world to end…

2032: Energy Gem and Powered Exoskeleton

But in year 2032, a new technology called “PA-Gear” brings hope to human beings. This powered exoskeleton which the EDF has developed for anti-aggressor, enabled ground troops to obtain superhuman body ability by using the energy core gained from the mineral energy gem inside the body of the aggressor as a power source. In this way, EDF changed direction to use these powerful weapons developed for anti-aggressor as personal firearms by the ground troops. Although being very small in numbers, the group of ground troops armed with “PA-Gear” succeeds in stopping the aggression of the aggressor. Human beings planned to find means of escape by adopting consumption tactics to make up for an overwhelming force difference in ground troops.

2033: Strike Down of the “Hivecraft”

In year 2033, EDF began to strike against the invader “Aggressor”. They carried out an all-out war against the “Hivecraft” which lowered altitude over Los Angeles. EDF decided to bring all the forces to be left in this shooting down operation. Even PA-Gears equipped with new energy core which was still in study stage were introduced into the actual fighting. On that day, human beings have won against the invaders. At last, the ace members equipped with new energy core completely demolished the enemy mother ship “Hivecraft”. However, the compensation of the victory was enormous. EDF lost half of its troop members and even the new energy core technology they had…

2040: World Eroded by Despair

After 7 years have passed after victory and in year 2040, in the uninhabited cities that became the ruins, huge creatures which lost their master “Hivecraft” repeated breeding and continued increasing their numbers. The huge insects became the new ruler of the earth in place of the human beings. There were some citizens who tempt to live in the urban areas, but most looked for safer areas and became refugees. EDF which succeeded in shooting down the “Hivecraft” no longer had any power left to struggle against the huge creatures which continued multiplying. The central headquarters of EDF was completely dead, and even though the organization was still there, it meant nothing. The residual military units continued resisting, but were forced to guerrilla-like resistance based in the base that barely survived. In order to survive in the world undermined in despair, human beings had no choice but to fight.

Soldier Classes

Four soldier classes were revealed for the game before release; however initially only two are playable, with the other two becoming available as the player progresses. The Trooper, Jet Lifter and Heavy Striker all mostly correspond to the Ranger, Pale Wing/Wing Diver and Fencer classes used in the Sandlot EDF games, with the fourth class (Prowl Rider) being a relatively novel concept in the series. Unlike previous games, the classes are not gender-exclusive, and can include male or female soldiers. All four classes wear a type of PA Gear (Physical Augmentation Gear), a powered exoskeleton that grants users superhuman abilities which vary by the soldier class and type of gear used. PA Gear is powered by an Energy Core, developed by reverse-engineering the Energy Gems used by the alien invaders. All classes have access to the same weapons, it is only their mobility and special abilities which differ. An additional soldier class - the Prototype Prowl Rider - becomes available after completing the game for the first time. The Golden Storm DLC also introduces a sixth soldier class: the Invisible Trooper.

Trooper - The standard infantry of the EDF, Troopers are versatile soldiers equipped for any battle. The power of the Energy Core renders them incredibly fast and agile and able to dodge enemy attacks easily.

Jet Lifter - A soldier class equipped with mobile PA Gear designed for assault and reconnaissance. The Energy Core is attached directly to the flight unit of their PA Gear, allowing Jet Lifters to fly freely through the air and reign supreme over enemies on the ground.

Heavy Striker - The Heavy Striker wears a new type of PA Gear developed for combat against giant Ravagers. This Gear is powered by two Energy Cores, allowing the wearer to wield two weapons at once. It is also equipped with an electromagnetic "E-Field" barrier to protect the wearer from damage. The Heavy Striker boasts impressive combat power that allows it to confront any enemy, but it takes time to recharge once its Energy Cores are completely depleted.

Prowl Rider - The Prowl Rider wears the latest type of PA Gear developed by the EDF. Reverse-engineered from technology utilized by the Kindred Rebellion, the Prowl Rider utilizes a special weapon known as the "E-Needle," and is the only class of soldier capable of harnessing the G-L.I.A.R. ability, which involves using the E-Needle to take control of a giant creature.

Prototype Prowl Rider - The Prototype Prowl Rider shares the same qualities and abilities as the Prowl Rider, but with slightly higher mobility and item capacity, traded off for a decrease in defense. It is the PA Gear worn by certain Kindred Rebellion enemies.

Invisible Trooper - DLC variant of the Trooper with "invisible" PA Gear (ie, none on their model) and their E-Dodge replaced with a dodge roll, intended to more closely resemble the Ranger class of previous games. The Invisible Trooper is still limited to 5 rolls at a time.

Character Customization

Earth Defense Force: Iron Rain includes the unique feature of complete customization of the player character, Closer. While in previous games the player has typically been able to only select a class and armor color, in Iron Rain the player can choose their character's gender, body size, voice, face, hairstyle, and battle apparel, regardless of soldier class. Classic Storm 1 and Pale Wing skins from Earth Defense Force 2017 Portable will be available for the Trooper and Jet Lifter classes, respectively. In addition, Ranger, Wing Diver, Fencer, and Air Raider skins from Earth Defense Force 5 have been announced for the game as well.

Gameplay

Like previous entries in the series, Earth Defense Force: Iron Rain is a 3-D third-person action shooting game, where the player takes control of an Earth Defense Force soldier and battles an onslaught of alien enemies. The game features four soldier classes, the Trooper, Jet Lifter, Heavy Striker, and Prowl Rider, all of which feature the option to play as a male or female soldier. In spite of a report by Kotaku, demos show the game uses the same type of ammo system as other EDF games, with most weapons having no ammunition limit and only limited by reloading times. Enemies drop Energy Gems, which can be picked up to power the player's Energy Core. Energy Gems also serve as the in-game currency, which the player collects during missions and can subsequently use to purchase new weapons or apparel for their character. The game features a total of 320 weapons, 310 "items" (ranging from support equipment like healing devices to vehicle requests) and 717 character customization items, referred to as "clothing."

On some missions, the enemy Kindred Rebellion faction may enter the combat area to try and loot Energy Gems dropped by fallen Aggressors. While the Rebellion will attack Aggressors, it is also hostile toward the EDF.

In addition to a campaign consisting of 52 total missions, Earth Defense Force: Iron Rain includes multiple online game modes. Players can play the co-op campaign online with up to five other players, or engage in the PvP "Mercenary Mode," where two teams of four compete to collect the most Energy Gems. One team is the EDF, while the other is the Kindred Rebellion, and both battle against waves of Aggressors and the other team to collect all dropped Energy Gems. Two-player split-screen gameplay is also available for the offline campaign.

Enemies

Enemies are generally divided into two groups: Giant Creatures and Ravagers. Giant Creatures, true to their name, are genetically altered terrestrial lifeforms used as biological weapons by the Aggressors. They range from giant insects to colossal kaiju. Ravagers are the Aggressors' robotic weapons. They take the form of spaceships, bipedal robots, and gigantic battle machines. In addition, the enemy Kindred Rebellion faction possesses both robotic and biological enemies which are hostile to Blast Team.

  • Storm Ants - Storm Ants are the most common enemy in the game. They attack with their jaws and spit acid.
    • Storm Ant Scout - Storm Ant Scouts are a variant of Storm Ant controlled remotely by the Kindred Rebellion using their PA Gear. They are physically heightened thanks to the Rebellion's tampering, and are distinguished from the Aggressors' Storm Ants by red paint on their bodies.
  • Crazy Ants - A faster and more ferocious variant of giant ant capable of spitting acid in multiple directions, the Crazy Ant first emerged in South America, and when the EDF's South American branch attempted to control and breed these creatures, the plan backfired and they quickly multiplied out of control and wiped out EDF South America. Crazy Ants have since migrated north, putting them into contact with Blast Team.
  • Winged Ants - An enemy type not seen since Global Defence Force, Winged Ants appear to be a relative of Storm Ants with the added ability of flight. While in the air, they can spit deadly acid in multiple directions. It is hypothesized that when fully grown, Winged Ants transform into Queen Ants.
  • Bomb Beetles - Bomb Beetles fight alongside the ranks of the Storm Ants. Their bodies contain explosive gases, which make them explode when attacked, thus earning their namesake.
  • Green Bomb Beetles - A subspecies of Bomb Beetles with iridescent green armor which reduces the damage they take from weapons.
  • Wolf Spiders - Wolf Spiders are 25 meters long with their legs extended. They attack by expelling a sticky web from their mouths that immobilizes PA Gear.
  • Baby Spiders - Baby Spiders jump out of Wolf Spiders' abdomen. They are about 2.5 meters long. They attack approaching humans by detonating their own bodies, spreading deadly acidic body fluid in the explosion.
  • Deathstalker - The Deathstalker is a venomous creature resembling a giant scorpion. It uses its armored pincer as a shield, and sprays pressurized venom from its tail which is powerful enough to slice through a tank. Deathstalkers constantly glow in the dark, which makes them easier to spot at night.
  • Beizal - A kaiju roughly 60 meters tall, Beizal possesses an internal generator that allows it to emit a powerful electromagnetic pulse from its dorsal plates which immediately destroys nearby electronics and disables PA Gear. It can also spit a powerful blue laser from its mouth. Beizal cannot be targeted by standard lock-on missiles while emitting its pulse. It seems to possess terrestrial DNA, and is theorized to be a synthetic creature engineered by the Aggressors using the DNA of several creatures from the Devonian Period 400 million years ago.
  • Queen Ant - The Queen Ant is 50 meters long, and lives deep underground in her nest where she produces Storm Ants. She is capable of flight and due to her massive weight can severely damage foes just by moving.
  • Raznid - An unfathomably gigantic creature over 300 meters in height and 1 kilometer in length, Raznid is the Aggressors' ultimate invasion weapon. It is able to breathe a stream of fire from its mouth.
  • Sideros - Sideros are powerful enemies that drop from the sky. Their attacks can destroy buildings in a single strike, and they are also very agile.
  • Scourgers - Scourgers are giant robots that destroy everything in their path. Employed early on in the invasion, the majority of Scourgers have been deactivated, however they will reactivate and attack if near a battle.
    • Scourger Beast - Scourger Beasts are a faster quadrupedal battle form of Scourgers into which they can transform. Scourger Beasts are far more deadly than their default bipedal form.
  • Attack Pods - Attack Pods are combat ships 10 meters in length boasting impressive speed and weapons capabilities that make them far superior to any human aircraft.
  • Harvesters - Quadrupedal battle machines, Harvesters extend arms from their dome-shaped bases to capture humans, where they are stored alive inside cells within the machine. It is unknown why Harvesters capture humans, but combat against them often causes psychological trauma for EDF soldiers as they unintentionally end up injuring and killing captured soldiers.
  • Gargant - The Gargant is a huge Ravager that walks on six gigantic legs. It is theorized to be a mobile factory, releasing countless smaller Ravagers as it walks. It is equipped with many lasers and can fire plasma blasts from its legs, while it produces destructive shockwaves simply by walking. It is sufficiently armored to withstand concentrated strikes from the Air Force. Gargants are powerful enemies, and the EDF prioritizes their destruction.
  • Hivecraft - The Hivecraft is a colossal floating rock-like structure nearly one kilometer in length and width. It is speculated to be the Aggressors' mothership. It is believed that the rock is an Energy Gem mine, while the disc section acts as a factory that produces Giant Creatures and Ravagers. The Hivecraft flew around the world during the Aggressors' initial invasion in 2028, spreading Storm Ants and Scourgers worldwide. The Hivecraft was successfully destroyed by the EDF in 2033, but its true nature remains a mystery.
  • Raidship - The Raidship is a colossal flying object 200 meters in length. It drops both Giant Creatures and Ravagers and is capable of teleportation. It is immune to infantry fire and possesses weapons of its own.
  • Nightcrawler - The Nightcrawler is a warmech used by the Kindred Rebellion. They are an old EDF weapon used prior to PA Gear to combat the Aggressors, which were plundered and appropriated by the Kindred Rebellion during its coup. The Rebellion uses Nightcrawlers primarily to collect Energy Gems during confrontations between EDF forces and Aggressors.
  • Pillar - Pillars are mysterious mechanical towers which have appeared all over the world. Their armor is impenetrable and they seem to contain a vast amount of energy. They are often guarded by Aggressors.

Missions

Levels: Earth Defense Force: Iron Rain
1-10 Assignment: Blast TeamSleeping DisasterThe Earth Reshapen"Routine Work"Steel Flowers on the CoastQuake Team: M.I.A.Desert Defense LineShadow of DoomKindred Rebellion SightedHarvesting Fear
11-20 HyenasWarning: GargantBattle at the BadlandsGlowing PincersScavenging the SewersRescue MissionSwarm in the DunesThe Hivecraft ReturnsRemnants Amongst the RuinsA Giant Appears
21-30 The Nightmare ContinuesDanger on All SidesA Mysterious PillarSilver ArmyTriple ThreatPillar RaidAn Ominous SignBack to "Normal"Return to the CavesThe Cost of Experimentation
31-40 Tank ConcertoStandoff at the BaseDual BattleDesperate StandRebellion CounterstrikeCity of GiantsTowers of DoomOff the RecordOne Night's ResolveA common Goal
41-50 Cave Complex, RevisitedBattle in the SnowAn Iron ArmyThe flagship VerbenaSmoke SignalBattle in the SkyAll Hail the QueenExterminateShowdown at the BadlandsGathering at the High-Rise Area
51-52 Operation: Iron RainThe Earth Ablaze

Levels: Earth Defense Force: Iron Rain DLC: Golden Storm
1-14 Golden StormGhost from the PastWhat Goes Around, Comes AroundDig DeepGive it a WhirlProcession of DeathOnce and for AllIron StampedeGenesisWhirlwind EmpressNostalgia FallsPawns Gone HaywireSingularityThe Final Curtain


Characters

Uncharacteristic of past EDF games, Iron Rain includes a large cast of named characters that fight alongside the player as part of the elite Blast Team, as well as members of the enemy Kindred Rebellion faction.

Earth Defense Force

  • Closer (Player) - An average EDF soldier originally belonging to Quake Team, Closer took part in the battle against the Hivecraft in 2033, using a new type of energy core in the battle. Closer was caught in the explosion of the Hivecraft and fell into a coma for seven years, but later awakened and rejoined the EDF's battle against the invaders, becoming a member of Blast Team. Closer's gender, class, and appearance are selected by the player as part of the game's character customization feature.
  • Takuma Yagami - The commander of Blast Team, Takuma joined the EDF's Japan branch after losing his parents in the Aggressors' 2028 attack. He traveled to the United States to take part in the battle against the Hivecraft, and afterward transferred to the EDF's US branch and became the leader of Blast Team. He is voiced by Katsuyuki Yamazaki in Japanese and Tom Wayland in English.
  • Brenda Semenko - Captain of the 1st Blast Team, Brenda is a seasoned sniper and an extremely strong-willed and serious soldier. She is voiced by Hiroko Kataura in Japanese and Martha Harms in English.
  • Michael Morris - Captain of the 2nd Blast Team, Mike is a trusted soldier with a strong sense of justice. He prefers using heavy weaponry. Mike lost his father in the Aggressors' initial 2028 attack, and later lost his older brother in 2035 during the Kindred Rebellion's coup. He is voiced by Minoru Nanaeda in Japanese and Robb Moreira in English.
  • Phillip - The youngest member of Blast Team, Phillip is considered to be the team's "little brother," and is somewhat timid and unreliable. He is voiced by Yasunari Kinbara in Japanese and Aaron Dalla Villa in English.
  • Mert - A member of Blast Team since 2033, Mert is the oldest member of the team and has remained a standard soldier his entire career, apathetic about increasing in rank. Mert is beloved by the team and gets along well with his younger teammates. He is voiced by Hidenori Takei in Japanese and HD Quinn in English.
  • Tatiana - The youngest female member of Blast Team, Tatiana is treated as the team's "little sister." She is quiet and reserved compared to most of the female soldiers of Blast Team, and is perpetually given a task to worry about by Mike. She is voiced by Misaki Ise in Japanese and Alyson Leigh Rosenfeld in English.
  • Maive - Maive acts as the operational liaison for Blast Team and the other EDF teams under Renald's command, and communicates with them during missions. She is voiced by Ai Yamamoto in Japanese and Tessa Flannery in English.
  • Renald Campbell - The Commander General of the EDF, Renald directly gives orders to Blast Team and other elite EDF teams. He personally selected Closer to join Blast Team after he/she awakened from his/her coma. He is voiced by Suguru Shimizu in Japanese and Ron Schnittker in English.
  • Dr. Mengel - Dr. Mengel is the EDF's leading Aggressor researcher. He studies enemies and gives Blast Team important information about them in combat. He is voiced by Yasufumi Saito in Japanese and John Avner in English.

Kindred Rebellion

  • Gideon - The founder of the Kindred Rebellion, Gideon led a successful coup d'état against the Earth Defense Force in 2035, opposing the EDF's policy of prioritizing some areas to protect over others. Gideon and his younger sister Faiza were members of the EDF's elite Flare Team prior to 2035, and were driven to turn against the EDF after the deaths of their parents in 2033.
  • Faiza - Faiza is the younger sister of Gideon, and like him was a former member of Flare Team. She helped her brother in the 2035 coup against the EDF, and became the Captain of the Kindred Rebellion's Resource Collection Team. She is described as being strong and proactive. She is voiced by Naoko Kaneta in Japanese and Rachel Collins in English.
  • Adel - Adel was never a member of the EDF, and was 16 when the Kindred Rebellion was formed. He served as the leader of a group of young bandits that were caught trying to steal from Gideon. When Adel used himself as bait so his comrades could escape, Gideon was moved by this and recruited Adel to join the Kindred Rebellion. Since then, he has become a high-ranking member of the Kindred Rebellion's Resource Collection Team, and helps keep Faiza in check. Adel is noted to be a skilled sniper. He is voiced by Ryota Yoshizaki in Japanese and Andrew Mimms in English.

Other

  • Olivia - Olivia is the host of a radio talk show which the members of Blast Team often listen to between missions. She is cheerful and enthusiastic and constantly expresses her support for the EDF. Phillip implies that he has a crush on Olivia, for which the other members of Blast Team tease him. She is voiced by Ryoko Usami in Japanese and Amanda Barker in English.

Soundtrack

Momo Michizaki's musical score for the game along with Takashi Niigaki's theme song "IRON RAIN" will be released in the Japan-only soundtrack album Earth Defense Force: Iron Rain Original Soundtrack on April 11.

Trivia

  • When viewing enemies in the game's database, Maive may ask "Would you like to know more?," a clear reference to the 1997 Starship Troopers movie.
  • In one mission, Mert mentions video games, with Mike remarking that as a child he used to play his brother's wrestling video game. This is referencing Yuke's, the developer of Iron Rain, which is primarily known for developing NJPW (known in Japan as SNPW) and WWE (originally known as WWF) games (originally known in Japan as Toukon Retsuden and Exciting Pro Wrestling respectively) up until Wrestle Kingdom 2 and WWE 2K19 respectively, as well as the Rumble Roses series. Yuke's also develop UFC games up until UFC Undisputed 3.

External Links

Earth Defense Force series
Main series and remakes Monster AttackGlobal Defence Force / Earth Defense Force 2: Invaders From Planet SpaceEarth Defense Force 2017 / Earth Defense Force 2017 PortableEarth Defense Force 2025 / Earth Defense Force 4.1: The Shadow of New DespairEarth Defense Force 5Earth Defense Force 6
Spin-offs Space War AttackGlobal Defense Force TacticsEarth Defense Force: Insect ArmageddonTapWars: Earth Defense Force 4.1Earth Defense Force 4.1: Wing Diver The ShooterEarth Defense Force: Iron RainEarth Defense Force: World Brothers