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Earth Defense Force: World Brothers (デジボク地球防衛軍 Dejiboku Chikyū Bōeigun) is a spinoff game in the Earth Defense Force series, released on the Nintendo Switch and PlayStation 4 sometime in 2020 in Japan and 27 May 2021 in the West. It is developed by Yuke's, who previously developed Earth Defense Force: Iron Rain.

World Brothers is a unique take on the EDF formula, featuring pixelated block-shaped voxel graphics akin to games like Minecraft. It once again uses Unreal Engine 4 rather than Sandlot's custom engine, but reproduces the feel of the Sandlot engine much more closely than Iron Rain.

Plot

World Brothers' plot is presented in an unusually upbeat and comedic tone, featuring frequent callouts to other EDF games and fourth wall breaks addressing the player and game properties.

An unknown entity known as Dark Tyrant has united the invading aliens from all previous EDF games and sent a mothership from each alien faction to Earth. Together, their power has begun to tear the Earth apart. The EDF must travel to different iconic locations on Earth, rescue every remaining available fighter, and destroy the giant creatures that the motherships release. Curiously, the motherships themselves tend to leave of their own violition when their most powerful creatures are destroyed.

The final missions reveal the reason for this: Dark Tyrant is in fact mind-controlling the other invaders. The invaders themselves have no desire to destroy Earth, only to conquer it. In a strange reversal, the EDF is able to team up with those alien invaders who have been freed from Dark Tyrant's control to destroy Dark Tyrant together.

Gameplay

The player has the ability to build a team of four using characters that the player can rescue during missions. The player can freely switch between all four characters during gameplay. Switching to a character immediately teleports them to the location of the player's previous character. Characters not in use by the player are AI controlled. Switching characters can be used to avoid reload or cooldown times and game tutorial text recommends this technique.

If a player character is killed, the player can switch to a different character to rescue the downed character. In this case, after switching the new character will be some distance away from the downed character and the new character must reach them to rescue them, and have a minimum Armor level remaining.

In multiplayer, each player still has their squad of 4 characters and can switch between them, but uncontrolled characters may disappear rather than being AI controlled.

Every character has a unique ability and an SP Move that the player can use upon filling the SP Bar. Each character can be equipped with a weapon and an accessory. Every character has a Skill Level that determines what types of weapons they can use.

Maps are smaller than in most other EDF games and have falls at the edges (representing the "Earth coming apart"). Characters who fall off the edge of the map are respawned after taking damage as if they had drowned. Non-flying enemies can be driven off the map and killed.

Characters gain armor after completing missions. Weapons and accessories are unlocked by rescuing characters present on each map. Each rescued character has the possibility to have a new accessory; each character type is also associated with a weapon which they will unlock when rescued. The level of these weapons and accessories depends on the mission difficulty. Rescuing a character also makes them playable or, if they were already playable, adds XP to them which increases their skill level. (Note that XP is not gained by completing missions as the character - armor is; and weapons are not upgraded by collecting duplicates, only by collecting the same weapon again on a higher difficulty setting.)

There are between 3 and 5 characters available to be rescued on each map: 3 appear on early maps and 4-5 appear on later maps based on difficulty level. They can be rescued at any point during the level but their benefits are only gained if the mission is completed successfully. Once the characters appearing on a map are selected they do not change until the map is successfully completed; this means that it is not possible to repeatedly restart a map until the character you want is spawned.

Unlike previous EDF games, there are six difficulty levels for each map: Easy, Medium, Hard, Hardest, Inferno, and Armageddon. Levels up to Hard can be played from the start of the game. Clearing all missions on Normal on Hard unlocks Hardest; clearing all missions on Hardest unlocks Inferno; clearing all missions on Inferno and owning the DLC unlocks Armageddon. Also unlike EDF 5, clearing a map on a higher difficulty level does not automatically count it as cleared on lower difficulty levels.

Soldier Classes

World Brothers features the largest array of soldier classes of any EDF game. Every soldier class from every main game in the series is playable, from the original Monster Attack all the way to Earth Defense Force 5. In addition, the game's official site states that characters from the spinoff games will appear as well, with the Trooper from Earth Defense Force: Iron Rain appearing in a screenshot alongside the characters from the Sandlot games. In the game, the player will recruit other EDF soldiers found throughout the game to create a team of four, plus "brothers and sisters" who are battle capable civilian characters.

Although EDF Air Raiders appear in the game, they do not have the ability to summon vehicles, which are present on each map. They also do not have support items such as Reverse guns or power-up fields because these are instead provided by special and SP moves provided by other characters.

Enemies

Likewise, enemies from all of the EDF games will be featured in World Brothers. This includes enemies from the ranks of the Ravagers as well as the Primers and Aggressors. Confirmed enemies so far include:

Motherships from multiple previous games appear in World Brothers but do not fight.

Plus the following new types:

In the DLC, Another ResCUBE:

Downloadable Content

As an EDF game in the modern era, World Brothers is no stranger to offering extra content for a little extra dough. DLC can be purchased individually* or as part of a Season Pass bundle. A Deluxe Edition of the game was later released that contains all DLC bundled in from the start.

*The Sergeant, Omega, Spriggan, Grim Reaper, and KR Prowl Rider packs are bundled as the "Collector's Set" on PS4 and Switch. They are available as separate add-on purchases only on Steam

  • Another ResCUBE: An expansion pack containing 11 missions set after the events of the main story, with their own plotline and exclusive weapons. Proportionately, the enemies are also a lot stronger.
  • Mecha Yuki: A soldier who suffered a most unfortunate fate in Monster Attack (but only if you played the Japanese version), who has been reborn with the power of cybernetics (and acid jokes that sadly only work in Japanese)
  • Ranger (EDF 4) Omega Team pack: A Ranger donning the colors (and lasers) of Omega Team from EDF 2025 and 4.1
  • Ranger (EDF 5) Sergeant pack: A Ranger from EDF 5, dressed to look like the Sergeant of Alpha Team. He even has a (severely underpowered) Blazer!
  • Fencer (EDF 5) Grim Reaper pack: A Fencer dressed in the livery of the suicidal fearless Fencer squad Grim Reaper. Comes with his own version of the Blasthole Spear
  • Wing Diver (EDF 5) Spriggan pack: A Wing Diver who takes after the sass on wings proud heroes of the Spriggan squad. Comes with the Mag Blaster
  • Colonist: Hailing from EDF 5, this alien that definitely looks just like a human has chosen to assist the EDF in fighting Dark Tyrant for reasons only his definitely-human-mind would know
  • Cosmonaut: Also from EDF 5, this armor-clad alien is willing to join the EDF in the fight against Dark Tyrant. Why? Play the game to find out.
  • Prowl Rider KR Prototype pack: Clad in the Kindred Rebellion's prototype of the Prowl Rider PA Gear, this Iron Rain gal brings her G-L.I.A.R. Anty and vintage explosive laser to battle.
  • Aya: A bikini-clad 10-gallon hat-toting swordswoman hailing from D3 Publisher's hack-n-slash Oneechanbara. While much less...animated due to WB's graphic design, she's certainly still going to bounce around slashing bugs
  • Saki: Aya's half-sister from Oneechanbara. She'll bring the pain to the aliens with her Baneful Blood techniques (and mental pain to your friends and family for being a literal schoolgirl)
  • Setsu: A hostess from D3 Publisher's dating sim Dream Club. With her aspirations as a pastry chef shattered with the Earth, she's set to give the aliens a full service of suffering
  • Mian: A blond twintail tsundere from Dream Club. She's willing to help the EDF fight the aliens and restore the Earth. N-not because she likes you or anything, b-baka!
  • Ili: A robot girl from Dream Club. Found by the EDF after she ran out of power, she's under contract for 1 manganese battery per battle.

Steam Exclusive

  • Ranger (EDF 3) Storm 1: A Ranger from EDF 3 and Portable, donning the uniform of the legendary hero Storm 1. Not guaranteed to be as competent as Storm 1.
  • Riho Futaba Classic Hostess Pack: D3 Publisher's very own (pseudo) mascot Riho Futaba crosses over from Dream Club. She comes equipped with a plasma cannon, a dress, and a pure heart.
  • Riho Futaba Cool Summer: Riho, but with a breezy sundress with only a little fanservice (though fellow players won't stop at "only a little" judging)
  • Riho Futaba Original Blue Swimsuit: Riho, but with a different weapon and less clothing, just in case you care about either of those.
  • Riho Futaba Merry Santa: Riho's in a Santa dress this time, and in true Christmas spirit, she's taking your money spreading the cheer (and pain) to human and bug alike.


Weblinks

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
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