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Video Game / Earth Defense Force 5

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Published by D3 and developed by Sandlot, Earth Defense Force 5 is (confusingly) the seventh installment in the Earth Defense Force game franchise released for the PS4 game console.

EDF 5 is set in 2022 and is a reboot of the story occurring before 2025, taking place during the first alien invasion of Earth. Like in most of the previous titles, the game is a casual Third-Person Shooter where the players battle hordes of enemies in various stages with a large and sometimes crazy collection of weapons and equipment.

The game re-uses various assets developed for Earth Defense Force 2025 and its updated title Earth Defense 4.1 "Shadow of New Despair", but also introduces several new elements to the game. It also borrows old enemies from previous titles and updates them for this installment.

Players will recognize various enemies seen in the titles just prior to this game such as ants, spiders, and even the massive Kaiju style enemy Erginus. New enemies have been added such as giant frogs with guns tentatively called "Colonists", giant armored gun wielding infantry that looks like the "Greys" type aliens tentatively called "Cosmonauts", new Kaiju style monsters, new bugs, and even some enemies from older titles such as the flying saucer ships.


The game has been made bloodier and gorier with the addition of new location damage mechanics for various enemies, new gibbing mechanics, damage textures for enemies, blood splat textures, and even the ability to shoot off limbs of the giant humanoid enemies.

While the overall base game mechanics remain the same, several new mechanics including changes to characters have been introduced. Overall the four classes in the previous titles have made a return for this title. The game will feature the Ranger, Palewing(In Japan)/Wing Diver, Air Raider, and the Fencer characters. The game starts off the protagonist as a civilian or new volunteer and then after a Time Skip, switch gear to a military looking EDF skin. They can also equip various special abilities, equipment, and items that affect gameplay.


The game was released for the PS4 in Japan, the US, and Europe. In July 2019, the game was also released on Steam for Windows.

The game is followed by a sequel, Earth Defense Force 6, which is scheduled to be released in 2022.

The EDF's forces will defend the people of Earth with these tropes!

  • Abnormal Ammo: There are several exotic ammo types fired by various weapons in the game : for example, the Ranger's Minion Buster weapons fire time-delayed explosive ammunition, waiting until they are inside an opponent to blow it up.
  • Action Survivor: The playable cast starts out in this kind of situation, being a civilian brought in to help with an EDF rally meant to help connect with and entertain the public after a long period of the EDF not doing much to justify its ongoing expenses. Once the bugs start attacking the base where the rally is supposed to take place, the civilians are given EDF weapons to protect themselves until they can get somewhere safe. As the game progresses, the cast turns from untrained civilians to the EDF's most effective soldiers.
    • Ranger is a security guard brought in to help keep the peace and direct traffic during the rally, although his uniform makes him look like a Japanese police officer in heavy kit.
    • Air Raider is a mechanic who is trained to work on a number of vehicles, brought in to help maintain the vehicles of the rally, including EDF military vehicles, fitting the Air Raider's role of being more of a driver and coordinator than an actual infantry combatant.
    • Wing Diver is an aerial acrobat scheduled to do a show at the end of the rally who uses, presumably but it's never said, a reworked version of the Wing Diver jetpack to do air stunts.
    • Fencer is a freight handler meant to help move items around during the rally using a modified Fencer exoskeleton to help lift heavy objects.
  • Alien Invasion: Comes with the territory of Earth Defense Force, as an alien force known as the Primers (Immigrants in the original Japanese) have come to Earth hellbent on wiping all life out for colonization. Humanity can fight back to some degree, but are massively outgunned by more advanced technology and overwhelming alien forces. That's where you come in.
  • All There in the Manual: Despite the game being pretty good at naming enemies in dialogue, both species that they refer to as "Aliens" are never given proper names except in battle records. The Frogs are Colonists while the armored Grays are Cosmonauts.
  • All Your Base Are Belong to Us: Two big instances over the course of the game:
    • You end up having to abandon the base you start the game in after the aliens drop a massive amount of summoning beacons on it. Much later in the game, you come back to retake it and claim the anti-Kaiju weapon hidden inside.
    • Very late in the game, EDF Headquarters is overrun and destroyed offscreen.
  • Amazon Brigade: The Wing Divers are (once again) an all-female force equipped jetpacks and a wide array of energy based weapons.
  • Anti-Frustration Feature: Compared to 2025/4.1 there are a lot of improvements all over the place.
    • Rangers now get a full-on sprint unique to them to help with movement in addition to getting a wider range to help them collect pickups. Before this game, Rangers had to just roll around to move faster than running speed when no vehicles were available, and to do the roll consistently required you be pointing your camera away from wherever you were going. Wing Divers had flight, Fencers had dash canceling and dashes in general, and Air Raiders could summon vehicles to help with movement.
    • Each weapon now has a star level in addition to a normal level. The normal level of a weapon is static and determines what can be used during online play, but the star level is new and determines how powerful the weapon is. Getting random drops of the same weapon, something that plagued players of previous games looking for new weapons, will now have a chance of improving the stats of a weapon which helps alleviate the issues that getting repeats while weapon grinding brought, in addition to giving players stronger weapons within a level bracket.
    • The level limit for what can be picked up has been tightened. As an example, in prior games you could be doing a mission that could give level 60 equipment, but the problem was that it could give up to level 60 gear; you were very likely to pick up anything in the 1-60 item range, the vast majority of which you had most likely received much earlier in the campaign multiple times. Now the drop tables have tightened to around 10 levels lower than level appropriate.
    • Completion medals, which are given for beating a level on a specific difficulty for that character, will now award you with the medals of the lower difficulties as well as the one you beat it on, where as before you could complete a mission on Inferno as a class and still have to beat Hard and normal and so on. This was the biggest obstacle to removing weapon level restrictions in online because you had to beat each of the 87 levels 20 times.
    • Players are given a Last Chance Hit Point to help them survive a little longer to find health or kill an enemy.
    • All classes will have a white circle appear around them while performing certain actions (sprinting, dodging, piloting a vehicle), which allows players to collect any item that touches the circle. Prior games required you to directly touch the item in order to collect it, which often resulted in players dying from missing a health crate by a hair, or Rangers/Air Raiders needing to exit their vehicles to collect items in a narrow alley or just so they didn't have to repeatedly drive in circles to grab it all.
    • A new equipment bonus is the laser pointer which will show a player if the target they're aiming at is in range or not.
    • The game will go over any new weapons or any star upgrades you got after a battle, so you can quickly figure out if you want to play around with new items or weapons.
    • Weapon and armor pickups can now give items to other classes as well as the class being played, but at a lower rate than the current class. Before this change, focusing on one character exclusively meant you would more or less have to start from the very beginning when starting another class to build up their health and get weapons better than the starting equipment. Now, your other classes will be drip fed armor and weapons as you play your preferred character. Even focusing solely on one class, the other three classes will have more health and a better selection of weapons to choose from than when you just started playing.
    • Caves in this game are actually lit up for the player's benefit. Despite the good atmosphere in prior games that came from only being able to see what your flashlight is trained on, you could easily get lost in a cave because of how bloody dark it was, or end up missing an enemy because the flashlight shined wherever the character's gun was physically pointing, not where your reticle is pointing. This caused some actions, such as reloading, to prevent you from seeing in front of you during basic actions.
    • During the actual battle with the ground base in Mission 40, once it raises from the ground air strikes will go through the top, still letting you hit the bottom. While it's still immobile this isn't true, but while it's up the Air Raider doesn't have to worry about their most powerful attacks getting blocked by the massive, mobile base.
  • Artificial Brilliance: While most of the enemies are mindless mosnters, the Colonists and Cosmonauts are very crafty: they use buildings as cover, remain mobile (as long as their legs aren't shot off), and will try to outmaneuver and flank you. If you sneak up on them when they're distracted fighting another target, they will immediately scatter and find new cover, then blast you from all sides.
  • Artificial Stupidity: Mostly averted, as Sandlot fixed most of the issues with the A.I. soldiers that were present in Earth Defense Force 2025. Fencers now use their shields and dash boosts to avoid being damaged, Wing Divers no longer jump and hover in the same place (pointlessly wasting their energy) and use their flight to try evading incoming fire, and EDF troops no longer try to shoot enemies behind walls... they'll still get in the way of your shots or ignore their buddies getting nibbled on by a Crimson Alpha, though.
    • Monsters get quite confused when walking on surfaces with void areas or multiple openings such as electrical pylons, overpasses or industrial sites, flailing around in circles and getting out of an empty space only to sprint back into another. Until your start shooting, in which case they (mostly) suddenly remember how to walk in a straight line.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: The player finds themselves fighting giant bipedal alien frogs and Grey aliens in armored suits, both armed with energy weapons and accompanied by the hordes of giant bugs. There are also even larger versions of the bugs that show up on some maps, which have more vicious attacks and takes a lot of effort to kill. The player can invoke this trope as well when piloting the Barga.
  • Balance Buff: Rangers got a run that also improves pickup radius, Wing Divers got a dodge that's fairly fuel efficient compared to other methods of flying and lets them immediately change direction, the above two as well as Fencer got a new passive slot note , the Air Raider got new air strikes that will reload automatically rather than needing credits, ranging from frequently usable to very slow but as powerful as a regular airstrike that needs credits. Finally, the Ranger's unique ability from the previous game, any health box they pick up heals their followers, now applies to all 4 classes but the Ranger is the only one with the option to improve how much is healed.
  • Beam Spam:
    • The bulk of energy weapons wielded by the enemy operate on the basic principle of spamming a large number of energy weapon attacks at the player. Be it the giant bipedal enemies, enemy fortresses, or even the flying saucers.
    • The Wingdiver character has several weapons built around the concept of massed energy weapon fire akin to using a machine gun or firing off a spray of multiple projectiles in a single go.
  • BFG:
    • Players will again wield a wide variety of large caliber and large barreled weapons to fight the alien threat from cannons wielded by the Fencer, grenade and rocket launchers of the Ranger, plasma cannon weapons of Wing Divers, and the limpet mine guns of the Air Raider.
    • Colonists and Cosmonauts can wield huge shoulder cannons. Heavy Cosmonauts get either a giant flamethrower, a giant Gatling or a giant burst missile launcher.
    • Player-controlled mechs wield large cannons as individual weapon mounts.
  • Big Creepy-Crawlies: The giant mutant bugs are back with the usual array of ants and spiders, but also now includes pill bugs.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The Aliens are finally beaten back by the remains of Storm Teams 1 through 4 and retreat from Earth... leaving only 10% of the world's population still alive, and the other 90% of humanity dead in the streets of empty, ruined cities around the world. Human civilization promptly collapses, and the world falls back into a dark age where violence rules. In spite of the global anarchy, a glimmer of hope still remains, and the survivors of the EDF eventually restore peace to the ruined planet.
  • Bloodier and Gorier:
    • The game ups the gore compared to its previous titles. While there are still sprays of blood from living alien enemies there are now rather simple blood splat marks when you kill enemies. In addition, injured enemies now have a location-based damage texture that reflects the severity of damage done to the enemy.
    • Enemies now die in a spray of gibs and chunks, especially when killed with powerful or explosive weapons.
    • The giant humanoid frog and giant armored grey alien enemies can have individual limbs blown off forcing them to crawl around or try and fight you missing limbs.
  • Bug War: The various enemies are mostly giant killer insects, very alien giants, or their war machines. The players are often fighting hordes of various enemies across various landscapes on Earth. Since the aliens are intent on wiping out humanity without provocation and are completely alien, the favor is returned and considered perfectly justifiable.
  • Call a Rabbit a "Smeerp": The various creatures in the game never get referred to as what they are in real life Earth, such as the giant ants simply being called "Aggressive Alien Species Alpha", spiders being labeled as "Beta" and pill bugs "Gamma". Unlike the English adaptation of Earth Defense Force 2025, this game actively avoids even using the word insect in reference to the giant bugs trying to eat everything, calling them "monsters".
  • Chekhov's Gun: During the weapons tutorial in Base 228, you have to pass by a large orange mech stored in a chamber on the way out of the Base. Late in the game, this mech turns out to be the most effective way of dealing with Archelus, and requires a multi part extraction mission by Storm Team to get it.
  • Child Soldier: Darkly invoked in Mission 107, where the final 200 survivors of Brooklyn — almost entirely children and the elderly — have run out of food and water, so they've started military training instead.
  • Classic Video Game "Screw You"s: Playing online mode by yourself. Enemies have 3x their normal health, the same modifier as if you were playing with 3 other players, but you also have to deal with level restrictions until you've unlocked about 70% completion online note , meaning your weapons and health, while level appropriate, will be severely underpowered. The intention behind this is to force you to play with other players, so adding another player will actually only increase the enemy's health by around 2x, and you have another player helping you to fight the Primers.
  • Continuity Reboot: 5 marks the beginning of a new series timeline, so Earth is caught completely off-guard by the alien invasion and have to struggle hard to finally start gaining ground on anything again. This also means that Earth isn't a war-ravaged hellhole - out of the gate, at least.
  • Conscription: An EDF soldier at one point complains that they don't have enough troops for their operations and that they should just force the civilians to join the EDF. Sarge grimly mentions that EDF has already been doing that.
  • Cool vs. Awesome: Pretty much any map that has Barga fighting a giant monster in it. There is one level where there are several Barga fighting against a group of Erginus, and later Archelus.
  • Darker and Edgier: And how! (From a plot standpoint, at least.) Earth Defense Force has never been sunshine and rainbows behind the sometimes-silly dialogue, but 5 takes it to a degree bordering on Grimdark. Since this is a Continuity Reboot, humanity is completely caught off guard by the Primer invasion and is far less prepared to combat them, with even the Wing Diver and Fencer units having been designed for conventional warfare, not this kind of warfare. No matter how many aliens the player's squad wipes out, the Primers just keep coming, unveiling new units and tactics that slowly but surely overwhelm Earth's defenses. By the climax of the game, virtually every major city has been reduced to rubble and literally 90% of all life on Earth has been eradicated, including every single able-bodied man and women, and the only ones left (that aren't in the ragged remains of the EDF) are children, elderly, the wounded and the infirm. They're also starving because there's no food left, so they start military training to attempt a Bolivian Army Ending instead. By the time the invasion is finally stopped, there's nearly no one left, and the epilogue explicitly states that a complete collapse and regression of human civilization is inevitable and is already beginning to happen.
  • Death Seeker: The Grim Reapers is a Fencer unit made of sole survivors of their former units who only wish to die gloriously in combat. The irony of them having Gameplay Ally Immortality is not lost on them.
  • Decapitated Army: The Aliens only stop their war with the Earth when their all-powerful leader dies in battle against Storm Team, causing them to retreat from Earth after retrieving their leader's remains.
    • Averted with EDF itself. The destruction of EDF HQ and the death of the formal leadership hurts morale, but doesn't slow EDF itself (much less Storm One) down at all.
  • Department of Redundancy Department: Combined with liberal amounts of Captain Obvious, the EDF troopers have a really bad habit of Parrot Exposition or essentially repeating things to one another. This includes many major plot developments.
  • Despair Event Horizon: Late in the game as EDF command talks about losing bases, cities, and people, their dialogue becomes increasingly grim. The loss of the EDF submarines mentioned in various levels, along with the EDF command base itself being knocked out is particularly brutal. By the time of the finale, the player(s) Storm One are the only one left with any staying power, and the rest of EDF (which by now mostly consists of starving and wounded children, the elderly, and the infirm) are basically resorting to a suicidal Zerg Rush against the aliens to buy you time to take down the alien mastermind.
  • Developers' Foresight: While you are still a civilian being escorted by the EDF, the dialogue for various player actions will be different based on your civilian status, changing only when you get officially recruited into the EDF. A good example would be Air Raiders calling in air strikes, which will get an incredulous "Why does a civilian have the heavy munitions codes!?" from mission control. More commonly, when taking control of a squad, since you don't technically have the rank to do so, will instead have the unit call out that they're protecting the civilian to justify why they follow the player around.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: Seeing what kind of final boss the game has, see Humanoid Abomination below, it didn't stop humanity from just shooting it until it dies. And die it did.
    • Every level involving Erginus and Archelus end up in an Hopeless Boss Fight where you can only tickle them with your weapons until they get bored and leave... Except for any mission involving Bargas so the mission doesn't end as unwinnable if the Bargas are destroyed before them. Managing to kill a freaking Kaiju with human-sized weapons ? Priceless.
  • Difficult, but Awesome: All three of the non-Ranger classes fall under this, for different reasons:
    • The Wing Diver has nearly-unmatched mobility at the push of a button with her jetpack, and her energy-based weapons have some of the highest DPS out of any class's. However, her weapons all have some combination of short range, slow projectile speed, high energy costs, and awkward hit boxes, making them difficult to use compared to other class's weapons; in addition to this, her weapons and jetpack all pull their power from a shared energy pool with limited capacity and a slow reload (slower if it empties). Combine this with her low Armor, lowest of any class, and a careless player can end up out of energy and ammo, surrounded by enemies, with no chance of escape or survival.
    • The Air Raider is slow, with no easy mobility options like the other classes; he can get vehicles, but they have to be refilled via kills, and the fastest ones also tend to be the weakest (with the heaviest and strongest ones also being even slower than being on foot.) He has insanely-powerful airstrikes, satellite beams, artillery and missile strikes, but all of these have either very long reloads, or must also be refilled with kills. With the Air Raider's only easy-to-use weapons being quite weak or awkward to use, the Air Raider can end up suffering Unstable Equilibrium if the squad can't keep up the kills, causing him to be easily overwhelmed when he can't use his shiny toys. When used well, however...
    • The Fencer controls differently from the other classes, but has a combination of massive health and great firepower; however, he can be extremely awkward to use, and while powerful and versatile, can still be overwhelmed and outgunned if surrounded. High inertia, recoil, still movement and heavy starting and ending lag on certain actions can make it very difficult for a Fencer to effectively move and avoid damage, and while tough, is far from invulnerable. Played well, however, a Fencer can be a tough, powerful, and surprisingly-mobile engine of death that can fill just about any niche.
  • Doomed Home Town: Virtually every major city around the world gets destroyed as EDF command talks about losses as the war drags on. In-game, you're forced to abandon the base you start out in, though you do get to liberate it later on.
  • The Dreaded: The motherships during in-game dialogue. None of them are ever destroyed, but they cause a lot of destruction wherever they are. In-game, large groups of Cosmonauts can invoke this in the EDF soldiers, as they are difficult to defeat in a head on battle. They will seek cover if there's any available, and can dodge around to avoid your attacks. If fighting multiple ones, they will also attempt to flank you and attack you from the sides, or even behind if given the chance.
    • On a more meta level, groups of Colonists or Cosmonauts can be incredibly difficult to deal with, even if you have other EDF units between yourself and them. Due to a quirk of their AI, as soon as the player fires on one of them, all of the Colonists and Cosmonauts on the map will target them, even if they're being torn to shreds by EDF units. This can result in players being unable to contribute sufficiently to a fight, since as soon as they do they are burned down by focused, overwhelming firepower.
  • Drop the Hammer: One of the weapons a Fencer can use is a giant hammer.
  • Drop Pod: The aliens have a new trick up their sleeve in this version. They have "drop pylons" that teleport in enemies as they did from the original drop ships in previous titles. The player can even see the pylons coming into lodge into the ground like giant spears riding in on balls of fire presumably from orbit.
  • Drop Ship: Just like in previous titles, large individual ships shill serve as one of the preferred methods in the game for delivering enemies to the battlefield.
  • Eaten Alive: Some monsters will attempt to eat your character and other EDF allies. When this happens you or another ally has to kill the monster. In co-op games on harder difficulties, this can result in some hilarious situations where your character is defeated, and is flying around in the mouth of one of the flying tadpoles while the other players are fighting.
  • Energy Weapon: Wing Divers use energy based weaponry to reduce the weight they have to carry. Rangers can also use one in the form of the Blazer, which is overall their most powerful weapon. The Fencer has access to one as well, but it can't be recharged/reloaded in the field, so once those weapons run out of ammo, they can no longer use it until the next mission.
  • Fire-Breathing Weapon:
    • The EDF has a variety of personal flame weapons for the Ranger and Fencer.
    • Several EDF vehicles have built-in flamethrowers meant for close quarters combat.
    • The Heavy Cosmonauts can wield heavy flamethrower.
  • Flying Saucer:
    • The large mothership craft is a flying saucer type spacecraft.
    • One of the Primers' main weapon to defend motherships are flying saucer-like attack drones.
  • Friendly Fireproof: Zig-zagged in that the difficulty levels alter the friendly fire damage you deal and regular shots may not knock them back, but even in multiplayer you can kill your teammates with too much stray fire, explosions or overpowered weaponry. Said explosions will still ragdoll anyone regardless of difficulty. On Inferno everyone takes the full brunt of damage from one another, so you'll probably wipe both alien and ally out in a hectic battle.
  • Frog Men: Players wind up fighting the Colonists, giant alien frogs armed with energy weapons, in place of the Hector robot enemies.
  • From Bad to Worse: The war against the Primers is an uphill battle throughout, but the situation for humanity doesn't improve much. By the time the Primers are finally driven off the Earth, it's suffered a Class 2 apocalypse (bordering on Class 3).
  • Flawed Prototype: The Barga was designed as a mobile crane, but was widely considered a failure. Come the alien invasion though, the last prototype turned out to be highly effective against the Kaiju and resulted in the remaining ten partially scrapped prototypes being repaired and pushed into use.
  • Fragile Speedster: Wing Divers. They have some fairly hard hitting weaponry, but can die quickly if they get stuck, such as running out of energy and being swarmed. However, their speed does allow them to run away if things get too dicey, and there are even some energy cores which speeds up your backwards dashes.
  • Gameplay Ally Immortality: The main people that cannot be killed throughout the game are Alpha Team (the Ranger patrol led by Sarge, who escorts the player character during the initial phase of the invasion and later takes them under their wing after they enlist), the Grim Reapers (a Fencer unit staffed with sole survivors of other Fencer units who want to go down fighting) and the Spriggans (the best Wing Diver unit of the whole EDF). If they take enough damage, they just go down to a knee and eventually get up on their own. Everyone else is fair game to die, which can leave you the Sole Survivor on many missions.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: Until mission 13, no one has any idea that you can destroy Teleporter dropships by shooting the central device when its bay doors open. This doesn't stop the player from damaging them in prior missions, but no one bats an eye at it.
  • Genre Blindness: Compared to prior games, the Continuity Reboot seems to have reverted humanity into a case of not only being entirely blind to sci-fi tropes and apparently forgetting that bugs exist, but also suffering implausible amounts of denial and Arbitrary Skepticism about how the invasion has to be some massive terrorist attack until EDF officially declares that no, they really are aliens. Anti-war protesters also apparently can't wrap their heads around the fact that the aliens want to genocide everybody, and get killed trying to negotiate with them.
    • The EDF in particular spend five months producing anti-Teleporter dropship weapons to try to curb the invasion. You don't even get to see the weapons, because they were all destroyed before they could even do anything; their only option at that point is nuking the dropships, which command apparently doesn't want to do so they can salvage Teleporter tech for research. Only at this desperation point does Sarge spitball a random idea of shooting the big, red and glowing Teleporter device inside of the dropships when they open up. Which not only works, but can be done with an average assault rifle.
  • Giant Spider: The alien bad guys have brought back their eight-legged, car-sized (building-sized for Kings) leaping abominations to spray their health-sapping entangling webs through the air.
  • Glass Cannon: Air Raiders. Though they have a lot of weaponry and destruction at their disposal, depending on your loadout, you can be almost completely helpless if enemy forces reach you, particularly fast ones. Some vehicles can allow an Air Raider to survive longer, but on foot, they're stuck with the basic dodge maneuver if trying to flee from enemies.
  • Godzilla Threshold: The creator of the Spritefall says that the EDF feared its power and ordered it sealed. The threat the Primers represent is enough to force to the EDF to authorize the activation of a Kill Sat created and commanded by a bona-fide Mad Scientist.
  • Gorn: Go ahead, take your missiles or laser lancers to the limbs of the Colonists and Cosmonauts. Blood will spew everywhere and limbs will be ripped off while heads explode into meaty chunks. A player can very deliberately cripple these enemy types repeatedly just to indulge in ultra-violence for the sake of it.
  • Healing Factor: The humanoid aliens can have their limbs shot off. But if left alone long enough, they'll eventually regrow said limb. Fortunately they don't recover health, so at some point they'll die.
  • Homing Laser: Wing Diver/Pale Wing(in Japan), have several weapons that are homing lasers that lock onto and pursue enemies.
  • Hopeless War: The EDF's fight against the alien invaders initially goes well, but setback after setback eventually beats down the EDF's forces. It gets to the point where, once again, the EDF begins losing hope of actually winning the war and decides to take as many Alien scum down as possible.
  • Hope Spot: These come and go throughout the game, where humanity thinks it achieved some real progress in stopping the aliens, only to find out later (sometimes in ten seconds) that their effort didn't do much if anything either because they underestimated the enemy or the aliens decide to bump things up a notch. Such as when the EDF assault the alien fortress; when it seems the EDF is about to get a chance to destroy it with a concentrated assault and artillery bombardment, the base simply stands up and starts walking away.
    • Another major one is the mission where EDF finally corners the Kaiju that's been wrecking face, now wounded and exhausted. EDF spearheads an operation to take it out once and for all with a massive airstrike...after which the Kaiju just casually stands up and goes back to slaughtering, no worse for the wear. As one terrified trooper puts it, "It wasn't injured, it was just taking a nap!" ...and yet, despite that, after a grueling battle, the player DOES manage to kill it. EDF celebrates! ...for all of thirty seconds before a second, deadlier Kaiji lollops over and begins obliterating the EDF forces, including the anti-Kaiju Atomic Ray Cannons, who can't even scratch the thing. EDF is only spared a total loss (including the player) solely by virtue of this second Kaiju literally getting bored and wandering off. It takes many, many missions before you even get a chance to try and kill it. A rare double-Hope Spot whammy!
    • Pretty much the only hope spot that isn't subverted is the creation of the Hooligan Cannon, which is humanity's best non-nuclear way of destroying teleportation ships. However even that is dampened by it being unable to fire for long periods of time, so it is instead used to reduce the number of ships the ground troops need to take out instead or prevent reinforcements from arriving for the rest of the campaign.
  • Humanoid Abomination: The final boss, a silvery humanoid with a halo that can summon teleportation gates at will, float around the sky, and regrow lost limbs. In addition, it can somehow manipulate light, distort space, and generate infinite energy by turning its thoughts into physical attacks.
  • Human Aliens: Parodied in the mission introducing the Colonists. During the buildup before they actually appear, Mission Control is horrified to learn that they aren't giant robots, and this trope is apparently in effect: "Two legs, two arms, two eyes... they look just like us!" Then the player encounters Colonist units and discovers they're Frog Men.
  • Humongous Mecha: Standing over 150 feet tall, the Gigantic Unloader Barga makes up for its failure as a construction crane by being quite capable of punching out the equally enormous Archelus and Erginus.
  • Hyper Space Arsenal: Players can carry a variety of rather huge weapons that would be both heavy and cumbersome to haul around but seemingly stow them in some invisible space and can readily switch between equipped weapons.
  • It Can Think: Invoked in one of the trailers: when the Frog Men aliens start making landfall, a professor brought onto a news program as an expert on aliens speculates that because they are Frog Men, they can't be all that smart....shortly before they are shown using buildings as cover.
  • Jack-of-All-Stats: The Ranger. They don't have any particularly standout abilities compared to the Fencer and Wing Diver, nor the destructive power of airstrikes that Air Raiders have access to. But other than their mobility, they don't have any particular weaknesses either, and are the easiest class to play.
  • Kill It with Fire: The flamethrowers used by Rangers and Fencers can put this trope into play, since it can stun-lock most enemies while they're being blasted by flames. Air Raider also have access to drop napalm on the over world maps by calling in Heavy Bomber Vesta. On the aliens' side, one of the Heavy Cosmonauts' weapon is a flamethrower.
  • Kill Sat: According to EDF tradition, the Air Raider class can unlock the ability to call down a variety of Kill Sat strikes such as the Bulge Laser or Spritefall.
  • Large Ham: The Chief Commander of the EDF gets more and more hammy as the war drags on, bellowing rousing speeches and orders. He completly quiets down and resigns himself about humanity's defeat when Mothership No.11 turns out to be the alien flagship, highlighting how grim the situation is... Until he's told Storm 1 is still shooting at it.
  • Last Stand: Several levels invoke this, where you get assaulted on several fronts almost nonstop.
  • Lightning Bruiser: The series' resident Mighty Glacier, the Fencer, is capable of becoming this with certain loadouts. Using the new dash jump and support equipment that grants additional booster use and reduced booster cooldown, a Fencer can achieve mobility that rivals that of a Wing Diver while retaining their trademark heavy-hitting weapons, high defense and massive HP pool. Watching a skilled Fencer in a high-level mobility loadout, one could be forgiven for thinking they were watching Armored Core instead.
  • Macross Missile Massacre: Various missile launcher weapons wieldable by individual player characters, vehicle mounts, and even some of the mechs fire off a shower of guided missile fire.
  • Madness Mantra: Near the end of the campaign, as the aliens near total victory and humanity is rapidly approaching extinction, one of your support staff begins to repeatedly and obsessively talk about an "egg-shaped ship" that was mentioned in legends much earlier in the story, believing it absolutely to be the lynchpin of the invasion effort and if you can just find it, you can destroy it and win the war. The rest of your Mission Control repeatedly chides her for her childish thinking. Of course, this game being what it is, she's absolutely right; there IS an "egg-shaped ship", it IS the lynchpin to the invasion, and you taking it out and winning the war is the objective of the penultimate mission.
  • Mauve Shirt: The only characters who always survive in battle regardless how it pans out from a story viewpoint are Sarge's group, the Grim Reapers and the Spriggans. They later join you as Storm 2, 3 and 4.
  • Mech vs. Beast: The 150 foot Barga, a mech built to function as a construction crane, is utilized as a weapon of war to defeat a large group of Archelus and Erginus.
  • Mighty Glacier: Gigantic Unloader Barga. Due to its sheer size, it moves very slowly. However, it has a lot of hit points, and WILL kill anything short of Erginus and Archelus in one hit if you can connect the punch.
  • A Million Is a Statistic: The EDF Chief Commander's reaction to hearing that 20% of the human population has been lost in a few months is simply to say, "That doesn't sound too bad." To be fair, another 70% follow soon after.
  • Mini-Mecha: Compared to the absolutely gargantuan Barga, the Nix powered exoskeletons are about equivalent in height to a Colonist alien.
  • More Dakka: Several weapons rely on this, spewing out tons of bullets in a short amount of time. The individual bullets are weak, but the magazine sizes are often large, allowing you to do significant damage if all of the bullets hit their intended target.
    • The alien outpost is bristling with so much weapons you have to destroy a good chunk of them just so an airstrike is possible, and even then the ground forces still have to destroy most of the lasers, cannons and missile launchers by themselves.
  • Mook Maker: Teleportation ships and pylons have the ability to summon monsters and aliens. They can also spawn them endlessly if you don't take those things out in a timely manner.
  • No-Sell: In one early mission, EDF command thinks they severely wounded an Erginus, and orders you along with several new tanks to finish it off. Unfortunately the bombing done on it does nothing to it, and one of the soldiers laments that it was just taking a nap and didn't even notice what was just done to it.
  • Off with His Head!: Some powerful attacks to a humanoid alien's head can cause it to decapitate.
  • Old Soldier: By Mission 107, apparently the elderly survivors of Brooklyn have started military training.
  • One-Man Army: When playing solo at least, the series tradition doesn't budge on this. Notable story-wise in that you start as one even as a mere civilian, astounding the EDF that are supposed to be protecting you in the first place. After surmounting impossible odds your teammates outright call you The Ace, and you're given secret transmissions from EDF command that work towards becoming the leader of your own squad, Storm Team.
  • Painfully Slow Projectile: On the aliens' side, the artillery cannons used by the Colonists and Deroys take up to 30 seconds to reach their target. On the players' side, the Air Tortoise, a Ranger missile launcher, packs one hell of a punch but can be outrun by running humans.
  • Pyrrhic Victory: EDF succeeds in eliminating the alien mastermind, finally breaking their onslaught and causing them to abandon the invasion. All it cost was over 90% of the human population, and the descent of modern civilization into a new, anarchistic, feudal dark age. The epilogue gives a glimmer of hope that EDF will eventually manage to rally what's left of the human race to begin the slow and painful process of rebuilding, however.
  • RemixedLevel: As with previous titles in the series, all of the maps in the game appear multiple times with different enemies and starting locations. This game adds additional differences with weather effects like fog. Retaking Base 228 gives us an outright Level in Reverse once inside the base, following the path the player escaped down at the start of the game to the room with the Barga you passed in the initial escape.
  • Roboteching: Missile weapons with a low-grade lock on rating will fly in a straight line before actively tracking and chasing their targets leading to an abundance of the trope.
  • Rocket-Powered Weapon: The Fencer's jackhammer weapon consists of a comically large metal fist that essentially flies out a short distance to punch stuff.
  • Scary Stinging Swarm: Large amounts of bees attacking you at once can invoke this. While you can dodge a lot of them, if you get stuck in some scenery, or as a Wing Diver, run out of energy, they can kill you pretty fast. Queen bees are worse, as their stingers are much larger, and on higher difficulties, they shoot more as well.
  • The Siege: Several levels involve you trying to hold a line and stopping aliens from being able to pass through.
  • Sole Survivor: Played with. The player character teaming up with any unit that's not Sarge's group tends to result in that unit getting wiped out on Hard and higher given that your teammates might as well be made of paper. There's also a specialized volunteer unit called the Grim Reapers, who specifically suffer this same problem and throw themselves into the frontlines hoping to go down fighting. You're eventually called the true Grim Reaper for surpassing them on this front.
  • Shotguns Are Just Better: Very useful in indoor maps, since you're fighting in cramped areas. The Wing Diver also has access to a similar weapon called the Stardust Cannon. It mostly behaves as a shotgun as it fires lots of small pellets, and works spectacularly against large enemies such as Erginus.. However, said weapon also has a small explosive effect, which if you fire it at point blank range, can often severely wound, or kill the Wing Diver outright.
  • Shows Damage: Enemies show damage on their bodies when hit with weapons, in addition to having their bodies blown apart by some attacks. Colonists and Cosmonauts, in particular, can have their limbs blown off (although they can grow back given some time if they aren't killed first), and Cosmonauts wear armor that can be blown off piece by piece.
  • A Space Marine Is You: The player characters are initially civilians with no prior firearms experience, and then become new recruits in the EDF caught in the middle of a hostile alien invasion. It kicks off by a direct attack on the EDF's global bases and underground facilities. The players wind up almost singlehandedly defeating the hordes of alien enemies.
  • Storming the Castle: Several levels involve you trying to take out an enemy base. Unfortunately it takes several attempts, and later on said base simply lifts itself up and starts wandering around. You do get to eventually destroy it.
  • Stripperific: The Wing Divers traded in miniskirts and leotards for an incredibly tiny pair of short shorts. Notably, you can actually hear them complaining about it being the genuine EDF uniform for their unit, and how no one gives them any respect as a result. Strangely, civilian Sky Dancers who put on air shows and are supposed to be eye candy wear kitschy-yet-covering flightsuits.
  • Tanks for Nothing: Tanks in general are pretty worthless, at least regarding the NPC versions. With the player variants, they strike a good balance between speed and durability, and though they generally only have one or two weapons, those weapons are specialized to be really really good at whatever specific role they're meant to fill. They've also got large collection rings, so tanks, oddly enough, make for the best collection vehicles.
  • They Called Me Mad!: The intro screens mention that EDF was considered a massive money pit and a lot of people were very upset with the massive amounts being spent on boondoggles like Humongous Mecha and many an Elaborate Underground Base, leading to them doing opens days and other PR work to build community connections and justify their funding... Then when an alien invasion catches the entire planet with their pants down, EDF is the only reason humanity can push back at all. Downplayed in that EDF command has the grace not to gloat about it.
  • Tokyo Is the Center of the Universe: Fittingly for a series looking like a Japanese B-Movie, a lot of the levels evoke Tokyo and "Japanesque" urban areas. Downplayed however as the rest of the world doesn't fare any better: Marseilles is confirmed as the first large city hit by the monsters, Beijing is where EDF wins it's first large-scale battle and at thje end of the game, it's revealed that only 200 people are still living in New York.
  • Too Dumb to Live: About halfway through the game, you hear over the radio about how some humans want to try peace talks with the aliens, much in the same way one country would talk to another during a war. The same aliens that have been committing a genocidal war against humanity for months now. EDF command later comments that said people attempted to negotiate, only to be killed by the aliens, who shockingly were only interested in wiping out humanity on Earth. EDF allies you recruit can also play this trope if they walk in front of you as you're firing off your weapon, especially a powerful one.
  • Tripod Terror: The Deroys are three-legged battle robots whose long legs allow it to navigate difficult terrain such as city blocks. Those legs also tend to be heavily armed with energy blasters and missile launchers to supplement their cranial artillery cannons.
  • Unexpectedly Realistic Gameplay: Shockingly, for a series that prides itself on B-Movie cheese, over-the-top action, and eagerly embracing every scifi cliche under the sun, EDF 5 takes a very stark approach to one long-running trait of the series, in contrast with its predecessors: No matter how much of a certified grade-A badass you are, one (or as many as four) hypercompetent soldier can't win a war on their own, especially if said war is a surprise attack that results in an unbroken series of vicious Curb Stomp Battles in the aliens' favor. You do manage to win, time and time again, against overwhelming odds and pull out some truly miraculous victories, but all it accomplishes in the grand scheme of things is slightly delaying the aliens' total victory. Ultimately, though, it does come back around, as you manage to win a near-literal suicide mission to kill the aliens' Humanoid Abomination leader, which breaks the invasion - which was otherwise an absolute, overwhelming success.
  • Unintentionally Unwinnable: While rare, there are a few cases where choosing a peculiar loadout will make a mission imppossible to finish. Using only short-ranged weapons in missions where the objective is to destroy teleportations ships or pylons is the most common case.
  • The War Sequence: Basically every big mission, but Brutal Battlefield is the epitome of this just under halfway through the game and marks a significant shift from then on in how later large-scale battle missions play out.
  • Weaksauce Weakness: At one point early in the game there is dialogue about a massive alien invasion of Beijing, involving over five thousand aliens and various other troops under their command. A few levels later, you learn that humanity wins and wipes out over seventy percent of the invasion force using a special weapon. Said special weapon turns out to be China's air pollution, which severely weakened the alien forces. Humanity never thinks to weaponize this again somehow, though it gives a little justification later for the Cosmonaut aliens who show up in armored space suits meant to let them avoid breathing Earth's dirty air. You never get to see this in-game unfortunately, as every city you fight in doesn't affect the aliens at all.
  • We Do the Impossible: Storm Team, who is the only unit that consistently produces increasingly meager victories as the war rages on. Up to and including launching a literal suicide mission against the aliens' command ship with zero backup...and winning.
  • We Have Reserves: Invoked by Strategic Command's "Plan Omega" during the last mission in a desperate attempt to stall the motherships that are converging on Storm Team, to buy them time while they kill the alien Commander. Said plan involves activating the "resistance". It is heavily implied to be the last remnants of humanity; every man, woman, and child being forced into a suicide mission to attack the motherships, all to just distract the motherships as they kill the resistance. The tactical HQ Commander is horrified and angry when he learns what the operation means. Played straight with the alien forces, who have no qualms throwing countless bugs and aliens at you in their attempt to conquer Earth. Very rarely do you encounter just a few enemies in a level.
  • Zerg Rush: The monsters rely largely on this trope. They're fairly weak individually, but when there's dozens or hundreds of them, they can quickly overwhelm most players.