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Video Game / Earth Defense Force: Insect Armageddon

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The Spiritual Successor to the Earth Defense Force 2017 game. The game shares tropes from the various games in the Earth Defense Force series but uses them a bit differently in several cases.

Developed by the American game studio Vicious Cycle Software and distributed by D3 Publisher. The game is available on the PS3, Xbox 360, and PC.

The game departs from the look of its predecessor but keeps the spirit of the game play, with updated graphics and effects. The developers worked with the original distributors, D3, to help keep the game in the spirit of it's predecessors. In addition, comments and opinions from the fan base were taken into the account and in many cases implemented into the game. More weapons, the return of a flight based armor, reloadable energy weapons, online and local co-op, and cheesy dialogue are some of the examples. You're still fighting over the top B-movie style enemies; they range from an assortment of giant bugs, giant cybernetic bugs, space ships, giant robots, and the usual alien flying craft.

The game makes a major change with its new gameplay modes. The game has single player with AI bot support, local co-op, Xbox Live and PlayStation Network support for online co-op, Remix mode and a new Survival Mode.

Unlike the previous game with multitude of short missions with several difficulty levels, the game consists of three chapters with five missions each, and has three difficulty modes: Normal, Hard, and Inferno. Each mission takes place in a themed area in the city of New Detroit, is longer than those in the previous games, and players can repeat them to level up, earn credits and earn more weapons. Once the game is beaten, Remix mode and the ability to turn off the AI are unlocked. In Remix mode the game uses a different set of enemy spawn settings for each mission, such as replacing all Hectors with Mantises.

The number of weapons is over 300, divided into six types (Assault Rifle, Grenade Launcher, Missile Launcher, Rocket Launcher, Shotgun and Sniper Rifle); each gun has a level (tier) and armor class requirement.

There are now four different playable armor classes, which the player must be level up separately if they want to use all the weapons the game has.

  • The Trooper Armor: The Jack of All Trades Combat Medic which can use all weapon types, like Storm 1 from Earth Defense Force 2017. This armor has the fastest reload time, running speed, and revive time for downed allies. The benefits are offset by a lack of special abilities and having relatively low defense.
  • Jet Armor: The Crowd Controller, a Fragile Speedster / Glass Cannon with powerful energy weapons. A return of the Pale Wing Style Character from the earlier games. Like the Pale Wing character, the Jet Armor can fly and uses energy weapons almost exclusively. Flying and reloading weapon drain the energy bar. The armor has low defense and is weak at close quarter fights. It cannot use Shotguns.
  • Tactical Armor: The Support specialist, a Gadgeteer Genius with various gun turrets, mine, radar and other deployables, which consumes the energy bar. Its weapons (except Missile Launchers) tend to be weaker than those of the other armors in the same tier, and Sniper Rifles are not available for this armor class.
  • Battle Armor: The Mighty Glacier, a literal human tanks with tons of armor, an Energy Shield (which can also be used for offensive purposes) and armed with some of the most powerful weapons in the game. On the down side, the Battle Armor is the slowest of all, and cannot use Sniper Rifles.

Each armor class is improved by finishing missions with it. There are eight total armor levels. Normal difficulty allows unlocking up to Level 5, Hard allows you to level up as far as Level 7, and Inferno Mode must be risked to achieve Level 8. Upgraded armors gain access to more powerful equipment, improved abilities, health, and other perks.

There are two ways to acquire weapons. One way is to simply level up, as each new level rewards the player with a few weapons of the appropriate tier. However, these weapon must be 'purchased' using 'credits' earned by finishing missions. The other way is to kill mini-bosses, which have a chance to drop weapons (of a random tier and armor class, regardless of it having been dropped before). Weapons acquired this way doesn't cost credits to buy.

The Xbox 360 game was given away for free to Xbox Live Gold members from May 1 to 15, 2019.

This video game provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Abnormal Ammo: Homing bullets, homing lasers, bouncing bullets, bouncing lasers, exploding bullets, (but no exploding lasers), super-cooled particle beams, miniaturized particle beam cannons (that make explosions), plasma stickybombs fired from sniper rifles, cluster grenades that launch missiles, or stickybombs, or... the list goes on.
  • Action Bomb: The Ticks latch onto you and explode. They're not much of a threat on Normal, but on Inferno, as the 'manual' says;
    Ticks Hurt! Stay Alert!
  • A.K.A.-47: Parodied. The fictional weaponry's name are getting more ridiculous the stronger the weapon is, featuring gems such as "Beezy Remhod" or "Chingon Qhrgwhqhr".
  • Area of Effect: Some of the weapons have an area of effect. This can range from a pitiful 2 meters on some missile launchers... to up to 150 meters in the case of some of the Pesticide weapons.
  • Arm Cannon: The Hectors have weapons built into both arms.
  • Armor-Piercing Attack: Certain weapons possess the ability to pierce through minor scenery objects (such as concrete barriers), can strike multiple enemies, and bypass the armour of certain enemies such as Hectors. Notable offenders include the hideously overpowered Norwood APSMG series for the Tactical, and the heavy-duty Chingon series from Qhrqwhqhr.
  • Artificial Stupidity: There are some signs of this in the game. While the A.I. is not terrible it does not stop the A.I. bots on your team from plastering you with multiple grenade launcher rounds because the enemy is nearby or running in front of you while you're trying to shoot a particularly evasive enemy.
    • Also, if you get into a tank, the AI allies will take the two pintle-mounted machine guns... and will then refuse to get out again when you do (since the tank isn't suitable for taking on all opponent e.g flying enemies), staying in until the tank is destroyed, which will happen in short order due to the tank now being an immobile sitting duck without its driver, but still drawing enemy fire because of its remaining occupants
  • Artistic License – Biology: Everyone knows giant bugs simply aren't possible, at least not simply by scaling them up; the Square-Cube Law tends to get in the way of that.
  • Attack Its Weak Point: Basically every major enemy save the Mantis and Bomber Bugs have a weak point. If it opens up to spawn things, it's a weak point.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: Giant Robots, Even Bigger Giant Robots, Giant Robot Praying Mantises, Giant Robot Daddy Long Legs, and of course the giant insects.
  • Beam Spam:
    • The Ravagers love beam weapons. Both types of Hector have an attack that is best described as a laser machine gun in addition their other energy weapon attacks.
    • The Daddy Long Legs has a short-duration beam cannon that fires three times in rapid succession.
    • Some of the Jet Armors weapons follow this trope. Energy based assault rifles in particular.
    • The gigantic mothership in the final mission shoots sweeping laser beams all over the place, on top of constant barrages of explosive shots that look suspiciously like photon torpedoes.
  • Beehive Barrier: The Ravager force fields that surround the map look like this.
  • BFG :
    • A variety of weapons fall into this category including grenade launchers, rocket launchers, large caliber assault rifles, large caliber sub machine guns, powerful missile launchers, and an assortment of other weaponry.
    • The Battle Armor is capable of wielding heavy machine guns and large, mortar-like grenade launchers. One of the Jet's weapons is specifically a miniaturized version of a particle cannon normally installed on battleships.
  • Big Creepy-Crawlies: Lots of them.
  • Body Armor as Hit Points: After your green health bar reaches 100%, collecting additional health kits turns the bar yellow and display "Armor boost".
  • Boring, but Practical: Some of the early weapons are kind of dull in comparison to weapons you can access later, but are very practical.
  • Boss in Mook Clothing: Wasps aren't too much trouble - just a nuisance. It's the Cyborg Wasps that you really have to look out for.
  • Boss Rush: Mission 2-2: Predation, where you're introduced to the Ravager Mantis, might as well be a Boss Rush mission in disguise. First, you fight a Bomber Spider. Then you're introduced to the Mantis a few minutes later. To sum it up neatly; by the end of the mission, you will have killed 3 Bomber Spiders, 3 Mantises, and 2 Carriers. Or thereabouts. Fortunately, there's an ample supply of fodder, so there are plenty of health kits to go around.
  • Bottomless Magazines: The mech suit and the tanks machine guns have infinite ammo with no need to reload.
  • Bug War: Most enemies are either giant genetically altered bugs or cybernetic versions of them.
  • Captain Obvious: Due to Intel's... limited knowledge of the enemies, a lot of their advice will come off as this;
    Intel: "Ah yes, we've seen these, Ops. The trick is to shoot them whilst at the same time avoiding their attacks."
    Intel: "It appears to be a praying mantis. A giant, metal one."
    Ops: "...that's all you've got, Intel? Seriously?"
  • Car Fu: Apart from being there just to explode, the cars seem to be a favoured improvised projectile of Ants and Spiders. They can do some nasty damage.
  • Combat Medic: The Trooper Armor gains bonuses to revival speeds of downed team mates making them the team medic. Their upgrades for this are even called medic in game.
  • Cloud Cuckoo Lander: Your lander pilot, Captain Sully, tends to send this vibe.
  • Cyber Cyclops: The Hectors, most noticeably, but also all of the robotic/cyborg enemies in general have a single red eye.
  • Danger Deadpan: Sully is always calm and professional, even when he's being a little... well, he's not exactly the sanest pilot you'll ever meet, that's for sure.
  • Death from Above:
    • The flying armor gets enough flight ceiling to rain weapons fire on enemies below.
    • A variety of weapons have a high angle of fire and rain explosives down from above.
    • The enemies include Giant Wasps, Cybernetic Wasps, flying enemy carriers that are also spawn enemies from portals on the ships, and the Alien Gun Ships.
    • The Ravager carriers bombard the city with energy projectiles that "break up human beings on the molecular level". Getting caught in the blast radius is an instant kill, unsurprisingly.
    • The spiders and ants will often climb on top of buildings and use their projectile attacks on you, or with the spiders, jump on you from the building.
  • Deflector Shield: The Battle Armor has an arm mounted energy shield that can absorb damage. The damage absorbed drains from the special ability energy bar on the screen.
  • Destructive Saviour: The trope is never mentioned by name, but normally in each mission, you pretty much flatten every building within reach. More often than not, it is a preferred strategy to have a clear line of sight to the bugs and avoid having a missile blow up mere feet away from your face.
  • Downer Ending: After beating the final mission on Normal difficulty, it will appear as though your team was killed in a massive explosion just before they could escape New Detroit.
  • Downloadable Content: Four weapon packs are available, one for each suit.
  • Enemy-Detecting Radar: Every armor class has a radar that displays enemies signal (in a Fade In Fade Out sort of way) in a limited radius. The Tactical Armor can deploy a radar device that constantly display enemies in a larger radius.
  • Energy Weapon: See the entries for Beam Spam above.
  • Every Car Is a Pinto: It takes very little effort to make the cars in the game explode.
  • Everything Breaks: You can flatten pretty much every building, tree, fence or structure inside the play area either intentionally or through the course of battle.
  • Excuse Plot: The plot revolves around an alien invasion using various giant insects, giant robots, and other enemies. The game is all about the fighting off the alien invaders.
  • Flechette Storm: Some of the shotguns for the Battle Armor are described as Large Smooth Bore Shotguns that fire a hail of flechettes.
  • Flunky Boss: Bomber Spiders constantly spawn "lots of the little exploding Tick Spiders" in Intel's own words, making for very hectic battles if there are also other enemies involved. Carriers and the Daddy Long Legs as well, since they both regularly spawn enemies, and can only be damaged when they are spawning said enemies.
  • Fragile Speedster: The Flight Armor and Trooper Armor are fast but have low defense when compared to the other two armors, though the Flight Armor's ability to use powerful area effect weapons also means it can be a bit of a Glass Cannon.
  • Gatling Good: From smallest to largest; the Tactical Armor can deploy a Gatling 'Autocannon' turret at higher levels, the Battle Armor has at least one model of portable Gatling gun as one of its 'Assault Rifle' options, the EDF Walker mounts a large six-barreled rotary cannon alongside its rapid-fire HE cannon, and the 'anti-infantry' base defense turrets mount no less than six nine-barreled gatlings. Yes, six. Did somebody order More Dakka?
  • Giant Spiders: Giant Wolf Spiders, Giant Cybernetic Wolf Spiders, and Giant Mechanical Daddy Long Legs. Not a game for arachnophobes.
  • Gratuitous German:
    • The Leichenzeit-series of Plasma Rocket Launchers for the Jet Armour; Leichen is "corpses", Zeit is "time". Perhaps fitting, as they are the most powerful Plasma Rocket Launchers available in their own tier.
    • Also, the Bullenbeisser line of Shotguns for the Battle Armour; the name means "Mastiff" or "Bulldog". Very deadly weapons.
  • Grenade Launcher: A whole variety of grenade launchers firing impact or sticky grenades with various effects.
  • Guilt-Free Extermination War: The Ravagers showed up guns blazing and the EDF are all too happy to return the favor. You often exterminate every enemy in an area that you can lay your gun sights on.
  • Hitscan: Not a hint of it here, save perhaps the Jet's particle beam cannons.
  • Homing Boulders: Cars launched by Ants or Spiders will occasionally engage in Roboteching-esque attack trajectories. As will leaping Spiders, on occasion. It's quite fantastic to watch.
  • Humongous Mecha: The Hector Mark II is possibly one of the largest semi-realistic Humongous Mecha you'll see in a game. There are also the Hectors and Ravager Mantises both as tall as or bigger than some buildings. The EDF get a Walking Tank with a gatling/rotary cannon and rapid-fire howitzer.
  • Imported Alien Phlebotinum: The Rav-Tech weapons, such as the Moleculus, are as the name implies; reverse-engineered from Ravager tech. They're very effective, although not fully understood.
  • Infinite Supplies: You have to reload your weapons but never run out of ammo. Also you never run out of deployable items for the tactical class or energy for your armors.
  • Infinity -1 Sword:
    • A whole stack of them - many of the weapons unlocked by the armour-specific DLC packs are significantly more powerful than the other weapons in the same tier in one way or another. A solid example would be the Fleebus M-ARS (Magnum Assault Rifle System) - very high powered assault rifle. Whilst it has half the capacity of the standard assault rifle... it reloads quickly, has nigh-perfect accuracy, and deals twice as much damage as that standard assault rifle.
    • The Pesticide series of weapons. Extremely high damage often with large blast radiuses. Basically pocket nukes for the players. Also the hardest weapons to get as it requires beating the game on Inferno difficulty to even unlock the option.
  • Instant Awesome: Just Add Mecha!: See Humongous Mecha.
  • Invulnerable Civilians: While you are your squadmates are definitely not Friendly Fireproof, the civilians that spend the first minute or so of most levels screaming and running past you in a blind panic fortunately are. The Ravagers oddly can't hurt them either, they're purely there for effect.
  • Killer Robot: The various Giant Mecha like Robots in the game, the Hectors, are quite intent on killing every human they find, namely the player(s) and any other member of the EDF nearby.
  • Kinetic Weapons Are Just Better: Played with. While one of the armors specializes in energy weapons, a large number of the games weapons are some variation of kinetic projectile type weapons.
  • Knockback: Several forms of it. Enemies can interrupt your bomb-planting/reviving attempts, and being caught by certain attacks (esp. explosives) will throw you around a lot. The Tactical's Autocannon Turret has a near-100% chance of inflicting knockback with every shot, and is a rotary cannon. Using it almost feels unsporting.
  • Land Mine Goes "Click!": The Tactical Armour can also use landmines - either a contact-sensitive mine or a proximity-triggered mine. They both deal a decent amount of damage, so they can actually be a viable choice - especially since you can drop quite a few of them if you don't have a turret deployed.
  • Lethal Joke Item: The Jagiri-series Missile Launchers available to the Jet Armour have very good homing ratings and fairly respectable firepower. The thing is, they're designed to seek and kill Silicon-Based Life, which they do very well! But the Ravagers are carbon-based.
  • Level Grinding: Technically, doing this not required to beat the game on Normal. On Hard or Inferno, however, you will need to level up and buy more damaging weapons to get through the last levels. (Hard becomes manageable at level 6, and Inferno at level 7). To get your hands on the awesomely destructive Pesticide weapons, however, some rather serious grinding is needed. (To put things in perspective, to get from level 1 to 2 requires 1500 xp, but getting from 7 to 8 requires around 500-600 thousand xp).
  • Lightning Bruiser: The small varieties of Hectors are fast and capable of doing a lot of damage as well as taking it. Not bad for 30 foot tall mecha enemy.
  • Lightning Gun: The Neptanzer Q-series Assault Rifles are sort of rapid-fire shotgun-pattern lightning guns. Most of them fire 4 shots at a time, but the Neptanzer Duplicus fires 8 and does a lot of damage, making it an Infinity -1 Sword for most of Hard mode.
  • Macross Missile Massacre: Thanks to the new lock on system this now in true effect for weapons that can lock on and are capable of firing off multiple projectiles in one shot.
  • Magnetic Weapons: Railguns for the Flight armor.
  • Mighty Glacier: The Battle Armor. One of the stated flaws in the game of the armor is it’s noticeably slower foot speed. It goes even slower when the DeflectorShield is deployed.
  • Missile Lock-On: All the missiles either have an automatic (passive lock on) or manual (active lock on) that follows this trope. Once the missiles are fired they need no further aiming guidance from the player and are suggested for use against airborne enemies. Certain shotguns and assault rifles can also fire auto-seeking projectiles; they tend to have much less firepower than their conventional counterparts.
  • More Dakka: A whole variety of machine guns, assault rifles, SMGs, machine gun turrets, manned auto-cannon turrets, unmanned auto-cannon turret, and other multi-shot-rapid fire weapons follow this trope. The tank has no less than five machineguns, though only two of them are usable - one unusable miniturret on top of the main turret, two player-operated turrets under and in front of the main turret, and two unusable hull machineguns.
  • Multiple Endings: Kinda. There's one ending, but how much of it you actually get to see depends on what difficulty you're on. On Normal, the ending cuts right when Lightning Squad is about to be consumed by the blast. On Hard, the ending plays out longer to show Lightning managed to escape, and on Inferno, the ending goes beyond that to have the members of Lightning engage in some lighthearted banter with Command.
  • New Game Plus: You can start Campaign mode again with all of your powered up armors and weapons. This also applies to the remix mode which changes up the Campaign modes enemy load outs from the Main Campaign.
  • Nintendo Hard: There are still endless hordes of gigantic enemies that can soak up a great deal of damage. However, many frustrations from the previous EDF games have been removed or eased with the help of feedback from series veterans.
  • Noisy Guns: The guns make a ridiculous clacking/rattling sound along with the reload animation.
  • Nonindicative Name: Many of the weapons lean towards this. The GoatShrike series of missile launchers, for example, have nothing to do with goats or shrikes.
  • One-Man Army: An option after you beat the game the first time is to turn off the A.I. bot support and play by yourself.
  • Overheating: All the mounted miniguns have this game mechanic to offset the infinite ammo.
  • Personal Space Invader: The Ticks, which latch on a soldier and, if not shaken off fast enough, explode and cause a lot of damage.
  • Pinball Projectile: Several weapons fire shots that will bounce off of terrain and objects a few times before being expended or hitting an enemy.
  • Powered Armor: The four armor classes in the game. They give additional protection and allow the soldier to sprint and dodge without tiring. Jet armor provides flight ability, and Battle Armor allow the soldiers to wield huge and destructive weapons.
  • Randomly Drops: Special weapons drop from elite enemies and are randomized. You will get repeats. Lots of them.
  • Ray Gun: Both the players and the enemies get variations on this.
  • Recursive Ammo: Ammo of some missile launchers, rocket launchers and grenade launchers behave like this. After travelling a certain distance, the shot split into several (guided or unguided) projectiles. Some Assault Rifle ammo has this ability as well.
  • Red Shirt Army:
    • The generic troopers in the game. They can fight, spout off funny lines like They Killed Fatty, and will follow the player loyally but they are utterly disposable and are likely to die in the ensuing fights.
    • If the player decides to enable bot control they can be revived to continue acting as distractions.
  • Robo Teching: Some of the various guided homing projectiles do this. Cars will also do this, occasionally. How? Don't try to think about it too much.
  • Rule of Cool: The game and its various mechanics run on this.
  • Sentry Gun: The tactical armor can deploy various types of turrets (rocket, missile, plasma, machine gun, etc), but only one at a time, since each one consumes 70% the energy bar.
  • Self-Destructive Charge: The gunships do this. A badly damaged gun ship will get a glowing red field around it and try and dive into the player, a turret, or ally. The end result is like Taking You with Me except the charge can be easily defeated with a well placed shot turning the gun ship in a crashing burning wreck. The gun ship also frequently crashes into objects, buildings, or other enemies and explodes.
  • Short-Range Shotgun: Most of the shotguns fall under this trope. Some features homing pellets, so their range is significantly increased.
  • Sniper Rifle: One of the weapon types available.
  • Sorting Algorithm of Weapon Effectiveness: As you advance your armors level you can buy more powerful and effective version of your standard weapons. However, some low-level dropped weapons (like missile launchers reversed-engineered from Ravager technologies), is more effective than the high-level standard ones, featuring an effective combination of fire rate, reload time and blast radius, despite having lower damage.
  • Spiders Are Scary:
    • Giant jumping Wolf spiders are all over in the game, along with robot counterparts and the gigantic Bomber Spider. Not a game for arachnophobes.
    • An interview with one of the game designers revealed it also was one of the reasons for including them as they are inherently creepy to many people.
  • Splash Damage: The various explosive weapons use this to great affect.
  • Spread Shot: The shotguns can fire a spray of projectiles in a arc.
  • Sticky Bomb: Some of the weapons have this as either the primary shot or as a sub-munition.
  • Stock Scream: A wide array of them, used for the panicking civilians.
  • Stock Sound Effect: Several, used for the insects, plus;
  • Super-Persistent Missile: Some of the homing projectiles will constantly circle the target until they hit it, another object, or another enemy. Failing that, they'll blow up eventually due having limited lifespans.
  • Tank Goodness: A player drivable vehicle with additional machine gun turrets for more fire power.
  • The Turret Master: The Role of the tactical armor and it's assorted abilities.
  • There Is No Kill Like Over Kill:
    • This applies to how some of the weapons work. Like hitting an enemy with micro missiles that increase damage output or weapons that are more powerful then necessary for the threats you face in the mission.
    • The pesticide weapons are capable of one shotting most bosses. They are often used by players to blast vast hordes of bugs and level cities.
  • The Unpronounceable: Weapons manufacturer Qhrqwhqhr.
  • Violation of Common Sense: You ally is low on health? Shoot and incapacitate him, then revive him for instant 100% health. Same for the player character. If there are few health packs nearby, just kill yourself and let your ally revive you, then pick up those health packs for armor boosts.
  • Weaponized Animal: The Ravagers use scaled up, modified and otherwise 'enhanced' insects as their shock troops. You know, as if it wasn't obvious from the subtitle.
  • World of Pun: Achievement names, Nothing Turretnote  in particular.
  • Zerg Rush: They're giant bugs, what did you expect?