D3 Publisher and Sandlot announced a new Earth Defense Force title overnight at the Tokyo Game Show. The appropriately titled Earth Defense Force 5 is coming first to PlayStation 4 in Japan in 2017. No Western release has been confirmed but as the series’ fanbase continues to grow in North America and Europe it’ll most likely happen at some point. For now: rampant speculation.
Giant bipedal frog creatures carrying guns! This is by far the most over the top thing I’ve seen in the series. At least one fan has already suggested these could be the as-yet-unseen Ravagers, the alien race behind the incessant attacks on Earth throughout the series. At one point we see one of them leap out of the way of incoming fire and another give a hand signal command, presumably to nearby insects.
New UFO types. The little saucer ships remind me of their counterpart in EDF2: Invaders from Planet Space hinting at more inspirations from the series’ older entries. There are also slightly reworked (and golden colored) dropships that rain down streams of giant insects and a glimpse of a gargantuan, blade-wielding mother ship.
A new monster spawner. At the 1:00 mark in the video we see giant spikes rain down in front of the EDF forces that start teleporting in a stream of ants.
A new map location. A few quick clips show a new metallic indoor environment. In one shot a group of EDF Rangers are running up a dimly lit ramp towards the battle raging outside. In another the fight takes place in the dark interior with red lighting and muzzle flashes illuminating the action.
Physics! Up to this point EDF has relied heavily on the design theory of “just add more explosions” when it comes to damaged vehicles and alien craft. But there are a few glimpses in the trailer of devastated tanks flipping over, mechs falling to pieces, giant alien debris collapsing to the ground and even an ant headshot with exploding skull!
Rain and splatter. It’s a very simple looking effect but there are a few shots of action with sheets of rain falling down the screen. There are also 2 really quick cuts with red and orange insect blood splattered on the ground and environment. We see a lot of this arterial spray when shooting the bugs but this is the first I can remember where it’s appeared on the environment.
Sandlot has made tiny, iterative improvements on the series since it began so it’s not a surprise that I’m calling out blood splatter as a hot new feature. I was a little dismayed at how similar the game looks but there are a lot of surprises hidden in the quick cuts of this trailer. I hope it’s hinting at even more changes and surprises that only we dedicated fans can truly appreciate.