Sony

Earth Defense Force: World Brothers (PS4)

edf

The world is literally in pieces when World Brothers begins. Ignore the physics of this situation – the EDF team seeks to put these individual blocks back together by defeating alien motherships. For some reason, that works. Just go with it. World Brothers does.

Don’t arrive at World Brothers looking for a formula twist; this is EDF to its core, only now choosing a kooky visual aesthetic aiming at the Minecraft generation (with an educational touch via history lessons during the fight). Giant ants, spiders, robots, etc, all appear in block form. It’s a shame World Brothers can’t connect with Lego given the potential cross-branding.

Everything in this entry is about togetherness. Sometimes that’s literal – like reconnecting the planet – or bonding to new soldiers (in four team squads) found on the repetitive battlefields. Localization doesn’t change much, a surprise given the cultural stereotyping common to Japanese imports, but usually altered for western audiences. A sombrero-wearing Mexican soldier named Juan tosses tequila bombs at his foes, his accent and dialog every terrible cliche. Much as World Brothers looks to bring things together, it’s relying on archaic, even racist derision to craft its characters.

There’s also a compelling spark missing once in the melee. Weapons and armor are earned by rescuing people, not acquired from defeated insects. Wandering the stage looking for bonuses isn’t needed, and makes battles feel overlong. There’s little satisfaction or grind in mowing down ant nests if it doesn’t explode into a loot shower.

3/5

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