Giant Fire Ants and a Glaive

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Earlier this week I was privy to checking out some of the upcoming 360 and PS3 goodness that game publisher D3 brought to the Big Apple. The two games they were showcasing were the kill-everything-that-moves shooter Earth Defense Force 2017, and super creepy Dark Sector. Overall, both titles looked like must-plays, but for extremely different reasons.

Earth Defense Force 2017
Ahh? there really just aren?t enough giant fireants in games nowadays, and EDF is looking to change all that. This game has more aliens, robots and giant lizards than you?ve ever seen, all crammed onto one screen. Think of it as a Japanese Gears of War, if Cliffy B grew up watching Ultraman instead of playing Zelda -- way more action, and somehow, even less coherent action sequences. Essentially you are Earth?s last line of defense (yeah, the title makes sense now doesn?t it?) and you are tasked with saving the world from whatever is invading that day (it?s usually giant ants). You are armed to the teeth with more weapons then you can count -- and you shoot EVERYTHING. That?s the gist of it.

EDF 2017 played pretty well, a lot better then its Japanese predecessors. The graphics are beefed up for the 360 and it runs as smooth as any other game on the console. Earth Defense Force 2 was plagued with the problems of your standard PS2 budget title -- short development time, clipping, frame rate issues, and the fact that the entire game was in Japanese (it was only released on the other side of the Pacific). EDF 2017 is a drastically better and much tighter game. At the budget price of $39.99, this game has potential to be a great pickup for anyone that wants to save the world on the cheap.

Dark Sector
One day you?re a mild-mannered CIA hitman and the next you wake up with an organic metallic growth over your right arm, and you can control a tri-bladed boomerang type device (called a glaive) that can take on the different characteristics when it comes in contact with different elements. Just your average day right? Wrong. You?re in Eastern Europe (I?ve never going there; everything bad seems to happen there) and you have to take down the ?people? that did this to you. The plot seems to be fairly run of the mill, but the showpiece in this game is the controls and, of course, the glaive. The demo D3 was showing was pretty short but it did highlight the fact that the glaive can be used to pick up things like fire and electricity and use them to progress through the level. Could the glaive be the new chainsaw gun? I think we?ll just have to wait and see.

Overall, the game looked great on the 360 and we were told it looked just as good on the PS3. Dark Sector has potential for some great gameplay/puzzle elements centered around the glaive. Although, honestly, the best part... the part that so many other games really need to learn from... NO H.U.D. That is all.