Back in December I reviewed Earth Defense Force 5 on PS4.
If you didn’t read my review the gist is that I liked it. A Lot. And if you’re considering picking up the just released PC version, give it a read, because the game is exactly the same and I don’t see the need to repeat much of what I wrote right here. Here’s where I tell you what’s good and not so good about the PC version in particular.
Honestly, the PC port of Earth Defense Force 5 is a mixed bag. It has very limited graphical options; you can turn shadows and anti-aliasing on and off and crank up the anisotropic filtering level but that’s about it. That means if you run into performance issues, you might have a hard time tweaking the game to smooth them out.
Chances are you probably will encounter performance issues too, unless you have a super powerful PC. Earth Defense 5 wasn’t a looker on PS4, and it doesn’t look a great deal better on PC even with everything maxed out. But still, on my ageing-but-still-fairly-competent work PC equipped with an overclocked i5-4690K and GTX 1060, I couldn’t get a locked 60 frames per second experience at 1080p no matter how much tweaking I did.
On that note, if you were hoping to take Earth Defense Force 5 beyond 60 frames per second on PC, you can’t. It’s apparently locked, presumably because it messes with the game’s physics or animation or something.
All in all, there’s a lot to turn PC players away from the port, but there’s still the fact that this is another Earth Defense Force game available on PC, and that should always be celebrated. Earth Defense Force 5 is perhaps the most hectic, polished and feature-packed entry in the series yet, and so fans shouldn’t miss out if the only way they can play it is on PC. And with a decent PC it does indeed have a graphical edge over its PS4 counterpart, which is always good.
But there’s one final fly in the ointment: its price. Earth Defense Force 5 has an RRP of £46.49/$59.99 on PC, which is pretty ludicrous. Especially considering that it doesn’t even include the DLC for the game released to date. That’s all available at an extra cost. Sure, there’s currently 20% off if you buy it before 18th July, but that doesn’t really soften the blow. If you’ve not already played Earth Defense Force 4.1 The Shadow of New Despair you might as well buy that instead. It might not be quite as good but it costs just £15.49/$19.99.
So there you have it: Earth Defense Force 5 is an average port of a very good game. If you’re an Earth Defense Force fan that’s exhausted Earth Defense Force 4.1 The Shadow of New Despair and are desperate for more chaotic action, go ahead and buy it if you have a decent PC and aren’t afraid of parting with your money. Otherwise, you might want to wait until Earth Defense Force 5 is patched and/or discounted.