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'Earth Defense Force 4' detailed, dated (sort of)

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Earth Defense Force 4
Earth Defense Force 4

Earth Defense Force 4 — actually the fifth game in D3 Publisher's goofy series of man-versus-insectoid-alien shooters — finally received its public debut this week, courtesy the pages of Japan's Famitsu magazine.

Earth Defense Force 4 - actually the fifth game in D3 Publisher's goofy series of man-versus-insectoid-alien shooters - finally received its public debut this week, courtesy the pages of Japan's Famitsu magazine.

The game, the first in the series developed by original creators Sandlot since Earth Defense Force 2017 way back in 2006, seems to largely ignore the events depicted in the Western-developed EDF: Insect Armageddon. A direct sequel to EDF 2017, it's set in the year 2025, as mankind uses the technology left behind by the Ravager alien force to help rebuild their civilization. What they didn't know was that the Ravagers aren't dead after all - some of them burrowed deep underground to spawn, and now that their numbers are shored up again, they've returned to the attack.

EF4 is set for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, and judging by this initial preview, the main new feature is full online support - D3 is still mum on the details, but it looks like online gameplay will mostly be co-op oriented. Otherwise the preview concentrated on showing off the designs for new Ravager foes, as well as a new player unit called the "Wing Diver" that flies around the air with a jetpack-like device.

D3 announced a 2013 release date for the new EDF, which it pegged at about 55 percent complete.