It doesnít matter which way you look at it: Earth Defense Force 4.1 is a relic of design. This is perhaps most true of its visuals, which peak at merely middling. None of the EDF games of past years have been particularly impressive from a technical standpoint, but they managed to keep their own kind of bizarre charm. Now that weíve made the leap to PlayStation 4, however, itís much easier to question what a game like this is doing on such a reasonably powerful machine. Destructible environments are always fun, regardless of how rudimentary and canned they might seem to be (and EDF 4.1ís are most certainly both). However, the art style is, for lack of better words, boring. It would be nice to see this series go the extra mile in embracing its Z-movie roots and deliver a game that looks like a poorly-produced film. That would be more interesting than the current blandness.
The cheesiness extends from what you see to what you hear. Itís constant onslaught, from the streams of gunfire to the explosions and demolition in and around buildings. Voice acting is universally awful, in that so-bad-itís-good kind of way. Every human character in this game overdoes it a hundredfold: soldiers, panicking citizens, and commanders alike devour the scenery with the zeal of Al Pacino in the middle of his career. To cap it all off, the fanfares that intermittently pepper the experience are almost self-parodic. Itís all madness, but itís an example of the art outweighing the technicals.