(suspenseful music) – (Daemon) For someone with the fear of all things creepy, crawly there’s a little added gravity and catharsis to fighting the thousands of house sized monstrosities in Earth Defense Force Five. And thousands is no hyperbole. During a 60 hour playthrough the kill counter reads precisely 21,369 space aliens , murderous robots and giant insects. Yet somehow even that astronomical number seems far too low for the amount of satisfaction derived from it. (background conversation) Earth Defense Force 5 is fundamentally a solid wave based arcade shooter built on top of a deep class based load out and leveling system. Both elements compliment the other nicely. Missions feature dozens of huge Sci-Fi-tastic B movie enemies attacking head on in vast and fully destructible but barren and frightfully ugly city environments that are sometimes reused throughout the long string of 110 campaign missions.The great part is the bugs and aliens who invade them. They’re far more richly realized than the train and the monster designs are consistently creative, terrifying and even a little gruesome. The considerable computing power of the Playstation 4 is used not to render gorgeous graphics but instead creatively harnessed to render enormous quantities of humongous enemies all attacking at the same time. Like a tsunami of alien flesh and insect exoskeletons. Dozens of daunting foe typically appear at once. Each ranging somewhere in size from that of a tank to a small town. And once the gunfire starts they’re all screaming, exploding, and bleeding all over everything. They also drop an explosion of loot. And the resulting orgy of gore, destruction, and new gear is exhilarating and rarely gets old.Between missions it’s rewarding to look over your load out for a few seconds and then eagerly jump back into battle to try it out. Frame Rates don’t stutter all that often on the standard PS4. But when they do dial down it’s certainly noticeable. (Gunfire) Despite the crowds and visual chaos. Combat strategy is much deeper than it initially appears. Fighting different combinations of enemies requires different thoughtful approaches and even the close range gun play against swarms demands carefully balancing weapons , reload times evasion, target prioritization and movement towards health pickups. Mission difficulty can be a little uneven. But at most the customizable difficulty levels EDF allows you to keep a generous portion of the loot you pickup even when you die. They last few missions of EDF five are a let down because they veer away from the core feeling of the campaign. There are so many powerful enemies scattered about in such close proximity , that you have to exercise extraordinary caution in how you approach battles. The trial and error needed to learn when triggered events take place in these last stages. Sucks a lot of the joy out of an otherwise rewarding battle.These frustrations come to ahead in the ultimate mission against an alien mothership which is among the more annoying boss battles ever. Go to Hell mission 109. EDF five’s online and split screen multiplayer changes things in a seamless and delightfully smooth co-operative journey through the main campaign missions. Teaming up with up to three other players and talking strategy adds a whole new dimension to the huge battles. I paired up with a partner and found that vehicles and weapons became far more useful and the ability to select complementary classes and load outs added flavor to some missions without sacrificing challenge.Online with a friend is easily the best way to play EDF five. Even after 60 hours of bug hunting. The mass slaughter that Earth Defense Force 5 does well is deliciously unique. It looks and feels like a throwback to a simpler age of gaming. And suffers from some unpolished technical decisions and sometimes less than stellar late game balance. But the vast majority of it’s huge number of missions are energetic essays on a largely forgotten philosophy of action game that deserves further exploration.And when you’re joined by others it becomes way too much fun to miss. For more action check out our reviews of Just Cause 4, Darksiders 3 and Overkill’s The Walking Dead. And for everything else stick with us right here at IGN. .