Earth Defense Force 4.1: The Shadow of New Despair

Game review by
David Chapman, Common Sense Media
Earth Defense Force 4.1: The Shadow of New Despair Game Poster Image
Violent sci-fi action exterminates lots of alien bugs.

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

Players are part of an international task force defending the planet from alien invasion, but it's basically just an explanation for steady stream of fighting.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Not much in the way of character development with players taking on the archetypical soldiers. You're pretty much left to project your own personality onto a relatively blank slate.

Ease of Play

Controls are relatively smooth, straightforward. In-game camera can occasionally cause some issues, especially when player gets overwhelmed by enemy forces.


Constant stream of combat with a variety of weapons used to kill giant insects, alien creatures, all of which explode into meaty chunks of blood, gore.


Some profanity (particularly "s--t") scattered throughout game's dialogue, constant radio chatter.


Expanded version of the last Earth Defense Force game. Part of cult-classic EDF franchise, which has spawned multiple titles.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Earth Defense Force 4.1: The Shadow of New Despair is an action-heavy, science-fiction third-person shooter for the PlayStation 4. The game is a remastered version of Earth Defense Force 2025, the previous entry in the cult-classic EDF franchise. Players use a variety of both realistic and futuristic weapons to kill waves of giant insects and alien creatures. Defeated creatures usually explode with large sprays of blood and meaty chunks. There's some profanity in the game's dialogue, and players could be exposed to offensive language in multiplayer games.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byNuffly August 11, 2018

Dont Listen to ESRB

While this game is violent none of the blood is realistic and the blood that comes out of the people is so small you can only see it if you are lookinh for it.... Continue reading
Adult Written byMichael M September 21, 2017

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

What's it about?

EARTH DEFENSE FORCE 4.1: THE SHADOW OF NEW DESPAIR is a PlayStation 4 remaster of the PS3/Xbox 360 cult hit Earth Defense Force 2025. It's been eight years since the Earth was first invaded by Ravagers, an alien force that attacked the planet with everything from spaceships to robots to giant insects. After defending against the initial invasion, the nations of the world created the Earth Defense Force (EDF) as the first and last line of defense in case the invaders decided to return. After successfully driving back previous incursions, the EDF faces its toughest battle yet, as the Ravagers have returned from hiding once again. The bugs are bigger. The aliens are meaner. And once again, it's up to the soldiers of the EDF to save the planet.

Is it any good?

It's usually considered bad to play a game with lots of bugs in it, but that's far from the case with this remastered release from the cult-classic franchise. The Shadow of New Despair takes everything that was fun in the Earth Defense Force 2025 game for the PS3 and Xbox 360, and cranks it up to eleven. The best way to describe the experience is to imagine Michael Bay directing a Starship Troopers movie ... then adding more explosions for good measure. It's nonstop action from start to finish.

One thing the EDF games have always been known for is pitting the player against overwhelming numbers of oversize baddies. Unfortunately, this could usually lead to some slowdown and glitchy performance. None of that is the case here, though. The game runs great and rarely skips a beat, regardless of how much is happening on-screen. The controls can take a little getting used to, particularly with certain character classes. Getting the hang of the flight controls of the Wing Diver or figuring out how to aim air strikes as the support-oriented Air Raider can take some time, but it's worth the effort. This is Earth Defense Force the way it was meant to be played, with all its over-the-top quirkiness wrapped inside a silky smooth HD package.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about violence in gaming. How does shooting at giant bugs or aliens differ from shooting at more human enemies in other games? Does it lessen the impact of the violence?

  • Talk about science versus science fiction. What are some ways that science-fiction stories have inspired advancements in the real world?

Game details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love action

Themes & Topics

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