I'm a big fan of the series, starting on 2017 though GDF is definitely my favorite. A fellow fan and I have just finished the game and needless to say, we're both exceptionally disappointed. There will be spoilers.
The game is good, and there are a number of nice touches, I just can't seem to get over how much they've left out of the game. Its essentially a cut-down version of 2017 with better graphics and classes. My main problem is length and stage variation - only 15 stages, all in the city with just the one night mission. Hell, you're introduced to Hectors in the very first mission. To summarise my thoughts:
- Local and online co-op.
- Survival mode.
- 4 classes with around 80 weapons each (versus 176 in 2017, 150 each class in GDF)
- Weapon unlocks are not just random drops, classes level up allowing some weapons to be purchased (random drop weapons are free).
- Its pretty.
- 15 campaign stages, 6 survival stages (versus 53 in 2017, 71 in GDF).
- 3 difficulty levels (versus 5 in 2017, 6 in GDF).
- Only a few new enemies, but nothing special (GDF has a number of dinosaurs, mirror gunships, centipedes, slaters, and gargantuan ant hills).
- The length on Normal was under 5 hours without any prior levelling (aside from prior EDF familiarity), sure the stages were longer than some in the other games, but still very disappointing.
- Classes/levels/weapons do not carry over to Survival mode.
- The "finale" [last warning] is just Hectors and larger variants while being shot by the Mothership overhead. You can't hurt it, you just have to beat a few Hectors until the objective changes - after which, you die. Ok, maybe you don't, but there is certainly no feeling of accomplishment for saving the world.
The game is fun, but any EDF/GDF fan should know its got a long way to go. If you're thinking of picking it up, make sure your expectations are low so the short length and awful ending doesn't ruin it for you. That said, if they bring out an expansion to expand on the campaign - even if they don't expand on the stages, just add a handful of enemy types and allow you to actually win, my tune will change. The engine is great, they've kept the same dialog style from 2017, its clear they were fans of the game - if they're given the chance to finish the 'demo' they've created, my tune will change to the highest praise.