Originally Posted by Fried Cola
the teir system messes IA up a lot and restricts the player too much in terms of tackling later stages on harder difficulties forcing stupid grinding to actually kill anything on the later stages. Also maybe underwhelming wasn't the best word choice. Half-assed maybe? Imperfect?
I'm gonna have to disagree with you. On paper, the Tier system may sound restricting. It is, after all, the point. But if you think about it, 2017 operates on its own brand of restriction.
In order to get tough enough to play in the later levels, and on the higher difficulty settings, you need to kill enemies and collect Armor pickups. In order to deal enough damage to be reasonably efficient, you need to kill enemies and collect Weapon pickups. The thing about these Weapon pickups is that they only allow you to unlock weapons in the ballpark of wherever it is you collected the pickup. You can't get one of the most powerful weapons in the game on the first level on Easy difficulty.
In Insect Armageddon, they simply automated the process. Instead of having to run around and collect a pickup for every last health increase and cross your fingers that you'll find a useful weapon, you gain Experience that eventually increases your health and gives you access to all of the weapons you need to get through the game, albeit for a price. There's still those random Weapon pickups as well, but you no longer need to rely on pure luck for which weapons you acquire.
I've only had Insect Armageddon for two days now, but I already have most of the guns for my Jet Armor available to use or purchase. It literally took me years of playing 2017 to get around to collecting all of the weapons, and hours and hours of farming for those weapons and for Armor to become powerful enough to survive on Inferno. I can't say that I feel restricted by the Tier system anymore than I was with the dumb luck system behind collecting the weapons in 2017. I feel more freedom from the health increasing in Insect Armageddon, since I can move onto higher difficulty settings without grinding and farming for hours.
With all of that said, I must agree with some of the things said in this thread. I'm first and foremost disappointed with the length of the game, and while I haven't watched the 'true' ending yet, the Normal ending was a disappointment as well. The lack of caverns, open fields, or any sort of level variety is another real letdown.
Still, there's so many improvements to the formula. The missions are longer and more interesting, there's more enemy variety, and some of the dialogue is (intentionally) funny. As I said, the Tier system makes progressing your character much easier, with less grinding. The vehicles are actually useful now. So useful, in fact, that I could see a couple of young brothers fighting over who gets to pilot the one remaining mech in a level. The game is obviously going to look better, but it's not just the tech. The art style is actually very solid, and while I love the cheesy B-movie style of 2017, this newer, sleeker style is an attractive and welcome change. Perhaps the best visual change is the EDF soldier, who went from looking... lame, to looking pretty awesome.
There's always room for improvement, and while EDF4 is being developed by the crew in charge of 2017, I'm sure that if the folks behind Insect Armageddon get another crack at the franchise, they'll take our criticisms to heart. I think that if they made a follow-up with more levels and more variety to their environments, they could create the best in the series. Then again, who knows what kinds of improvements the original team has in store for us. I've still got loads to do with Insect Armageddon, and I already can't wait.