Earth Defense Force: World Brothers was designed for both longtime fans & newcomers

EDF: World Brothers' producer recognizes how much Iron Rain divided fans with its style. He's hoping World Brothers avoids that issue.


Earth Defense Force has had a long history behind it with a cult following built up around the franchise. It doesn’t always hit a home run though - a fact that longtime EDF series producer Nobuyuki Okajima recognizes. Earth Defense Force: Iron Rain, for instance, drew a mixed reaction from fans who both appreciated the experimentation in the game, as well as criticized its deviation from “traditional” EDF style. For Okajima, D3, and the developers at Yuke’s, that inspired an effort to truly set World Brothers apart as a spinoff while also appealing to newcomers and franchise faithfuls alike.

Nobuyuki Okajima revealed the priorities and approach behind Earth Defense Force: World Brothers in a recent preview event. When asked what brought about this amalgam of old school EDF history with a striking new visual style, Okajima shared that it was the mixed reaction to EDF: Iron Rain that inspired the new approach.

“I always want to try something new in each game,” Okajima explained. “However, for World Brothers, we wanted to clearly signify that it was a spinoff from the main series. Something that Iron Rain may not have successfully accomplished as we would have liked.”

For as different as Earth Defense Force: World Brothers looks from every other EDF title, there's a ton of recognizable history strewn throughout the game.
For as different as Earth Defense Force: World Brothers looks from every other EDF title, there's a ton of recognizable history, characters, enemies, and features strewn throughout the game.

This central priority led to two main goals when it came to designing Earth Defense Force: World Brothers:

  1. They wanted to bring every character from the legacy games to World Brothers so fans from anywhere in the series could enjoy it.
  2. They wanted to target a wider range of players including new, seasoned, young, and old players. Hence the cute look of the game, so hardcore players will be less inclined to compare the spinoff to the core series.

Ultimately, Okajima shared that while Earth Defense Force: World Brothers contains a lot of history, it also contains a lot of new features and things that he and the team wanted to try in this new experience.

Want to learn more about what’s to be expected in World Brothers? Check out our full hands-off preview, as well as discussion of the challenge of building familiar EDF characters, enemies, and features in the new voxel style. The game comes out on May 27, 2021 for Nintendo Switch, PS4, and PC via Steam.

Senior News Editor

TJ Denzer is a player and writer with a passion for games that has dominated a lifetime. He found his way to the Shacknews roster in late 2019 and has worked his way to Senior News Editor since. Between news coverage, he also aides notably in livestream projects like the indie game-focused Indie-licious, the Shacknews Stimulus Games, and the Shacknews Dump. You can reach him at and also find him on Twitter @JohnnyChugs.

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