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Helldivers 2 has a new rival as legendary co-op game returns

The Earth Defense 6 Force release date is set, bringing the latest entry in the beloved bug blasting co-op series to Steam and Epic in July.

Earth Defense Force 6 sets worldwide launch date on Steam and Epic Games - A newsreader points to the camera, looking intense.

Helldivers 2 continues to eat up a large chunk of my gaming time – after all, those Terminid troublemakers aren’t going to stop any time soon. But back before even the first Helldivers, one legendary series was the poster child for chaotic co-op games, offering third-person alien and bug blasting with your besties on a grand scale, complete with a big helping of hyper militaristic bombast and that friendly fire spice. And now it’s back, with news of the Earth Defense Force 6 release date on Steam and the Epic Games Store.

With its eponymous military complex boasting those same Starship Troopers echoes as Helldivers and then even more on top, there’s plenty of reason to check out the iconic co-op games from developer Sandlot. If you’ve fallen in love with Arrowhead’s fantastic third-person shooter and want even more, news of Earth Defense Force 6 finally making its way to a worldwide release after its 2022 launch in Japan is certainly worth your attention.

The EDF games have always been a somewhat specific taste, with large scale combat notoriously so ambitious in its enemy quantity that earlier entries often ran at single-digit frame rates when things really started to kick off. But that’s something modern PCs can help solve, and Earth Defense Force 5 currently boasts a ‘very positive’ 94% Steam user rating. I like to think of EDF as the wilder, more unrestrained uncle to Helldivers – it’s a series where you have to know what you’re getting into, but if you do and you like that then EDF delivers it in large-scale airdrops.

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Fittingly, EDF 5 actually took place in 2024, where the successful campaign against the invasion of the Primers nevertheless left “90 percent of Earth’s population destroyed and Civilization on the brink of collapse.” We pick things up just three years later in 2027, where humanity is attempting to recover and rebuild as a new threat makes itself known. It’s up to you and your squad mates to take to the field once more to protect the future of our people, with EDF 6 boasting the biggest number of missions of any game in the series yet.

Earth Defense Force 6 launches on Thursday July 25 via Steam and the Epic Games Store. It’s priced at $59.99/£49.99 for the standard edition, or $89.99/£73.99 for the digital deluxe edition. Pre-order the game and you can also pick up the Reverse Core Type-N auxiliary wing diver support device, along with three special decoys modeled after Hololive VTubers Takanashi Kiara, Gawr Gura, and IRyS.

Catch up on all the biggest and best upcoming games for the rest of 2024 and beyond to see what else lies ahead of us. For more to play with your pals right now, here are the best free PC games, with plenty of potential for co-op.

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