Rated M for Mature
Available for Xbox 360 (reviewed), PS3 and PC
Defiance is an MMO video game that interconnects with the Syfy TV show by the same name. Players are able to experience the action-packed fun of a third-person shooter combined with the excitement of a massive online title. Defiance is the first of its kind that has allowed fans to experience a multitude of features unlike any other.
However, Defiance launched with a variety of problems that ranged from server lag to constant frame-rate drops. The game was not a polished gem in any sense of the word, but Trion Worlds has worked hard since the launch to improve most of the game’s bugs. Despite its imperfections Defiance manages to be a fun experience overall.
The game starts off with players creating their Ark Hunter that will venture out into dangerous environments to scavenge for resources in an alien infested world. As an Ark hunter, you are looking to gain wealth from alien technology and take down a few of the creatures while you are at it. The story meshes with that of the television show, and fans will get to create their own journey to go along with that. The world of Defiance has been destroyed by countless years of war and inhabitants are just now experiencing a brief moment of peace. No time like the present to take advantage of a war-stricken planet in order to line your own pocket full of riches, huh?
There are two playable races that can be customized with EGO abilities which allow gamers to choose their own unique combat abilities. The powers range from being able to cloak yourself all the way to moving at high speeds undetectable by the human eye. These abilities can be chosen based on your style of gameplay and all have their advantages during battle.
The game’s heavy storyline will keep you busy for several days since there is tons of things to do in Defiance. The plot seems to consist of various characters sending you on errands which gives you more leads on finding a MacGuffin. Players are free to explore at will and can engage in various side-quests which allow you to collect items or to kill squads of aliens. Often, quests in Defiance are short and rather combat heavy which is not typical of most MMOs.
Gamers can join in PvP events in order to meet up with other players to partake in several missions of boss fights were they can gain experience and rack up in loot. When you are joined by other players then they will share in not only your mission goals but also the resources. This puts away the idea of the first-come, first-serve notions that you see in most MMOs today. Players can also participate in Arkfalls that are suppose to add a little improbability to the game. This allows players to band together to take down larger threats (such as massive maggots) and can usually be found by looking for big red icons on their map.
The tie-ins to the television show are carried out through episode missions that include the main characters Joshua Nolan and Irisa Nyira. The idea of a television show and video game sharing the same universe is clever yet poorly executed. We are never given enough information within the plot of how each one fits into the shared universe.
Defiance’s combat mechanics are adequately functional for a MMO of its kind. However, the game’s AI are terrible and test your patience throughout the game. As you advance and gain more suitable weapons then this starts to balance out the problems that occur from faulty AI and bug issues. A weapon that packs just the right amount of punch can add an exciting experience to any mission objective.
As you level up, gamers will unlock several co-op maps that support up to four players which are a highlight of the game because you are immersed in a more stable environment. There are several competitive modes to keep things interesting which allow gamers to jump into your typical deathmatch environment with an impressive matching making system.
Defiance’s graphics are brilliant and add depth to the vibrant worlds around you. Despite the game’s flaws, the fact that players can jump seamlessly from mission to mission has enough draw to keep you going. This allows you to go jump into a side-mission while you wait on another to start is entertaining despite the galumphing game engine.
Defiance‘s worst aspect is that it is terrible at elucidation. Players like to know what is going on and how things will work into the game, and well, Defiance often forgets this. There are times when aspects of the game are not fully explained such as when you can use a weapon and when you can complete certain challenges. The small aspects can cause you to miss things and never even know they were there to do. There are times when you may see a brief message about something and if you look away for 5 seconds then you miss out for the rest of the game. This leaves you wandering clumsily around the game asking yourself, “What the heck is going on?” And let’s face it… no player likes that.
Defiance is a game that can be annoying just as much as it is entertaining. Trion Worlds is continuously adding new updates to fix all of these annoyances and maybe in time the game will become a polished masterpiece. But for now, just enjoy the fun as it comes, and try to look past the negative. Defiance has all the makings of a great game and in time it may reach its full potential.
If you would like to learn more then make sure to check out the official Defiance website to learn more and stay updated as new improvements arrive.
3 out of 5