Defiance: An Intriguing MMO 3rd Person Shooter With An Acompanying Tv Show

Or its a tv show with an accompanying game? Either way….

I first jumped into the world of Defiance a couple of days ago as id heard my friends on Xbox live having good fun with it and I had also watched some videos of it on youtube, and I liked what I saw, for the most part! Now as you know I have a rather indifferent history with MMO’s as on the whole ive never gotten into them as well as some of the more lets say…. “Committed” (Mad) gamers I know.

I have to say though, as console MMO’s go this was a lot of fun, well and still is. The combat is functional if a bit basic although I do like the EGO upgrade system which manifests itself as a ghostly apparition only you can see and through leveling up you can upgrade a main power (that you choose at the beginning of the game during the tutorial mission) and several perks which you can upgrade also. Of course you unlock more perks and are able to equip more as you level up your EGO so you have to carefully decide which abilities are more important to have equipped and which ones you can leave till later until you have the slots to equip them. The four main powers of which you can only choose one (well, so far as I know) are things such as cloak which is self-explanatory (I didn’t choose this one as my main power) Overcharge which was the power I chose. It increases the damage you deal by a certain percentage amount depending on your upgrade level of that power. Which is very useful but it does get kind of dull as you want to do something cool for a change like for example go invisible rather than turn into a death-dealing man tank (not as cool as it sounds) but its ok. The others are Decoy and Blur, decoy is self-explanatory again but blur it increases your movement speed a lot and your melee does a lot of damage so im glad I didn’t choose them as that would have been a lot more boring!

I am being a bit harsh on the overcharge skill, as again it is useful, it reloads your weapon when it’s activated which is extremely helpful as I have an LMG usually equipped and that damn thing takes agggeess to reload. So the power really helps in tight spots when your pussy footing around trying to reload a massive machine gun while getting your arse bitten off by hellbugs.

(Whenever i can get to watching Defiance ill write a review for it too)

The mode of transport for getting around the game world is by vehicle. Usually the quad bike which is ok for speed but handles likes its being driven on an ice rink, it’s so stodgy and slow to steer which you do get used to but come on Trion a bit more responsiveness in the controls might be nice! Now im not sure if this gets remedied by different models and makes of cars? Dodge conveniently have some extremely obvious product placement in the game. But if different cars do in fact handle differently then why is the selection in the vehicle vendors so butt chuffingly limited?! Ugh but as I said you do get used to the driving so it becomes less and less of an annoyance the more you use it, and even less so when you work out what button is the boost function (It’s A by the way if your playing on the Xbox 360 version). Which cuts down travel time for sure and lets you do jumps which are always fun to do, just make sure you don’t boost headlong into walls, water, hellbug nests, raider bases etc ive seen so many people do this, ive done this too, and gotten royally boned by 10 guys at once it’s not a pleasant thing to have happen to you….

The visuals of the game are quite rough around the edges but there functional up to a point. The cut scenes for the story missions do look quite nice and are quite entertaining and serve their purpose well of progressing the story, there are also cameos in select “Episode Missions” from the main characters from the Tv show which I havent seen yet but I fully intend to check it out whenever it gets aired (In the UK its being shown on the SYFY channel). There are always a few or indeed quite a few bugs still apparent in the game such as the harmless guns not appearing in your hands so its like your imagining you have an invisible gun in your hands, cars/bikes being launched into the air when you scrape a slight nick in the road again not so bad and kind of funny when it happens, to the annoying person your meant to be protecting in a mission choosing to not move at all leaving you no choice but to log in and out again to get it fixed although to be fair this has only happened to me once so far, so im willing to let that one slide for now but id best not see it again Trion!

So far though any bugs encountered have been of the quirky funny variety and I don’t think anyone really minds those.

Another feature of the game is the ability to participate in group instance called “Arkfalls” which are really fun too and reminiscent of group quests in Guild Wars 2 because anyone can run along and join in with you, without having to already be apart of a specific group which is a double thumbs up in my book. These Arkfalls are group instances where you have to destroy an Ark crystal that has fallen from the sky which attracts all kinds of enemies to it, oh and i almost forgot to mention that the crystal is a real bastard to destroy and you have a time limit to do it in, which isn’t too bad to be fair because its more than generous with the time it gives you. These give the players a nice little or big detour depending if the Arkfalls is a major or minor one and give you bonus exp and various other rewards, so that’s another reason to do them! One quirk though of the Arkfalls that make me laugh is that when one starts up there is usually about 4 or 6 players to begin with (the guys/girls who were closest to begin with) and then wait a few minutes…… Fucking tons of players arrive (represented on the mini-map by purple dots) it’s an absolute army of them! Id never seen so many players together in one spot before it was absolutely hilarious.

It still takes a while to bring down the big Hellbugs the arkfall crystals attract but your never wanting for company that’s for sure. Although a pet peeve of mine is that whenever you get downed in one of these instances almost no one bothers to revive you, you can be lieing next to them practically staring them in the face and… Nothing ugh.

But that’s a quirk of the community or perhaps of the game not making it clear when someones down, or people are relying on the fact you can self-revive every so often although this ability does have a cooldown rate which some people tend to forget rather quickly getting gunned down all to quickly and having to respawn back to an outpost. Hopefully this will change as people get to grips with the game better though :).

(One of the millions of hellbugs you will slaughter during your stay in defiance.)

A brief mention of the characters so far have been, fairly positive, you however are a mute which is a bit disappointing considering MMO’s with full voice acting like knights of the old republic, but this doesn’t have the production value as that as EA spent a fuck ton of money on that and im guessing Trion don’t have that kind of money rolling around in there bank accounts to spare. My personal favourite has been a guy called Von Bach who is your boss and is also a dirty minded perv but he does come out with some absolutely hilarious one liners when speaking to Cass, another NPC you work closely with who I don’t care for as she is beyond annoying and forever using whispy substitutes for swear words like Shtako for Shit, just say shit woman! I don’t care if you’re an alien, your old enough to use the lingo I would have thought!

But i digress, this is a lot of fun and you should check it out in my opinion as you can get quite a lot out of it, provided you’re not an MMO connoisseur that can’t look past the utter behemoth that has become WoW or to a slightly lesser extent guild wars, yes this game is quite rough around the edges but if you can look past that you’ll find a gem of a game that’ll *touch wood* hopefully get better with age owing to the potential of expanding the game through patches, oh and I nearly forgot to mention that it doesn’t have a monthly subscription fee either so at least if you hate it you’re not putting money down the drain for subs! Finally to put a final note here is that the scores ive been seeing for this game are averaging roughly around 7? Which is what I would agree on, now some people would see that and automatically think it’s a pile of shit, but 7 is well above average despite its rough edges and generally buggyness, owing to the genre it has the scope to improve vastly, so dare you take a punt on this? I hope so 🙂

Thanks for reading

Dave

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