Gamersledge Video Review: Defiance Beta
Gamersledge Video Review: Defiance Beta – Watch the video above or read the review below!
Defiance is an upcoming science-fiction themed MMO on Windows PCs, PS3 and Xbox360 due to release in April. It is set several decades in the future in the San Francisco Bay area, after a cataclysmic event on earth necessitated terraforming of the planet. New species and flora have flourished, and alien races tried to immigrate, causing war and eventual peace and coexistance.
You start as an ‘arc hunter,’ someone employed to find crash sites of alien vessels and recover its most valuable and advanced technology. The game starts by introducing the Earth Republic Force escorting a real gem of a human being named Karl Van Boch, to the Bay area. Van Boch, by the way, is someone who I immediately relished watching die horribly in some upcoming event. But lo and behold, no, that’s my boss. Great.
But, at least it was unexpected. As he starts briefing me about what will happen when we touch down, the ship is attacked. We jettison in an escape pod and the adventure starts from there. You’ll find assistance from Cass Ducar, an Irathient , one of the alien races, and also arc hunter, as well as from your own personal cyberghost or EGO (Environmental Guardian Online). This serves as your tutorial, and it quickly becomes a race to find out who is attacking the remnants of the ship, deliver aid and yes, still find treasure.
One additional note: all text items are voice acted. I like this a lot; truly helps with immersion.
Plusses: The story is engaging and draws you in.
Minuses: The voice acting for EGO (Please be a placeholder) is horrific. I think a robot could deliver more passion or empathy.
The game is largely a third-person, over the shoulder open-world action shooter that seamlessly shifts to first person when you aim with a sniper rifle. The targeting recticle applies for all other gun types, zooming perspective in slightly when you aim. I thought it was a great way to cater to both types of gameplay styles. As you meet EGO, you get access to varied special powers, from invisible camoflauge to sprint bull rushing opponents to creating holodecoys of yourself to distract enemies. Beyond that, you get all the trappings of an MMO, shields, weapons, magic (EGO abilities), perks and grenades.
Yes, it still has fetch quests. Yes, it still has go here and kill the mutants quests. But it is fun. The interesting thing is that the developers have opted for a ‘you can’t mess with my things’ approach for multiple people in the same area. Yes, their kills thin out your enemies, but if there is an actionable item (like to disarm the bombs on the bridge), they don’t affect yours, and you don’t affect theirs (unless in a party). After the Guild Wars 2 instant party system, it does seem a step backwards. Also, as someone who’s figured out how to drive Warthogs in Halo, flying Warhawks, and driven/navigated just about any other type of game vehicle out there, I give kudos to the fact that Trion has developed something that I have no flipping clue how to drive. Big ups for getting your vehicle at level 2, but the fact I can’t figure out how to turn the damn thing is pretty frustrating.
Plusses: Gameplay is actioney and never boring. Things are spelled out clearly, and the shooting is tight and fun.
Minuses: No autoparty to complete shared objectives in the same local area, hard to drive vehicles.
The game is solid. Solid framerates, great audio, and because of the flora, great swatches of colors pop everywhere. As mentioned earlier, the voice acting is great for most characters, but the EGO system character voice is beyond bad. I can’t help but think it must be placeholder for the beta. It *feels* like it should; a futuristic (but not outlandishly so) wrapping on humanity (and close neighbors).
Plusses: Great audio, mostly great voicework. Graphics are smooth, and never lags.
Minuses: EGO voice acting. Summary and Verdict: Guilty! Defiance is a game I am guilty of not knowing much about, other than it was a SyFy television show that was attempting to drive story both through the MMO, and more importantly is now a game I am interested in playing. With no monthly fee, there’s not a reason why you shouldn’t take the plunge and explore this new earth. As far as a beta goes, I think this shows great promise from the developers.
7.5 out of 10 Ghostface Mutants
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