It might be hard to remember at times but Defiance is an MMO. Though it’s surface impression is that of a third person shooter, and a good one at that, the core game functions are all centered around online multiplayer. As all MMO games are large and every changing, Defiance more so than others with a tie in TV series, it’s difficult to pick when to review such game. However, having spent many hours on Defiance I feel it’s time to give the game a few words. The question is, does this hybrid MMO shooter do the job well?
Defiance seems to suffer from a little know case of ‘one thing good for one thing bad’. You found a gun that fires acid covered grenades? Sweet. Shame that most enemies won’t be effected by this. Got a hot new ride? Cool, but your have to wait a few hours till you find some roads. It’s the same story across all elements of Defiance. Given that this is an MMO at the core which are normally found on PC. You have to take a console version with a bit of salt.
Let’s start with visuals. The game world of the bay area is huge. In fact it takes a good amount of time to drive across it. So it’s a shame that the game world it’s self isn’t really that different in terms of environments and design. Your see a mix of alien like trees and buildings mixed into a near future design of human design and of course, a fair number of ruined buildings. The overall level of detail within the PS3 version of the game is well, poor. Draw distance is terrible and the graphic level it’s self is appalling. Not even to being talking about the loading issues, texture pop in and general slow performance of the game. It’s understandable that a MMO isn’t prefect on release but in terms of the problems that can’t be fixed post release. Yeah, they are bad.
Gameplay however is where Defiance picks up and plays to it’s strength. It’s a solid third person shooter in terms of gameplay. With the exception of a cover system but really, that is unneeded. You run, jump, roll, shoot and even punch your way through combat. I’m happy to say that the PS3 controller is suitable for the job here and then some. Sure, getting through menus and such is a total nightmare, but the core gameplay is easy to control and master. There is a lot of room for playing to your style and thanks to the EGO (no really, that’s it’s name) system, you have access to a range of skills and perks. I personally enjoy the run in and kill everything take on missions. Those of you with a more, ninja like style will be happy to know that is playable as well. In fact the game even allows you to try out the four main combat skills before picking your favourite one.
Once again, the game is a shooter. So action bars and skills to fill your screen won’t be present. You have two skills, a few perks and two switchable weapons. Overall your working with your own skill, understanding and choosing badass weapons. Speaking of which, that sums up the games PVP. You set yourself up to join a game and then once ready, your loaded in with your current weapons and perks. No rules here. It’s a standard team based online shooter. Oddly, this is where I have the most fun. A range of game modes are present and you unlock more as your EGO rating ranks up. EGO rating is like your ‘level’ but in Defiance ‘levels’ are used. It makes no sense in all honestly.
Taking a step back from Defiance there is a lot to cover. I’ve only put in a good few hours and haven’t even reached the second half of the game world. From time spent in missions, quests and even PVP, I feel I’ve gotten a good understanding of the game. of course all MMO’s, and yes Defiance is one, take a good few weeks to reach their full potential. I feel that Defiance is going to taking some time and a good few updates to do so. Defiance isn’t a bad game as a matter of fact I rather enjoyed my time with it and can’t wait to get back to play some more. However as it stands in it’s current iteration, I can’t recommend the PS3 version.
I wanted Defiance to be a ground breaking success and through it is on the right track it’s release is, what I feel, a bit misjudged. A few more months of development and it would be golden. For now however, give it a few weeks.
Note: This game was played and reviewed on PS3.