Preview of Defiance
Developer: Trion Worlds
Publisher: Trion Worlds
First of let me say this preview is based off this weekend’s Beta so contents may vary once released, but we’ll get back and do a full review later. I should say thanks to Trion Worlds for letting me have early access to get this story written.
So to get started Defiance is a 3rd person shooter and soon to be TV show to be carried by the SyFy channel here in the US. The claim is that players should watch the TV show because that will have an impact on what game play and what will change based on what happened in the show. The game might be a lot different based on how players play the game.
As the story in game starts you are new recruit “Ark Hunter” working for the Von Bach Industries on board the Stratocarrier EMS the New Freedom. While approaching the San Francisco bay area the ship is mysteriously shot down, you make your escape in a pod and land in hostile territory.
What is an Ark Hunter you ask? Well from playing the game it is similar to a mercenary along with being salvage expert of relics and much needed alien technology that is scattered around the battlefields of Earth.
Once the pod hits the ground you find yourself in a brief tutorial that shows you the ins and outs of game play and all the controls. You are introduced to your EGO (Environmental Guardian Online) system which is basically you’re built in enhanced skills sets. The base four starter skills are Blur, Cloak, Decoy, and Overpower.
As you progress these skills along with additional skills that unlock will help you sneak past enemies or give you more power to blast your way out of battle. You can also modify weapons with mod items found mostly from completing missions.
As you continue the story after crash landing, you eventually find Earth New Republic camp where the soldiers are going about securing materials that will be need to wage war and to hold of the mutant attackers. From here you will continue you job to find your boss Karl Von Bach and at the same trying to upgrade your arsenal.
The game play is basic 3rd person shooter that has all the similar controls that everyone is used to for this style of game. You also control your vehicle in very much the same way.
One of the biggest complains that I have associated with this game is the fact that this game is a console game that has been ported to PC. This shows through with the horrible designed UI system. If you do play the game just try to find a way to exit the game. Good luck! This is after a UI revamp from the previous beta test.
The game has missions spread out throughout the world and can be found on your map and mini map. The missions are the main part of the game and also have challenge missions in which you are competing against or player’s scores and times.
For the most part missions are go someplace and find something or defeat the mutants guarding a location. Once starting these you get the feel you’re in an instance, but that is not the case because other can join in to help give a hand.
As if ported over from Rift Trion has added dynamic events that show up in similar fashion to their fantasy game. From what I have seen these events are mostly Ark Falls which is a crystal that needs to be destroyed in order to get some great loot. The crystals are always guarded heavily by mutants and creatures.
So you go from dynamic events with nothing but action to the empty wasteland of what is left of earth. What happened to all the enemies, at time you find yourself alone in the middle of nowhere? Then next thing you know you’re swarmed with enemies.
Enemies have also been known to be very glitchy, I have experienced a little bit of everything here. From mobs sliding across a large open area in flash, to shooting at a stationary enemies which aren’t even there.
Stylized graphics look great at times and them some parts of the game just lack imagination all together, like it was just thrown together in a hurry or the same textures get used way too much. The more I play, I can see two major things in the graphics of this game.
1. That textures are way too over used.
2. Was money was an issue in designing this world or were on very tight time constraints (which boils over as lack of imagination). I think it is both of these.
You will keep seeing this building that has what looks like eggs sticking out all over the side of it. WTH is that!
The sounds are decent but over used, this is not a game breaker. Yes some polish could be used here but for the most part I can’t complain too much in the sound department.
Defiance is a game that I think could be a decent game with some more polish. There are too many areas to mention that need work, here are just a few places I’d like to see improved.
The story lacks depth and looks to be thrown together at the same pace as this story was written. I hope there are major changes other than Ark Hunter always out hunting in trash bins for a part or a relic. If this is all this has to offer then this has potential to be one boring game and TV show.
The UI has to be one of the worst I have ever seen in a game, but this is because this game is configured to consoles. So it doesn’t look as if PC players will get much love here.
The next major issue I have is the lack of skill based depth. Some may argue that there is plenty to choose from and I agree with some of that, but the only real difference to skills straight out attack skills to stealth skills. They both have uses based on your play style.
I get it, I get it, the world is a hell hole in game, but come on you can could at least change a few textures. The world has large empty open areas that makes me feel very small in giant world without any sense of achievement when getting to a new area.
Total lack of character customization. It’s more like cookie cutter versions of the same character running around. At times in game you say “Hey, that guys look just like me!” well get used to that!
This game is mildly entertaining at its present state and I would say not ready for primetime, I hope the TV show production has better attention to detail.
Verdict is 2 of 6
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