Defiance F2P Impressions
Normally, the worlds of online games and that of Hollywood (be it tv show or movie) usually intersect in that the game adapts the Hollywood production. The usual outcome is a sub-par game that allows players some gameplay in the universe of their favorite movies or tv shows, but there's usually no robust addition to the lore. Yet Trion Worlds and SyFy are reworking that relationship by having the Defiance tv show and mmofps running concurrently and having some interaction with one another. While the game initially required a purchase to play, it has recently gone the free-to-play route. As I'm always willing to give a game a shot, I decided to venture into the post-apocalyptic world and see how it pans out. So is the game good or is it shtako? Find out in our Defiance f2p impressions.
Let me begin by stating that I'm a fan of the Defiance tv show. I've always been a sucker for sci-fi projects that are essentially westerns at heart. The setting is in the near future where a collection of alien races had come to Earth in order to settle, not realizing that intelligent life was here. However, due to mistrust and other factors, war broke out and humans fought against the aliens, known collectively as the Votans. Most of the Votans were still in hypersleep aboard their ships, but this Ark fleet mysteriously exploded, killing millions and raining down Ark debris that included new plant and animal life, as well as terraforming equipment. The two sides fought to a standstill and now a uneasy truce is in place as everyone is trying to survive in a hostile, strange new world.
In the Defiance mmo fps, players start out as Ark Hunters, individuals who search for alien technology. Character creation was quite a snap as I chose to play as a human as the only other choice for f2p was the Irathient. There was a good number of customization options for my character, but they were really confined to the head and face region. There's no changing of height or other physical characteristics. There are four origins to choose as for the background of your character, and I chose the Veterans as my guy was an ex-soldier just trying to survive. Other than something cool as a background, the origin you pick really has no effect in the game.
One thing that really got my attention was the fact that there were no classes in Defiance. I think that this is tremendous as it allows players to play the game without being forced into a rigid mold. The player increases his skill by using weapons when fighting enemies. As the player's skill in a weapon increases, he gets more bonuses with that weapon. Another key aspect of the game is the use of EGO powers. As the player gains experience, he receives points to spend on EGO powers, which are superhuman powers granted by an intelligent implant that can communicate with you, similar to Cortana from the Halo video games. There are active and passive EGO powers that can increase your abilities, such as Overcharge which increases your damage for a short time. In all, there are a lot of EGO powers that can be unlocked to make you much tougher in combat.
As for combat, it's the main component of this free mmofps. I've been playing shooters since the original Doom, and the combat in Defiance is darn good. It took me some time adjusting to having my crosshairs being a little off center due to the third person nature of the game. There are plenty of different weapon types that can be used, and you'll have a lot of fun figuring out which ones best suit your play style. Most of the time, you can quickly grab more ammunition as you'll need it. Even in the first starting area, there were plenty of bad guys that took me a whole magazine of blasting away to bring down. Still, the combat in the game is fast-paced and very dynamic. Another consideration to remember is recoil. So far, my favorite weapon is a sniper rifle. Weapons can be modded, but the game does a very poor job of explaining this to players. I spent quite some time trying to figure out how to use the mods I picked up, but I eventually had to use some search engines to find the info I needed.
There are a ton of missions to be played in Defiance, ranging from the main mission to side missions to arkfalls (the game's version of public quests). The missions, on the whole, were interesting and did pull me deeper into the game's setting, but I do have some issues with keeping track of them. Apparently there's no way to make one mission your primary one, which can lead to a lot of confusion. I picked up a mission for season two while in the midst of doing the main storyline. When that happened, all my map waypoints kept pushing me to do the season two mission when all I wanted to do was the main storyline one. Also, the new mission would have had me trying to traverse the entire zone, which would have likely led to many, many deaths along the way. It wasn't just me who had issues with this as the chat channel was filled with new players asking what happened to their main mission. The only solution seemed to be to drop the new mission and pick it up later. It would be a great step if the game would make mission management more....well....manageable. Still, I got a huge kick out of the rampage missions, which are just you fighting off hordes of bad guys.
Overall, my Defiance f2p impressions are positive. I enjoy the setting and the game's combat is fun and fast-paced. I like that you get a vehicle early on despite the fact that I drive like an person suffering a seizure. (I run into things a lot!) The cutscenes that set up main storyline missions really drag you into the game's universe. My main issue with the game is that the overall interface isn't the smoothest to use. Some more in-game tutorials on how to use certain systems, such as modding, would go a great way in making the game better. I also had issues with mission management, but in the end, these weren't enough to drastically lower my enjoyment playing the game. Hopefully, there'll be many more seasons of Defiance (both the tv show and game) coming our way in the future.