Published on May 12th, 2013 | by Andy Bell0
I have had my good share of MMO games (massive multiplayer online). No, I was not one of the World of Warcraft fanboys, but I was really into the Final Fantasy MMORPG. Many hours of my life have been lost to this particular game but that’s another story.
It’s fair to say that the Xbox does not have many games that fall into the MMO genre. I would imagine this is because one usually associates the big MMO games with PC gaming, a mouse and keyboard and also being online all the time. I mean, the Xbox is not an always online gaming machine is it? This aside, it is nice to see that we have been delivered Defiance, not only a MMO but a game that both developers and publishers have decided to put lots of money into – also a swanky TV show to boot.
It’s hard to review any MMO games. This is because a game like this, given the right support, can go on and on and on with patches and missions becoming available every week. So I found myself trying to give you the best opinion that I could. Games like this are not to everyone’s taste. You will have to be prepared to immerse yourself in a game like this, as it will ask for a level of commitment.
So let me start at the beginning. First you don’t have to pay (whoop!) – it does not call for a subscription charge like games of this genre often do. What this holds for the long term online support is unclear but I am sure that the TV show is making enough money to sub this for a while. Secondly, and wait for it, you will need a whopping 10gb free in your hard drive – also a gold subscription, otherwise put the game back on the shelf. Not a tall order for the newer consoles but if you have an older version with the smaller drive you might find this a bit tricky.
There is a main story running through the game. You play an Ark Hunter. Without giving too much of the story away, there has been an invasion of Earth by a race called the Votan’s. After living in peace for a number of years, a war erupted resulting in the Votan’s Ark fleet ship being destroyed. The Ark fleet rained down Arks terraforming the planet. This turned people mutant and created general chaos. You look for those Arks. You try to save the planet and salvage the important alien tech. Your ship was shot down – thus your adventure begins.
You get some character creation and class selection although not as much as I would have liked to see at the start in a game like this. Class wise just the usual suspects – soldier, rogue, warrior and sniper. I always seem to stick to the latter in games like this. The graphics are nothing special but they are as you would expect in a game that has so much going on but it does look a little poor on the cut scenes. There are several elements that are similar to other current games. These are such as challenges that are set in seasons. Weekly and daily challenges differ and will earn you extra exp. At first, the in-game menu can be a bit overwhelming; you select a core skill and build further skills off of that tree similar to Borderlands although on a larger scale. You are also not limited to a core skill; more can be unlocked and increased in ability and strength. To make things interesting you can only equip a limited amount of skills at one point – which I would imagine would eliminate becoming completely god-like with a maxed out skill tree. There are also options to customize weapons and your appearance, although the latter did not hold any relevance other than to look pretty. The weapon customization became important and interesting
This game will take a lot of grinding, like other MMO’s I have had experience with. It becomes clear that to achieve the best results you need to put some hours in. Although it seems that our common foe the microtransaction rears its ugly head and Defiance has an in game shop and menu’s dedicated to you spending more of your own money to give you that helping hand.
I am being honest and say that I am really enjoying this game. I like the open-ended feeling as after completing a mission, you might go back and find somebody else is currently doing the mission, so chip in a hand! It works both ways. Also hunting as a pack might to take down the larger enemies and get the better loot is fun. Unfortunately the game does have glitches and other problems. This is as well as some slow down on the larger scale battles. It can become a bit tedious at times. This aside, some of these issues are expected in a game like this and for the other problems, the level of game patches that seem to be delivered I am confident in time they will get fixed. So if you like the idea of investing some time into a game with clans, challenges, reputation, legendary weapons, never ending missions and boss battles the size of a large house with 25 of your mates, then jump in!
Summary: Defiance is good for open-ended replay and adventure, but the game can suffer badly from lag at times and be very glitchy. Also with this being a MMO you can expect a bunch of patches and updates to be downloaded every week, which can be a pain at times.