Defiance Review: A world of trouble
- Posted April 21st, 2013 at 23:21 EDT by Will Robinson
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The successes of Defiance are quickly overshadowed by its flaws. Trion Worlds promises that Defiance will continue to evolve and improve. I hope so: beneath the muck is a game that deserves better.
- Solid gameplay
- One of the only MMOs on PS3
- Forgettable story and characters
- Extremely repetitive
- A lot of technical issues
(continued from previous page) ...These events happen during the main game and appear randomly as giant red areas for players to congregate and fight waves of enemies before time runs out. These red areas may contain a single Arkfall, or several. Fighting in an Arkfall battle is one of the most satisfying parts of Defiance. Joining a group of forty other players to collectively kill some stuff is not something I've ever experienced on a console before.
As for structured multiplayer content, there are three options: Competitive maps, Co-operative maps, and Shadow Wars. As of this writing, there are only two Competitive maps available and both are your standard team deathmatch of 6v6 and 8v8. In Co-operate maps, the pastures are greener: seven four-player environments await, each with a unique objective and region to explore. These levels are well-balanced and require a good amount of strategy for successful completion. The final structured option is to join a Shadow War. Shadow Wars are massive command-and-conquer matches where teams of 64 players fight for control of several Arkfall locations. It's a good time, but Defiance is region-specific, so North American players are bound to North American servers, European players to European servers, and so on.
The menu interfaces that hold Defiance together and the map that allows you to navigate it do their jobs fairly well, but, like much of the game, lack tutorials. In the world map's case, this isn't a big deal, but Defiance has nearly as many menus as Borderlands 2 has guns. A minor tutorial that forces the player to explore and understand these menus would have clarified many questions and made my Defiance life much easier. One of the treasures buried in the pile of menus is the ability to give feedback or report bugs directly to Trion Worlds, which I’m sure has been vigorously used by many players. Defiance is riddled with bugs and server issues too numerous to mention. While not necessarily game-breaking, they are certainly noticeable and diminish the game’s experience. While reviewing Defiance, I was kicked from the server back to the game start-up menu half a dozen times. Another half-dozen loading screen freezes forced me to restart the game entirely. Trion Worlds has labeled these issues as teething problems. Hopefully, Defiance grows out of them soon.
Defiance is not just a spin-off game of a show--it is a completely independent game that can stand on its own. It’s a solid shooter and one of the only MMOs available on the PlayStation 3. Unfortunately, its successes as a game are quickly overshadowed by its narrative and technical flaws. The world is forgettable and characters are left undeveloped. The lore of this universe is also handled poorly, which leaves you unsatisfied and uninterested in returning. Missions quickly become repetitive and many features of the game go unexplained or totally unnecessary. Finally, Defiance suffers from a wide array of technical issues that further hurt the experience. Trion Worlds promises that Defiance will continue to evolve and improve. I hope so: beneath the muck is a game that deserves better.