Defiance / Version Played: PS3
Trion Worlds / PS3-360-PC / March 28th / RRP $89-$69
The story in Defiance is easily it’s biggest asset. The people at Trion Worlds have undertaken the ambitious task of linking the game’s story with the TV show. The game takes place in the San Francisco Bay Area after a massive world-wide terraforming event led to the alteration of the landscape, the fall of plants and animal species and the rise to new species. Several alien species came to Earth to set up a new home, which led to war, further devastating the planet. After the war, both Humans and the aliens, known as Votans, learned to live side by side. Players are enlisted as “Ark Hunters” by Karl Von Bach (CEO of Von Bach Industries) to travel to the Bay Area in search of advanced and expensive alien technology. Players also take part in side missions to earn some cash or challenges where they compete with other Ark Hunters.
Even though the TV show is set in St Louis and the game is set in San Francisco, the creators have said that they look to integrate characters and story line later down the track. This really excites us as this is something that has never really been done. The series premiere is on Thursday April 18 at 9.30pm EST on SF. If you’re planning to pickup this game then we suggest that you tune in.
On PS3 the graphics are nothing to write home about. Whilst the atmosphere and general setting of the game is still captured it doesn’t look amazing. Textures are a little grainy and the frame rate chugs along bit. The environments are a quite bland but the sheer scope of the map is still incredible.
Firstly I just want to say how hard it was to write this review. MMOs are constantly being updated and don’t follow the normal sort of structures that regular games do on consoles. I’ll start by saying that this is without a doubt the best console MMO available at the moment. I will be covering the core aspects of the game in this review in their current state. In saying this I will be keeping note of the fact that I expect this game to evolve over time, as should you when you decide whether to make your purchase.
The gameplay is mostly third-person with RPG elements. As you’d expect, the gameplay is determined by hit points. The more powerful your gun is, the more damage it will do to your enemy. My main issue with the game was that it didn’t have any cover system. As I played more of the game I realised why it didn’t have one. The AI is pretty terrible. I felt like there was almost no intelligence there. I was taking down guys with sniper rifles and they weren’t even attempting to get out of the way. Even being surrounded by gangs of 10-15 enemies, I was still just ripping through them with no attempt to flank me.
Main missions and side quests see you freeing hostages, hacking terminals, disarming bombs and clearing waves of enemies. Completing these missions will get you weapons and EXP. The mix of missions never change up too much but the game stays fresh in the form of new weapons and weapon upgrades. Weapons can be upgraded with elemental effects to create deadly combinations. The huge decision to make in the game comes in the form of EGO power. There are 4 main paths to choose from which then branch out to smaller upgrades as you level up. Some examples of these are the Invisible Cloak ego, the Decoy ego and Overcharge ego. The EGO powers is easily one of my favourite parts of the game.
Surprisingly there isn’t too many problems with server problems. I really wasn’t sure what to expect when loading the game up due to all of the server issues that games have been having recently. We did have a few UI issues. It felt really clunky when match making trying or trying to talk.
You really have to commend Trion Worlds for creating something like Defiance. The prospect of the story aspects are really exciting and I can’t wait to see what happens down the line. The game is rough around the edges but there is no better option for a console lover that is looking for an MMO. It’s a really special feeling to be able to sit infront of your TV and play a game like this.