I had the chance to play the beta version of Defiance, which thankfully the NDA (Non-Disclosure Agreement) has been lifted so now I can share with all of you my experiences. This game is actually quite interesting. Mind you, this is still in beta, so I never look at anything as final except the gameplay. The concept of this game works very well. It’s an MMORPG basically, which stands for Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game. It’s mass multiplayer because you are always online and there are always online people in the world. It’s role-playing because it has many concepts from normal RPG’s that we’ve grown accustomed to.
I’m not even sure where to start, this Beta isn’t typical where you can only play a little bit of it. I’ve put some hours into it already and I still haven’t explored everything so I can only imagine the full game is going to be quite time-consuming. This is the kind of game that you can spend days playing and barely accomplish anything. There’s some movie sequences in this version, although it still doesn’t explain the story, but it’s possible the actual TV show on the SyFy channel this ties into, will do more of the story explaining. From what I have played, it’s a very cool game. To begin, you get to choose your character, whether male or female, human or some other race I forgot what it’s called. Then you get to pick a character class, veteran, survivor, outlaw or machinist. Each has their own unique attributes. You can also customize the look of your character. After you are done, you can name them and then begin the game.
Once you start, you have this thing called an EGO which I forgot already what it stands for, it’s basically implanted AI. It shows you the ropes and you begin your journey. While it’s explaining things, it does go over briefly on how to equip gear. There’s actually a lot of things to equip. You can change your primary and secondary weapons, different grenades, shields, and vehicles. If that’s not enough, you can equip headgear, outfits, perks and powers as well as changing your title for everyone to see. Powers are neat and I haven’t played long enough to unlock any perks, yet. Powers give you the ability to do things like cloaking, sending out a decoy, increase firepower, etc. They recharge over time.
For the gameplay itself, what I like is you don’t have to interact with anyone. You can basically play by yourself, or you can play with others if you choose to. When a battle emerges, it’s basically fend for yourself unless other players join in. I think the whole concept of just doing whatever you want, when you want gives you a lot of freedom, something I’m not really used to in games. I mean sure, online modes of like Call of Duty you can kind of do what you want, when you want, although more than likely you just end up getting killed and there’s really not many objectives. I know there are other MMO’s out there, but to be honest, I just can’t play on my PC for that long, I think that’s why this one interests me more.
With this game, there’s all kinds of things you can do, for example, pursuits are like mini-goals, such as killing an enemy with a grenade or running one over. There are a ton of these things to do. Once you get further, there’s all these side missions and mini-games as well. One side-mission I played reminded me of the frenzy mode in one of the open-world games, where you have to kill as much as you can but only with one kind of weapon and try to reach a goal. There was another I found that is like a sprint race. There is a lot of variety. I think this kind of variation is very welcomed in my opinion. You will rarely be doing the same thing twice, even in travelling between mission points, enemies that are NPC (non-player controlled) will just randomly pop up and start a random battle. Next thing you know, real online people will join in to help the firefight. It’s very cool.
There’s also a currency system included that you collect off dead enemies and accomplishing missions. With it, you can purchase new weapons and all kinds of neat things. You can also pick up random weapons to add to your collection, but you do have a limited amount of inventory, so make sure to choose wisely. As you kill enemies, you do gain experience points. All I can tell so far, XP let you level up your powers, but they are kind of like sub-powers that are always active (or these could be the perks). A couple I unlocked were causing more damage when crouching and enemies charging at you take more damage. It seems to be a tree effect as the more you unlock, the more you can unlock as you can’t see everything right away. I did notice you upgrade weapon functions as well, but not sure if its due to XP levels, but the first one I received said my reload was reduced by 1 second. Overall, it’s a cool system.
As for the beta itself, like I mentioned, I don’t take in consideration the graphics, sounds, glitches, etc. I look at the gameplay, and I am really liking this gameplay to be honest. I know this version isn’t final as one part even said SoundFXToBeAdded:Door Closing, so when you watch the video, I know the graphics, controls, sounds and physics aren’t the greatest, so ignore them for now and notice the gameplay itself. Here’s a video of one of the side missions to show, notice how an online player felt like helping me out:
Defiance is still due out, according to our sources, on April 2nd, but it seems like they aren’t that close to release yet, but time will tell. Hopefully the date sticks and we get our hands on the full version soon. As for Kinect, it’s not implemented in the Beta, but all we can guess is that voice commands will be the only thing utilized, so for now we just have to be patient. If you have any questions, feel free to ask, but what are you thoughts about this one?