de·fi·ance n. – The act or an example of defying; bold resistance to an opposing force or authority.
So what is Defiance? Well, Defiance it’s kind of a unique game. To put it in simple words, its a MMO game brought by the guys behind the critically acclaimed Rift. So where is the uniqueness in this, you might ask? Defiance is a science-fiction-themed persistent world MMO third-person shooter available on PC and (for the first time?) on consoles with a unique transmedia deal going on which I’ll talk more down below. Also you might ask, this game is a month old so why did you decided to wait this long to review it? Well, I could have written a lame review very early telling that this is Borderlands MMO and that the game has a ton of glitches and all of that cr*p that you might have read till now. But no I waited, cause reviewing an MMO requires patience and cannot be rushed.
As we all know by now, there’s a TV show with the same name, Defiance that it is airing on SyFy Network. The TV show tells the story of a human drifter and his adopted Irathient daughter who put down roots in Defiance, a community where humans and the many different alien races of Votans coexist in the ruins of St. Louis in a near future where Earth is almost alien. It is a very interesting show and I highly recommend you to watch it. The game in the other hand, does not follow the same story-line, but has a totally original one that is based on the same universe and builds more upon it.
In Defiance The Game you play as an ark hunter, a scavenger hired by Von Bach Industries to search for a powerful alien artifact. However that’s only the first layer of the story, the introduction to the game. During the campaign, your role in the story grows as you become more than an expendable hired gun. The main storyline is interesting and it offers many insights on what happened during the war, who won and who lost, why did it happened and who were the ones that finally ended it. The cast of supporting characters is interesting in overall, but not entirely new. We have seen the douchey boss, the regretfull soldier, the badass soldier, the angry reporter chick, the “I’ve lost everything so everyone needs to pay” guy before. So don’t expect something special and new here, but it’s still interesting to see how your relationships grow with these characters. It is also interesting to see how your reputation grows and how the other characters change their opinion about you and their way of talking towards you as you grow to be the “Hero of Paradise”, the one who saved the earth from another armageddon or that’s what the game wants you to believe. Being a MMO game, all this sense of achievement and pride kinda fades away when there are more than a million of other players or “Heroes of Paradise”. I am not a hardcore MMO player or even a fan of the genre. I played some Lineage II back in the day and goofed around Fiesta, WoW and Rift but I didn’t really connect with any of them like many other players did. Not saying that those games were or are bad, what I am saying is that those weren’t and aren’t for me.
So did Defiance connect with me? It kinda did. Mainly because it’s a third person action shooter game in its core and it offers a sense of freedom that other MMO don’t really have. In MMO games once you’ve created a character with a specific class, you are stuck with him/her, but here’s not the case. In Defiance get to be the holy trinity, you can be the Tank, Healer and DPS at the same time. Defiance doesn’t really have a set character class system, you get to be what you want and you can change that whenever you want. After you crash-land on earth, you acquire the EGO, the Environmental Guardian Online. This EGO implant fuses with the body, unlocking its dormant powers while providing up-to-the-second environmental intelligence. You get to choose a special power from four available, Blur which makes you run faster, Cloak which makes you invisible, Decoy which creates a decoy hologram and Overcharge which boosts your damage. You can’t really change the power once you get it, but you can mess around with the perk system to get different results and character builds. Another thing that Defiance gets right, for my opinion, is that it offers many different characters build slots, which you can change and switch very fast even in the middle of a battle. For example you can have a only explosives build or a close range one with two elemental shotguns and a slowing grenade or a long range one with a sniper and a lock-on rocket launcher. It is an interesting feature and it works perfectly in the game. Apart from the equipment, you can also customize your characters look. You can buy or get as rewards different outfits or head wear for you character.