Ryu’s Musing’s – Defiance PC Thoughts after 4hours Playtime

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Join a futuristic online open-world shooter where thousands of players scour a transformed Earth competing for alien technology.

Create a unique character and level up with diverse customization options. Hunt alone or with others as you improve your skills and unlock powerful modern and alien weapons that will help you survive the massive battles that await in this constantly evolving online world. Explore vast landscapes on a variety of vehicles and lead the charge in huge co-op battles and fierce multiplayer conflicts. Immerse yourself in the world of Defiance as the game impacts, and is impacted by, the Defiance TV series.

This is a perfect example of why tie ins with TV series are a bad thing.

The game was launched before it was ready, but this was due to it having to be launched at the same time as the new TV series. As a result a large number of bugs that were identified in the Beta were still there in the official release. The two main ones being unable to alter settings in game without it crashing, and the music glitching and looping repeatedly.

What was more frustrating is the AI, which is a nightmare, you can be stood right in front of a mob and it’ll ignore you. I had a few who just stood there while i shot them to death, and still a few who would turn to a wall and unload into it.

Another frustrating things was the apparent unending bullets hack the AI has. this means that you, the players, has to reload every x number of rounds (50 on my Auto gun) and eventually you’ll run out requiring you to find an ammo cache to resupply. However the mobs have none of this, they can seemingly unload 100’s of bullets before reloading in super fast lightning speed and starting again. Never running out of ammo and having to resupply, which ultimately means you’re going to get trounced, if your solo.

Then we have the monster boxes, artfully hidden in trucks and helicopters. Heli’s flying in a dropping off troops is fine, the endless swarms of mutants spawning from the back of a truck is not. Given how big the truck is (think a security truck) there’s no way you’d get 50 guys in there, some of them that would give the Hulk a run for his money.

Another frustrating thing is the melee guys, who come charging at you bare chested. you’d think they’d be easy to dispatch, but they aren’t. To make up for their lack of visible armour they’ve be turned into bullet sponges soaking up loads of damage. I’ve unloaded a clip into one and he’s still stood there screaming at me.

You get given a mount early on, depending on what you version of the game you have you’ll either get a Dodge car or an ATV. At the current time the Dodge Car is seriously OP and is the fastest and most damaging of all vehicles. Since you can take out mutants by running them over this gives those that have the Dodge an unfair advantage.

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The Dodge Challenger, probably the most deadly car in the game

You need the mount however, it’s not a question of using it either. The maps you play on are HUGE, so having a mount of some sort to get around is essential. Though for some reason ATV’s seem to be the only mounts available at the moment, even on the cash shop. The Dodge being a free ride given to those that buy the digital deluxe edition.

Both the ATV and Dodge are horrible to control on the PC. The lack of controller support for vehicles means they handle really badly based on key presses. Then you have the hand break, you’d think it would be great for turning and squashing mutants. Sadly it fails to deliver, rather it’s an instant stop and turn.

The VA in this game is disastrous, the characters have no life to them and there’s no emotion to them, so you don’t really get attached to them. There’s frequent d-synch between the audio and animation, giving the game a crappy HK 80’s movie feel.

Character customisation is none existent, you get to chose between male or female, human or alien, that’s it. The other characterisation changes have next to no effect, so much so several had me wondering if they’d actually changed anything.

The tutorial area is depressing, but you’re out of there pretty fast. Would be nice if you were given the option to skip it.

Graphically it’s not a great looking game, but then as it’s an MMO this was to be expected. It’s an okay looking game, though not as good looking as Rift. A lot of the textures look terrible on full HD, a lot of the time i thought i was playing a game from the early 2001 rather than a game that was just released in 2013.

Despite it being an MMO it lacks a lot of the functions of an MMO. On the one hand this is a good thing, since it means you can complete a lot of the things solo without the need for anyone else. However since this is an MMO the lack of those elements are noticeable by their absence.

For example there’s no bank storage, all you have is your piddley little backpack with 12 slots. Apparently that’s all you get, to get more space you have to buy upgrades with cash from the cash shop. There are no dungeons or raids, so there’s no way to get high end gear, or build up team work. Also means you don’t have to suffer through PUG’s, so not sure if that’s a good or bad thing lol.

You can form clans, but again there’s no real support in game for them, no clan storage and basic chat options.

There are are what i consider multiplayer elements of the game, leader boards for various challenges, ranging from time trials to kill boards There are other elements, hard missions called contracts where you need a hand, and of course the PVP elements.

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It’s all right ladies, there’s a nice pink car for you as well!!

Now, after reading all that you’d be forgiven for thinking i hate the game, though the truth is i don’t. In fact it’s growing on me the more i play it. Part of that is we haven’t had a decent TPSMMO since Tabular Rasa, partly because it’s a TV series tie in, and partly because it actually has a intriguing story that grows on you as you play through it. The other aspect that makes it worth trying the game is that it’s an MMO with no monthly subscriptions. Rather like Guild Wars 2 you pay for the client and that’s that. You own the game for the life of it, so you can come and go as you please without having to re-subscribe. While not quite free 2 play, which is what a lot of people were hoping for, i do think this is a good alternative. We get a game we don’t have to subscribe to, and the dev.’s get some much needed cash to carry on development. However the cost of the game is a prohibitive. The base game costs £34.99 and the Deluxe Edition costs a staggering £54.99, which is over-priced for what you get, not to mention there’s issues with getting all your stuff.

Personally i wouldn’t buy the digital deluxe what you get from it isn’t really worth the extra £20, the Dodge car is seriously OP when compared to the other vehicles in the game, however it handles like a pile of crap. Though mowing down mutants in a car is always good fun, and a source of achievements.

The game launched as one of the shortest MMO’s I’ve ever seen, with it taking between 30-40hours to complete all the main quests and side missions, excluding the co-op stuff. As an MMO this is terrible, most MMO’s plan their release content to be a lot longer than this. There’s currently four planed DLC upcoming, though how much content they will add is unknown, but i hope Trion plan to add content outside of these.  As it stands now, the 30-40hours does make it a fairly decent single player game, but a bad MMO.

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So this is character customisation?

I also have to admit I’m worried about the tie-in with the TV series. If the game was funded by the TV studio what will happen if the TV series flops and gets cancelled? Will they pull funding from the game? If so where will that leave the games future.

Frankly i rather enjoy the game, it has it’s issues true, and if I’m honest i do regret buying, but it’s not a bad game. In a few months when a lot of the bugs have been removed i think it’ll be a decent game. As it stands now I’d personally wait for it to go on sale before picking it up. The price for what it is isn’t worth spending.

Conclusion

It’s very easy to come to the conclusion that i don’t like this game to much, and frankly when i originally wrote this article you wouldn’t have been wrong. However as time has gone by (I’m now about 8hours into the game), it’s really grown on me. Like a lot of 3rd Person Shooters it’s a mix of active and hot key combat. It’s active as in you have to do all your own targeting and firing, there’s no press 1 to attack and then go have a coffee. But it’s also Hot Key as you do have a special ability, that’s hot key based, and has a cool down.

Unlike your average MMO this game requires you to concentrate a lot, since even when you think your safe you’re very open to attack by mutants. However unlike your average MMO it has no RPG elements, you cant mail yourself items, limited character customisation, and almost no social aspects in game.

However it’s a very proficient 3rd Person Shooter, the story draws you in and you find yourself really getting drawn into it. both Far Cry 3 and Tomb Raider failed to keep me occupied for very long, and I’ve not completed them, and probably wont. However Defiance has already passed them both in game time played.

The game is really a single player game with multiplayer elements, it’s more than possible to complete the game solo, but like most things it’s more fun with friends.

I have now just bought the season pass, though i have to admit I’m curious as to what the DLC will include. The Dev.’s have state4d that they don’t want to follow average MMO and create a 2 tier game. People that have extra game content, and those that don’t. For example, taking WoW as an example, everyone would have access to all the expansion packs for free. The DLC however will include additional races, and in game items related to the TV shows. However nothing that would hinder those that don’t have the DLC.

I have to admit, that i am interested in where this game is heading for the future. I May do a follow up post after the first DLC is released

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