DARKMATTERS - The Mind of Matt

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Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Darkmatters Review: Defiance

Defiance (PS3)

Developed by Trion Worlds

Reviewed by Matt Adcock

"Is that a Firefly in you pocket? Or are you just pleased to see a new Sci-fi / Western hybrid hit the gaming and TV viewing worlds?"

Defiance is something potentially very very cool. It's a game (PS3, PC, 360) but it's also a TV show... And the two are linked!?

I've not seen the TV show (it hits UK on the 16th April) but the good people over at io9 have seen first three episodes of Syfy's biggest gamble to date, the half-futuristic neo-Western, half-MMO game Defiance. Was it worth the risk? Can Syfy resurrect the sci-Western without stepping in a big pile of "Firefly did it better?" Read their first impressions here: IO9 Defiance Show Review

Shooting stuff in videogames is fun - call it any way you'd like - and Defiance brings a myriad bounty of weapons, armor, and special abilities that in true MMO style evolve with experience...

"ugly - but about to die!"

Yes that means you can make a custom character - to play as either human or alien (there are 4 choices to begin with), modifying your look to become a unique citizen of the Defiance world.

Fight to survive in a consistently evolving environment with promised regular content updates and dynamic events. Play on your own, or join tens of thousands of simultaneous live players in a futuristic San Francisco Bay Area that’s a fully-realized open world...

Trion Worlds' Defiance the game is set in a scorched future post apocalyptic Earth. You are a Vault Hunter, oops sorry I mean Ark Hunter who somehow makes it through the intro starship crash in a pod.

"Brrrrmmm!! quad biking is the future"

Anyway, Ark Hunters have been brought along with the military to try and find and salvage 'Arktech' - the advanced tech and use it to try and rebuild Earth. So far, so Borderlands or Rage or many other games but Defiance is fresh because it brings the MMO with guns to consoles and it looks and plays superbly on the PS3!

So step this way for some serious Player versus Environment (PvE) fun. Defiance offers a large amount of content straigh off the disc missions to do with tracking down other survivors from the crash, helping the military who are immediately under attack (due to them being seen as invaders) -basically a tasty sized open world to explore, grind out some leveling, notch up some side missions, challenges (with leaderboards) and generally the opportunity to shoot a hell of a lot of stuff... Defiance is great with a co-op buddy too, especially as there are some maps and missions created just for co-op.

Having said that, you can happily play Defiance solo and never engage with those around you - although having allies doing the same mission as you can be a great help when there are a mean bunch of supermutant enemies on the prowl.

"multiplayer gets frantic but is rock solid on PlayStation Network"

The RPG element of game is all about ticking off goals in order to get xp and credits so you can get better weapons and EGO powers / perks (this game's magic-esq enhancements). You can choose one major EGO power to begin with such as cloaking / overdrive fire power / rush speed burst etc - which allows you to pick a style of play. Sure you can respec afterwards for a cost, but this variety could well lead to wanting to play through with different spec characters.

It's yet to be seens how the link between game and TV show will work but I have tried the Player versus Player (PvP) option called 'Shadow War' where players fight to claim control of territory, and this is satisfyingly large scale because as more people join the battle, the larger the area of combat becomes. A lovely touch is being able to use vehicles too - which are up there with games like Starhawk or Battlefield in terms of altering the balance of power if you become adept at drving them.

So after only a few days of play, I can say that Defiance is potentially the best MMO I've experienced - hats off to the team behind this... I'll see you online I'm Cleric20.

Out of a potential 5 you have to go with a Darkmatters:

ööööö - Defies expectations to be a best game of 2013 contender!!

5 – MMO shooters have never been this slick or satisfying!

"The driving in Defiance is a bit MotorStorm - hence the pic"

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