Defiance Review
Xbox 360 | PS3 | PC
Defiance Box Art
System: PC, PS3, Xbox 360*
Dev: Developer
Pub: Publisher
Release: Releasedate
Players: 1
Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p ESRB

Defiance also contains PvP, which is separated into two different modes. The first is just your standard Team Deathmatch (8v8 here), which is all well and good, but the real meat of PvP here is Shadow Wars. These 25-on-25 battle zones have you capturing and holding checkpoints in what is essentially Call of Duty’s Domination mode. But here you can use vehicles, a fact that becomes essential when traversing the fairly large distance between capture points. It also allows you to run over your opponents, which is absolutely glorious. And then, of course, are the environmental hazards, which throw your standard PvE enemies into clusters around some of the capture points. These matches tend to devolve into only the best sort of chaos, and being involved in that flat-out anarchy is an absolute blast.

Defiance Screenshot

Of course, one of the game’s selling points is that it’s tied into a Syfy series of the same name. Now, I can’t really comment a whole lot on the links between the game and the TV series, since the show hasn’t even started yet. However, I have seen enough of the show’s promotional material to know that both Joshua Nolan and Irisa, two characters you’ll run into time and time again throughout the game, are prominently featured in the television series.

Additionally, there are “Episode Missions,” which are connected with the television series somehow. I’m led to understand that when a new episode is aired, new Episode Missions become available, and that the content is somehow linked. But, as I mentioned already, the show hasn’t begun and I haven’t been able to experience the link firsthand.

To be perfectly honest, I’m not completely sold on the transmedia concept. Defiance stands on its own as an MMO; adding a television series into the mix ruins the risk of tainting the game in the eyes of a lot of people. And what if the show is completely terrible and gets cancelled almost immediately? Does the MMO trudge on without it, or does the captain go down with the ship, so to speak?

As an MMO, though, Defiance does alright for itself. It gives players a massive world to explore and do quests in, as well as co-op missions and Deathmatch/Domination PvP modes. It’s jam-packed with content, and it gets more interesting once you’ve invested several hours into it.

I just wish those servers would be more reliable.

Josh Wirtanen
Editor / Social Media
Date: April 9, 2013

Some of the landscapes are gorgeous, with alien flora taking over the familiar California landscape. Still, it’s certainly not the prettiest thing we’ve seen this generation.
Combat controls are intuitive, though the menus can be confusing. Of course, when the servers start to lag, the controls are the first thing to get wonky.
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
Some of the voice acting sounds like it’s from a cartoon, which feels weird in this bleak, post-apocalyptic world. Other voices sound fine. Sound effects and score are your standard faire here, which is slightly disappointing considering this involves lots of alien tech. This could have given the audio team a ton of room to be creative with the sound effects.
Play Value
There’s simply a ton of content here. Some of it will feel repetitive, but it certainly gets better as you get deeper into the game. Of course, the server issues can make it a frustrating experience. We’re crossing our fingers and hoping those will be taken care of soon.
Overall Rating - Good
Not an average. See Rating legend below for a final score breakdown.
Review Rating Legend
0.1 - 1.9 = Avoid 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 3.5 - 3.9 = Good 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair 4.0 - 4.4 = Great 5.0 = The Best

Game Features:

  • An Adventure for the Masses – Lead the charge in huge co-op battles and fierce multiplayer conflicts across an immersive world.
  • A Massive, Persistent World – Fully realized, persistent open world set in a futuristic San Francisco Bay Area, supporting tens of thousands of simultaneous live players. Fight for survival in a constantly evolving environment with regular content updates and dynamic events.
  • Customize Your Character – Custom character creation, where you can play as a human or alien, modify your appearance, upgrade weapons, select different specializations, and choose your own progression within Defiance universe.
  • Call to Arms – Level up and modify a wide variety of modern and alien tech weaponry.
  • Transportation Evolved – Traverse terrain using a range of vehicles to explore the vast landscape transformed by alien technology.
  • Change the Future – Impact television with your heroic adventures, and be impacted by events in the Defiance TV series.

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