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Defiance Beta Review

28. March, 2013Tags: Defiance, MMO Blog, Review

Defiance beta reviewDefiance, first and foremost, is a console MMO, and for that purpose it is going to be brilliant. It’s a strong shooter with some very arcade-y takes on the MMO genre. The lack of any adherence to the “rules” of the MMORPG means that Defiance seems far more accessible that the average MMO, and with a single purchase, no subscription, I can see it being a big hit. It might actually do the impossible and bring the MMO to the console masses. The PC version, then, is almost certainly at risk of becoming little more than a distant cousin, especially once you take into account how many similar games are already available to the core MMO gamer.


Defiance Gameplay


Defiance review - positives

The Console MMO – There have been a few MMOs on console and they never felt quite right. Defiance manages to fix that; it feels like a typical console game (even on PC) but also a shooter MMO. You can play it with a controller, and it works far better than even TERA did (although, in all fairness, Defiance is a game more easily mapped to the limited buttons on a controller). The world, weapons and vehicles feel like something out of Halo and even the missions have an open-world single player quality to them (right down to the cutscenes).

Defiance Beta Ark Hunters

Third-Party Graphics – For PC gamers tired of bad console ports with limited graphical options, Defiance will probably disappoint. It looks good - better than Sony’s Dust 514 anyway – but not a huge amount better than I can imagine it looks on PS3. It’s enough that you’re not going to be disappointed by the visuals, but if it’s the main thing you’re looking for in an MMO, stick with Guild Wars 2 or TERA.

Defiance beta gameplay review

A Smooth Ride – This goes with what I said above about the controller, but I have to say this is one of the smoothest feeling MMORPGs I’ve ever played. This is largely because they’ve taken a huge lead from other console third person shooters, and built upon what works with the MMO bit (as opposed to Dust, where they seem to have built the MMO stuff and then added a shooter). The result is something with practically no barrier between you and the world.

Tell you a Tale – I’ve given up on expecting too amazing a story from any MMO. There are only really a handful of situations that will mean you need to go out and explore the whole world or in which you’d even be able to do that, so I don’t blame developers for looking to other areas. What is becoming important, to me at least, is how the story is presented, and I have to say they’ve done a great job with defiance. Cut scenes, characters you’ll actually recognise as you progress – it’s far better than I expected and, again, perfect for a console gamer.

Defiance review - neutrals

You’re Unique… and So Are You! – Not that I like everything the story does. Because they’ve tried to give you a specific storyline, everybody is playing the same single player part together. There was one example where the enemy had set bombs on the struts of a bridge, and you needed to disarm them. I’m not kidding when I say there was a queue to disarm the bombs. And once you’d disarmed them, nothing happened – they kept blinking and the next guy came and “disarmed” it. It’s something I hate, but I suppose it’s necessary considering how they present the story.

Defiance impressions from Advanced Mission Beta 3

Defiance review - positives

Note: This is taken from the beta version of Defiance and some of these issues may be fixed for the full release.

Skills – I really don’t like the skill tree system. It’s not explained especially well and I found that, controlling with a mouse and keyboard, things didn’t unlock as they should. It was obviously built with a controller in mind, but even then I kept finding the need to use a mouse. There seems like there’s be hundreds of things to research and invest in, but it’ll need a revamp before it works as it should.

Bugs and Glitches – I spent about an hour and half walking around one of the first areas of the game, because the initial quest had glitched and hadn’t finished. I could go to places where there was obviously story set up, I could help other players, but I couldn’t actually do anything. After frustratingly exploring without aim (or vehicle), and took one last chance and returned to where I’d came into this area. After walking around for a few minutes, pushing right up against the wall, the end of mission screen popped up and I could continue. Defiance currently has more than its fair share of bugs and glitches, most of which won’t annoy you at all. Then you’ll get one like mine, and you’ll want to quit forever.

Defiance beta


Defiance hits almost all the right notes, and with a little polish could easily be the game that “fixes” the console MMO. On PC, it offers a nice change from the norm and is a very nice gateway MMO for anybody not sure about trying out the genre. Defiance is definitely an MMO to watch. This concludes our Defiance beta review but we will surely take another look when the game releases. For more gameplay videos for Defiance, click here.

Visit Defiance website to buy the game and play


Similar Games

Dust 514, Guild Wars 2

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