Defiance MMO Beta Review: It’s Okay

Defiance MMO Beta Review: It's Okay Defiance is ambitious, but just okay

Defiance is probably the first of its kind – a massively multiplayer game that is playable not only on PC, but also on consoles. Add to the fact that it’s integrated with a science fiction television series of the same name debuting on Syfy next month and you’ve got a rather enterprising title.

This weekend marked the last major beta test of Defiance and it seemed to be a no-holds barred sort of play session. Millions of players tested the waters of the game, taking on the role of something known as an Ark Hunter in the universe of Defiance. The game takes place after a mission on Earth goes wrong and the ark hunters have arrived to find out what’s happened and to gather up valuable alien technology.

What’s brilliant about Defiance is what I already mentioned: it’s one of the first truly multi-platform games. You can choose to play it on the device of your choice: PC, Xbox 360 or PS3. That’s truly something to get excited about. Its science fiction setting is also unique, featuring an expansive open world with a lot of missions and events. There are even Rift-like happenings (which makes sense as TRION, the developer behind Defiance, also created Rift) where hundreds of players gather together to succeed in one common goal.

It sounds awesome, right? So why do I only feel that the game is okay?

For starters, the graphics are mediocre. Especially, for me, playing on the PS3, it felt like I had gone back in time and was playing on the PS2. MMO’s are not necessarily known for amazing graphics, but whatever engine TRION used for the visuals doesn’t work on consoles.

For a game that has a lot going on, the gameplay of Defiance itself is also “meh.” As typical with MMO’s, there is a lot of running around and taking on missions, but something just feels missing. The story feels flat and un-exciting when you’re participating in it. Perhaps playing it while the television series is actually airing might make it more meaningful, but right now, it’s just not there.

With all of that being said, though, I still spent hours playing the game, enjoying the sheer joy of shooting. Because above all else, this is a third person shooter. And sometimes, that’s all you want to do. If you want to mindlessly shoot at mutants, have at it – this game is for you. It’s a great time waster.

I went into Defiance expecting something more like Fallout 3 or Fallout: New Vegas. What I got was a very generic experience based on those games. TRION had an opportunity here to create something special, but what they’ve put together, in my opinion, is not worth its $59.99 price tag. As there is no subscription fee to play, I would recommend trying it out once the price is about half that. Defiance is not bad, per se, but it’s also not great. I expected better.

Here’s hoping that the television series proves more worthy.

The Official Defiance Website

12 thoughts on “Defiance MMO Beta Review: It’s Okay

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  • March 26, 2013 at 1:59 pm

    Ummm. This is a pretty sucky review IMO. This is actually a very good game (beta). The graphics are fine. They are close to DC Universe so not bad at all. The play is fun and addictive. Very large environment. Missions are endless. If you spent hours playing the game then obviously it is more than just Ok. BTW, it is a third person shooter and not first person. The game works just fine for an MMO on 7-8 year old consoles.

    • March 26, 2013 at 2:40 pm

      I wouldn’t call something sucky just because I disagreed with it, but that’s just me.

      Anyway, this was just something to do until BioShock Infinite came out. And as I suggested, I might play again once the price tag drops. It’s certainly not as good as Rift nor even as interesting as The Secret World.

      I said it was a good time waster and I’ll stick to that.

      • March 26, 2013 at 3:34 pm

        Your review was terrible because you didn’t go into depth on anything. Saying “I thought it would be Fallout 3 so I was disappointed” is like saying “Dark souls was to hard, I was hoping it would be more like Skyrim.” Two completely different games. You didn’t cover any of the server issues that were going on, and of the fps problems. I’m not sure what you are FANGIRL of, but its obviously not MMOs. This game is more like Borderlands 2 online in concept so I dont know why you would even compare it to Fallout 3. You should be excited that this sort of game is even coming out, it is ground breaking and will lead the way toward better 4th gen consoles. I don’t expect you to understand, due to the lack of depth your review consisted of, I can only image the lack of depth to your personality.

        • March 26, 2013 at 4:11 pm

          There is nothing ground-breaking about this game, except it’s tie-in to a television series and the fact that it’s multi-platform – all things I mentioned.

          I did not mention server issues or fps, because I never experienced issues with that on the PS3 during the weekend. Why would I mention non-issues?

          As this is a review of the game BETA, and not the game itself (as stated in the title), I really can’t go into depth of the game, as its gameplay is limited during beta.

          Interestingly, enough, Gamespot’s review is very similar to mine, but with more detail about why the game feels mediocre.

          • March 26, 2013 at 9:10 pm

            What? Rift and Secret World aren’t even in the same category. That’s
            like someone being mad at Planetside 2 for not being Everquest. LOL…Defiance is an OWTPS. That’s open world third-person shooter. They’ve been saying it from the jump that it’s not an MMORPG .
            It’s definitely more Borderlands than Fallout. How you didn’t know that,
            is beyond me. Most of the complaints are coming from people who
            imagined the game from screenshots and then hopped into the BETA.

        • April 2, 2013 at 4:13 am

          Yeah, let’s just jump to conclusions about someone’s personality because of what they said about a game that just barely came out of beta.

          Seriously, what is fucking wrong with you?

  • March 26, 2013 at 8:46 pm

    If he thinks Defiance looks like a PS2 game, then obviously he truly doesn’t remember PS2 graphics…Don’t let your memory fool you, this game is definitely on par with current titles. The beta was enjoyable and offered a lot more than most $60 dollar titles….A good mmo experience for console players, i might add. The game isn’t bad, just because it isn’t the Fallout mmo he dreamed of.

  • March 27, 2013 at 12:04 am

    Did someone get paid for this review ??? Jesus what a load of hogwash. Oh and great job comparing one of the few operational console mmo’s to fallout. Gee, I wonder why the graphics are better on fallout maybe BECAUSE THERE AREN’T MILLIONS OF PEOPLE PLAYING IT AT THE SAME TIME ON A SERVER !

  • April 1, 2013 at 10:41 am

    Nerd rage…nerd rage everywhere….
    You really hit some nerves here!

    Anyway, I had a feeling that this game was going to be a bit of a dud. Every other site that has reviewed the beta pretty much said the same thing: It’s ok, but nothing Earth shattering. I also read complaints about vehicle control being clunky. Also, from my own observations of the videos, HOW…HOW can you NOT have sticking cover mechanics in a 3rd Person Shooter in this day and age?! I mean, if you’re going to come out with a new TPS game, then you have to look to games like Gears of War in the mechanics department.

    Comparisons to Borderlands: Never played it. Heard that I’m missing out…? Anyway, the one thing I have heard about Borderlands 2 is that in addition to having a “loot-addiction” factor, it also has some great, comedic banter and cool characters. Even though I’m lukewarm on the idea of Borderlands, I have to admit hearing the banter in the videos gives me incentive to check it out. I have read NOTHING like that about this game. So, as I feared, it seems to lack personality.

    Your comparison to Fallout 3: I kinda see that, especially with the mutants angle. But Fallout 3, in addition to being a HUGE open world, where you can spend countless hours looking for loot in a post apocalyptic setting, you also have some pretty memorable missions and a game that reacts to your moral choices. Are you the Messiah of the wastelands or are you a demon? Again, NOTHING like this is being said about Defiance.

    I’ve also read that the customization of your character is VERY limited. That’s a bummer.

    So, overall, I’m walking away with the impression that while this game introduces this novel concept of having a symbiotic relationship with a TV series…that’s about all you get in terms of anything exciting.

    So you pretty much confirmed what else I’ve read along with my pessimistic expectations.

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