Defiance’s advertising budget wasn’t very big, so chances are you probably haven’t heard of this game. Try and keep it that way. Defiance is a test in two things: Your toleration of shitty game development and Borderlands rip-offs. This is the first and hopefully last MMO that should ever disgrace the Xbox 360.
The game’s plot is a tie-in with the new Syfy series “Defiance”, so if you watch the show and play the game you’ll be completely immersed in the continuity. The idea’s pretty cool, and the fact that the developers are claiming to offer free DLC related to the show as the series progresses is cool, meaning that months from now the game will still be concurrent with what’s going on in the show. This is about the only thing Defiance does right as a video game.
As stated earlier, it’s an MMO, the first on the 360 (to my knowledge). This means that thousands of players can be running around shooting stuff alongside you in realtime, granting you the ability to interact and trade amongst the other people playing mid-mission. All of this would be hunky dory if the goddamn servers weren’t either down or laggy as hell. Actually interacting with people is near impossible, as by the time you’ve selected an option they’ve magically disappeared. This leaves you to play the game pretty much to your own devices, even though Defiance DOES require an online connection 100% of the time. So you’re roaming these huge, desolate wastelands all by your lonesome with the occasional laggy player popping in and out of view, facing hordes of infinitely spawning goons that were meant to be challenged by dozens of players. It’s a really crappy set up for a game that completely depends on online connectivity, and leaves little to entice someone into buying Defiance.
The actual gameplay and environments of Defiance are literally copy-and-paste Borderlands rip-offs in third person mode. I’m not going any further than that. If you don’t know what Borderlands is, just know that it’s a game a heck of a lot better at doing online cooperative play than Defiance. The controls are identical, the surroundings and textures are identical, and even the character models have more than a hint of familiarity to them.
The only sliver of quality in Defiance is the soundtrack, which is great to listen to on its own but isn’t a reason to go out and buy this game.
-The idea of having an on-going game that runs parallel to the TV series is full of potential
-Insta-vehicle helps to navigate large maps on the fly
-Shameful servers that can’t maintain a decent connection
-Fourty minute install time upon first booting of the disc
-It’s the poor man’s Borderlands
-Story telling is downright horrendous, with bad lip-syncing, voice acting and dialogue as icing on the cake
-Playing the tedious quests for more than an hour can give cancer (I don’t have any of your so-called “proof” but that’s irrelevant anyway)
If you buy Defiance, you’re either a diehard MMO fan or someone who deserves a good whomp over the head. If you get invested in the TV show and are REALLY desperate to get immersed in the lore, that’s the only situation where I can possibly recommend Defiance. One things for certain: We definitely have a worst game of 2013 contender here.