Hands On With The Defiance Beta

Join the futuristic online open-world shooter where thousands of players scour a transformed Earth competing for alien technology. Hunt alone or with others as you improve your skills and level up, unlocking powerful weapons that will help you survive the massive battles that await. PlayStation Plus members got to sample the Beta. Here we take a look at what went right and what went wrong. Remember this is a Beta so problems and glitches are bound to happen. They are noted just purely to reflect how far the game has hopefully come.

Liked It:

  •  The graphics, May not have the high polish of a AAA title, But for a game that boasts hundreds of players online at the same time, and the amount going on all the time, It is a dam good effort. I never found them ugly at any point and they use a wide variety of bright vibrant colors.
  • The world, Its only one area of the game, It is huge and has many different towns with in it. From a simple make shift HQ to a mining facility to a harbor side dock base. You never feel like anything is recycled or basic looking. Each town,area has its own unique feel and atmosphere. It wont take you long to familiarize yourself with the area and lay of the land.
  • Ark Fall drops, They are random events that happen at any time within the game world. These are basically a hive of enemies that require any players in the game to group up together and take them out. Your reward for completing the task is loads of loot,cash and a chance to get rare weapons. Any player can take part and help, you don’t even need to stay the course of the challenge. You can put a few rounds in then leave and still get a share of the exp. Challenges can vary from destroying a crystal while being attacked by mutants, To a more full on boss fight with huge creatures, who of course are bring their pals in to help them. Which ever challenge you take part in, All of them are time limited and for the best results need nearby players to help.
  • The ability to set up a co-op or multiplayer section on the fly through a simple d pad press. Here you can also group up with friends,view stats and invite friends into your game. Once unlocked, pressing down on the d pad will spawn your vehicle. Whilst the game is looking for players, you are free to carry on playing.
  • Co op section, A seperate section where you can play with friends or randoms with ease. Take part in scripted scenarios that help progress the story. FMV’s aid the story telling. Up to four players can take part and if a player leaves, A new one can join at any time and any point in the level.
  • Spawn a vehicle whene ver you want when your in the main world. Basically anywhere except co-op and matchmaking. This helps get you around the map quickly and plus running people over is hilarious.
  • No player contact, So its not possible to run players over or shoot them. This stops a clog of players going all destruction derby up in the hills. Now I say that, That would be pretty cool!
  • Fast travel points, Exactly what the name says. The ability to fast travel is god send in games now a days, even more so in a game with a world this big.
  • The combat, Using guns feels meaty and carries a lot of weight. Each weapon feels different and offers different ways in which the fights will ensue. Controls for the vehicles are spot on and responsive, doing jumps with a vehicle is surprisingly easy. Proper Mongoose style shenanigans can be had.
  • Loot, So many different types of weapons can be found, Earnt in the game. They have different rarity levels and have buffs such as lightening/fire damage.
  • Vendors, Allowing you to buy new Armour,weapons,mods and sell your loot to earn some cash. Different vendors sell different types of armory.
  • Missions in the game, First they start off with your usual kill x amount of mutants and your typical MMO fetch missions. Later on they ramp it all up. Giving players the chance to complete missions in a variety of ways. Stealth can be used and is advised in the later levels, Its this type of option that changes the game from a generic shooter, to a more rounded experience. Mutants change and the mission length gets longer. Missions get frantic and have many different types. One in particular is where you need to infiltrate a mine facility and rescue the kidnapped miners. Going in all guns blazing will see you die a quick death, Taking your time and learning your surroundings and using stealth will get you through. The level of strategy needed fill you with joy. Once the miners have been rescued, You must hold the high ground from a mutant retaliation as the miners attempt to bring the defenses back up. Completing missions also give you a chance to unlock new outfits for your player.
  • Feats of skill, These are mini games where you can rack up scores/times for completing the game as quickly as possible. With bronze,silver and gold rankings you can earn exp and cash and try beat your friends scores. These are included for a light arcade approach and an alternative way to earn exp.
  • The Beta gives you a lot of content to play through. Completing the main missions opens up new side missions. Two co-op maps, shadow war and two maps to play competitive multiplayer on. I personally racked up over 60 hours without batting an eyelid.
  • Side missions, They give you a quick basic mission which help you rank up quicker. The promise of more loot and unlocks spur you on. Basic is putting it lightly, But after the intense story missions, Its nice to have a lighter take on it all.
  • The game style overall is a mix of Crackdown meets Borderlands, From the way mutants look to the whole looting mentality. Crackdown vibe is felt from the combat and the way in which the player moves and jumps around.
  • Huge and I mean huge upgrade matrix, Pick one of the four core specials like fast movement(blur) to a decoy special. Surrounding these are plenty of new perks to unlock and assign. They can be things like revive one friend revives all downed players, to faster reloading while standing still to the more intense stronger attacks perks. Ranking up gives you the ability to unlock more perk slots.
  • Scavenge matrix, Here you can break weapons down into resources and make new attachments and mods for your weapons.

Hated It:

  • No real tutorial to speak of, with the many options on display, New players can feel isolated and over whelmed.
  • For all the great work done with the towns and cities, The rest of the land is just bland grassy hills with not a lot going on.
  • The feedback service would pop up after every mission complete, Especially annoying when you get attacked straight after and you have to quickly hammer through the menus.
  • The sound kept dropping out in the FMV’s. And even though it was something I liked, It wasn’t for everyone else. My gun I used would mess everyone’s sound up and make it all stutter, every time I used it!
  • Match making from the little time I got to play it was far from fair. It seemed you could use any gun you have in your stash, which higher level players would get better  guns and therefore get an advantage. Games were over quickly.
  • No decent way to meet up with friends. You can group up whenever and even see each others health bars, even chat but with no teleport system its a nightmare to see each other. Yes you can designate a spot but its all dependant on team work and the game playing ball.
  • The voice chat in the PS3 version i particular was really bad. It would drop out constantly. One option you get in game is to teleport to your party leader, Every time I clicked it it would stop voice from ever working until a reboot. To make it worse it would teleport me straight into death and cause me to lose cash.
  • First time players I have to stress again is a very lonely isolating experience. You get overwhelmed with menus and no real explanation of whats going on and what you can do.
  • Lack of ammo drops outside of missions/Ark falls. Hardly any ammo spots, being more evident when you decide to go out cruising and killing.

In summary, I found the Beta to be a success. Yes it had a few problems but what would you expect. If Trion can build and improve the niggles, then we are looking at one hell of a game. If the missions towards the end are any indication of whats to come, we are in for a treat. We hope to get a review copy of the game and report back with the full game come April.


Jim Smale

Gaming since the Atari 2600, I enjoy the weirdness in games counting Densha De Go and RC De Go as my favourite titles of all time. I prefer gaming of old where buying games from a shop was a thing, Being social in person was a thing. Join me as I attempt to adapt to this new digital age!