Review: Defiance

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.


  •  Huge game world MMO game that runs alongside the TV show of the same name. When events happen in the TV show, the events get unlocked within the game. Completing the missions unlock more reputation points and specialist gear. The world is a devastated earth with aliens infesting the world. The land is colorful and varied with a load of landmarks waiting to be discovered.
  • Shooting has a strong Borderlands feel to it all. From using shields to the whole way each gun handles. The looting part of the game also feels very much like Borderlands. From the coloured rarity to the way it all goes.
  • Movement is fluid and with no fall damage the models at times look very much like Crackdown. You can run,jump,swim and roll your way over the lands.
  • You can sell/buy loot from vendors. Different vendors sell different items. From specialists in mods to guns to vehicles.
  • A vehicle can be spawned whenever you need it in game, just press up on the d pad. Its only in co op missions that a vehicle cannot be spawned. The bikes in the game handle very much like the Mongoose’s of Halo fame. Every vehicle comes equipped with a always recharging turbo unit.
  • Level up in game and unlock new perks and new gear in shops. Guns and vehicles have their own separate upgrade level, that upgrade the power,reload,speed etc of the item.
  • You can mod weapons to increase their skills, such as scopes,muzzles. Its even possible to break weapons down for parts that you can use to get new mods.
  • Huge skill tree, with 4 base skills that unlock more, smaller skills. 4 base skills offer a new way to play the game. From Blur which is a faster movement and higher melee damage skill to invisibility to firing off a decoy of yourself.
  • Main missions unlock after doing a few side missions, New side missions unlock after you complete story missions. Ongoing missions are always available and do not show up on the map. These are little simple missions like, rescue captured people or clear out a hell bug nest. These mission only stay active while you are in the area, leave the area and the mission ends as it were.
  • Controls are simple with the usual FPS style controls being used. The d pad is used to find friends,join online games etc. You also use the d pad to change the voice comms level. You can select to hear everyone or just clan members or co op players.
  • Ark Falls are random events that show up on the map. Here you can earn loads of xp and rare bonus gear. Ark falls can vary in terms of what they are, It could be a Hell bug invasion or a huge scrapper robot. All players can see the Ark fall and take part.
  • Specific co op missions unlock as you progress through the main story. Up to 4 players and setting up a game is done through the d pad shortcut. The co op section is really well done and an excellent chance to get loads of xp and gear. All co op sections end with a huge boss that fills the screen. Co op sections are huge scripted events and only grow in both scale and difficulty as they unlock. You can replay co op missions when ever you want.
  • PvP is available in Shadow war and straight up team deathmatch. You go in with the weapons you unlocked outside of the mode. I was not able to test Shadow war as I could never find a game but it is a huge capture the flag style affair with more players and different levels.
  • You can put yourself in line for a multiplayer match through the d pad menu, Whilst it is populating the room and setting the game up, You can continue to play the game.
  • The main story is alright and unlocks not only new missions but also new lands. FMV kicks in to tell the story and at times gets very good. It doesn’t run with the TV show from what Ive seen of the show so far but exists within the same time frame.
  • Enemies health bar increases with the more people taking part.
  • Unlock new items to wear and titles to show off in game by completeing tasks.
  • Ark codes can be entered onto the official Defiance website and are a god send to new players, giving access to new weapons,titles and vehicles. You can easily find a full list of all codes.
  • Game is getting constant updates as they look to fix any problems and add new missions,items.


  • Enemies can just spawn out of no where. Biggest problem with this is when you clear a mission and as soon as it tells you the mission is done, All the enemies spawn straight back.
  • Ammo drops have been improved immensely since the Beta but in some areas ammo is still sparse and can cause issues.
  • You find weapons straight from the off but to get decent weapons that actually improve your stats, are far and wide apart. You can go for many hours without ever finding or buying a decent weapon.
  • Clipping issues and enemies going through walls or yourself falling through floors is quite common in built up areas.
  • Hit detection issues which could be attributed to lag or slowdown. More noticeable with a huge amount of enemies or against the bigger enemies.
  • Audio cuts out in game and in the FMV sections.
  • Menu’s can take a long time to load and is extremely annoying when time is of the essence.
  • Menu lay outs are easy on the eye but have so many levels to them, so much detail in each that you can easily get confused and feel information overload. every section of the menu feels like its broken up into smaller sub menus and it all just gets a bit hectic.
  • Game play can get repetitive and missions do vary but every so often you will land up doing the same mission over and over but in a different scenario.
  • PvP is unbalanced and only has two maps to choose from.
  • Shadow war is never used and with 50 odd hours played, I have never managed to get into a game.
  • To get boosts like xp or rep costs real money to unlock the in game currency to buy them.
  • The game doesn’t encourage any social play. Unless you have friends playing, the majority of players just potter around on there own with maybe a little bit of drop in drop out play. Co op just uses matchmaking to group you with players, same as deathmatch.
  • Server issues dominate Defiance’s Twitter account and cause real issues for people wanting to play the game at set times.

In summary, It is just above average but has a very Marmite feel to it. You will either love it or hate it. The combat and game world is very good and the game as a whole has some great ideas and nice little touches. The content added to fall in line with the TV show is a good idea but still needs more actual content and a clearer way to achieve the goals. The main story is fleshed out with side missions and before you know it the map will be full of side missions. For an MMO the game is a lonely experience unless you have a team set up. Loot em up fans will get a kick from all the loot opportunities. I enjoyed my time with the game and really looking forward to the DLC. If the DLC is done right and adds a lot more to the game then it could well elevate peoples views on the game. Yes the game has problems but you need to look at it as we have a full MMO game on your console and it does work. Missions can get repetitive and stale after a while, But you can at anytime just jump in your vehicle and go cruising, helping out fellow players and just have fun. They have made huge strides from the Beta I played earlier in the year and for that I commend them.

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!