Defiance the new 3rd person shooter MMO from Rift developer Trion Worlds is approaching MMO’s in a new way. What makes their approach unique is the fact that events in the game are directly affected by events in a TV show of the same name that will air on the SYFY channel in April. The show from what I have been told has already shot its entire first season and some of the characters make a cameo in the game.
What makes things different is that while the game is based in San Francisco the show is based in St. Louis however those who play the game will get some of the back story about how the shows main characters made it to St. Louis in the first place. This is brand new approach and whether or not it will succeed remains to be seen but from the little I have seen I have exceedingly high hopes. Now it is time for the goods.
How does it play is most likely one of the first things you may be asking and I am here to tell you it plays smoothly. During my time with the most recent build the game played effortlessly on the XBOX consoles they had it running on. There were almost no graphical hiccups and absolutely no game breaking. That is impressive and with the extra five months or so they have till launch I can only guess at just how polished this game will be when it drops.
Some of you may have read that it resembles Borderlands a little known RPG from Gearbox…Just kidding about the little known…anyway these comparisons are not without some merit as from what I saw leveling up lets you develop points in specific skills to your class, and really only increases health. What you loot, in terms of weapons and shields and weapon mods are what ultimately give you the leg up.
That is not to say that leveling up does nothing, it does increase accuracy with weapons depending on how much and how many you kill with said weapon and like I said it has a skill tree. The skill tree however is not what I expected it to be and it is vast and deep making it so that no two players will run the risk of playing the game the exact same way.
With an also deep customization the game ensures that no two players also look the same. With an endless amount of pickups from ammo to shields to mods the layouts of each character will be as unique as their own style of play. During my brief time I saw a godlike shotgun, an amazing sniper rifle and a gun that reminds me of the Ghostbuster gun, that shoots lightening that damages foes, or heals allies depending on where it is aimed.
Now during my time with the demo I can honestly say I haven’t had that much fun playing an MMO in ages, and with a show to launch with it I honestly can say Trion Worlds and SYFY are taking a bold step into the future of multi-media, at no other time has it been possible to do what they are attempting. What they are doing is bold and brash and like anyone doing anything for the first time they are bound to make a few mistakes, but I have a feeling that with a developer as well versed in MMO’s as Trion Worlds they will be few and far between.