Review of Defiance for Xbox 360

Don’t buy this game. Don’t play this game. Don’t support this game.images

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.

Pros:
-Great soundtrack
-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

Cons:
-Shameful servers that can’t maintain a decent connection
-Fourty minute install time upon first booting of the disc
-Lackluster gunplay
-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.

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11 Responses

  1. Reblogged this on Bobbi's Blog and commented:
    Don’t waste your time or money on “Defiance”.

  2. It’s only 4 days out from launch. This is a horrendous review. Lag has been an on and off issue, but you can’t hold this to the same standards as current MMO’s, it hasn’t had enough time to fully establish itself. Sounds like what you need is a better connection, not a better game.. This is the kind of review you see from kids that suck..

    • You realize that the launch window for a game is its most important time to be fully functioning? And if it doesn’t function then, well, it’s not worth a second glance. My internet’s worked fine for nearly every game up until Defiance, so odds are it’s the horrible servers that everyone else is complaining about as well.

  3. Bought it, hated it, already seeking refund. Wish I had read this review. My thoughts exactly.

  4. How is it possible that high profile game like Blizzards Diablo III ( or more resently simcity) get good reviews even if there servers didn’t work until 2 weeks after launch ( btw the periode you state is most important ) and lesser know title with is getting better with every passing day ( thx to patching and updates ) gets hated on? Even WoW had a lot of issues at launch! I doubt reviewers these days know what they’re talking about! ( and before you start… I’ve been a reviewer for xet360 microsofts inhouse blog Belgium when we still were active… I, my good man would never rush an MMO review like you just did )! A game like defiance can only be judged after the first 2 weeks! If it continues to have issues then… A bad review would be in order!

    No disrespect meant…

    • I see where you’re coming from, but I run a tight review schedule. If the game doesn’t function properly when it is released unto the public, then that’s the window of time I’m playing it in and the experience I’ll get with it.

      • Again, no harm meant… I do realise that at times there can be a lot of pressure on reviewers. People don’t always realise that, sometimes dough it would be better to pospone a review than to judge to harshly! You have a point, but still there is much potential and the game is constantly being tweaked. It does seem like American servers are worse then the European ones… I have never had a server crash or get logged off and only rarely experience lag. Just wanted to add this!

        Respectfully
        Ketana

  5. server still sucks 3 months later! The game itself is very very fun so on that point i completely disagree with you! It’s not a borderlands rip off either, it’s much larger and it’s a mmo third person shooter! Borderlands didn’t invent the post apocolyptic feel! The only thing borderlands about this game is the ton of weapons and the reload stations. Period. With that said, the servers on 360 are a god damn mess! But it’s not all their fault! Micro$oft is just as much to blame, they charge developers for every patch! That’s why you almost NEVER see mmo’s on xbox!

    • The action and gunplay felt campy and stiff, in my honest opinion. But hey, if you enjoyed the game, power to you! I’m sorry to hear about the servers, which are obviously the primary flaw with this type of game. I guess console MMO’s will have to wait until next gen…

  6. the only thing that sucks about defiance is lagg….

    thats about it…

    if they can tone that problem down to where its not a massive major issue. as in getting around heavily populated areas wont be take a step lagg situations. i feel the game would be alot better..as for comparing it to borderlands? idk what to say as ive never played it and dont have much interest in it.if i cant get an awesome looking suit of armor with an epic looking helmet i dont have much interest. in defiance i do own an epic looking suit of armor..even though its cosmetic only… all i feel needs working on is the lagg situation. or would the phrase decreasing load times be more fitting.
    as the game just feels like its always loading the areas u head into. some players may have faster load times and less of this lagg. because ive found that if i wait in an area long enough doesnt matter how heavily populated it gets it will slowly become less laggy and get better. so id say the only ppl to hate it r those that r impatient.

    • Well, my review was based off of the initial week of release and the game’s performance at that time (when initial bugs and technical issues were out of control). But I’m glad the game runs well enough now to at least be playable.

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