Defiance: Cool New Gimmick or Epic Fail?

So back in March I heard about this great new idea by the SyFy channel and Trion Worlds.  That idea was Defiance.  A TV show and an Online game linked together.  The idea is that what happens in the game affects the TV show, and character from the show will appear in game.  Sounds fun, right?  But does it work?

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First of all, what’s it all about? Well, in 2013 a group of alien races collectively known as the Votans come to earth after their star system was destroyed.  Believing Earth to be uninhabited they are kind of surpised to find us humans here.  At first the Votans and humans try and live side by side but of course these things never seem to work out and soon war breaks out.  This is when the Shtako hits the fan.  Somehow the Votans space ships, which were orbiting the earth were destroyed (both sides blame the other), which resulted in most of the Votans still in hypersleep being wiped out, but even worse, the teraforming technology on the ships goes haywire and changes the Earth to the point where it’s a pretty hostile place to both humans and Votans, scorching the planet and mutating plants and animals on Earth into weird hybrids and totally new species.  In the aftermath Humans and Votans  banded together to survive, but it’s an uneasy peace, and the wreckage of the Ark fleet still in orbit still rains down onto the surface, bring both danger but also valuable technology that if salvaged is worth a fortune.

The TV series follows Joshua Nolan and his adopted daughter Irisa as Nolan becomes the Lawkeeper of the town Defiance, built on the ruins of St Louis.  In the game you play an Ark Hunter, someone who goes out into the wilds and tries to salvages Arktech, which brings you into contact with people and locations in the TV show.  Gameplay wise it’s an open world shooter, and you can either do missions on your own or in groups, join in with other to tackle dynamic events that happen spontaneously in various locations, or do multiplayer scenarios and PvP.

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So I got the game at the beginning of April, a couple of weeks before the first episode of the show was due to air.   I got it on the PC, though it is available on the Xbox 360 and PS3 as well, but when it comes to MMO’s I’m a die hard PC fan.  It had been out maybe a week, and I have to say though some people said it was kind of buggy for a new game I found very few problems or glitches.  The graphics are impressive.  You can play as either a Human or an Irathient, though I believe other races are going to be added in future DLC.  You can choose from four character origins: Veteran, Survivalist, Outlaw or Machinist, which makes no difference to what weapons you can use or abilities you can chose, but it does determine your starting outfit and gear.  I chose and Irathient Survivalist, and am busy sniping people from a distance as nothing says I Love You like a well placed headshot.

The game is Free to Play, but like most FtP games you can spend real life money to buy in game money and buy shiny objects if that’s what you want, but from what I have seen it’s not a game where to get the best gear and do end game content you have to spend a lot of cash on it, which is my main gripe with some other FtP games.  There will be DLC as I said earlier, which, if it adds plenty of extra content I have no problem paying for, but I know that’s not always the case with other gamers.

So does it work?  Yeah, I think it does.  The game has just launched it’s first competition, and the likeness of the winner character will be worked into an upcoming episode of the show.  Which is nice, but I know I’ll not stand a chance as I’m far too casual a player to be able to complete all the requirements and earn enough Ark Salvage to be in with a chance.  It would be nice if at some point they do a competition that doesn’t exclude casual gamers like myself, but I’m not going to cry about it.  The game is fun, and the show, though I find it a little slow at times, is entertaining.  I didn’t recognise one of the stars Tony Curran, at first:

In Doctor Who:

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In Defiance:

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Just a little different.

So no, I don’t think the game/tv show is an epic fail.  Yet anyway.  Whether the show will take off or if the game has enough playability to keep me interested is yet to be seen.  But so far, so good.

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2 responses to “Defiance: Cool New Gimmick or Epic Fail?

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