‘Defiance’ Review Roundup

Defiance was released April 2 for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC. See what the critics said.

Defiance is a Western-style MMO/shooter meant to look like a science fiction TV series. The storyline follows an alien species that tries to move in on Earth before realizing this planet’s been taken. The misunderstanding takes a very violent turn as both sides try to assert themselves. Seven war veteran alien species appear on the scene, all of which want to just lay back and make a home for themselves in a post-apocalyptic Earth. Meanwhile, we have to fight for our very existence, and that means giving them a definitive “no” with a big gun.

The game tries to be everything for everybody, but it can’t quite pull it off. It struggles to draw a line between its ambitious scope and the practical details. Defiance tries to capture the scope of World of Warcraft, the open-world wastelands of Fallout, and the basic gameplay style of Borderlands. It tries, but it makes a mess of it. Defiance seems to forget the most basic concept of videogames: When you press a button, something should happen.

Sometimes you’ll try to get out of your vehicle and the game will simply ignore you. Sometimes, you won’t be able to shoot, or the character will dash about in mad spurts because it refuses to move at normal speeds.

Sometimes it feels like you’re trying to shoot a sponge, as the normal enemies will soak up gunfire like it doesn’t exist. Lag also abounds, as teamwork usually depends on timing, and if the game ignores your commands, there is no timing element. You might as well roll dice for effectiveness.

The only reason Defiance might still prove to be worth playing is that there’s nothing else like it.

Defiance runs on the servers, and those servers are unresponsive and annoying. The action button, as stated above, will sometimes refuse to do anything, and when you’re trying to disable generators in between waves of raider swarms, control is everything.

Defiance tries to be something new and different, but the controls will leave you wondering who’s really playing it.

What do you think of Defiance?