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[Review] Defiance: Can Fun Overcome Mediocrity?



  • ThorkuneThorkune Member UncommonPosts: 1,969
    I am confident that Trion will make this game great eventually. I still think Trion is the hardest working company in the mmo industry. They really listen to the players...and that's rare these days.
  • AcidonAcidon Member UncommonPosts: 796

    "Cass the Irathient starts off annoying... and stays that way"


    Amen to that.  I didn't know if it was just me or not.

    That said, I don't play Defiance very often, but I have fun every time that I do.  I'm not treating it as a main game.  When I feel like unloading clips into things, it's a great game for it.

  • GravargGravarg Member UncommonPosts: 3,424

    I gotta agree almost 100% with the review.  I'd give it a ~7-7.5 though, just for fun factor.  I think alot of people get this game wrong.  Most try to treat it like a mmorpg, they want levels, talent trees, lots of skills to fill up 50 hotbars, crafting, and all that stuff.  But Defiance isn't an mmorpg, Like Bill put it,  it's basically a place to run around and shoot things.  If you look at it as a Shooter, it's much more enjoyable.  It has all your shooter wants (except graphics, it's not the worst though) and then some.  


    Another thing that people forget is the game will be expanding as the show does.  Maybe it might be slower now, since they're trying to stomp out fires and fix bugs, but it'll get done.  I wouldn't be suprised if one day, unannounced, I get a 1gb patch downloading when I start the game up lol.  I think Trion is one of the fastest developers out there (if not the fastest), they're not like SOE and some others that will have bugs that stick around on 10+ year old games lol.

    Edit: Also another thing.  If you have friends the game is 10000% better.  I run around with a full group of friends all the time, it's a blast.

  • ReaperUkReaperUk Member UncommonPosts: 759
    I think the review is fair. I've finished every story and side mission now and have gone back to GW2 as my main game. Defiance is great fun and well worth the purchase price but it doesn't have the longevity of the average mmo. There is a lack of content other than the missions and a limited amount of dynamic events such as Arkfalls and roadside emergencies, which quickly become very repetitive.
  • SandricSandric Member UncommonPosts: 103

    Was in alpha, and all beta events.  I knew it wasn't ready for prime time.  Most of the things hit  both good and bad were originally that way in alpha and never really got fixed or addressed (for the bad).  It has and awesome storyline, great Voice Actors, and had some really interesting weapons.  That said, the character progression while interesting, really didn't do it for me and while it had a great breadth with weapon choices both in their how they worked and ammo types, they really didn't have much in depth.  The weaopns really didn't change enough from start to finish enough for me.  Plus there were a slew of exploits and bugs that still weren't fixed at launch that really had me not wanting to play.   Plus the chat and funny jumping/falling physics really irked me.  There were also odd things that happened in vehicles.  All in all, I felt that PS2 had more character progression and better FPSing (while really lacked story or characters), and for the role it was a much better choice for that genre for me than Defiance. 

    Major or Current Characters
    AC - The Brute lvl 85 macer -HG (retired)
    SWG - Lihone Su'alkn Master Ranger/ MCH - Flurry (Retired)
    EVE - Sulone - Cruiser Lover (Retired)
    LOTRO - Sandric lvl 50 Burg (and others)- Brandywine (Retired)
    GW2 - Sandric lvl 80 Thief - Dragonbrand (Retired)
    NeverWinter - Sandric lvl 60 Rogue - Dragonshard (Retired)
    Archage - Sandric lvl 50 everything - Naima (Active)
    Others (Lots) (Retired)

  • TillerTiller Member LegendaryPosts: 11,219
    The game rating should be at the bottom of the article imo so one is actually inclined to read it instead of at the top when I open the page. My eyes were instantly drawn to that ruining any anticipation i might have built up when i clicked the link in the news feed on the main page......but thx for saving me a bit of reading.


    SWG Bloodfin vet
    Elder Jedi/Elder Bounty Hunter
  • WylfWylf Member UncommonPosts: 376

    Originally posted by GroovyFlower

    Then there’s the UI. It works, but it’s really obviously built from the ground up for the PS3 and Xbox users.  It’s just clunky as can be...


    Originally posted by Acornia

    My bigist problem with the PC version of Defiance is the UI.

    I would have to rate the ease of use of the UI as 3. It is a clunky mess were you have to click on many screens just to get to some action that you want to do.

    Ease of understanding the PC UI I would have to rate as Zero... The poor PC UI and other game bugs have lead to me not playing Defiance very much anymore.

    Originally posted by Dahkoht

    Personally regret my purchase because of the horrific PC UI.

    I can see where where console users would enjoy the game , it's decent.

    For a PC game , especially from Trion who I expect better of (Maybe its a sign of why Hartsman left) , it seems like a shoddy port.

    Originally posted by Ghavrigg

    This review seems fair. Personally, I regret my purchase. I played it for a couple days, and I doubt I'll log in anytime soon. I found it to be incredibly bland and boring. I really expected better from Trion. Still, as was said, the B2P model at least lets me slip in and out on occasion to see if anything's changed for the better.


    I appreciate the review and the comments above which seem to validate the score. I agree with GroovyFlower in part;  I also stay away from games designed for consoles and then are badly ported to the PC. The UI is so important why launch a game that is so gimped?  

  • DawnDarkDawnDark Member Posts: 21

    I agree with all the individual scores in this review. But I don't agree with the overal score. "Fun" it seems to me gets way to little weighting in the calcatulation of the overal score.

    I would give this game a 7.5.

    I have been playing since the last open beta weekend, all the while I had problems with my computer causing choppy graphics (due to termal throtteling of the CPU). I just bought a new computer to run defiance, I have been setting it up for the last two days.

  • Alexander.BAlexander.B Member UncommonPosts: 90
    Funny thing was this game got rated an 8.5+ when it was recently released. I quit playing after 3 days feeling it wasn't really leaving up to ... what I had hoped for. Now, I come back later and it's 6.6? Geez, now I'm really worried about the rating system.
  • DignaDigna Member UncommonPosts: 1,994

    It was average during beta (a bit below average really) and while they have fixed some things, the game at its heart remains below average.

    I am curious though, since this is a 'test run' of merging gaming media with an 'active' medium of exposure namely the TV series, how that has affected projected returns over time.

    For example, a mediocre game as just a game expecting 30 million return but the 'linked' aspect of Defiance allowing a mediocre to pull in 50 million.

    This was always suppose to be a money making venture but it is also a test of merged media. Only the bean counters can really say and even that over time. Food for thought.

  • VlackeVlacke Member UncommonPosts: 155
    Good review Bill, nice read and i agree with all the pros and cons you listed, the game's PC version has plenty of issues indeed.
  • SBE1SBE1 Member UncommonPosts: 340

    Hey Bill, as a very vocal critic of the old-style reviews, this review actually seems believable.  I'm not saying that just because of the 6.6 score; I'm saying it because you backed up why it was a 6.6 score. 

    I do think a bit more highlight to the hacking issue, rather than just a brief comment and link, would be a bit more helpful and probably dropped the "polish" score down.  Putting that kind of information on the client is just NOOB coding and begging to be hacked, hence for me polish would have to take a big hit since any experienced programmer would never have done that. 

    I also believe your innovation score of 7 seems rather high.  Just because there aren't too many MMO shooters doesn't make the game innovative, just makes it less common.  Innovation should be stuff we haven't seen before that is good for gaming (i.e., legacy system for your account in SWTOR was a good innovation).  If Defiance had maybe put daily/weekly events that tied into the TV show or something, maybe that would up the innovative factor, because you could watch the show for clues that would help you in your daily/weekly quest(s).  Stuff like that should bounce the innovation up. I guess you should figure out what amount of innovation would score a 3, a 5, a 7 and a 10.  It appears that you put modest innovation at 7, whereas I would put it a 3 or 4.

    Anyways, congrats on a far better review.  Just rethink Innovation scoring.  Thanks.

  • GruntyGrunty Member EpicPosts: 8,657

    As I said when it went retail. It's a beta product. Don't pay for beta. 

    The game can be fun. The buggy code is not.

    "I used to think the worst thing in life was to be all alone.  It's not.  The worst thing in life is to end up with people who make you feel all alone."  Robin Williams
  • OzmodanOzmodan Member EpicPosts: 9,726

    Giving the game a 5 for social is a gift.  I would give it a 2.  The social parts of the game are very poorly implemented from the very poor voice implementation to the various social menus.  I don't even bother using in the game voice anymore, Ventrilo is far superior.

    They need to bring more of the people with MMO expertise in from their other games, this development group just does not get it.

  • BillMurphyBillMurphy Former Managing EditorMember LegendaryPosts: 4,565
    Originally posted by JustAHermit
    Funny thing was this game got rated an 8.5+ when it was recently released. I quit playing after 3 days feeling it wasn't really leaving up to ... what I had hoped for. Now, I come back later and it's 6.6? Geez, now I'm really worried about the rating system.

    Ha! The rating you're referring to of 8.5 was the user score my friend. This is the official staff review. You'll notice the user combined score is still over 8.

    Try to be excellent to everyone you meet. You never know what someone else has seen or endured.

    My Review Manifesto
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  • erictlewiserictlewis Member UncommonPosts: 3,022

    I don't know how the score can be so high, the ui is horible.  I don't know how Ttrion could botch this so bad.  Not to mention syfy making a mediocre tv series with stuff we all seen before. 


  • MargulisMargulis Member CommonPosts: 1,614
    From my experience with the game I would actually say a 6.6 is pretty generous.
  • HeraseHerase Member RarePosts: 993

    Originally posted by GrayGhost79

    I agree with the review for the most part. The only thing I really disagree with is the lack of importance put on fun. It's something most MMO's fail to consider and for me it's why I've left most recent MMO in a month or less. 

    The first question that should be asked is of course "Is it fun and or entertaining?". 

    For developers they have to consider if a game, mechanic, and even the content they are adding is going to be fun and or entertaining for their intended player base. If the answer is no then there really is no point in continuing with the current design.  You've start off with an uphill battle where you have to continually try and back track and make things fun. You have to continually add content that acts as a carrot on a stick that promises fun will soon come. As in the intial design and development it is easy to lose sight of fun when trying to fix a game and make it fun later. 

    Polish, additional content, etc. are all much easier to add after a game is out than adding in fun is. 

    If the core of the game is fun, them I have always felt my purchase was a good one and I'm more than happy to wait for things to get smoothed out and more stuff to be added to the game. If a game fails to deliver that fun then I feel my money was wasted and no, I won't be sticking around waiting for things to be fixed. SWTOR offered a great number of features and mechanics, it also had a massive story and depth. The problem was it was only slightly entertaining for a short while. It lacked fun. Same with numerous other MMOs to launch in recent years. They can offer me the world for the box price, a nominal monthly fee, or for what ever I'm willing to spend on the cash shop but... if they don't offer me fun then there simply is nothing for me there. 


    Even games like APB and CO that I find fun I can't bring myself to play much because they hender the fun in the name of profits and I haven't loaded eaither up in several months. 


    Fun for me is the most important thing in gaming, if it isn't fun then whats the point? Defiance delivered where it counted in my book. Its one of a few on my very short list of good MMOs . More polish and content are easy to add down the road. 

    100% agree, its fun and thats what a game should be. if it gets me logging in each day just for an hour becaue i want too,  it's done its job. For me this game has been a breath of fresh air, i can  do an arkfall, some quests, try out new guns and im happy. were most mmos i feel i need to login, not becaue i want too. I start worrying "have i capped everything?" or "do i have all x amount of items".

    Like you said "Fun" is a big factors alot of mmos are missing out ( hoping wildstar wont :) ).

  • TuchakaTuchaka Member UncommonPosts: 468
    pretty fair review frankly you take out the persistence and the fact that many players can play online this would be a bad shooter which is what i think of it
  • MackehMackeh Member Posts: 164

    Shadow war is not a good point, it's a huge bad point. 

    Having open world faction based pvp with the choice of pvp or pve servers would be a good point.

  • lordtwistedlordtwisted Member UncommonPosts: 570

     I have really enjoyed this game, but I consider myself a casual gamer. I might typically get hard core and hammer on a new game full time for a couple weeks, but by then my real life chores, needs, and wants will have piled up .

     At this point my game time typically goes back down to a couple hours a night if I am lucky, a couple hours a week is closer to the truth. 

     So things that most MMO's require like raids, or full groups that typically take an hour or more to set up, just kills my game time. 

     Defiance has a lot of freedom to it, I can log on and BS in a chat channel for two hours, or I can log on and do contracts, maybe I just feel like driving and doing time trials today? Or hey, been meaning to finish up some side quest. 

     I can log on hop through some vendors looking for new stuff and log off and not feel like I am interferring with the guilds needs, I can log on and solo, or do co-op, or PvP. Or just run around hitting emergencies. 

     It's all my choice, and I don't need to rely on anyone else, but there are others there if I feel like it.  That is what makes this a good game to me. 


     As for this review.... I did not read all of your points, and your scales, but I think your overall scores is pretty solid. This game had, well still has a lot of promise if the developers decide to put the effort into it. I love the concept, and who knows maybe down the road when more content is released as the TV show progresses, maybe more of the game will shine. 


     We can always drink...err.. dream!

    Not so nice guy!

  • eury2eury2 Member UncommonPosts: 41

    i've literaly completed every single mission that this game had to offer within a week of its release when i look at the map its just bare lol no side missions or main missions the only thing to keep me ocupied is co-op, pvp and ark falls but even all that im tired of and havent logged in for a few days now.

    makes me sad to think that they are going to charge people for their dlc's





  • SoulStainSoulStain Member Posts: 202
    An endurance meter for jumping would be nice ...and falling damage. Unless they've added that in the last few weeks. I havent been able to play in a few.
  • fiontarfiontar Member UncommonPosts: 3,682

    I agree with most everything, but the score on Longevity was probably too generous. The addictive game play may keep some people logging in from time to time for a few months, but the actual amount of content is extremely skimpy for an MMO.

    I think others are right. If you judge it as a shooter with some RPG/MMO elements, it's probably worth the purchase price. As an MMO? It's a fail. If you know what uyou are getting, it's not bad, if you are expecting a full fledged MMO in a sci-fi setting? You'll likely be very disappointed.

    Want to know more about GW2 and why there is so much buzz? Start here: Guild Wars 2 Mass Info for the Uninitiated

  • fiontarfiontar Member UncommonPosts: 3,682
    Oh and yeah, the jumping animations are about the worst I've ever seen in an MMO. The sad thing is that it's the same exact horrible jumping animation Trion used for Rift. They got blasted for it there, but still chose to just copy/paste it into Defiance. I think that shows how little pride they take in the quality of their work.

    Want to know more about GW2 and why there is so much buzz? Start here: Guild Wars 2 Mass Info for the Uninitiated

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