Defiance Hands-on Preview from E3 2012 -- Pretty, Pretty Bug HuntingBy Jonathan Deesing - Posted Jun 14, 2012
Few games at this year’s E3 got me as excited as Trion Worlds’ Defiance. I went into my hands-on and interview with absolutely no prior knowledge and left the booth knowing that I’ll be buying the game day one.
Defiance is a third-person shooter MMO that will be launching simultaneously on the PC, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3. The build I played felt naked, the landscape was, for the most part, free of mobs, objectives, and missions. But it didn’t really matter, because the game was so damn gorgeous. Although this isn’t surprising from the team that brought us the visually stunning Rift, it’s still good to see in an MMO, when so many others have sacrificed visuals for gameplay.
During my playthrough, I tore through once was the Bay Area in my ATV simply exploring. The game takes place in (of course) a post-invasion landscape with humans fighting off the alien hordes. The map I played on was large, but was cordoned off from the main area, which was enormous. I stopped at one point to compete in a mini game of shooting as many mobs as possible in a short amount of time. It helped that I was given a mini-gun. From there I headed to an area that seemed to be seeing quite a bit of action.
When I pulled my ATV over a hill, I saw in the distance a huge monster with a number of other players attacking it with unwavering determination. Of course I drove over to lend my support. What I found was a giant four-legged creature stomping around, dropping mobs on everyone. Shooting my assault rifle at convenient pustules near its legs, I was able to bring it down; all while switching to my shotgun to battle various creatures that tried to stop me. Gun combat was surprisingly responsive and seamless. A lot of third-person shooters could stand to learn something from the combat in Defiance.
Though I died a few times, it was no big deal as I spawned within eyeshot of the beast and simply spawned in my ATV to cruise back into battle. After my newfound friends and I finally dropped the big bastard, he exploded, and the skies opened to welcome us. No, seriously, the entire playthrough the sky looked like a cloudy version of Fallout 3, but defeating the monster bought us a moment’s reprieve from the darkness.
After beating the boss, I was told he would normally drop loot. Other features are also on their way, but as I mentioned earlier, the game seems naked. I for one think this is fantastic. By ignoring quests, mobs, and story; and focusing solely on gameplay and graphics, the team at Trion Worlds has built an insanely strong foundation and framework upon which to place the rest of the game. My final thought before putting down my controller was, “They’d have to try really hard to f*** this up now.”
But it gets better. Defiance is emerging not only as a game, but as a television series on SyFy Network. So über nerds may be a bit overwhelmed. I know I will be.
To review, Defiance is a multi-platform third-person shooter MMORPG with a SyFy tie-in. Not only does it look great, but it plays great and does just about everything right. If you’re not excited for this game, you may want to get your head checked.