When Jon got the chance to get hands-on with the upcoming MMO shooter last year, the words “ambitious” and “insane” were used to describe the overall project, and in fairness I had similar feelings when I was there for its unveiling to the press at Gamescom a few years back. Labelled as a “Trans-media project,” Defiance is to be the first online game that will coexist with a television show, broadcast by SyFy. While both entities will take place in different locations, the stories and characters will interject with one another and, perhaps more importantly, players will be able to influence the path of the story, as well as being affected by it.
The Sci-fi enthusiast in me adores the idea whole heartedly, but the success of the project ultimately comes down to two things – the quality of the storyline for both entities, and the gameplay of the online game being fun. I had previously been able to try out Defiance in a Beta Weekend at the beginning of the year, but with an NDA the size of the Great Wall halting me from saying (or showing) anything I was forced to keep my opinions to myself. However, as of last weekend Trion Worlds finally allowed players to tell the world about Defiance, so that is exactly what I am going to do with these new episodes of Dealspwn Playthrough. In this first episode, we take a look at the Character Creation process, and go through the initial gameplay sequence. We also take a quick look at the EGO system which allows players to pick their abilities and skills. See the video, along with a brief intro to what Defiance is, after the jump.
So what is Defiance all about? A collective of alien races known as the Voltan are forced to flee their solar system before it is destroyed. Building Arkships, they begin their 5000 year journey to a planet capable of sustaining their population… but that planet turns out to be Earth. Shocked to learn that their salvation is already colonised by us pesky Humans, the Voltans are initially granted some land in Brazil, but an assassination of a Voltan diplomat starts a conflict known as the Pale Wars. It is during this conflict that the Arkships are mysteriously destroyed, raining debris upon the planet that terraforms the Earth, destroying cities and moving continents. The threat of extinction is a real one for humanity until the Battle of Defiance, where both sides of the conflict put down their arms and help the wounded. This moment convinces both sides that the only way to survive on this now alien and dangerous planet is to work together, and while previous grudges and misconceptions still exist, there is at least some hope for the humans and Voltans, now unified as the Earth Republic.
And that’s your burst of lore that sets you up for the game.
Players assume the role of a human or Irathient Ark Hunter, a well-armed scavenger of sorts whose primary source of income is to chase after Arkfalls. These falling pieces of debris from the destroyed fleet of Arkships unleash horrific creatures when they hit the planet… but they also contain Arktech, and that’s where the payday is. We’ll be looking at one of these Arkfall events, along with the other types of missions and the weapons of the game, in our other episodes which will be going live over the next few days. In the meantime you can also check out Jon's hands-on preview here, and our exclusive interview with Robert Hill of Trion Worlds here.