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Defiance 2050 Review

In Defiance 2050, free-to-play open world shooter by Trion Worlds, you begin by taking on the role of one of three races: human, or one of the subsets of the Voltan race, an Irathient or a Castithan. Once you’ve selected your race, one of four classes, and customised your look, you are thrown right into the thick of the war. Dropping in on a nearby planet, literally, you begin by trying to regroup with the rest of your fellow Ark Hunters before embarking on a much larger journey.

FOLLOW THE DRUMS OF WAR

From the get-go, Defiance 2050 aims to build an atmosphere of a gritty, dangerous war. The main quest-line leads you through numerous battlefields while adding in good helpings of lore and storyline to keep you busy. The graphics are certainly not state of the art, but there is a grittiness to them that keeps a good feeling of tension running throughout. Sadly, the environments feel far from unique, and even though many of the early quests seem to be fairly typical for an MMO (kill x many enemies, find lost survivors), there are at least plenty of weapon options, dynamic events, and skill choices to keep things feeling fresh.

As you’re introduced to more and more characters, you slowly begin to unravel your own journey. You play an Ark Hunter, one of a small group of people that race to the far corners of the universe seeking Arktech and braving debris storms to bring home the spoils. Highly skilled and highly effective in combat, you’re one of the few who will venture where others fear to tread. Saying much more would give away the storyline, but there is a fair amount of character development running throughout the game.

GOING UNDER THE HOOD

You’re probably asking yourself whether Defiance 2050 brings anything substantially new to the table. The answer to that is unfortunately not. While there’s a lot going on and plenty to do, not much is particularly innovative or new. If you’re looking for a way to kill time, there’s definitely enough to keep players occupied for quite a few hours, but for those looking for something that breaks the mould, this is not it.

As far as gameplay goes, there’s a fairly basic tutorial for those who want a bit of hand-holding to start. From there you go off to explore, rescue survivors, and begin forming up with the other Ark Hunters on your mission. The controls are pretty good and feel responsive for the most part, with the main exception being vehicles. While it’s incredibly fun to jump ridiculous distances on your ATV, the driving is quite clunky, and hitting anything causes you to stop immediately. As is often the case with new online releases, lag can rear its ugly head, but it’s definitely not game-breaking, and connecting to a server hasn’t been a problem so far.

CLASS SYSTEM

You can play as a Combat Medic, Demolitionist, Assault, Guardian, or Assassin. The names are pretty self-explanatory, and each class comes with its own unique skills and looks. Each plays a different role, from healer to DPS to crowd control, and it’s up to the players to combine their classes and skills together to overcome some of Defiance 2050’s biggest challenges. There’s nothing especially new or interesting here that hasn’t been seen in other games, but the skill trees themselves leave some good customisation room depending on your play-style.

As stated, the graphics are certainly not the best out there. The environments can be a bit confusing at times, too. Around mountains and trees, there’s the occasional large mushroom, or a giant spire of rock. There appears to be no set theme to the areas, rather, more like a lot of random objects thrown into the environment. Still, there are plenty of places to explore as you move from quests to Arkfalls – Defiance 2050’s answer to dynamic world events.

BUYING YOUR WAY TO THE TOP

As you might expect, Defiance 2050 does make use of a cash shop, allowing the player to add bonuses to their account and character. But is it just a cash grab? Given how prevalent ‘freemium’ games have become, it’s often a point of contention for people who dislike the pay-to-win culture that has sprung up around it.

This entry has a wide-ranging number of items in the cash shop, and the initial impression is that most of the items are either appearance-altering, or simply allow you to progress to the endgame faster (experience boosts and the like). There is, however, a definite pay-to-win feature, and this comes in the form of keys. Keys unlock chests, and the best chests in the game can only be opened with cash shop keys. So, while there are some nice perks to help get players started, there is also the very real promise of having to pay to succeed in the long-term.

6

The Verdict: Good

Yes, there is a definite cash-grab feeling in Defiance 2050, but there is also plenty of game to explore, and it won’t require the player to drop hundreds just to get there. The large open world, vast number of quests, and skill trees with a decent set of options gives players plenty to do. The co-operative nature of Defiance 2050 encourages teamwork, and while some parts feel repetitive in terms of quest content, overall it makes a pretty good entry as a free-to-play title.

Melanie Hawthorne
Written by
July 25, 2018
Published in Adventure

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Mel is a London-based copywriter that has been writing about video games for a few years now. After growing up in Vienna, Austria she followed her dreams and moved to London. Said dreams took her through a few different jobs (which included working as a web developer, shopkeeper and translator) before she settled on what she really wanted to do – periodically anger video game fans by expressing her opinions on games through various online publications. When she’s not writing about video games, she’s probably playing them... or walking her dog in a park. Since that depends largely on the English weather, Mel has plenty of time to indulge in her favourite games. These include but are not limited to Ark: Survival Evolved, Skyrim, GTA V, and oddly enough, Amnesia: Memories. She loves Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. She thinks Star Trek is way better than Star Wars and isn’t afraid to admit it – Live long and prosper!

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