Headstart for Defiance 2050 snuck up on us pretty quickly after its announcement late February followed by closed, then open beta’s in June. Today Xbox and PlayStation launch officially with PC and to kick off this day in gaming history this is the first of three reviews in progress on Defiance 2050 that I look forward to providing over the coming weeks.
Defiance is the only game from Trion Worlds that I have not played in Alpha or Beta. In fact, it wouldn’t be until 2014 when I saw a snippet of the former SyFy series that I became intrigued and jumped on in after binging the seasons I had missed so I could then watch them week to week. It was only a matter of time before I grew fond of Doc, the Mayor, Stahma and Nolan. So much so the series became a catalyst often for how much I played the game.
IS THE SHOW STILL A DRIVING FORCE?
Honestly, it was a little tough for me to find my feet without the series to fangirl over. There was just this unique endearing quality that found me invested more in each quest, plot, story line, character and destination. The cut scenes in game help a little but they also make me miss them all even more.
At the character creation screen there are no new choices which seems like an overlooked opportunity to celebrate new beginnings but perhaps on the bright side, I didn’t feel compelled to play a Castithan like I usually do in honor of Defiance’s Queen.
Juggling these two attitudes I moved on to create a Guardian appreciating the idea of more sustainability compared to damage (Assault,) stealth (Assassin) and healing (Medic) knowing I tend to tank Hellbugs. The newly revamped tutorial is no longer the casual intro you might be used to, mobs hit hard and swarm so you are overwhelmed quickly if you charge in. I was also experiencing freezes so I died more times than I care to admit though since today’s patch these issues seemed to have been fixed but I need to play more hours to guarantee this.
What put an old familiar smile on my face first once I got out of the tutorial is the driving in Defiance 2050, it’s out of control crazy and I love it! Whether you are on console or keyboard navigating hills or corners - obstacles become as much fun as combat. Squishing mobs become a creative challenge, especially hellbugs! I must hit anything that moves which doesn’t always work out in my favor!
LEVEL PLAYING FIELD
Let's talk about the new stuff though, in the early stages. We already touched on the classes ever so briefly. You also get a Demolitionist but just not at the beginning. I enjoy these new classes over the ego grind. Each class can be leveled to 50.
I have started an Assault character also so my leveling pace isn’t that quick with two characters almost 20, however my leveling buddy got ahead of me and is already level 50 on his Medic.
So far, I’m enjoying my Guardian most taking shields where I can and any perks that also protect as well as damage. Quests and challenges are the same, along with my all-time favorites - Arkfall and Siege events.
The best advice I can give to get the most out of your game is to do the first set of quests to get your quad bike and then just drive stopping at every place that unlocks the port to it for you, then go back to questing. It might take a good hour to roam the entire map but this way you can regularly check your map and port to the nearest place near an Arkfall or Siege, which I have so far found to give the best leveling experience.
Arkfalls and Sieges remain to be the most fun to be had as you get a clearer sense of how many other people are playing at these events. I just need more of them to pop!
Weapons are now enhanced to receive extra stats using salvaged materials. The system itself is a sensible move but I do miss picking up weapons in content to see what VFX it might have. Early in the game is a good time to use as many guns you can until you find a nice loadout rotation to ensure your kills. You might also like to enjoy more dungeons than I have but we will chat more on dungeons in one of the incoming articles to wrap up my experiences!
For vet and fresh players, Defiance 2050 has a ton of content to keep you preoccupied but vets might be sorely disappointed if they're hoping everything is new at this stage.
The new class system is enough on its own to give Defiance 2050 your full attention but the real fun is a neat blend of old and new - Arkfalls and Sieges remain the biggest reason to get on in to Defiance 2050 so you can lock and load all the guns to enhance! Leveling is just so quick I don’t see not having a vast array of new content at earliest stages to be an issue. At these stages I would just really encourage more cosmetic features at the character creation screen so the game really feels new. If server connections stay/become stable on all platforms asap it makes perfect gaming and business sense that Trion Worlds decided to polish a game that I can conclude is enjoyable even without its original signature show to support it.
Happy Launch Day and Hellbug Hunting folks!