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Open Beta Impressions - Improved but How Much?

William Murphy Posted:
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My foray into the final PC beta for Defiance 2050 didn’t have an auspicious beginning. The MMO shooter’s opening tutorial was busted in such a way that one simply could not progress the past that first instance with Cass. But eventually, Trion disabled the tutorial while they fixed it, and then things got better. These are our impressions of the Open Beta on PC for Defiance 2050.

By now we should all come to grips with the fact that Defiance 2050 isn’t a sequel, it’s a relaunch of the original game for newer hardware (PS4 and XB1 and 64-bit Windows). It’s got improved visuals, but still that same old jerky animation too. If you liked Defiance before, chances are you’re going to like Defiance 2050. Trion has pulled away from the free-wheeling EGO skill tree, and instead created four base classes that have specific skill trees to level up through. Gone is the simple “EGO Rating” for judging progression, and instead there’s a level cap of 50. You still will have a power rating, which comes in the way of your items equipped.

It’s a much simpler, straightforward system, but it works. To me, it feels more like each person will have a role, and I’ve always preferred that. Even in games that have freer character building like ESO, you still need an idea of what you bring to a party. This class-based system works well to do that for Defiance 2050’s group content. It also makes it easier to feel like you’re making progress in the game, which is something that I feel the OG lacked.

Now, I’ve done the first handful of missions so many times in Defiance that I can’t imagine doing them again. Ergo, I’ve decided to stop playing the Open Beta until the launch day cometh, but I do think I’ll be checking out Defiance 2050 when July 10th comes along. When I first reviewed Defiance what seems ages ago now, I loved its ambition, but didn’t love its clumsiness. Things improved over time, but the show was cancelled and it seemed the wind was taken from Defiance’s sails.

Defiance 2050 may not be the fully “new game” I wanted, but as a fresh start for the IP, I like what it’s trying to do. I still think the very first enemies you face feel way too bullet-spongy, but as you get new weapons fairly fast, enemies begin to feel more appropriately tuned by the time you hit level 5 or 6. And at its core, the story of Defiance is still a good one, there’s a lot of content to play that I never did get to before as well. That’s fine and good for me, and probably for thousands of others who never played the game on its previous consoles. But for those diehard Defiance fans, there’s not a lot of incentive to play through Defiance 2050 all over again. There’s a sort of “Valor” system they’ve set up, which reminds me of how TSW players could bring over content and the like to Secret World Legends.

If there are things I’d like to see added to Defiance 2050 after launch, it’d be a small list right now: first person view, better car controls, and a strong content plan and systems to keep the game fresh for all. Defiance 2050 is arguably better than the original, though some folks will miss the old EGO system. My only real concern now is how it goes from launch, and how much love and care is Trion willing to give the title?


William Murphy

Bill is the former Managing Editor of MMORPG.com, RTSGuru.com, and lover of all things gaming. He's been playing and writing about MMOs and geekery since 2002, and you can harass him and his views on Twitter @thebillmurphy.