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Defiance - Xbox 360
Format: Video Game|Change
Price:$7.84+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime


on April 17, 2013
When this game originally released, there were some serious issues involving the servers. It was a hindrance most PC gamers and MMO gamers are relatively used to but for console gamers, this is something entirely new to us. Right off the bat, many people were put off by the difficulty to actually get on a server and play the game. As of late, the servers may be up and running but many of the players have vanished since then.

As for the game itself, it starts off a bit slow. You aren't given much direction and the storyline feels almost non-existent. Players create an character given the limited customization options and are also asked to choose a respective background for their character. The backstory behind your character is irrelevant as it only defines your original outfit and starting weapons. Your character also never speaks so it's not like a backstory would make much of a difference anyways.

The storyline doesn't really pick up until about halfway through the game and if you purchase this game for the Xbox then you'll have no idea when you're actually halfway through the game. Each achievement, when unlocked, changes it's requirements to a clever or seemingly dull phrase that makes it almost impossible to decipher which achievement it is. If you're dedicated, you'll suddenly stop and check your achievements to find out you're in Act 3 of the story.

The voice acting is well, okay. To be honest, some of it is rather laughable but it's hard to say that it's absolutely horrible. There really isn't much character development in the beginning so you don't start feeling important until half way through the game. Mind you that you'll often forget about the main storyline if you go off and do the ungodly amount of side missions and little mini-game missions across the unbelievably large map.

The gameplay isn't too bad; however, it lacks a social sphere. Like most MMOs, area chat is often fluttering with conversation and there are usually definitive social hubs for players to gather at and trade. In Defiance, on the consoles, there's none of that. There are vendors that players can gather at but typing out messages on an on-screen keyboard is far too time consuming for most players. In-game voice chat only works when players group up with one another, which, unless you have friends or a dedicated clan, you won't find too many of them.

It plays like a straight third-person shooter with a loot system similar to Borderlands. Enemies drop loot ranging from money, to resources (for mods and what not), and weapons/shields. They are colored coded and assorted by rank or EGO rating. Your character and use any weapon he or she likes and be able to keep up with the rest of the group; however, assault rifles appear to be the most used weapons as they often have the best range and DPS.

As for your skill trees, you are given a choice of one of the four powers on a massive grid. You can then upgrade your character according to your skill or slowly branch off into another power for added perks. Your character, as he or she levels, is given perk slots to use your abilities in combat. They can range from damage reduction, critical hit bonuses, to a whole range of useful and useless goodies. Most players seem to use the Overcharge and/or Cloak abilities.

The game does promote co-operative gameplay; however, at the moment, you aren't able to see your friend's mission statuses yet. There are also definitive co-op maps with unique storylines and bosses tied to them. And then there are Arkfalls. Arkfalls are what really define Defiance as a game. Hundreds of players will gravitate towards the randomly placed Arkfall events to fight hordes of enemies and, in the end, a massive boss to get some pretty decent loot out of it. It's awesome to see that many players coming together and fighting alongside one another in a heated battle. It may be a bit laggy with that many people in one area but it often runs rather smoothly and becomes a relatively enjoyable experience.

Now, for those of you who are strictly in PvP, there's plenty of that too. I have noticed though that the mechanics of PvP can be a bit broken. Most individuals use a shotgun and the cloak ability to simply walk up to enemies and unload on them. It can be a bit lopsided if one player has a stronger perk set and weaponry but it's often a fair playing field.

For PvP players, there's also Shadow Wars which are the "big team battles" of Defiance. Hundreds of players on a map, divided into teams, playing a massive game of domination/king of the hill. There are miscellaneous AI enemies running around like raiders and cyborgs called 99ers to rustle both teams feathers a bit but it can be an enjoyable experience with a organized and strategic group of teammates.

All in all, I do enjoy this game. It's a nice casual play with some fun mechanics. There are a few bugs needing to be sorted out but the game runs rather smoothly compared to it's release. To be honest though, the game doesn't really give me enough incentive to go and watch the show (even with designated episode missions pertaining to the show) but it still is a fun game. Don't expect to be dazzled at mind-blowing graphics or completely revolutionary gameplay but be glad that Xbox finally got into the MMO field. You pay $60 for the game and you have a free subscription forever. There's an in-game store but the items are more for customization rather than game breaking weaponry (like in MMO's where you essentially pay-to-win).

If you're interested in shooters and want a casual game to play, pick this bad boy up. I personally enjoyed it and have already put countless hours into it, even in spite of it's flaws and difficult release. I wouldn't say this is a game you 'need' to play but I think most gamers will be able to enjoy it.
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on May 20, 2013
(Played on 360 for several hours)

The idea is great and the gameplay is okay... That's where it stops unfortunately. For those of you that have played an MMO or a game such as Diablo or Borderlands you understand that story, character development, and loot are some of the biggest driving motivations to play a game. All of these are either lacking or completely gone.

Story? Ummm... Well go here and press "X" then kill a few waves, that sums up over 95% of the missions. I simply don't care about the story because there really isn't one and the plot holes are massive.

The character development is also garbage really. Most of the skills are useless and hardly ever used.

There is no difference between a gun you get at lvl 10 versus one you get at lvl 250. Yep, that's right... Now if you are very lucky you might get a rare drop (don't get excited) because the bonuses it adds are very minor, such as -10% grenade respawn when reloading a completely gun.

The concept is great but the execution is lacking. This game needed another year of development to fix bugs, add depth, and make a story worth playing. I would give this a 2.5/5 but that is not possible so I will be generous and round up.
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on January 21, 2016
Defiance was one of my favorite games.. for a while. Now it is barely worth playing.
- You will be fighting people who have played for YEARS. Don't expect to beat them.. their weapons will outclass you 10:1.
- The AIs are predictable and some just plain stupid. I have walked right up to the back of many of them and just taken them out without a fight.
- The game went from "pay to play" to "in-game purchases". Frustrating for those of us who paid for something like this (and makes purchasing almost pointless).
- Some missions simply cannot be done without an in-game purchase.
- The more someone pays for in-game purchases, they better they are going to be than you..
- The in-game voice chat leaves a lot to be desired
- There are way too many "elitists".. people who think that everyone should play they way they want them to and do everything they say (or they'll trash you till the end of time). And I thought it was an MMO..
- The clans have become a joke. You HAVE to be in a clan to get all your points but many of them are worse than homeowner associations.
- Bugs, bugs, bugs. They are constantly updating this game to fix bugs, only to introduce new ones.
- The game is so poorly written that it HAS to be rebooted every night (Ever thought of hiring REAL programmers, Trion?).
- The graphics are VERY low res.. looks like something from the mid to late '90s.
- The tie-in to the show (yes, there is a show) is a joke, at best. It doesn't even take place in the same place.
- Last, but not least, CHEATERS. People have figured out how to cheat this game and Trion/Glyph don't seem to be able to do anything about it. Nothing like someone shooting you through a wall to ruin the match.
There are a lot of reasons to like this game but even more to hate it. If you aren't already playing, people are too far ahead of you to do well, no matter how good you are. The programmers have tried to equalize this with no luck. Hit play and die. Fun.. not!
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on January 30, 2014
The review below was based on the original, "buy the DVD" version of the game. The software is now free on Xbox 360, PS3, and PC. All of the bugs have been worked out, the install time is amazingly fast (compared to the install that the DVD required), and the updates are only a few minutes now, instead of over an hour (or four).

The game play itself hasn't changed much. There are some cosmetic changes here and there, such as the major ark falls. They also have had some seasonal events, such as a reindeer hunt around Christmas (hunt as in find, NOT shoot).

Overall, I have found the game to be very fun since Trion released version 2, and I highly recommend it to others. I am leaving the old review intact, just so you can get a feel for how bad it was, and compare the new version for yourself.

Granted, there is still the occasional crash, but it always feels (at least to me), that it is because there are just too many players in one spot, doing the same event at once. But when you stop and think about it, having too many players means there are a lot of people enjoying the game, and that is a positive thing, even if the crash is an inconvenience.

Unfortunately, the Ark Hunter DLC is still too important not to buy, since it leaves a hole in the game if you don't have it. But considering the hours of fun you'll have with version 2, it's worth the $10.

And by-the-way, when you buy the game new, there are some codes for items that will help you get started, so if you're the type of person that bought World of Tanks (another free game on the 360), you might want to consider grabbing the disc for this game as well.

Should Trion ever put out an Xbox One version, especially if I can keep my character, I will definitely install it.

I still can't stand the TV show, however.

The Original Review:

In the three weeks that I've been playing, I had to install three times. Once when I put it in my Xbox the first time, a second one within a week of playing because of a bad patch, and again today, because of a bad patch. It takes half an hour to install, and the first two patches were 1 1/2 hours each.

The first time I tried to patch today, the patch froze my Xbox (a common complaint on the message board for the game). This forced me to patch a second time, and again, I locked up. I was forced to clean the cashe, and install from scratch. That was half an hour to install, plus FOUR HOURS to patch. FOUR HOURS!

The company has also stopped taking direct questions via email or phone. You have to file a complaint via their site, and hope they answer within a few business days. No game is worth all of the install/patch time that this one requires on a weekly basis. And by the way, today's patch was to accommodate a dlc that isn't even out for another week or so.

If you think the bad reviews are an over reaction, look at Amazon's buy price for the game. Twenty one cents as I type this. Twenty one cents for a game that currently sells new for $10. That has to mean that there are more people selling their copies then there are people buying them used or new.

DON'T BUY THIS GAME!

UPDATE:

I Attempted to play this again. Things were fine for a few days, then yesterday, another long patch, due to the need to re-install. The patch was over 4 hours this time. I did have other things to do, so I let it run. Today came another patch. It installed, the game crashed, and I had to reboot my Xbox. When I went back to the game, it started to re-install automatically.

After almost 2 hours, I gave up, and turned it off. Later, I attempted to finish the patch, but for some reason I was told that I'd have to start the patch from scratch. Almost 2 hours later, the patching was done. I turned the game on, and was told that the patch was corrupt. I'd have to do it all over again, game install and the patch.

I have noticed that the people that get to bypass all of this <censored> are the people that have bought the most recent dlc for the game. Maybe I'm just being jaded or paranoid, but I think that Trion is trying to force people to spend money on the season pass or dlc. Either way, I am selling my copy.
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on April 16, 2013
So like a lot of reviewers on here, I have played a lot of Borderlands and Borderlands 2 and can see where the comparisons come from. Whilst similar, Defiance is its own game and stands up well as such.

It will take about 30 minutes to install the game to your console and then about 20-30 minutes for patches they have released since launch. Once this is done you will find a very enjoyable game with a massive world to explore. After installing the patches I did get a server connection error but pressing START again and I connected instantly.

The game gets episodic content based on the TV series so you will see characters in game that you see in the show and in fact, the first week of launch you met characters you didn't even know about until the TV series launched and then you realised how alike the in game character was to the TV show actors.

The major downside is that Defiance is region locked on the server so USA players can't play with Europeans for example. For most this won't be an issue but as a Brit in the US it was a bit of a draw back not being able to play with my friends back home. However, I did buy two copies and got my wife to join me. Defiance was definitely worth the price of two copies of the game and the TV series started well with the pilot episode. Looking forward to more of the TV series and game.
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on April 24, 2013
Being a long time MMO player and also a sci-fi geek, i was really looking forward to this game, and seeing how they integrated the TV show. I bought the game on day one of launch and fought on through the constant bugs, server crashes and prime time maintenance. After giving this game about 2 1/2 weeks of almost nightly play i just dont find myself interested enough to log in on a regular basis. And i even have about 4 real life friends who are also currently playing, who made the lackluster experience somewhat tolerable.. I couldn't imagine playing this game alone.
I will admit i've had some personal bad luck in the game. Within my first day or two of playing i was able to pick up a few sweet pieces of gear. However, a few days later i logged on and found the gear gone. Like any good sport i logged a support ticket. However i received a generic response stating that the issue was resolved with no further explanation. The problem was, the issue was not resolved. I never got any of my items back. Sorry Defiance, it's been fun. I'll continue watching the show and hopefully they can get the game back on the right track.
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on July 1, 2013
The premise of this game is fun, but it falls horribly short due to technical shortcomings.

First, I created two completely different characters and each one glitched out completely when attempting to leave the starting zone. Once this glitch happened, the characters were unuseable. They would get kicked from the server when attemptiing to log in. My friend encountered the exact same glitch. The only solution is to delete that character and start a new one.

My third new character successfully made it through. When playing with my friend, we were frequently having our party split up. Apparently there are a number of quests that you cannot play with a party. And if someone has already done a quest, members of the party can't see any details. In fact, most quests if one person has completed will cause members of your team to disappear. Apparently quests 'change the world' and if that part of the world is changed for a member of the party, everyone else gets put in the unchanged world, while you're left unable to see or interact with anything they are doing. There is an option to join their phase but it worked 1/8 times we tried.

There are also major technical faults even in the patching system. The last patch that arrived gave a warning stating that users will receive a critical error message after downloading the entire patch. The solution? After getting the error, completely reinstall the game and redownload all the patches. How this is even an option is beyond me.

When you actually get in and play some of the open world content, or even some of the Instances/Dungeons, it's really fun. But getting to that fun is such a chore, I'm struggling to enjoy it.
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on June 6, 2013
I picked up this game months after release, and I'm frustrated to say that it's still completely broken.

I've started the game 8 times, each time with different characters, before/after restarting the console,.. I've tried everything. It crashes at the end of the first chapter (aka, when you're supposed to start the game), and when you log back in, all of your items are gone and end up in an empty world. So, then you start over, recreate your character, do the whole tutorial missions over, and then it'll crash again at the end of the chapter. Rinse / Repeat. I just wasted hours of my time attempting to play this game with a friend-- it was broken for BOTH of us, in different homes, on different systems.

It's a known bug on their forums, and it's shameful that the game still doesn't work this long after release. For the first time ever, I'm going to attempt to get a refund on the game simply because it doesn't work.

Horrible. Broken. Don't buy.
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on June 6, 2013
Experience with MMO games, and this game has good ideas - but falls short in many areas. Here are thte glaring issues:

Its very glitchy in all parts of the game - weapons, missions & contracts, "real world events"/instances, enemies, vehicles, and PvP (they actually had to remove maps and part of the game so the servers wouldn't lag out).

The high level progress is mundane at best. No equipment/gear quests. They are not even random drops - they are random chest purchases.

And there is no classes. Oh, they try to trick you and say there are different classes, but all it is are different skins. No special attributes, no customization, no extra gear, nothing!!! You might start out with a different weapon, but then you can just buy the weapon you want later. The perks are universal and one can customize their talents to it.

As for the good parts...

Story is pretty good, and it actually ties into a TV series - that is pretty unique.

For a console game that is not a First Person Shooter - its a good MMO for a console system.

The game is progressive enough to keep me hooked for a while, but the company failed to fixed/address glaring problems - more of cheap quick fixes to appease the players.

Like I said it was a nice attempt, but there needs to be more follow thru by the company.
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on March 31, 2015
It's free now, and was free when I paid money for it. I wanted this for the DLC code, which didn't work. So...whatever, if like me you just wanted the code for the red VBI Infiltrator suit, you're going to have to get it from somewhere else. Maybe I'm just a moron and don't know anything, but in the description it didn't say anything about the codes being worthless. Anyway, have fun with that four or five or six dollars or whatever it was I gave you for this crap.

If nothing else, I got another case to hold a dvd or another game.
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