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First Look at Defiance

Posted Wed, Jun 08, 2011 by B. de la Durantaye

One of the highlights of E3 this year, at least for me, was in a small room in the Trion Worlds booth. After its success with Rift they've certainly gained the eyes and ears of the media. As it's shaping up the new title, Defiance, will be ensure that attention stays locked on Trion Worlds.

The team has partnered up with the Syfy network to create an MMO shooter that shares a world with an upcoming television show on the Syfy network. The game and show will share personalities, events, and on occasion, locations. We were also told that players who play through specific parts of the game and somehow impact its dynamic world could even end up becoming a part of the lore within the television series, having their character names written into the show's script.

defiance

defiance

This is all fairly alluring when considering new MMOGs, but I found the real star of the show turned out to be the game's technology. For the first time ever, a MMO shooter will share servers between the Playstation 3, Xbox 360 and PC. Players on all three platforms will share the universe, which takes place in the near future in the San Francisco area.

As has come to be expected from shooters, the game will offer traditional power ups such as stealth and speed abilities. However, all of this will take place in a persistent, online, seamless world. There are no zone lines or loading screens, and the world is open for you to explore.

But what does Trion Worlds mean by "persistent?" The world evolves around you. Based on your actions as well as those by other players the world itself can shift whether you're online or offline. If you log off in a wooded area that seems quiet at the time, you could end up logging back in with a new population of NPCs to greet you. This  adds exceptional value to the game as you will never have the same experience twice, even if you're playing an alternate character starting off in the same area you've played before.

defiance

defiance

Concept artwork for Defiance.
There will be multiple servers at launch, each of which will be able to support thousands of players at once. The players on these servers will be able to group up as in traditional MMOGs and will be able to adventure forth together, sharing experiences, stories and missions. Yes, the game is mission driven, which work similarly to quests, but missions are quick to obtain by simply entering particular areas. Each player in the group will receive the same mission at the same time and be able to progress through it together.

To Trion Worlds, the game's atmosphere is comparable to Halo, Red Dead Redemption, and Borderlands, taking elements of each of those games and rolling it into its unique flavor of shooter. The added bonus here is by taking that approach the team hopes to add a level of accessibility that will make it a snap for any player who's had even limited experience in various shooters and other games to get into the game, involved and on their way to adventure.

defiance

defiance

Team work is a big focus of the game. As we watched the demo one player would have to provide cover fire for the other teammate to be able to progress further into their objective. This kind of design can make grouping not only enjoyable, but a fundamental part of the overall experience.

Now, enter Rift's persuasion. Events known as Arkfalls will take place throughout the world in a somewhat random order. This event happens when a piece of space debris falls to earth which contains valuable technology or equipment. These Arkfalls are so valuable, in fact, that players will find themselves competing against other alien forces to get to it first. From what we saw, it was hard not to see these Arkfalls as a Death Rift in TW's flagship: Rift. The mechanics looked similar, but that can be a welcome feature for many gamers.

We'll be keeping a close eye on Defiance to see how it all unfolds over the next months and/or years. There is no estimated date for release or beta.


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