A great MMO option for the Xbox 360
To start off it's essentially the first of its kind being a third person RPGMMO. Which like the game creators said prior is a mouthful. But a more realistic explanation of this game is its a shooter set in an ever changing world of post apocalyptic San Francisco. You start off the game as an Ark Hunter implanted with a system similar to Cortana from Halo called EGO. This interface gives you helpful hints, and walks you through the start of the game. Your ship soon after crashes and your left on a hunt to track down your boss who is in possession of a rather important piece of technology. The ark core your boss has will help undo the damage that the alien invasion and subsequent war had caused so long ago. Oh did I forget to mention there's aliens...yes there is and a lot of them. As far as I can tell from playing thus far, your able to pick 2 races as of this time. Human and Irathient, the latter resembling that of a Klingon of sorts. The additional season pass for DLC will allow more races to come but two, is what you get for now which was somewhat of a bummer but I can live with it.
As far as game play goes, the bulk majority of your adventure is driving around in your newest ride, and there are plenty of options including ATV's, Haulers, Rollers, Challengers, Cerberus, and Transports. The game handles vehicles perfectly I think, you just point and with a single button press your car will spawn, essentially like borderlands accept you can summon it anytime anywhere. Don't be fooled though using your vehicle to smash into enemy types only works for so long, and then kabam your left without your vehicle to actually join the fray. Rest assured vehicles however are never destroyed simply they operate on a cool down, as to limit players from endlessly summoning them, and by way reducing lag on servers. Another interesting aspect of Defiance is the guns, and there is plenty.
Not only are their numerous types of guns to find. But they come in different rarities and some but not all with the option of modification through various means. Don't like the scope on your sniper rifle, add night vision, or a silencer, or a extended clip, or a stabilizer. Not every gun allows attachments, but so far I've seen the maximum to be four attachments on your basic guns. Heavy weapons including rocket launchers and grenade rifles allow fewer but still make upgrading all the more fun with more rockets or increases in damage output.
The gun system also allows you to view and rotate your gun, so you can see all the various upgrades in all there glory under the menu options. Navigation through these various menus is also handled quite well. The interface has a delegated section for quests, guns, inventory, modifications, and perks system. Essentially the game plays very similar to a Borderlands MMO.
There is an ability system which allows the use of four powers. At any time only one power can be equipped. There's cloaking, overload, decoy, and speed boost. All the perks cater to different play styles and really no one power is better then the other. However, once you pick your power its yours until you either respec or level up to choose the maximum of two. Each power handles in their own way cloaking is great for oh crap moments. Overpower makes your weapons bullets have great impact and damage. Decoy sends all enemies after a holographic projection of your character. And speed boost, greatly increasing your running speed and your melee damage, so if you like to charge its perfect. All the abilities start off in four corners of the grid perk system, and each branch out to other perks that complement the chosen ability, making it more lethal or lasting longer. You can equip up to ten perks at a time, meaning the higher level your character is the more beef he/she is bringing into combat.
I think the biggest fear people had in playing this game to, is how does XBOX handle the various servers from overloading. The fact is the game handles most large scale confrontations quite well. There is some lag time if say all hundred people are firing there best rocket launcher into the matriarch hell bug but for the most part my connection was pretty smooth, to my surprise. And to put some minds to rest there is a cash shop yes. But does the cash shop sell anything that imbalances the game, no. The cash shop sells exp boosters, and mostly cosmetic items such as new outfits for your characters, which if you want to buy them go ahead.
Lastly I'll talk about the missions and random events, because that's the core of game play here. Missions are handled like this, you receive the mission from whoever the quest giver is, and at any time people within the MMO space can jump in to help or just drive by. If a player does stop to help, enemy numbers and the possibility of a special baddie appearing increase. So the more the merrier in these circumstance. Arkfalls both major and minor darken the skies and let you know that a boss monster of gigantic proportions approach, and when I say big its...big. Get to close and you'll be launched to the edge of the fighting area, and take a big hit to health. The best best is keeping your distance on major boss battles and shooting the weak points simple really. The people causing the most damage during these fights are awarded with Ark Tech of various degrees, so its always worth it to participate. The PVP aspect of the game handles in the same way accept they're called Shadow Wars. Which operate like a random event, however players can opt in or out at any time. Different vehicles can spawn for Shadow Wars like trucks mounted with turrets, and the overall point is just to kill the opposing force, and its all player vs player.
As far as Defiance goes in closing I gave it an 9 out of 10 simply because games from the likes of Bethseda, that deal with wide open worlds have launched with more bugs then this game has. And essentially this game is set in a fallout world with the major difference being you don't have to play alone. The fact that at any time hundreds of people can join up to take down a boss, and some time later your back to questing with a friend or solo is great. I love the constant change of player dynamic that you really only get from a MMO. In closing great game, great fun, and great times to come.