Defiance is an exciting, fast paced shooter in an MMO world that is wholly fascinating.
Defiance, as stated, takes place in the Bay Area amidst the ruins of a long passed battle known as the Battle of Defiance. You play what is known as an Ark Hunter, someone who hunts rare technology in dangerous territory surrounding the crash sites of pieces of debris from alien ships. The story is a lot more interesting than you might expect, coupled with voice acting that is also a lot better than expected. Your primary missions have you tracking down stolen ark tech that could lead to a very nasty situation for everyone. But while the story might be interesting, as well as the episode missions which tie in with characters from the show, the true star is the gameplay.
Accurately compared to Borderlands, gameplay is much the same. You can equip up to two weapons, a grenade type, a shield type, and a vehicle, which can be immediately summoned for travel across the massive territory you cover. You will find a great many different kinds of weapons that are all fun to explore and test out. Your options are nearly as big, as these weapons also come equipped with special elemental types and attachments. The gameplay itself is simple to grasp and a ton of fun to play. Like most third person shooters, you will have the ability to aim down a sight or scope, crouch to take cover (no stick cover here), and other typical elements. Like the best MMO's, you are actively playing all the time. To add to the shooter fun, players will have the ability to help you out as none of the map is instanced and players can jump right in a fire alongside you or make some unspoken strategy as they flank the bad guys while you provide cover fire.
Few MMO's utilize such a co-op type function, and it's very refreshing. While you can join teams, all that is necessary to help a player with a mission is to be in the same vacinity and start blasting. This is especially true for the games biggest co-op opportunities, Ark Falls. These temporary side missions see pieces of Ark falling to Earth and dozens of players rush to destroy them and collect the rewards. However, you must contend with swarms of the gnarly Hellbugs, who spawn from the ground by the dozens. Together, with masses of other players, you slowly take out these Hellbugs, or sometimes mutants, and are rewarded with gear, generally either uncommon or rare.
Other gameplay varieties include side missions and challenges like destroying waves of mutants or racing. There's plenty to do and is, for the most part, fun. Some of it can get repetitious, especially if there are no enemies to fight during a mission. However, the repetition can often be over looked as it is very action heavy.
Defiance is an unexpectedly enjoyable MMO. It's surprisingly fun, the story is thought provoking and interesting, and there's rarely a shortage of things to do. Then there is the tie in with the show, which promises to add to the experience. If it does, this could, indeed, be a bit of a revelation as far as MMO's go.