Defiance. A new step for MMOs?

When someone discusses Lord of the Rings, you no longer think of just some rather old books. There are games, movies, literature, spin-offs and plenty of cosplay. Tolkein’s books are no longer a title, but an entire universe, much in the same way we see Marvel nowadays, with the various characters in their own games, movies and of course comics.

That’s what Defiance is about to become, not just a game, nor a TV series but a fully interactive universe! April of 2013 is going to have a lot going on; Syfy will be launching Defiance the TV series, on which the game is based. Though being honest, it could be that Defiance, the game from Trion Worlds, will be based on the TV series. It’s clear to see how consumers are going to be hit from both angles and I can’t imagine anything better!

We have all suffered that moment after watching a show where we just want more! And what better way to finish an episode by jumping into the game on which it’s based. I’ll talk more about the show in a moment, but right now let’s look at what is most groundbreaking about this new saga. Defiance will be a third person shooter game, with various weapon progression and customisation sets, unique looking players and the ability to traverse the world on various vehicles. Okay, so from that alone it doesn’t sound so special, but when you look at what the game really is; a MMO (Massive Multiplayer Online) game, the scope of this project drops jaws better than any sniper rifle could!

Working as a real-time third person shooter as opposed to a numbers game; actual skill in how well you shoot will decide the victory on the battlefield. Other games have attempted to have real time combat with MMOs, but far too many slip back into the, “Press 1 for standard attack and hotkey 2 to 9 for your new abilities.” The idea that there is a persistent world whereby your lack of inactivity can cause long lasting effects is a great way to pull gamers back to the chair! The intention from Trion Worlds is to have something happening ALL the time; be it small skirmishes or epic ‘Alien meet my gun’ battles. Players have shown time and time again that online interactivity is the right direction we need to be heading in within the games industry and it was only a matter of time before the likes of World of Warcraft met Gears of War. While I blather on and dribble for a bit, watch the most recent Dev Diary below to get a feel of what the developers are trying to pull you into.

What is scary is the repercussions this could have in the long term for console and PC gaming. Guild Wars 2 is still jumping in and out of the “do we release MMO to console” party. What’s not to say that the success or failure of Defiance could sway that opinion? It’s a big step forward but; lag issues, a lack of level distancing between newbies and hardcore gamers, along with the sometimes temperamental Xbox Live reliability, could cause this project to stumble.

But what better way to back up the launch of a game than with a brand new TV series! Defiance is set in the near future war torn wastes of Earth. Aliens who came to visit realised their stay was not welcome and then began a bloody and brutal war, transforming Earth’s landscape to a variety of wasteland and mutated jungles. A ceasefire is negotiated between the two species and Jeb Nolan, a veteran of the war and our star character as played by Grant Bowler, takes position as Chief of Security in his hometown.

While it’s not yet clear how much interactivity the show will have with the game and vice versa, Syfy have been working in collaboration with Trion Worlds to bring this story together. So we can expect great things on screen and monitor alike! As I said at the start; April is going to be one hell of a busy month!

Defiance the game will release on Xbox 360 and the TV show will air on the Syfy channel in the USA. Both are released in April 2013.

Source: Defiance Website

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