Saturday, August 3, 2013

Meanwhile, Back At My PC...

Yeah, so it's been a while. Remember, an ADD-addled gamer is writing this thing, so that's gonna happen. If you've read my previous posts, you know that you were warned. What makes me different from most of the blogs where the writer stops posting after a while, is that sooner or later I usually come back to it. Like now.

Sometimes, it seems, I just lose interest in what I'm playing. In fact, forget sometimes, it's most of the time. Just about any piece of crap game can get me to take a look, but that game has be pretty damned entertaining to hold my interest long-term. SWTOR kept me interested for a few weeks, but that hasn't lasted. I went back for Aion for a little while when they added the new classes with 4.0, but in the last several days my interest in that is waning as well. The nice thing about Aion as opposed to something like SWTOR is that with Aion I can leave it alone for months then come back and pick up exactly where I left off. With SWTOR that's a bit tougher if your sub runs out while you're away.

Lately (meaning over the last week or so), I've been playing Defiance. I'd been in the beta several months ago, and frankly I wasn't all that impressed at the time, but when my best friend came home for a visit a couple of weeks ago, she and I watched the entire first season of the TV show. That got me interested enough in the storyline to give the game another shot.

I signed up for one of those three day free trials they're offering now, and decided that while it certainly wasn't worth the sixty bucks they were originally asking for it, when the price dropped to under ten it was worth it in terms of the entertainment value, especially since Defiance doesn't require a subscription.

So here's my admittedly only-somewhat-experienced initial review:

Basically, Defiance is a third-person shooter MMO that does a few things really well and others maybe not as well as should be. The graphics are good, though a lot of the voice acting is a bit lackluster. Overall production values are high, but the execution leaves a bit to be desired.

So far, the connection between the show and the game seems tenuous at best. I've only seen Nolan and Irisa once, and while I know there's a mission arc involving them, I've yet to find it. The game is very sandboxy, and while there is an overall storyline, it's very easy to get sidetracked away from it with other missions and things to do because there's no clear and easy to follow path telling the player where she should be going next.

One of the attractive parts of this game for me is that it's an MMO that doesn't require me to socialize more than I feel I want or need to. You can enter a battle cooperatively with other players just by going there and jumping in gun blazing, there's no formal grouping required to share in the benefits of success. I like that. I like it a lot.

If you, like me, are one of those players who just likes blowing shit up now and then, you're going to find a lot to like in Defiance. Also, if you're a player, like me, with very limited funds to spend on MMO's and entertainment in general, you'll definitely get your money's worth here. The world is vast, the missions and other activities are plentiful, and the battles are a hell of a lot of fun. If you like this kind of game, this is the best deal you're gonna get for under ten bucks. There's a cash shop, but you can buy most of what you really need with in-game scrip.

As far as the rest of it goes, I'm hopeful. The game has only been out of beta since April, so there's plenty of reason to hope for improvements and refinements going forward. Still, the fact that they dropped the price on the game so much after just a few months doesn't bode well for it's continued existence. We know the show will be back next July so I'm hoping we at least have until the end of next season before we have to worry about the game's continued existence.

All in all, I'm having a pretty time with Defiance right now, but I can't help feeling  that this is probably a game with a limited life span, that it probably won't survive long past the end of the show it's based on, if it even makes it that far. Maybe it's because the game itself is so big, but most of the areas I've been in so far seem pretty empty. And yet, when there's an arkfall I've seen well over a dozen players suddenly appear out of nowhere to help fight it.

Another thing I like is the dynamic events, like arkfalls, and the lack (at least so far) of classic dungeons. It's really a completely different way of MMO combat with a boss and I like it a lot. It seems a lot more like how it would happen in real life.

In some ways, this game reminds me of Crimecraft. Defiance is, in a lot of ways, what Crimecraft should have been. If you liked that game, you seriously need to check out Defiance.

Ok, I think that's enough for now.