So why did I wait so long when I’ve been such a huge fan of the TV show from the beginning? I had my reasons, some good and some not so good, but none of them hold water anymore. In no particular order, they were:
The Time Commitment: Defiance Will Not Devour Your Free Time Like a Ravenous Hellbug (Unless You Want It To)
I’ve been playing World of Warcraft for over 5 years, and once you get to the end-game content, it requires a significant time commitment if you want to play at even a semi-serious level. I knew I didn’t have time to play two games for even a couple of hours a day. As an app programmer, a writer, a rancher and a country lawyer I have far too many real life responsibilities for that!
But the good news is you don’t have to play Defiance 20 hours a week to enjoy either the play or the content. You can leave the game anywhere and pick it up right where you left off, even mid-quest, and while I can’t speak for end-game content in week one, it’s already clear that the process of getting there will take a nice long time, well worth the price of admission, and does not require any particular time commitment in terms of hours per day or per week.
I Heard You Can Only Play Two Races: There Are Three Now, and the Avatar Build System is Awesome
When the game first came out, you could only play Humans and Irathients. I admit I was disappointed when I heard that from fellow gamers. But Trion has since added Castithans to the list, and the avatar system blew me away when I made my first character–an Irathient, as it happens, so what I wanted to play most was what they released first anyway. Color me embarrassed.
On day one, all I did was create my character. I was so enthralled I lost all track of time. On a scale from 1 to 10, Defiance gets a 10+ for avatar design, and that’s a big deal for me. Not just your standard hair color, eye color, hair style but even eye shape, nose shape, mouth shape, facial bone structure, alien markings, face paint and tons more… all customizable. You can always just randomize and go, an important option for people who just want to get to the fighting, but I easily spent over thirty minutes mesmerized by all the choices. Trion’s system is avatar heaven.
The Price of Admission: the Price of the Game on All Three Platforms Has Been Reduced
I bought my copy for PS3 for $19.96 from Wal-Mart, which is currently the most expensive of the three platforms. Wal-Mart lists the Xbox version at $17.31 and the PC version for $9.96. (You can buy it online directly from Trion for $9.99 and go straight to the download.) When you think of the production that went into this title, the price is outlandishly cheap. My only personal issue is the in-game store where you can buy upgrades for real money, but what game doesn’t have that anymore.
If gamers are going to refuse to pay $75 for a game title, game producers are going to have to try to make their money some other way. High-end productions are expensive to make, and the gaming industry is a business. If the producers can’t make money, they aren’t going to produce any more games. As much as I would have liked to knock a star off my 10-star rating for having in-game purchases, I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. As a gaming community, we’ve brought that on ourselves.
A word to the wise about the PC version. This is a graphically intense game and requires a decent gaming PC to play. I managed to create a character on a Surface Pro but the process was choppy as hell and I wouldn’t recommend it. If you’re going to game on a PC, buy at least a mid-level gaming PC with a decent graphics card. (The game is not available yet for the Mac OS, but there are reports that bootcamp can run it. I’ll let you know once I try it.)
I Heard MMORPG Gamers Are All as Friendly as Your Average Irathient: Not True, and You Can Be as Interactive or as Independent as You Like
Sure, some MMORPG gamers like to play the bad-ass flamer (…the things I hear over the Call of Duty PVP system), but unlike the villains killed by Arnold Schwarzenegger in True Lies, they aren’t all bad. My first night playing on the PS3 I was invited to group with a random player questing in my area. I played the noob and instead of using voice I typed to him that I had no idea wha I was doing, just to see what his response would be. It was a test group of one, I admit, but he was very friendly, saying that he loved the game and was starting again as a Castithan just to be able to play through the storyline one more time, and if I was new to the game that was totally cool with him.
On day two I joined my first Arkfall event without actually having to “join” at all. The system allows you to take part in these in-world group events without actually joining a group or being regaled with random chatter if you don’t want it. It’s the best of both worlds: group-play loot without the group-chat bitching. Fair warning, if you aren’t a highly experienced MMORPG console gamer you’re probably going to die a good bit playing on your own, but the penalty for dying is forgivingly mild so just brush yourself off and get back in the fight! The world of Defiance needs you!
Follow Ask Erin on Twitter @SyFySky for Defiance news, articles, updates, and the best of the #Defiance Twitter chatter. Read about the cast of Defiance at Dragon*con here!
Why You Should Try Defiance If You Haven’t Already
With a new race pack and great intro prices, Defiance is encouraging new players to try the game and enticing legacy players to come back.What Our Ratings Mean