Defiance 2050 - The return of the MMO shooter

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Aina Prat


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In 2013, Trion launched a groundbreaking project that linked a television series published on SyFy, to a video game, both named Defiance. Big announcements were made on this occasion, with a lot of advertising spots and press events, with the will that the game influences the series, as much as the series influences the game. The game is released on April 2, the pilot of the series is available on the 15th, perfect timing! Unfortunately, the realization has never lived up to the promises thereafter, the two products are content to share the same universe but it does not go much further. The years go by, the series ends in August 2015 after three seasons and the most pessimists were already burying the game. It is true that the following two years were quite hard and the game remained discreet, it continued to unite a player base. faithful who undoubtedly ensured the title roll while Trion worked behind the scenes ...

At gamescom 2017 in August, the publisher had already told us about this redesign in the secrecy of the Business space, then the announcement fell at the beginning of the year: Defiance 2050! A few beta phases later, early access, and here's the actual launch on July 10, 2018, more than five years after the initial release. Thanks to a code provided by Trion which unlocked the ultimate class pack for me, I was able to go on an adventure in the "new" Defiance.



Defiance 2050 therefore takes place in 2046 on an Earth ravaged by a global catastrophe, and more specifically in the Bay of San Francisco, which has suffered more than three decades of wars and terraformation. In this chaos, human and extraterrestrial survivors forced to live together form a motley group which tries as best they can to rebuild a new society.

On the fringes, there are the little appreciated Pillarchs, mercenaries who venture into the rubble with the hope of recovering precious votane technology. In this group of which our character is part, we meet the two heroes of the series, shortly before they leave for Defiance: Nolan and Irisa, his adopted daughter of Irathian origin.


First steps

After a short introductory cutscene, character creation begins. By default, there are three races available (one of which is unlocked for real money) for four classes, via an interface that does not seem to have changed much since 2013. The models are basic and the faces are not very pretty. admit it.

The customization of the character beyond the three basic archetypes is done by ten parameters for each category, with eyes, colors and hairstyles, tattoos, brands ... So don't expect to pass hours to configure every little detail of your new avatar, the tool gets to the point.

Once my Pillarche name is chosen, I land in San Francisco Bay ... well, I crash instead. I get to know EGO, a bio-integrated AI that gives me very useful upgrades, kinds of magical powers that increase my character's abilities. She gives me my first mission which I gladly accept and I start my new adventure ...



Shooter first and foremost, Defiance 2050 offers dynamic firearm combat in six different styles: pistols, assault rifles, submachine guns, light machine guns, rifles and sniper rifles. For nags, there are also rocket launchers, grenades and large weapons that can be temporarily used for cleaning.

Intended to be played on a console, this is felt especially on the interface side, which, like the game, are nonetheless pleasant and easy to use with the keyboard / mouse (I only played as that, I prefer to aim with the mouse). There is therefore no long list of skills, a left click the weapon fires, and it zooms in with the right click. Grenades launch with G, and the trick to survival is to keep moving and play with the cover of the scenery and crouch behind him if necessary (C).

By gaining EGO levels, the character progresses in his active class, chosen at start-up (the two do not necessarily coincide, I had started as Assault, so I am 20 EGO and 19 Combat Medic). The other classes unlock, either by playing (against faction distinctions) or by buying them for real money in a pack (like the one I got). Class points are to be distributed among various skills that increase efficiency and especially unlock the very useful powers of EGO.

The character's strike force depends on his equipment, summarized in his weapons and his two accessories (grenade and shield). An embryo of craftsmanship exists with the dismantling of weapons that are not used, to extract parts, which improve those used. There is also a management of mods, very rare items that can sometimes be found in loot, but are more surely bought from merchants (or for real money). Finally, if you've found a great weapon but don't like these bonuses, you can re-roll them for a cost.


The average of the items equipped defines the power, which is to be compared with the power of the monsters opposite because there are no areas or levels clearly indicated when traveling. So, if there is a skull showing on enemies' health bar, it indicates that it would be better to turn around and go back to complete additional missions.



In addition to the main missions which must solve all the problems of the New Frontier, many other activities are available on the map, starting with the parallel missions which take place on the same concept: an objective and several stages with enemies to kill , people to protect or "things" to activate.


Zone events are triggered, some of small magnitude localized around an objective (such as eradicating a messoran nest, killing a priority target or protecting people), and others affecting the entire population of the region such as Fallout arch, huge fights that require the involvement of all players nearby. At the end, a leaderboard summarizes how well each person performed, with an amount of XP awarded accordingly.


A matchmaking system is in place to allow solo players to find teammates, or otherwise there is always the opportunity to go through the chat. To be completed as a group, there is co-op PvE content, with maps and arenas requiring groups of 4 players.


There is also competitive PvP for players who like to kill each other with competitive matches (in teams of 8-16 players) and Shadow Wars (in a large open world).

Finally, challenges are dispatched across the world. Not listed on the map, they therefore require to be discovered directly by exploration.

To conclude, the chases will appeal to players looking for accomplishment with hundreds of feats that require completing missions, but also exploring the depths of the tormented world of Defiance. And the game does not end once EGO 50, because it is only then that the contracts are unlocked!


You will understand that Defiance will not let you get bored.



Many vehicles are available, from quad to buggy to the more classic closed car. Very fast, all vehicles are equipped with a boost to go even faster. Driving is not always very obvious, especially since the stop is not immediate and it is common to find yourself in the background. Fortunately, there is no fall damage so more fear than harm.

Any vehicle is capable of dealing damage, which is a good way to clear the ground before getting off. Be careful though, if the health drops too low, it will explode and deal damage to everyone, including the driver.

For longer distances, the teleportation system from the map avoids unnecessary trips.


Free-to-play et boutique

The incentives are quite numerous, it makes you want to spend your money, especially since in the middle of the inventory and class menus, there is this bonus panel, where it is directly possible to buy Temporary improvements to XP, Scrip (the in-game currency), reputation, and skills.

I also imagine that for players with no packs, being limited to a single class must be frustrating. Otherwise, everything else is gathered in the specific Shop tab where, in addition to useful items like upgrades and weapon mods, there are a whole bunch of cute cosmetic items, from vehicles to outfits to helmets. ...




Onidra's review

I had played relatively little of the original game, and within days (I debuted in Early Access), I had already gone much further than ever with an EGO rating of 21. The game retains some of its original flaws, notably the interface which I find quite dated although it seems easier to use, the creation of the character or the driving of the vehicle. But the changes made are welcome, the game is much more beautiful, the classes bring readability to the progression system that once made it really difficult to choose talents, and the improvement of the weapons makes it easier to learn. Overall, we progress more easily, we see that his character is improving, and we also understand how to do better. Therefore, I had a great time taking down loads of pissed off Messorans. A few server issues impacted my experience slightly, but I didn't suffer as much as the others, having the opportunity to play at off-peak hours. If you like the action of a good shooting game, try the adventure, you won't risk much!


Avis de Juliaan

I clearly remember the release of Défiance at the time. I was very excited about the idea of ​​a cross-media universe and recently in the Games Managers team, I had the opportunity to launch a brand new site (at the time when we were still offering a per game). The soufflé was very quickly settled, the world of the game being pretty well done, but the content remaining fairly flat and without any real originality. Nevertheless, regular updates have enabled Défiance to build content worthy of the name, unfortunately a little too late to bring players (re) in.

So, offering a game overhaul is rather a good idea rather than offering a simple update. It is true that Defiance 2050 retains some of its old flaws, but we see that the developers have made efforts to at least mitigate them. The class system in particular, which was quite confusing, and is now becoming much clearer (even if suddenly the incentive to shop is more present to buy a new class). Having played the previous one, we also see some small changes in the progression of the story quest, which lags a little less in length. A welcome change for veterans, who would not necessarily want to redo everything.

In short, while it's debatable whether this is more of an update than a complete overhaul, Trion had a good idea to relaunch Defiance in this way to make one talk again. little of it, the game having been, in my opinion, a little underestimated when it was released. If we hide the big concerns of lag (which should be resolved quickly, hopefully), the pleasure of finding this universe is there, and even if it is not the game of the year, let's be honest, he has all the qualities to have a good time. And then, after all, it's F2P, so it doesn't cost a thing to try!


Avis d'Azashar

When Defiance "V1" came out, I loved the idea of ​​cross media with the series. The fact that in-game events appeared in relation to the episode of the week was really a great idea and brought together 2 passions: MMOs and series! After the end of the first season, motivation had waned, but Defiance is the kind of MMO you can play for an hour here, an hour there without hassle and have fun without worrying. invest thoroughly, which allows you to play it regularly in "small" doses between two big games (MMO or not).

When Defiance 2050 was announced, I was happy to come back to explore the Defiance lands. However, Defiance 2050 does not offer huge upheavals. As we have seen in The Secred World and its "re-release", it is mainly the skills and management of the character that has evolved, but the rest of the game is similar. The new class system drastically reduces the freedom in the creation of builds, but on the other hand allows to have a clearer system, easy to learn, and allowing to easily define the orientation that we want to give. to his character (Tank, Heal, DD nag, stealth, etc.).

My conclusion matches that of Juliaan. Even if for my part I see this more as a big update than a real overhaul, it is a good idea to make it a "new" game, allowing to relaunch the MMO a bit by attracting new players and bringing back the old ones like me. Even if having to start a character over from scratch can seem frustrating, it is not in the end, it is a pleasure to redo the story, the quests, etc. However, the game has some very big lag issues (which can be fixed with a VPN), something that strangely the “V1” (which is still online) does not suffer.

In the end, Defiance 2050 is, like its predecessor, a good little MMO on which you can spend many, many hours and have fun sporadically, without investing deeply, but can hold in the long term. In addition, the game is in F2P and the store is really optional. If the latter takes the same path as the V1 store, it will be mainly cosmetics (vehicles, appearances, costumes, etc.) and some small account options without making the game P2W (inventory increase, renaming character, etc.).


Avis de Kathlyn

Unlike Juliaan and Azashar, I hadn't played the first version of Defiance. It is therefore with the gaze of a player who is discovering this universe that I put my bags on Defiance 2050. And that will also be a small problem.
Character creation is sketchy, but sufficient. There is still something to personalize your avatar. First downside: it is not just humans that we can play and there is no explanation for other species. A little bit of lore would have been welcome.

Once in play, the first cutscene puts us right in the mood, but shows what will be one of the MMORPG's flaws: aging graphics. Defiance gives the impression of not being far from 10 years old. The sets are not ugly either, but very repetitive in the long run. The animation lacks fluidity, the gameplay rich. When we are used to playing The Division, it looks a little pale. I'm not the type to dwell on the visual though, but here I still have a little trouble.

Landing for the first time in this universe is a bit confusing, although I salute the quality of the voice acting and the dialogue, you feel like you are being thrown into something that is on the way, as if you have missed an episode. . Moreover, speaking of episode, it would have been good to have access to the series, or at least to put it forward on the launcher in order to present this cross-media component. Here again, if the veteran player will feel good in his place, the novice will have the feeling of a somewhat disjointed scenario.

A few words about the UI: in game it is well integrated, no fault on this side. But the menus are something else: no explanation of the stats is embarrassing. No keyboard shortcut to confirm, equip, etc., everything is done with the mouse. The shortcuts for the menu don't seem super logical to me: P for shop (Why not B or S for Shop?), U for Clan, O for Friend, L for Character ... my head on the keyboard to assign keys randomly.
The various options in the Parameters menu are made by pressing "Activate" "Deactivate", counterintuitive as possible: does Activate displayed mean that it is activated or that I must activate it? Changing the "Activate" to "Activated" for example, could already have improved understanding. Same for the graphics, no help to configure.

Overall, Defiance 2050 doesn't leave a great impression on me. But there is still a positive: it's still fun to play, it's not demanding in terms of time and configuration, making the game accessible to a little more players. There is something to do between the main story, the side missions, the challenges, the one-off "Fallout from Ark" events. There are also the characters, endearing, and their dubbing of exemplary quality. It's up to you to form your own opinion!

Defiance 2050 is available on PC (via Glyph), Xbox One, and PlayStation 4 free-to-play. No subscription is required except for Xbox One players who will need an Xbox Live Gold subscription.

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