What if Borderlands was actually a subscription-free MMO, with a unique vertical progression system and absolutely zero terrible meme-based humor? That's pretty much what Defiance is. Well, sort of.
Defiance is a sci-fi third person RPG shooter with big insects and grubby clothes and ATVs that can be summoned at any time out of thin air, as God intended. The difficulty isn't determined by your stats and character level as much as the behavior and variety of your enemies, which become more engaging as you progress.
Did I mention this is a tie-in game (or "transmedia event" if you're insufferable) which is based on a SyFy Channel show that hasn't even aired yet? This game is the weirdest thing.
Like Guild Wars 2, you buy the game then play as much or as little as you like without any subscription fees. Unlike Guild Wars 2, Defiance was created by a studio that can make significant improvements to their games on a regular basis.
The game is a bit rough around the edges, to be sure, but it's hard to ignore Defiance's charms. It could be something special as long as Trion Worlds puts in half as much work as they did with Rift. If the first patch is any indication, the game is on the right track.
Defiance Patch 1.010
- Added a helpful automatic word filter/correction function. When a player accidentally types the "sci-fi" or "science fiction", it will be changed to "SyFy". Also, any actor's name will be changed to Richard Grieco.
- Improved server stability. We removed the server from the top of a giant beach ball, and instead placed it on a wobbly table.
- Voice chat is still enabled by default and it still broadcasts to everyone in the entire game world. However, an advanced algorithm now removes human vocals on the fly, leaving only background noises such as chewing, keyboard clacking, mouse clicking, and breathing.
- Heart Of Darkness: Activating a light switch no longer ends this mission.
- Iron Demon Ranch: The rewards for this mission have been revised. Instead of a sarcastic "Way to go", players will receive a random weapon, an appropriate amount of experience, and a cinematic where an NPC rolls her eyes then does a jerking off motion.
- Fixed the tutorial. Players will no longer be inundated with UI prompts to "Kick The Soccer Ball Into The Goal".
- Fixed an error that caused the player character to animate as though they were climbing a ladder even when their charades card was the Wesley Snipes film Passenger 57.
- Equipping a new helmet or mask no longer causes a character model to drop to his or her knees and claw at their face while wailing in pain. Instead, they will wince and sob quietly, clenching their fists in an effort to restrain themselves.
- Some models now have ears.
- Fixed an issue where quest givers would randomly spawn in vehicles, and would pull away every time the player tried to open the passenger door.
- Added a great deal of personality to the world by allowing the player to ask any NPC how they feel about Hellbugs, the universally hated nightmare bugs that kill people.
- Inspired by self-serious action games like Spec Ops: The Line and Far Cry 3, we added an alternate fire mode to every gun. When activated, the player character will hold the weapon up before his or her face and shake their head sadly, asking aloud what good can come from all of this violence.
- Sawed off shotguns are now twice as powerful when you discover and attach the half that was sawed off.
- Rocket launcher projectiles are now rockets, not confetti.
- Fixed a bug that caused other players to enter a car through the tailpipe. They should now enter through the gas cap as intended.
- When an ATV travels faster than your character's running speed, it no longer deposits you on the ground and continues without you over the horizon.
- Removed all UI elements that spoiled the latest episode of Game Of Thrones. Now there's no UI.
Sang-Froid: Tales Of Werewolves
Orcs Must Die with lumberjacks and werewolves and survival, or Jet Set Radio without rollerblades, or okay I was lying about that last part. 7/10
It's that game that lets you play through the history of action RPGs, and it is so confident in the cleverness of its concept that it dispassionately does exactly what you'd imagine. 4/10
Army Of Two: The Devil's Cartel
This game stars two men named Alpha and Bravo, and they have guns that they shoot at a lot of other men. 3/10
A Metroid-style game that's far too good for the dumb internet references that you should ignore. 8/10
Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Gates To Infinity
If this barely interactive mess gets to be called a roguelike, Yoda Stories must be rolling in its grave. 4/10