Friday, 19 April 2013

Defiance

You are now entering a world of consistently entertaining blandness and emptiness.


When I was younger and was let off from school for the summer I used to jump for joy and couldn’t wait to get home to spend two whole months doing as little as possible, though by the end of the period I had scratched down through hundreds of layers of skin out’ve sheer impatience and ennui.  This led to me craving school, and genuinely enjoying the first few days back, even when I was talking to people I would normally turn down the opportunity to spend time with in favour of eating raw meat and dying of food poisoning. This presumably was because interacting with people I normally detest and performing seemingly meaningless tasks over and over was fantastically more exciting than what could be diagnosed as life threatening boredom.
Meet Defiance a post apocalyptic run around fest MMO. I must lighten the following rant with a disclaimer, I flipping love this game, I just don’t know why.

After a mere ten hours of gameplay I came to realise that both the side missions and the main missions mostly consist of one hundred and fifty different versions of “run over to this generic looking box and press a button”. I’m not well versed in MMO’s so maybe this is a standard that I’m just not used to, however, despite its many faults I practically bound home like Ferris Bueller just to get another quick half an hour darting towards these boxes and pressing each button with genuine glee and vigour.  I even made friends with some genuinely helpful people, as it is my practice to play these games by dying over and over again they willingly became my own personal paramedics for a number of hours every night for the past week. (If you have a similar playing style my advice is to play under your girlfriends account, because all the guys on there seem just dying to help an e-Damsel-in-distress much more than when my character was under a male pseudonym).

Apart from the usual installing and set up times niggling at you, you have to become painfully frustrated constantly by the infrequency of hints. I’m not talking about how to defeat bosses, how to best win races or how to make the female characters breasts jiggle by waving your controller about à la Dead or Alive 5, I quite simply mean hints to what the hell is going on. The tutorial level does explain some of the more important and obvious things that make this game different, with a very interesting and customisable ‘class system’ for example, but simple things like how you are supposed to change menus, figure out what you’re supposed to be doing, what side you’re on or what the plot is are left entirely up to you to figure out.  I really think it would be easier to do a six-foot Sudoku Rubik’s cube. In the Dark. With your buttocks.

What I’ve gathered so far is the game is basically about a post-apocalyptic dystopian San Francisco where aliens who look a bit like humans, and mutants who look a bit like humans, and hell bugs which are bugs but hellishly human-sized, all disagree with who should be allowed to live there.  Throw in a character who is nothing more than a stubbled jaw line, a mad scientist, who is a salacious pain in the ass and two of the most irritating female archetypes they could throw together and you have Defiance. I think. Maybe. I had to wikipedia some of that.  One of it’s main selling points for me is the fact that it is going to cross over with a TV show of the same name, the first episode of which should have aired a few hours ago.  Being able to play side by side with the stars of a show, in an open MMO dystopia that they too have to live in, is a fantastic idea that makes me clap my hands and sing a merry tune. I cannot wait for these events to occur and I hope it blossoms into the masterpiece it is destined to become.
You may have heard that this game has it’s bugs and glitches, and it does have a number of them at the moment (though apparently there will be a large patch on it’s way by the time you are reading this). Saying that, I haven’t had too many problems that really affected me, though I did once end up getting stuck behind a bit of scenery in the crouch position with my character roughly resembling a senile old man looking for a recently dropped boiled sweet in a supermarket, until I had to escape by throwing a grenade into my pants.
Do not get me wrong at all, though I have forced you to endure some cynicism and grumpiness, I really can’t stop playing this game, I genuinely love it.  Perhaps it’s because after the amount of time I have put into it, it is almost like my character is my child, something I am forced to love despite not liking.  Or perhaps it is the opposite, a-four-cheeseburgers-for-a-pound idea, where despite them tasting terrible and having no nutritional value I enjoy regardless.
This may all seem quite confusing on where I stand, and that’s because I have no idea, but I insist that you give it a go, as it’s damn entertaining whatever the reason and multiplayer wise I haven’t had so much fun in ages.

David Roberts.


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