One of the biggest selling points to an MMO is obviously its scale, and we rarely see the genre step beyond the more popular fantasy realm into sci-fi. Trion Worlds is changing that with Defiance, which brings MMO players a post-apocalyptic sci-fi third-person shooter alternative to the high fantasy stuff.
Inspired by the Syfy TV series of the same name, Defiance takes place in the far future, when aliens and humans must coexist if they are to survive the harsh environment. Some of the same folks behind the game have also worked on RIFT, EverQuest, and Borderlands; the influence from each is actually pretty apparent.
At E3, design development manager Chris Arretche was on hand to introduce us to Defiance and walk us through the game. While this was actually my first time with the game, it was incredibly easy to fall into. The design is comfortable on controller, especially for anyone who has ever played a shooter, though a keyboard and mouse alternative was also offered. The control scheme, maneuverability, and overall design is very much like a standard TPS.
Teaming up with three other players, we ran through part of a dungeon, then left the instance before the final boss (to avoid spoilers) for the open world. Here, periodic global events encourage players to band together and defeat massive bosses for XP and a chance at epic loot drops. The mount we had access too was a bike resembling Halo's distinctive Mongoose, and could actually be summoned at any time.
Check out our three-part walkthrough to see the game in action. That voices you hear belong to Arretche and our staff writer Rory Young. I'm manning the controller, so any embarrassing grenade tosses or driving accidents are my shame to bear.
As of now, Defiance is expected to launch next April for consoles and PC. We'd like to tell you whether the game is free-to-play or not, but as Arretche notes in the video(s) above, that's still being decided.