CGR Undertow – DEFIANCE review for Xbox 360

Hey, remember when we reviewed Defiance on
the PlayStation 3? You know, MMO for consoles, TV show, future of media and all that? You
can�t forget Defiance! Actually, you can. That game�s a mess on the PS3. But you might
remember that I said: See? It wasn�t all bad with Defiance. If
it would�ve run better on the PS3, it could�ve been a decent shooter, and a fun MMO. If only,
right? Well, listen…I have some good news and bad news. The good news is, the Xbox version
doesn�t run like dead car battery. So hey…that must mean this Defiance is actually decent,
right? Well, only after a few hours of installation,
and patch downloads, and failed patch downloads, and then re-downloads of previously failed
patches. But after that? This Defiance is actually decent. That�s me being a smart ass, by the way. Whoa, alien tempers! Alright, to be fair,
Defiance is a lot less broken on the 360. The game still doesn�t run great, but…way
fewer problems than the PS3 version, for some reason. And it really is nice to play Defiance
with fewer bugs, and glitches. I mean, there�s still bugs, but…these ones, you can shoot. Anyway, if you missed our PS3 review and have
no idea what I�m talking about…this game�s called Defiance. It�s a pretty ambitious
idea, too. Not only is it an MMO shooter for consoles, but it�s also a TV show…and
one of the biggest examples of transmedia production to date. The game and show are
telling a story together. And that�s kind of awesome. What�s a
little less awesome…is the game�s approach
to leveling up. Defiance is obviously a multiplayer-focused game, so to create better balance between
players, leveling up is very subtle. And although that does level the playing field a bit, it
also means…you never really feel like you�re getting better, or benefitting from all the
missions. It makes things seem…kind of pointless, at times. Fortunately, the missions are many. And the
gameplay�s solid�Defiance is a perfectly decent shooter. And although its missions
aren�t terribly exciting…the fun is in the sheer amount, the sense of freedom and
the feeling that this really is a war, with lots of other fighters around you. You might
see a battle and decide to jump in, others can do the same for you…throw in a nice
list of multiplayer options, and Defiance manages to achieve a pretty respectable MMO
feel on consoles. Of course, that said, it comes at a cost.
It runs worse on the PS3, but…the game has problems on the 360, as well. Screen tearing,
framerate drops…sadly, all too common, and still problematic. But this is definitely
the better version in terms of performance. Enough so that…even with its flaws, I actually
had fun with it this time. Defiance tries to be a lot of different things.
A shooter, an MMO, a science fiction saga…an entire brand, really. The video game falls
way short of living up to those ambitious aspirations. But you know…even with its
boring missions and sluggish performance and average gameplay, Defiance still has its moments. And they break less on the Xbox 360.

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