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Life in Defiance #1: Someone give me a tank! How about a car? Okay, an ATV...

by: Sean Cahill -
More On: Defiance
Hello everyone!  As part of my review process of Trion's Defiance, I've opted to do some updates along the way on how life inside of the MMO Shooter has been going for me in the hour-by-hour adventure.  Depending on how far I am since each update will dictate how much of an experience I can tell you.  This first entry covers most of the opening area and how I'm adjusting to the world.

- The opening sequence, I'm hoping, is similar to what we're going to see when the show launches next week on the SyFy channel.  A cinematic with characters from the series itself is included and lays some basic groundwork for what exactly is going on, though keeps it vague enough to have questions asked and answered later on.

- I'm a little bummed out that, even with voice acting, my character doesn't speak.  Everyone else is speaking, so why not have my character get a couple of default voices so that he/she can respond?

- The HUD is pretty easy to follow, though since I'm playing on Xbox 360, the chat system is almost non-existent and I've been so focused on getting through the open area and learning the leveling system that I haven't bothered to search for a group to join up with just yet.

- I've had some minor issues with lag early on, but given that I was playing on launch day and the immediate days afterwards and still in the opening area, this wasn't exactly a surprise.  I've played multiple MMOs that have had that wonderful issue.  AION almost immediately comes to mind on the first day (I was actually on the game the minute it launched) and having to fight for every single point of experience that I could get.  This was far smoother and easier to deal with, though watching other characters kind of phase in and out by jumping around was a tad annoying.  Since that first run, though, it has been smoother.

- I was begging for a vehicle since moment one.  When I got to the first main camp and saw people driving around on their ATVs, I was yelling at the TV for the game to give me one.  Of course, a mission was necessary to get just that.  Plus....I didn't know about fast travel at that point.  I can be a bit of a "noob" sometimes, apparently.

- The ATV immediate summoning is so nice to have.  I also have a tendency to forget about this when I get into an area that is either too high of a level for me or just too hot of an area.  I will run like a crazy person, then remember I have a vehicle no matter where I go.

- I've opted to play as a survivalist, especially since I love sniping.  The system is straight forward and makes it pretty easy to know what the best skills are to level up at the time.  The layout reminds me quite a bit of the charting system from RPGs, such as Final Fantasy XII, for example.  Each skill might have more than one level that needs to be pushed up.  However, leveling is coming quick to start off.  I'm certain that will change.

- There are monsters everywhere.  On top of that, they spawn seemingly everywhere.  A roadside van might randomly have the back doors open and spawn anywhere from three to six enemies, and there is very little wait time in between waves.  If grinding is your thing, then this game is going to make it easy for you in certain areas.  However, that does lead to one problem that I've been having while soloing....

- Some areas are just incredibly hot.  I did a mission just the other day towards the end of the first zone and basically experienced a non-stop flow of monsters.  I figured that, with it being a mission, it would end at some point.  It turned out that I was right on the edge of the mission zone itself and the spawn point for the monsters that kept coming was outside of it.  It was an endless onslaught that resulted in me getting big experience points, but it was exhausting until I figured out what was really going on.

That's it for round one of "Life in Defiance!"  On the next volume, expect to hear more about adventuring in the world, interactions with other players, and some fun things to do on the side like Arkfalls!