Trion Worlds and Syfy are undertaking an ambitious project that connects an open-world shooter MMO to a TV series. We stopped by Trion's booth at E3 to witness the unveiling of Defiance.
I have a confession – getting the chance to see games in action before anyone else at E3 is a lot of fun, but sometimes the experience leaves you with more questions than answers. You’re drawn in by the gameplay and intrigued by the concept, but when games are still early in the development process, getting all the information you want out of the developers doesn’t always happen. Trion Worlds' upcoming MMO/shooter-hybrid Defiance is a great example.
We were at Trion's E3 booth to witness the unveiling of Defiance, and here’s what we know.
Gaming and Television: Bridging the Gap
The idea behind Defiance is ambitious. Developed as a joint-venture with the Syfy channel, Defiance will bridge television and MMOs together. The story centers on a doomed race of aliens that travel to Earth in an attempt to colonize it. Naturally, the surviving humans aren’t too happy with this idea and fight back.
Combining the TV and MMO formats creates a lot of possibilities for storytelling. Cataclysmic events depicted in the television series will drastically alter the dynamics in-game, and vice versa. Want to go on an epic mission with one of the characters from the television series? Help a new faction consolidate power in-game and watch the consequences of doing so on next week’s episode? It can and will happen.
The TV show will be set in St. Louis while the game will take place in San Francisco, giving the developers and television producers some padding between the two mediums.
Multi-Platform Gameplay Demo
Defiance is a persistent world available to players on all platforms – PC, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. In fact, during the brief demo given to us, Trion staffers played on each platform simultaneously to prove the feasibility of multi-platform play. Trion promises a consistent gameplay experience no matter what platform players choose and based on what I saw, they appear to have the ability to deliver on that promise.
Set in the third-person perspective, gameplay felt comparable to Star Wars: Battlefront combined with elements from Crysis. Combat seemed a little squishy given the dominance of energy weapons. You point your weapon and fire until the targeted enemy goes down. On one hand, there didn’t seem to be much tactile response when you hit an enemy. They aggressed and then died once their HP was out. On the other hand, not featuring any blood and gore may be intentional if Trion/Syfy is going for a more family-friendly rating.
Continued on Page 2.