The first time I heard about SyFy’s TV show/ video game Defiance I was less than enthused. Knowing the history of video game adaptations, it’s not just easy to be jaded about the prospects of this new enterprise, it’s almost a Pavlovian response. Since its announcement though, every bit of information that comes out about the Rockne S. O’Bannon (Farscape) helmed universe has slowly but surely changed a lot of expectations about the experiment, including mine. With Trion Worlds newest Dev diary, they’re defying expectations once again by showing the level of depth in their new MMO shooter for Defiance.
Trion is adding an impressive level of detail to Defiance in how you can modify the weapons of the game. Modifying weapons in games has been going on for quite some time now, but to represent the changes to your favorite alien gun or assault rifle with outwardly apparent modified looks and not just an effect or a color change is a step forward for MMOs. Then again, the more they talk about the new game, the more apparent it is that this will not be a typical MMORPG like World of Warcraft, but more like a massively multiplayer version of Gears of War.
With the inclusion of the weapon mod system as well as the ease of the background queue system for cooperative and player vs player maps, Trion seems to be putting a real effort into making their part of the Defiance universe a full and well thought out gaming experience. So far, the closest parallel to what Defiance is doing is SOE’s Star Wars: Clone Wars Adventures game which paired the animated Clone Wars series with what amounted to nothing more than a lobby of bare bones, low quality mini-games. Thankfully, Trion is putting as much effort into the game as Syfy looks to be putting in the show.
At this point, I think the thing to worry about is how those giant boss monsters and Iron Man looking powersuits are going to translate to TV. They’ve said time and again about how the game is tailored to the aesthetic of the show for purposes of practicality, but if you were to put those things on TV and have them not look ridiculous then it would cost a pretty penny…and we all know what happens to expensive sci-fi shows.