The aim of my Blogging From A to Z Challenge is to find the origins of online games, some relatively modern and some with ancient roots. Gaming might well be a modern take on an art that is almost timeless – storytelling. A perfect excuse for a writer to delve a little deeper. [Visit here for links to other A to Z participants.]
Game: Defiance is a futuristic shooter developed and released in conjunction with the television show, Defiance.
Release Date: April 2, 2013
Developer: Trion Worlds
Genre/gameplay mechanics: third-person; open-world; shooter; quick weapon-switching; driving.
Setting: Realistic graphics with action taking place in the California Bay Area, formerly San Francisco, 15 years after the devastating Pale Wars between Earth and a loose alliance of extra-terrestrial races known as the Votanis Collective. Terraformed landscape but Google map echoes.
Storytelling: Defiance was Syfy’s big experiment with transmedia storytelling as the series’ storylines were designed to mesh with the narrative of the game, sharing characters, species, events and more. Regular show-and-game intersections took the form of in-game events, character and story crossovers, and promotions. However, the player takes on the role of an ark hunter – a treasure/bounty hunter recently arrived in the Bay Area in search of valuable Votan technology with a main quest line that runs separately from the show.
Releases + Expansions:
- Sequels: In February 2018, Trion announced, “the next chapter in the Defiance universe will be coming this summer to PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC in a massive online sci-fi shooter we’re calling Defiance 2050.”
Formats: Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
Origins (Chronological): The Defiance team developed new mythologies, languages and societies for the Votanis Collective.
Adaptations set in the ‘Defiance’ universe:
- TV: Defiance, the TV series existed in the same evolving universe, but the series takes place in what used to be St. Louis, Missouri, now called Defiance. Some major characters in one had cameos in the other media. When the series cancelled before the fourth season, Syfy commented: “‘Defiance’ was a truly ground-breaking series, delivering an immersive, cross-platform experience that transcended the television screen in a way that viewers had never seen before…”
Recommendation: Defiance received mixed reviews from critics upon release but established a loyal player base. However, ongoing connectivity problems, strained content and bugs have eaten away at the support. Defiance 2050 might revive the interest.
3.5 Stars: From playing Defiance regularly with my partner, soon after its release, and watching the show, we are now irregular players. I enjoy the setting and killing ‘hellbugs’ when frustrated, but the storyline came to an end too quickly and much of the game became repetitive. However, I belong to a great clan, Zodiac – and we plan to move on with Defiance 2050.
- Setting: 3.7*
- Storyline: 3.5*
- Gameplay: 5*
- Entertainment: 3.7*
- Genesis: 1.5*
Alternative ‘D’ thoughts:
D is also for Donnie Darko, but even though this is a cult classic, there were now games spawned by the movie – very disappointing as this is among my favourite films.
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