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Defiance 2050 (PC) review

On July 20, 2018 by Ash Meehan

Trion Worlds’ Defiance 2050 is a free to play third-person shooter MMO that also wants to be a single player game, and as you might imagine these two genres are very difficult to merge together, and unfortunately Defiance 2050 doesn’t pull it off. In an attempt to make a great story the game sacrifices many standard MMO features such as player trading, but with that said Defiance 2050 does offer some spectacular large scale open world events.

So, first and foremost what is the difference between the original Defiance and Defiance 2050? Well, at first glance there isn’t a whole lot, the story and world is exactly the same, but if you look closely you will see updated textures and according to Trion Worlds’ improved performance, a claim that can be shot down when you see your first enemy teleport around the map.

Well, what can you expect from Defiance 2050? The game contains three playable races – human, Irathient and Castithan, these three races can be any one of five classes – assault, assassin, guardian, combat medic and demolitionist. Each class has a maximum level of 25 and your character has a max total/EGO level of 50, this means you can play at least two max level classes on one character. All the classes use ranged weapons (melee weapons have been removed), multiple shield types and grenades. The weapon variety is straight-forward with players able to use pistols, assault rifles, submachine guns, light machine guns, shotguns, sniper rifles, detonators and rocket launchers, all of these weapon types can be modified with special mod drops such as a stock for an assault rifle.

Since Defiance 2050 is a third person shooter, how is the combat? Frankly, combat is, for the most part, easy with the only difficult part being fighting enemies that are 500+ power levels ahead of you. While combat is relatively easy the enemies are very bullet spongy with some non-elite enemies requiring an entire clip to bring down, unless you happen to use a bolt-action sniper rifle than you can take out an enemy in one to two headshots.

defiance 2050 review (5)

Now, let’s talk about the world of Defiance 2050. The game takes place in an area known as Paradise, just north of San Francisco. The area is split into five zones: Mount Tam, Madera, Marin, Sausalito, and San Francisco. While the game has multiple zones there is very little variety in terms of topography, with the exception of San Francisco. As you go through the zones you will come across green hill after green hill with alien plant life sprinkled in, sure it looks interesting the first time, but after a few hours, it all becomes an uninteresting blur.

As I stated earlier Defiance 2050 has a single player story. The main story mission has you (an ark hunter) work with Karl Von Bach (a brilliant scientist) in an attempt to help him find some Ark Tech, powerful technology that was stolen after the Stratocarrier you were travelling on crashed in Paradise. To find the lost Ark tech you have to work with various powerful residence of Paradise from a skeevy alien who owns a large portion of the area to Cooper, the lawgiver and one of the Defiant Few. The story, while focusing on finding the missing Ark Tech you also learn about the various enemy factions in the area and what happened to the world. The story also has you interact with Nolan and Irisa, two of the main characters from the Defiance TV show. They don’t do much, but it shows what their lives were like before the TV show.

In terms of enemies, there are seven enemy factions: Raiders, 99ers (cyborgs), mutants, hellbugs, EMC, Dark Matter and the Volge. In terms of variety, the majority are human enemies, but I found that despite which faction you are fighting they all act the same.

Okay, let’s talk about some of the MMO styled features of the game. The game has seven four-man instances that consist of story and tier varieties, these instances do offer a decent challenge, especially for those who have recently reached max level, I mean in my first tier 1 instance I died several times. There are also four eight-v-eight PvP maps for those who like to test their skills against other players.

If instanced combat isn’t your thing, the game offers large-scale open-world events called Arkfalls. Arkfalls are events centred on a piece of Ark tech that has crashed landed on Earth and fighting off enemies who wish to take it. The Arkfalls come in multiple varieties with small Arkfalls, seeing you fight waves of enemies until the ark explodes to large-scale Arkfalls that see you visit multiple sites that end in fighting a large and incredibly powerful boss monster with other players. These large-scale Arkfalls are incredibly enjoyable and offer the best rewards as they drop Ark chests, which can only be opened by an Ark Key.

Speaking off Ark Keys, this item is gained from select missions, max level contract missions and with real money from the in-game store, this means if you want to do multiple Arkfalls or instances for loot you may need to spend some money on the game. The cost of an Ark key is 120 bits, which is a little over €1, but unfortunately, the lowest number of bits you can buy is 500 bits for €4.99.

Looking further in-depth into the store, it offers various boosts, visual only outfits, additional storage space, vehicles, weapon mods, enhancements and currency. The last three on the list could be considered to have pay-to-win elements as the enhancements give you additional salvage to upgrade your weapons, mods allow you to improve your weapons and currency allows you to buy additional mod slots for your weapons. The term pay-to-win can vary from person to person, so I’ll leave it up to you to decide whether the Defiance 2050 store goes too far.

Now let’s look at Defiance 2050’s issues. The game suffers from terrible lag, which causes enemies to rubber band around the map and even makes their grenades and rockets invisible until they hit you. The latency issue has slowly been getting better but at peak times it is noticeable. Another issue is the game’s performance, my PC is more than capable of running the game at max settings, but when played on max the game would randomly stutter and even freeze for several seconds, at one point when typing a six world post in chat the game froze a total of three times. Thankfully the freezing can be fixed by turning off shadows.

In terms of video and audio, the game looks rather run down, and while this suits the tone of the game it doesn’t make it very visually appealing. In terms of audio, I did notice that on occasions the music would play over voice acted scenes.

defiance 2050 review (2)


While Defiance 2050 offers spectacular open world events, everything else feels lacking as the game tries and fails to balance the single-player experience with that of an MMO.

SCORE: 5/10


Pros Cons
+ Open world events – No trading
  – Latency issues
  – Lack of variety


Developer Publisher Genre Rating Platform Release date
Trion Worlds Trion Worlds MMO 18+ PC, XBox One, PS4 July 10, 2018

*A review code was provided by the game’s publisher.*

For more information on Defiance 2050, visit https://www.defiance2050.com/.

Author: Ash Meehan

Hi, I’m the creator of SG Gaming Info. When I’m not working on my writing or creating content for this site’s YouTube channel, I like to relax and enjoy character driven story games.