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XDefiant Review

by Ubisoft San Francisco 0 text

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Solid shooter with an identity crisis.

XDefiant is Ubisoft’s latest foray into the crowded arena of first-person shooters, offering a blend of high-paced gunplay and strategic class-based abilities. Drawing inspiration from various Ubisoft franchises, the game aims to deliver a unique experience but ends up feeling a bit like a mishmash of ideas that don’t always gel together seamlessly.

At its core, XDefiant is an arcade-style shooter that borrows heavily from the fast-paced, twitchy gameplay found in Call of Duty, mixed with the class-based mechanics reminiscent of Overwatch. The game features characters and locations pulled from Ubisoft’s extensive library, including titles like Far Cry, Ghost Recon, and Watch Dogs. This amalgamation of elements makes XDefiant stand out on paper, but in practice, it sometimes feels disjointed.

Gameplay 7

The gameplay in XDefiant is a tale of two cities. On one hand, the shooting mechanics are solid, with weapons that feel satisfying to use and distinct enough to cater to different playstyles. Whether you’re wielding the hard-hitting AK-47 or the more balanced M41A, the game ensures that each weapon has its own unique feel and strategy. Mastering the recoil and finding the right attachments for your weapons can be deeply rewarding.

On the other hand, the integration of class abilities into the gameplay feels hit or miss. Each faction, derived from a different Ubisoft game, brings unique abilities that can turn the tide of battle. For instance, the Libertad faction from Far Cry 6 focuses on healing, while the Ghost Recon Phantoms are more tank-oriented. These abilities, while interesting, often clash with the game’s fast-paced gunfights. In many cases, using an ability can leave you vulnerable, making them feel more like a hindrance than an advantage. The need for a Jedi-like sense of timing to effectively use these abilities can be off-putting for many players.

The game's modes are fairly standard for the genre, with variations of capture-point and escort missions. While these modes are executed well, they don’t bring anything particularly new to the table. The standout feature, however, is the map design. The arenas are well-crafted, with multiple pathways and open spaces that encourage fast movement and dynamic engagements. This design choice keeps the gameplay fresh and prevents players from camping or dominating from a single spot.

Graphics 8

Visually, XDefiant is impressive. The game leverages the Snowdrop engine to deliver detailed environments and character models that are vibrant and true to their respective franchises. Each map is a visual treat, with locations inspired by various Ubisoft games. The attention to detail in the environments helps to immerse players in the game’s universe, even if the overall aesthetic feels a bit inconsistent due to the blend of different franchises.

The animations are smooth, and the game runs well on a variety of hardware, which is crucial for maintaining a competitive edge in a fast-paced shooter. However, the graphical fidelity is not groundbreaking and remains on par with other contemporary shooters.

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Storyline 5

XDefiant doesn’t focus much on narrative, which is typical for a multiplayer-centric shooter. The game’s premise revolves around different factions from the Ubisoft universe coming together to duke it out in various competitive modes. There’s a loose backstory provided for each faction, but it’s largely irrelevant to the gameplay. Players looking for a deep, story-driven experience will find XDefiant lacking in this department.

Multiplayer 7

The multiplayer aspect of XDefiant is where the game shines and falters simultaneously. The matchmaking is generally quick, and the game supports skill-based matchmaking for its ranked modes, ensuring that players are paired with others of similar skill levels. However, the lack of skill-based matchmaking in casual modes can lead to some uneven matches, where new players might get steamrolled by veterans.

The faction abilities add a layer of strategy to the multiplayer experience, but their effectiveness varies greatly. Some abilities feel overpowered, like the Echelon’s sonar that lets you see through walls, while others, such as DedSec’s hijacking ability, seem underwhelming and hard to use effectively. This imbalance can lead to frustration, especially when facing off against factions with stronger abilities.

The game’s microtransaction system is relatively standard, offering cosmetic items and a battle pass. While these purchases don’t impact gameplay, the cosmetic options available at launch are somewhat lackluster, with many simply being color palette swaps.

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Issues and Community Feedback

XDefiant has faced several issues since its launch. Server problems have plagued the game, with players often experiencing long matchmaking times or getting dropped from matches. Ubisoft has acknowledged these issues and is working on fixes, but they have marred the early experience for many players.

Conclusion 7

XDefiant is a competent shooter that brings some interesting ideas to the table but struggles with execution. Its core gunplay is satisfying, and the map design is excellent, offering a solid foundation for a competitive shooter. However, the integration of class abilities feels inconsistent, and the game’s modes don’t do enough to differentiate it from other titles in the genre. With further updates and balancing, XDefiant has the potential to carve out its niche, but it currently feels like it’s trying to be too many things at once without mastering any.

Pros and Cons

  • Solid gunplay
  • Great map design
  • Fast-paced action
  • Inconsistent abilities
  • Balancing issues
  • Standard game modes

Player Quotes

"XDefiant's gunplay feels great, but the abilities often feel like a hindrance rather than a help."

"The map design is excellent, but the game needs more innovative modes to keep things fresh."

"Server issues are frustrating, but the potential for a great shooter is definitely there."

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Please note that this review is based on the feedback and sentiments of players on various Reddit threads and does not represent the views of all players.