A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Defiance 2050 is a free-to-play massively multiplayer online (MMO) action/role-playing game available for download on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Windows PC. Players use a variety of realistic and sci-fi weapons against humans, humanlike mutants, and alien creatures. There's some blood and gore shown in combat, as well as occasional use of profanity, such as "f--k" and "a--hole" in the game's dialogue, and players may be exposed to potentially offensive conversations or content due to the online behavior of others. Although the game is free to play, with plenty of content available, players do get encouraged to spend money at the in-game store for additional content, including supplies, cosmetic items, boosts, extra classes, etc. Also, while nothing's shown, there are references to drinking and drug use, as well as sexual innuendo and acts in the dialogue.
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What's it about?
DEFIANCE 2050 is a remake of Trion World's original Defiance MMO game, with enhanced graphics to take advantage of current generation hardware, along with new gameplay tweaks and additions. In the aftermath of a massive war between humans and aliens, the world of Defiance 2050 is a new frontier. With a shaky truce between the species, constant attacks from strangely mutated creatures, and the lingering danger that comes from alien technology literally falling from the sky, even just surviving till tomorrow can be a challenge. But that's just another day in the life of Ark Hunters, folks who make their livings by taking to the new frontier and salvaging alien tech in a futuristic gold rush. As an Ark Hunter with a knack for being in the wrong place at the right time, you're a beacon for trouble. Before long, you're not just loading scrap for cash, you're neck deep in the middle of grand conspiracies and apocalyptic threats, defending not just your way of life, but possibly the fate of the entire planet as well.
Is it any good?
This action-packed sci-fi online multiplayer game can be fun, but its technical flaws and issues that frequently pop up can ruin a gameplay session. Defiance 2050 is the latest spin on a genre-breaking franchise. When Defiance first launched in 2013, it was an unprecedented multimedia idea: an MMO game standing side-by-side with a TV series, both taking place within the same universe with events in one occasionally affecting the other. The formula worked for a while, though the show ultimately left the air after three seasons. But that didn't mean it was the end of the franchise. The game continued to evolve over time, and now it's been upgraded and enhanced for current hardware. The new free-to-play release features updated graphics and gameplay, but retains the original source material and setting that originally struck a chord with fans. So how does this new version stack up, not only against the original, but also against other action MMO games?
Defiance 2050 is a fun, action-packed experience. As big as the game world is, it's not often that you find yourself without something to do. Aside from story and side missions, you'll stumble into other minor encounters, such as rescuing captured soldiers, collecting material from hellbugs, etc. Unfortunately, due to the perpetual online nature of the game, these tend to spawn frequently and get repetitive fairly quickly. The controls translate well to the gamepad and work great in the heat of battle. But the game does show its age, particularly in the wonky way the AI acts. The biggest obstacle the game faces is in its growing pains. With new platforms come new technical issues, including server issues, glitches, and sometimes terminal crashes that can kick you out of the game entirely. These don't happen all the time, but when they do, especially at a critical moment, it can be particularly frustrating. But when things run well, Defiance 2050 is still fun to play and well worth checking out to scratch your sci-fi itch.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about violence in video games. Is the impact of violence in Defiance 2050 lessened because you're fighting against mutants and aliens? Is the impact heightened because of the occasional blood and gore shown in combat?
Do games based on or tied into other properties (TV shows, comic books, etc.) draw players' attention into those other properties, and/or vice versa? How well can they stand on their own without that marketing tie-in?
What are some ways that parents can protect kids from offensive or toxic behavior in online games? What should kids do when facing such behavior online?
- Platforms: PlayStation 4, Windows, Xbox One
- Pricing structure: Free
- Available online? Available online
- Developer: Trion Worlds
- Release date: July 10, 2018
- Genre: Massively Multiplayer Online Game (MMOG)
- Topics: Adventures, Misfits and Underdogs, Robots, Space and Aliens
- ESRB rating: M for Violence, Blood and Gore, Sexual Themes, Strong Language
- Last updated: June 19, 2019
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