Defiance is a multiplatform (PS3, Xbox 360, PC) MMO third person shooter, based in the universe of the SyFy television series of the same name, which is nearing the end of its first season as of the time of this writing. Invisible Gamer has reviewed the core game and now continues its look at the MMO’s content as it, as designed, evolves to connect with the TV show. This time, we look at content released to coincide with the SyFy channel airing of the episode Past is Prologue.
Paradise is in Deep Shtako
After a dead week in which no new content was released to coincide with the series episode The Bride Wore Black (barring overpriced store items like the Liberty Heavy Trooper outfit and headgear that are purely cosmetic and will run you about $16.50 in “bits,” which are sold in-game in a system similar to the frustrating Microsoft Points system), Defiance provides a startlingly difficult (er, challenging) update to coincide with the SyFy airing of the first season’s penultimate chapter, Past is Prologue.
In the double-length pilot episode of Defiance, the Ark Core that was obtained by Joshua Nolan and Irisa Nyira (thanks to the Libera Nova Gem that they stole from the player character in the Defiance game) was used to defeat an invasion of Defiance (St. Louis) by the Volge. The Volge are a warrior species that the Votans (Defiance‘s mixture of alien species) thought that they left behind when fleeing their home system. They re-emerged during the Pale Wars (a conflict between humans and Votans) and reappeared again during the pilot episode when conspirators working against the city drew them to the town. They would have wiped out Defiance, had it not been for the actions of the show’s protagonists in holding off the Volge, then blasting them with the Ark Core.
Now, those powerful, armored, alien warriors have come to Paradise (the San Francisco Bay area), emerging as a new threat that makes their Defiance MMO debut in this week’s udpate. Their introduction is accompanied by a new Episode Pursuit, entitled Volge Incursion, and a variety of new Emergencies (randomly-spawning world events), six in all, which center around combat with the Volge. The Volge Incursion Pursuit requires the player to kill one of each of the three types of Volge enemies: trooper, bomber, and Viscera (a mini-boss character similar in style to Tankers and other existing mini-bosses). The Pursuit then requires that the player complete a total of five Volge Emergencies, though, thankfully, not requiring that they be different Emergency variants, which would require driving around the world in hopes of getting lucky.
What makes this update different, particularly in light of the Afflicted Emergencies of a few weeks ago, is that the Volge are absolutely brutal enemies to take on, especially if tackling an Emergency alone. They are about as close to “bullet sponges” as this game sees, and even the most basic of their number are as difficult in terms of damage inflicted and absorbed as just about any mini-boss in the entire game. It is the larger Volge, a Viscera, that makes for the easiest battles, since, while powerful, it fires more slowly and deliberately than the others.
I have to give one knock against this update in that it is providing content that is out of proportion in difficulty, especially for new players, than most of the other content in the game, but given the fear instilled by the Volge in the television series, it actually makes continuity sense for these new foes to be bad mamajamas.
If you are looking for a new Pursuit that is a challenge (albeit one that can be completed, with patience and determination, in about an hour or so) and an update that provides significant new foes into the Defiance MMO experience, this week’s update will be a treat.
Just pack your heavy weapons . . .
A Brief Side Note (and SPOILER for Past is Prologue)
While not directly related to this week’s new game content, those watching Past is Prologue will find that Rynn has returned. This is a direct game connection, given that the character was introduced in the series, then escaped to San Francisco in the game’s previous Episode Mission update, and now she has returned for vengeance, based on information she discovered in the game. Assuming that she needed time to travel across half of North America again, the lag of two weeks from those missions and this week’s unrelated update, her appearance in the episode makes perfect sense and is a nifty tie-in.