The Average Gamer

Defiance TV Show: What Happened in the Game?

Defiance Episode Mission 2 - Teamwork The Defiance MMO game launched two weeks ago and the connected TV show of the same name finally airs this week on the Syfy channel – Tuesday at 9pm over here in the UK and in the US it’s tonight at 9/8C, whatever that means.

Set on a ravaged future Earth, the show follows the story of Nolan (Grant Bowler) and Irisa (Stephanie Leonidas) – a human father and his presumably-adopted alien daughter – as they struggle to survive in blah, blah, civilisation is rebuilding itself, sci-fi-premise. As regular readers of The Average Gamer will know, the Defiance TV show plotlines and the game are loosely connected. The game launched with four “episode missions”, as they’re calling them; in-game tasks that relate to the show.

The missions took me about two hours to complete in total. Since not everyone has the time (or inclination) to play an MMO, I’ve put together this compilation of all the cutscenes and some gameplay samples of each mission. This should give you an idea of Nolan’s character and what else you might be missing.

I’ve included everything except the first mission because frankly, it was boring. You can watch the whole thing yourself here if you don’t trust me.

Spoiler: I take a lot of rockets to the face.

So as you can see, Nolan is a bit of a self-involved smart-ass and Irisa is a weird, paranoid, creepy person who likes to stick blades in people’s faces. Should be fun watching them mellow out and take on some actual responsibility in Defiance. I only hope they don’t magically get accepted and become the most important and trusted person in the settlement in a matter of minutes. Anyone remember Terra Nova? *sigh*

Gotta say, I was a little disappointed by these missions. The whole point of playing an interactive story is that you’re involved. You feel like you were there, you were a part of it. I was there and I was part of the action, true enough, but it never felt like I was part of the story. I was just shooting, and some other people were around. As you saw, Nolan and Irisa spent more time shouting catchphrases that had little to do with the situation at hand than talking to me.

I’m not a fan of the decision by Trion/Syfy to make my game character mute avatar. The whole thing is shot with a very “TV” approach – the story happens while the viewer looks on and that’s not how the best games tell a story. Rather than allowing me to inhabit the character, it just makes everything feel more remote. I don’t feel like a hero working with the major players in the story. I feel like the friend nobody really wants, running along behind the popular crowd but never important enough to be heard. This is not the best way to get me engaged in your world.

Shooting stuff is pretty fun though. Full review of the game coming later this week.