Ubisoft's future free-to-play multiplayer shooter, XDefiant, was announced in June 2021. You may want to read on further before you cringe or groan at the terms "free-to-play."
(Note: While hands-on impressions are fine, we weren't permitted to use screen shots or gameplay footage from the playtest, hence why there is no evidence in this article).
Mark Rubin serves as the executive producer for XDefiant. Rubin served in the same capacity as Black Ops 3's multiplayer of old, but this one has "Factions," which act the same as Black Ops 3's Specialists.
To give your character a camouflage so that you don't look like the Predator, be able to ping enemies in the map, establish a health station for the whole team, and so on, these are some of the most powerful tactical abilities.
The Libertad group from the Far Cry franchise, the DedSec from Watch Dogs, the Phantoms from the Ghost Recon series, and the Cleaners from The Division all serve as examples of the series' various abilities.
Even in a pre-alpha state, XDefiant's gunplay feels solid. It's a minor flaw, which I'm not that concerned about since we're in a pre-alpha state. It might be the blast radius or how the maps all have little corners that players can hide from. Again, this is a minor flaw that can be easily changed after the release of the final game.
The abilities of each character are distinct enough that they warrant some research to see which one suits your playstyle the most, given that I have limited playtime, the most popular ones are the Libertads, who heal well using the health regen and health group.
This one, while taking a page from Modern Warfare's Gunsmith, is quite similar to the Call of Duty gun customization system. The stats are somewhat easier to understand when each attachment is slapped on.
- Related Reading: XDefiant to Include Reaction Emote Feature for Players Killed; Gun Customization Screen & More Leaks
The standard Domination match was thrown in by the developers, who included Zone Control, Occupy, and Escort in the mix. All in all, the modes should be familiar to anyone who has played a multiplayer shooter in the last decade.
It’s difficult for me to give an accurate impression on the insider sessions, although I liked what I played on. It helped keep the action focused on certain areas, as no one could gain a height advantage etc. With the other maps, the action was focused on certain areas.
We will not emphasize too much on the connection issues (of which there was plenty) as well as other bugs because the build available was in pre-alpha. Instead, we'll list and explain some of the things we think need to be changed.
No Killcams – This should be required in most multiplayer shooter games, especially when it comes to fast-paced games like XDefiant. There were instances in the beta where the enemy felt like it was cheating or was already pre-aiming around the corner (and yes, we know when an Echo ability was used and whether we're tagged).
Better hit registration - It sometimes felt like bullets didn't land on the target, even if it did. It wasn't the worst, but it might be a bit better overall.
Footsteps were LOUD – For some reason, your own footsteps (especially yours) were quite loud. At some points, I had to stop running because I couldn't hear if other players were nearby or if it was just my character's footsteps.
Due to how overpowered the health buffs were, gamers gravitated to the Libertad, which we're not too concerned about, but it's definitely worth mentioning.
The End of Round video was way too long – I understand. People want their achievements displayed. However, the player of the game animation was a bit too long to my liking, and you also have the team summary, which made the wait for the next match seem a bit long.
The M4, the ACR, and even some of the LMGs sounded a bit too similar in terms of handling. Hopefully, the final product will help us appreciate the difference even more.
Shows us our pings – I wanted to see proper ping meters in the scoreboard, but alas! Hopefully it will be added at some point.
Add additional servers and sort out connection issues – I know, I know! Unless the game resolves its server issues, it will be DOA when it launches. Make sure there are servers for people outside the United States. They will be happy if their skills are good.
XDefiant is another subdued F2P shooter in a crowded genre, but I was glad to be proven wrong. Save the connection issues that keep me from playing, the fact that I couldn't think of a lot of flaws outside of gameplay balancing and whatnot, it's all well-oiled.
After a brief weekend with the game, I'm now looking forward to the next playtest session and how I want to know more about the planned changes to the shooter.
Played on PS5, but there's no release date yet, so check out the XDefiant website to know more. It's expected to be released on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X|S.