Defiant is Ubisoft’s free-to-play answer to Call of Duty multiplayer.
Ubisoft has added a 6v6 free-to-play game to its FPS portfolio. It is very similar to Tom Clancy’s Call of Duty. It’s called XDefiant and features three factions from other Clancy games: The Echelon, the Wolves (Ghost Recon), The Cleaners (The Division) and The Outcasts (also The Division). To get a better idea of the characters, abilities and pace of the action, watch the intro trailer.
Ubisoft San Francisco is developing XDefiant, which is the same studio that made South Park: Fractured but Whole. Call of Duty alumni Mark Rubin will be the game’s executive producer, while Jason Schroeder (who worked on South Park and Rocksmith) is the creative director. The reveal trailer describes XDefiant’s “fast-paced firefights and punk rock moshpits” as the game.
Although I don’t know what it means, I do not think that “fast-paced” or punk rock are two things I associate with the Tom Clancy label. If you find the premise of XDefiant familiar, this is the same Ubi crossover game codenamed “BattleCat” that was leaked in June.
Defiant is Ubisoft’s Call of Duty multiplayer. It will be 6v6 and focus on objective modes (Ubisoft referred to two of them in a press release) and fast time-to-kill. Everything about the gameplay is very reminiscent of Infinity Ward-style CoD games. Below is a short clip of gameplay Ubisoft shared, along with some others given to influencers and press before the announcement.
You can get a taste of the brand new Ubisoft game here, right now. For the complete reveal, keep an eye on @Ubisoft tomorrow at 11:15 PT. pic.twitter.com/nZkZB8kKNfJuly 18, 2020
Another CoD-like FPS isn’t fascinating, but XDefiant hopes that it will add some excitement to the mix with its character abilities. Each faction will have its own gadgets and abilities that can be used to fill various roles in a team. For example, the Echelon are support players who can spot enemies and flank. In the trailer, Outcasts are shown as healers and Wolves as tanks capable of deploying shield barriers. Cleaners are seen as big-ass flamethrowers, while Cleaners are shown as assaulters. Each player is equipped with a primary/secondary weapon, grenades and a gadget that is unique to their faction. One of the ultimates, which Ubi calls “Ultras”, appears to be Cleaner’s flamethrower.
Although it isn’t a hero shooter, Ubi plans to add more factions to its roster (including more Tom Clancy crossovers or “beyond”). The setup is closer to Call of Duty: Black Ops 3, 4’s operators who might occasionally pull out a superweapon because everyone seems to have similar gun options and health pools. Ubi stated that each class would have various abilities, although it is not clear how flexible these loadouts are.
One Clancy faction that is missing from XDefiant’s roster might be Rainbow Six. Despite Rainbow Six Siege having 60 operators and gadgets in its arsenal, the XDefiant reveal doesn’t mention it. This is most likely an intentional move to avoid confusion between two types of FPS. However, this is the closest Ubisoft has been to compete with itself for a while.
Ubisoft has yet to announce when XDefiant will be released widely. However, the first playable test will begin in just a few days. Register at XDefiant’s site to get a chance for the PC-exclusive test builds, which will be available starting August 5. defiant will be available on both PC and consoles, with crossplay support “expected” from the first day. According to Ubisoft, XDefiant is currently only available on PC through the Ubisoft Connect Store.