Free-to-play shoot-n’-looter Defiance 2050 launches July

Defiance 2050

Despite being tied into TV show of questionable quality, MMO shooter Defiance wasn’t half bad, offering similar kicks to Borderlands, but with with more solid combat and guns that feel designed by human hands instead of being cobbled together mostly at random. It’s relaunching this July 10th (with an open beta scheduled for June 22nd-25th) under name Defiance 2050. Redesigned as free-to-play from the ground up, and leveraging a somewhat beefier engine that’s less prone to cropping scenery, enemies and players out of existence.

I got to play a little bit of Defiance 2050 in one of its recent open beta events. Despite claims that it’s set several years after the initial release, this is the same game, with exactly the same story-beats, cutscenes and all that jazz, although it does feel a little more polished and plagued by significantly less pop-in. Some of 2050’s technical improvements are immediately visible, with an early tutorial mission throwing dozens of enemies at you simultaneously.

One thing that will be changing is the class system. The original Defiance had a fairly woolly and directionless character progression framework, while 2050 looks to split up the old skill tree (and expand chunks of it) into four distinct classes, which you can see in the dev update below. Rather cheekily, everyone in the new release will start out as an Assault – closest to the original game’s progression – but three more specialised classes can be unlocked through grind or real money.

There will apparently be some small perks (including transfer of some account-level upgrades) if you played the original Defiance, but you’re going to have to roll a new character when you make the hop. I’m interested to see if they’re retained all of the TV show crossover quests – hopefully – or whether they’ve been excised in favour of further integration of the DLC missions and zones from the original. I’ll hopefully be giving this one a quick shakedown when it launches next month.

Defiance 2050 is out on July 10th, with a three-day head start for those buying one of the Founders packs on Steam here, and an open beta scheduled for June 22nd-25th. The original Defiance is still free-to-play, and there are apparently no plans to shut it down any time soon.


  1. Xelos says:

    I gst why they don’t want to straight up close the old Defiance servers, but running two nearly identical F2P mmo’s at the same time seems like such a bizarre idea to me.

  2. mitrovarr says:

    Good luck finding a market around Borderlands, Destiny, Anthem, the Division, etc., etc.

    • Ghostwise says:

      That’s what they said for Fortnite.

    • Taintslapper says:

      Borderlands is pretty damned old by this point, I’m willing to bed anthem will have a luke-warm launch and I’m sure will cost 60 dollars, and destiny and the division both have their own set of issues driving players away. I’d say a f2p loot based shooter doesn’t sound like a bad idea at all. It’s like saying path of exile will struggle because it’s in a market with Diablo, Torchlight, and grim Dawn.

  3. Baines says:

    Being tied to the Defiance TV series was one of the good things about the Defiance MMO.

    The bad things were Trion Worlds and the people directly in charge of the game. They are the ones that ran the game into the ground. The ones that wouldn’t spend the time or money to fix issues. The ones that would flat out do the opposite of what the players wanted, and what reality suggested be done. The ones who continually compromised the game’s design (and breaking their own promises) in an ever-increasing chase for microtransactions.

    If the same people are in charge, then this relaunch is even more doomed than the previous incarnation. At least the previous incarnation got to survive for a few years while the mismanagement, greed, and just general bad decisions ate away at it.

  4. Inu says:

    Games that spawn from TV / Movies generally are doomed to fail.

    Marvel Heroes, one of my favorite games of all times. Became increasingly horribly mismanaged over time ending in a sad crash and burn.

    I was a huge fan of the Defiance show. That last season was soo obviously underfunded i saw it’s ultimate demise coming a mile away. It didn’t end horribly though.

  5. Arglebargle says:

    This Defiance re-release is all about the console market.

  6. malkav11 says:

    It wasn’t really that great a shooter, IMO. And the writing was so bland and forgettable in comparison to Borderlands (even the first game, which wasn’t that great on that front). I hear the show was good, though. Maybe I’ll have time to get around to it someday, and I guess perhaps I’ll give the game another go if I get into the show.

  7. Morcane says:

    I played the beta of this game and it felt like a straight up Defiance re-skin, with the same horrible graphics glitches and awful animations all around. Even though I though the original Defiance wasn’t half bad gameplay wise, I’ll probably not touch this one.

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