XDefiant Review: A Solid FPS with Room for Improvement

XDefiant Review: A Solid FPS with Room for Improvement

Ubisoft’s latest entry into the free-to-play shooter market, XDefiant, is a competitive first-person shooter built around various Ubisoft franchises. Despite its respectable mechanics and potential, the game struggles to stand out in a crowded genre.

A Respectable, Yet Unremarkable Shooter

XDefiant delivers a solid competitive FPS experience. The shooting mechanics feel great, and the quick respawn times keep the momentum going, even after death. Minor issues like weapon balance can be adjusted over time, but a more significant problem lies in the game's core design: the fast time-to-kill makes many class abilities feel redundant, as players often die before they can use them effectively.

"Its shooting mechanics generally feel great, and even dying doesn’t kill the momentum since you're dropped right back into the action within a few seconds."

While the game features a variety of modes, it lacks a defining one, leaning heavily on familiar point-capture concepts and other tried-and-true but tired modes like Payload and Kill Confirmed. However, the well-designed maps keep the gameplay interesting longer than it otherwise would.

An Unusual Development Cycle

XDefiant has had an unusual development cycle, launching on May 21st but remaining in a "preseason" phase. Ubisoft plans to introduce the full XDefiant experience in the coming weeks with the start of the first season. This cautious approach seems unnecessary given the game's quality, suggesting that Ubisoft may not fully realize the potential of the game they have created.

"Even this bit of launch window 'CYA' from the publisher is strange to me, considering how good XDefiant is."

The Sweatiest Game?

The game’s fast pace and lack of skill-based matchmaking in unranked mode create a highly competitive environment. While this can lead to some unbalanced matches, it also means that victories feel earned and satisfying.

"I said this during the stream, and I’ll say it again here. It is the 'sweatiest' game I’ve ever played."

Despite its intensity, XDefiant offers a fair experience. The absence of skill-based matchmaking in unranked mode leads to a mix of easy wins, crushing defeats, and nail-biting close matches.

Balancing and Abilities

XDefiant features characters from various Ubisoft franchises, each with unique abilities. However, these abilities often feel underutilized due to the game's fast pace and quick deaths. The balance between abilities and gunplay needs refinement to ensure that strategic play is as rewarding as reflexive shooting.

"It’s crazy that I can use cloaking tech, and people can see me from a mile away."

Monetization and Progression

As a free-to-play game, XDefiant includes a battle pass and other monetization elements. Unlocking additional characters and cosmetics through progression or payment is standard, but it does not feel overly intrusive or pay-to-win.

"It’s the usual batch of unlockables such as characters, skins, weapon camos, and XP boosters."

Maps and Modes

The game offers a variety of modes and maps that are well-designed and engaging. Modes like Domination and Escort stand out, providing a good mix of familiar and fresh gameplay experiences. The absence of standard modes like Team Deathmatch and Free-for-All is notable but not a deal-breaker.

"My favorite, hands down, is Domination. The goal is to get to 750 points by holding down zones."

Final Thoughts

XDefiant is a solid entry into the competitive FPS genre, offering fun and engaging gameplay. However, it needs further refinement to fully realize its potential. Improvements in balancing, netcode, and the addition of more content and modes will be crucial for its long-term success.

Score: 7/10

"XDefiant will likely divide competitive shooter fans, as it did us here at Gaming Nexus. Fans of classic competitive shooters will find a lot to like in the Ubiverse shooter, even its take on hero abilities. But it may not go far enough in any direction to truly stand out in a crowded market."

In conclusion, XDefiant provides a competitive and enjoyable FPS experience with room for improvement. Its success will depend on Ubisoft’s ability to refine the game and provide regular content updates to keep players engaged.


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