Gameplay is everything you would expect in a third person shooter; nothing incredibly new or innovative here and that is really for the best and has proven to be Trion’s style. What you are left with are intuitive controls anyone can pick up and jump right into playing which is understandable with the game being released on Playstation 3 and Xbox360 as well as PC. That being said, the opening tutorials are very useful and give you a feel for the fast pace the game tries to keep.
For all the simplicity of diving right in with the basics, there is still a skill curve that will let you advance not only through exp points but as a player. Dodging while running for cover, sprinting at the right times and twitch reflexes will all give you an edge as you advance. Headshots do matter and ammo is limited.
During character creation you are asked to choose an origin but this does nothing beyond determining your initial starting outfit and adding a bit of flavor to your adventure. In no way does it limit you to a play style other than the one you choose. Defiance doesn’t have a class system. Instead you are introduced to the EGO system during the tutorial and allowed to test drive each of the 4 basic abilities it grants: Cloak for stealth, Decoy for a mirror image, Overcharge for a weapon damage increase and Blur for a speed boost. After trying them all out you are asked to choose which one you want and in that unlock your place on the EGO Grid.
Every time you level up you will be given an EGO point which will allow you to level up your main ability or a Perk. To unlock new perks you simply have to own an adjacent perk and each can be upgraded two more times after your initial purpose. With the sheer size of the EGO Grid and the variety of abilities available your perks are limited to your imagination and suited to your play style.
The crafting and itemization available in Defiance is a world unto itself. Each dropped and vendor sold weapon is randomly generated with their own little special abilities and anywhere from zero to four different modification slots available for, you guessed it, randomly generated weapon mods of varying types that you can add to tailor even your guns to how you want to play. This is all done in the Salvage Matrix.