Video Games

XDefiant Closed Beta: First Impressions

Ubisoft’s XDefiant is an upcoming free-to-play first-person arena shooter that, to be honest, didn’t initially interest me at all. It had absolutely nothing to do with his various Ubisoft game factions featured on XDefiant, nor did the gameplay interest me. However, Closed ended up playing for about an hour at the preview event, and was surprised to find that he wanted more playing time after the servers were closed.

An hour is not much time for a full preview of any game. So this is just part of the first impression I wanted to share with you. I actually saw him play XDefiant in one of Ubisoft’s very confidential closed tests in 2021, and this was a big change from that iteration. It’s a great sign that Ubisoft took your feedback seriously and made some big changes.

In my opinion, when the first closed tests started, XDefiant had no sense of identity at all. I didn’t understand what the game was trying to do or how it was supposed to feel. There was no real guidance on how to play the game or characters. But now when I load it into XDefiant it has more structures.


Let’s start with factions. There are no stories or narratives as to why these agents of each faction are in his XDefiant. Speaking with Safy Saada, her director of Creative, she said there was no underlying story or reason for these characters to appear in her XDefiant. They were just inspiration.

Each faction is like choosing a class with different abilities and ultras (ultimate). Five factions are available in this Closed Beta, their abilities and class-specific traits detailed below.

  • Cleaners: Origin – Tom Clancy’s The Division.
    • passive:
      • Incendiary: Weapons deal additional burn damage over time, but weapon range is reduced
    • ability:
      • Incinerator Drone: Napalm-carrying drone burns down everything in flight path
      • Molotov cocktail: Throw a Molotov Cocktail to deal explosive damage and set fire to your surroundings
    • Ultra
      • Fires a flamethrower that incinerates enemies
  • Dedsec: Origin – Watch Dogs 2
    • passive:
      • Fabricator: Fabricator prints new devices after devices are deployed
    • ability:
      • Hijack: Hack an enemy-deployed ability and make it your own
      • Spiderbot: Deploys a spiderbot that targets and stuns the nearest enemy
    • Ultra:
      • Lockout: Deploys an EMP that prevents enemies within range of the lockout from using abilities and ultras.
  • Echelon: Origin – Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell
    • passive:
      • Unobtrusive: Characters do not appear on enemy minimaps
    • ability:
      • Digital Ghillie Suit: Invisible when not firing a weapon
      • Intel Suit: Periodic sonar waves reveal enemy locations around you
    • Ultra:
      • Sonar Goggles: Activate the sonar goggles to see through walls and deploy Sam Fisher’s 5.7 Pistol to take out enemies.
  • Libertad: Origin – Far Cry 6
    • passive:
      • Espiritu de Libertad: Heals slowly over time, nearby enemies also heal over time
    • ability:
      • BioVida Boost: Regenerate Health, boosting the combined health of you and nearby enemies within a certain range
      • El Remedio: Throw a gas canister to heal allies until they are dead or out of fuel.
    • Ultra:
      • Medico Supremo: Using the Medico Backpack greatly increases health and resilience for a period of time.
  • Phantoms: Origin – Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Phantom
    • passive
      • Hardened: Increased health
    • ability
      • Mag Barrier: Deploys an electromagnetic barrier that blocks and shoots through enemy fire and grenades.
      • Blitz Shield: Equip a tactical shield that can shield melee attacks
    • Ultra
      • Aegis: Deploys a spherical plasma shield that travels with you and is armed with an electro shotgun.

Each faction has its own traits and abilities that make them stand out and more viable in team composition. Each team has 6 of him and there is no limit to how many people can be in a faction. Honestly, I mostly found myself playing as Cleaners from The Division or Echelon from Splinter Cell.

The Flamethrower Ultra that Cleaner has was incredibly powerful. This meant I was able to kill enemies instantly without having to touch their hitboxes. Also, the flamethrower usage time allowed me to get quite a few kills before my ultra was depleted. . If you have an SMG, you can basically slam half your magazine into an enemy, dealing fire damage over time, watching them frantically try to escape, and over time the damage causes You can watch it die around the corner.

Thanks to Echelon, the hitbox is incredibly small, allowing you to run around in an invisible suit, in and out, taking out enemies by surprise. These he felt the two factions were the most overwhelmed, so I mostly thought these he shimmied between the two factions, but each faction really had its own balance issues. . Libertad’s healing abilities healed me and my teammates almost instantly. Also, the healing effect was so high that it was impossible to try to kill someone standing within the range of the healing effect.

Factions and their abilities definitely need a lot of tweaking and balancing. Yes XDefiant was fun with his hour of playtime I got but from one team being made up of all the cleaners if the other is completely rolled , it was easy to see how frustrating things could get. I think it helps to limit the number of factions that can be on a team (like 1 Libertad and up to 2 other factions), especially since each faction seems to play the role of a particular team.


But I liked that no faction was restricted to a specific weapon loadout. Time to kill (TTK) is very fast and reminded me of Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2. SMGs and shotguns were incredibly powerful and had no effect even with the addition of Cleaner’s passive his ability. Therefore, fast-firing and immediate-burst weapons were great to use in matches.

Shotguns, on the other hand, were essentially one-hit kills, and SMGS rarely needed to run a full magazine before shredding an enemy. Again, aggressive balancing here will help XDefiant’s future, but the shootouts and moves in this game are more than what Ubisoft’s recently attempted free-to-play multiplayer shooter, his Hyper Scape I’d say it’s much better than

Naturally, XDefiant has game modes similar to Overwatch and Call of Duty, but the combination never stalled the match. Game modes included in the beta included Domination, Occupy, Escort, and Zone Control. I kept getting Domination and Zone Control, so I can’t speak to the other game modes, but I found those two to be incredibly fast-paced and fun. Even when he was repeatedly killed and tried to run away to defend his points, he laughed each time he sneaked up on an enemy and caught them off guard before taking out other teammates and securing points for his team.

live service

But fun isn’t enough in modern multiplayer games. There are limited hours in the day, so not all games can survive and thrive. When I asked him how he would support this game as a live service, he went through a massive list of weapons, abilities, and mechanics that needed to be reworked, so Saada built his XDefiant to create flexible code. I explained that I wanted to have Make it easier to implement future changes and updates.

One of my main games is Apex Legends, and one of the consistent issues I had throughout the season was the audio bugs, so this was huge for me. A lot of the time, abilities, weapons, or footsteps didn’t have audio cues, which was a big problem with Apex. Respawn says that in two years he spent updating the game the code would break and he can’t fix it right away, so it’s more complicated than pushing a simple fix.

So it was incredibly reassuring to hear that Ubisoft specified that they built XDefiant to be flexible with updates and changes. Especially since I wasn’t a big fan of how they handled his Hyper Scape, the game I reviewed and specified had a lot of potential, but it didn’t. Updated quickly enough to actually survive past a month of release. We have high hopes for XDefiant, as it shows many signs that Ubisoft has learned from past failures to launch his FPS games that don’t live up to the standards of his current FPS games.

Again, it’s not perfect and definitely needs a lot of major tweaks. But the core gameplay is there and it’s fun. There’s another closed beta on the 13th, and we’ll be playing more to see if changes have been made and how the update feels, but I’m really optimistic about the trajectory of XDefiant.

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