XDefiant Ubisoft’s Newest Multiplayer

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First announced in 2021, it plays similar to Call of Duty, fast-paced, short time-to-kill but offers multiple special abilities for its unique characters along with a range of guns to choose from to allow its players to create whatever they desire and play however they want. It was released on 21st May and achieved a peak of around 700,000 concurrent players.

Cool, so what are the special Abilities?

The special abilities to choose from depend on the faction chosen, there are 4 factions each with its origin from a Ubisoft franchise such as the Cleaners and Phantoms from The division and Ghost Recon titles, The Echelon from the Splinter Cell franchise, Libertad from the recent Far Cry 6 and Dedsec from the recent Watchdog titles.

Each of the factions abilities are listed below:

Cleaners
The pyro technicians of the game, their entire kit is fire based with incendiary rounds, firebombs and a drone that leaves a trail of fire in a line of 30 feet before detonating at the end. The special ability of the Cleaners is their Flamethrower with a range of 20 feet with a 12 second duration time.This is the faction to choose when you wanna get up close and personal.

Phantoms
These are the tanks of the game, with abilities Blitz Shield and Mag barrier as active abilities. The Blitz Shield as the name implies is a that has a duration of 25 seconds and allows players to melee enemies while closing distance on them. The Mag barrier is a placeable shield with a health pool of 470 points which blocks bullets, grenades etc.

Their passive ability Hardened increases their max HP to 120 allowing them to stay longer in fights or outlast others when already in a gunfight. The special ability is a small shield that forms around them in a 20 foot radius and they equip a scattergun which lasts 15 seconds.

Echelon
The flank specialists of the game with active abilities such as an invisibility suit and an Intel suit which reveals the position of enemies in a 30 foot radius periodically. The passive ability allows them to remain undetected for a short period of time in the mini map of enemy players and the special is the Sonar goggles along with Sam Fischer iconic pistol from the splinter cell series which is a 1 shot kill to the head and 3 shot kill to the body.

Libertad
They are characters from Far Cry 6 who are set to be the healers of the game with their active abilities being able heal players in a 65 foot radius to 120 HP or heal at a rate of 12 HP for 0.45 seconds. Even their passive acts as a heal that lasts for 10 seconds.The special of this class gives a large boost of health to the player and his/her allies for a 10 foot radius.

Dedsec
It is the faction from the recent Watchdogs games and their abilities focusing on disabling enemies gadgets and such. The active abilities hijack other gadgets to work for them or players can choose a spider that latches on to enemy players stunning them for a short duration.Their special disables all enemy player minimaps and gadgets for 20 seconds.

Is it comparable to Call of Duty?

It is designed to be a competitor to COD with such fast paced gameplay and a fast time-to-kill. What is notable is that the developers made sure to include game modes where the objective forces players to work together as a team as opposed to just going for the highest kill count.

Every gun in the game has its own set of progress to complete by using the gun which unlocks various attachments for the gun such as scopes, grips, barrels etc. There is the addition of unique challenges that unlock certain attachments or skins for the respective gun.

What feels absolutely appalling is that at launch only 4 of the 5 factions are able to be played, the Dedsec faction requires players to earn a staggering 700,000 EXP to unlock and play with Ubisoft offering a battle pass payment which “conveniently” also unlocks the faction just to put it into perspective playing a match awards you with 2000 XP and winning awards you with 4000 XP and the challenges given range from 5000 to 10,000 XP, making it an extremely intense grid to unlock the faction who’s special ability disables everyone else in the match for 20 seconds.

A COD Killer?

This could very well be a serious contender for the FPS as it offers lots of creative ways to play the game with the factions and their unique special abilities. It could very well have a high player retention which “The Finals” sort of missed the mark with. It remains to be seen what Ubisoft does with this potential golden goose, it could reach the popularity that Rainbow Six Siege has garnered and recently had a reinterest in or it could become something that was a momentary blip in the multiplayer FPS scene dominated by Call of Duty.

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