Ubisoft announced Tom Clancy’s XDefiant this week and we cannot be the only one skeptical of the upcoming shooter. Everything from it’s name to the game’s generic shooting mechanics; XDefiant seems to be off.
The Game Enthusiast staff sat down and tried to figure out what exactly it was that put us (and many other gamers) off. Do note that the game is still in development, so calling it ‘trash’ or ‘garbage’ might be a bit premature. But we feel pretty confident that XDefiant is set to fail nonetheless.
4 reasons why Tom Clancy’s XDefiant is set to fail
1. It’s called… XDefiant
Before even seeing any gameplay, it’s obvious Tom Clancy’s XDefiant is named after what suits think the popular kids talk like. They tried so hard to get the ‘ol XD in there but it doesn’t even make any sense. It’s not a pun, it’s not clever, it’s just Xannoying.
The same applies to the gunplay. Every gun is just a lazer beam in terms of recoil, another thing that the suits will think is fun. Based on the gameplay we’ve seen, you just run around, do some arbitrary stuff and click on people. Granted, Call of Duty dominates the industry with that. But in 2021, we’ve grown to expect more. So much more.
2. Better stolen than badly conceived?
Speaking of popular kids, XDefiant seems to borrow a lot (if not all) of it’s features and design from other major games. It’s nice and pre-teen friendly like Fortnite, it’s got the run-and-gun gameplay like Call of Duty, it’s got unique character abilities like Apex Legends. Nothing screams originality from what we’ve seen.
Ubisoft even lifted the lore from it’s other I.P.’s. XDefiant features factions from The Division, Splinter Cell, and Ghost Recon. If done well, it’s a fun cross-over between popular franchises. But let’s be honest; who really cares that ‘The Wolves’ are in here? We just want a new Splinter Cell game, not ‘Echelon’ as a class in a generic shooter.
3. Tom Clancy’s legacy
Another problem many Tom Clancy fans will have, is the fact that this cheery, sci-fi kids game bears the title ‘Tom Clancy’s XDefiant’. It doesn’t have anything to do with Clancy’s books. In fact, the American novelist is renowned for his detailed, realistic, informed military fiction. XDefiant is the exact opposite. It just feels like a label slapped on to make the game sell better.
4. Inevitably Toxic
Lastly, given that XDefiant is ‘free-to-play’, the game has all the ingredients to become a toxic mess. It doesn’t look like a game that would thrive on a ‘pay once’ business model. Both in terms of banned hackers and toxic players. One could just start a new account and continue with their malpractices. The same applies for every other free-to-play shooter out there.
But the entire theme of XDefiant specifically seems to be that Ubisoft is trying to take the most engaging parts of Call of Duty, Fortnite, Rainbow Six, Apex Legends and undoubtedly others. And by the looks of it, make them even more accessible to even broader audiences. In doing that, they are inevitably bringing in toxic players from all of these different games and it becomes a breeding ground for toxic behavior both in terms of gameplay and player to player interactions.
Let’s give it a minute
These things are expected with any free-to-play game. But Ubisoft seems to be leaning into them just for the sake of money and to get their very own free-to-play business model put out without any real passion behind it to create something fresh for players.
Though to end on a positive note, we do call ourselves Game Enthusiasts over here. It’s hard to be positive about XDefiant, but we can say that Ubisoft has made some awesome games in the past (not you, Hyper Scape). So maybe they’ll pull through.
Tom Clancy’s XDefiant will launch as a beta for games in the United States and Canada (on PC) soon. Eventually, hopefully after a lot of reworking and tweaking, the game will come out on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, PC, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X / S. There’s no release date as of yet.