The SyFy Network is no stranger when it comes to tying in promotions with video games. For a while there, it had a pretty lucrative deal with THQ, not only sub-licensing de Blob 2 upon its release, but also producing an impressive live-action Red Faction film to go along with the company's Armageddon release.
However, for its next promotion, Defiance, the channel is going much more in depth. The show, which will begin airing on April 15th, focuses on a plot line similar to that of the third-person shooter, featuring an all star cast that includes Graham Greene, Julie Benz and Mia Kirshner.
The game has a lot in common with the show, practically taking place in the same universe. It revolves around a group of aliens called the Votans, who pay a visit to Earth in the distant future. They attempt to find a peaceful home there after their solar system was destroyed, only to find that the Earth government isn't exactly keen on new settlers. However, rather than try to find a home somewhere else, the aliens fight back, launching terraformers that scorch the planet's surface. After years of battling, the two sides try to reach a truce, though, as always, there's some uneasiness that leads to unexpected battle – which you'll find plenty of in the game.
The side story of Trion's game follows a disastrous shooting down of a peace vessel, the Stratocarrier EMS New Freedom, and the leader of a peace-seeking expedition, Karl Von Bach (of Von Back Industries), disappearing. What follows is plenty of action – as well as unanswered questions.
In the game, you'll find various missions that you can complete over the course of the game. Main missions enable you to move the story along, while at the same time earning experience for your character that can be turned around into their weapons and gear to make them more powerful. Side missions are optional, but add additional experience where needed. Hotshot missions haven't been described yet, but sound like you go on hunts for the enemy. Time Trials are just that, missions that must be completed in a certain time frame. Rampage presents you with challenges where you must obliterate a certain number of enemies. And, finally, Emergency missions call upon you to step up your game and defend against incoming enemies, or rescue those that are in need.
As expected from a Trion product, Defiance will also include raid missions, where you attempt to take over enemy strongholds, as well as co-op support for teams, and PvP maps, where you can take on the opposition directly. There's no shortage of things you can do in the game, whether it's online or off.
That brings us to the different character types that are in the game. They aren't classes, by any means, but rather origins, with each type of player different from each other in skill terms. The four origins are as follows…
The most noble of the origins available, the Veterans join the Bay Area Expedition in the hopes of getting away from active military duty, or to simply see the historic Battle of Defiance location with their own eyes. Their main weapon of choice is an assault rifle, and their armor type is Infantry Veteran, capable of taking a good amount of damage on the battlefield.
The exact opposite of trained soldiers, Survivalists are more like scavengers, pursuing the skill of being an Ark Hunter and using whatever they find to their advantage. Their weapons are rather cool, including an Autopistol for quick shooting and a Survivalist's Rifle for long-range attacks, and they can also utilize frag DDWW grenades for collective damage. Their outfit, however, is a mere City Survivalist get-up, rather than full-on armor.
Though they had grown up on the wrong side of the law, the Outlaws are actually looking for a place to fit in with the Bay Area Expedition, seeking a new chance to redeem themselves as Ark Hunters. However, they aren't without their skill set, as they bring a powerful shotgun for combat purposes, as well as a savvy Underworld Outlaw costume.
Finally, you have the Machinists, once considered outcasts in culture because of their technical savvy, thanks to the change of power in industry on the Earth Republic and Votanis Collective. However, with the expedition, they're given their chance to shine with their smarts once again. Their main weapon of choice is the Machinist's Gun, though no word on what their outfit is like yet. Since they're good with tech gear, don't be surprised if they use some kind of new-fangled armor.
Between these different Origins, the weapons they can collectively power up, and the combat situations you'll run into over the course of the game, there's no question that Defiance will have no trouble expanding on the events that occur with the show. We'll see how it all unfolds when the game makes its debut on April 2nd for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC.