Quick Look: XDefiant

Let’s get this out of the way. XDefiant is a shit name. I don’t really understand what it means, or how it applies to the game. But hey, I guess it’s been consumer tested within an inch of its life, and this is the winner?

Anyway….. XDefiant came out this week, released by Ubisoft. A self-described competitor to Call of Duty multiplayer.

A tall task! But let me tell you something now. I think XDefiant is actually poised to be solid competition.

XDefiant - Full Art


A free-to-play competitive online first-person shooter. Blending the factions of various different Ubisoft franchises (Watch Dogs, Far Cry, Splinter Cell and The Division).

You pick a faction, which essentially gives you access to different abilities and ultimates. Then, off you go.

We’ll come to game modes shortly, but you’re in objective-based modes. With abilities and ultimates, there are hints of Overwatch here, too.

The feel

I think if you’re competing with Call of Duty, you have a few things to get right. But primarily it’s of the movement and gunplay feel.

When I started XDefiant, I was honestly pretty glib that it would fall at the first hurdle. That pacing, that movement, the way you aim down sights. Not impossible to replicate, but not easy.

Damn. Ubisoft did it! XDefiant truly feels like it’s hitting the same sweet-spots.

Fluid, quick and exactly what you need if you’re going head to head with the biggest FPS franchise in the world.

Really impressed.

XDefiant - Map


I’m only a few levels up on my SMG, so my unlocks are minimal.

You have similar levelling here to CoD. Weapon XP with individual upgrade parts (scopes, muzzles, magazines etc), and player XP for your rank.

It’s a tried and tested method, and helps you focus on improving what you like using the most.

The guns feel good, that same “light” but impactful CoD feels.

Time to kill feels a little long. For a game that really plays like CoD, Xdefiant seems to have not quite got the time to kill just right. Sometimes a full clip isn’t enough, and engagements feel a touch too long for me.


XDefiant is hellbent on making you play objective modes. No issue for me, I love objective modes, but as is always the case, a lot of players just run around for kills.

I’d say if Ubisoft are serious about the longevity of the game, they’ll need to add Team Death match sooner rather than later. That’s the draw in these games.

I appreciate wanting to set yourself apart, but this is the wrong place to take a stand.

Otherwise, you have King of the Hill/capture an area modes.

An Overwatch-reminiscent mode where one team pushes the moving objective through the level, and the other tries to stop it.

And a couple of others that I’ve not had come up in the playlist yet.

XDefiant - Weapons


I’ve only played a few so far, but the maps feel nicely designed to push engagement in certain choke points (the game modes help this).

Aesthetically, they’re bright, routes are obvious and well signposted, and they each establish a theme that works really nicely.

The Zoo feels like a zoo (also feels very similar to The Division 2). The arena feels like a sports arena and so on.

Free to play

This is the draw, right? No cost of entry. No £70 annual entry into a series that hasn’t changed significantly in years.

They comes with its own blemishes, though. Expensive cosmetics, factions and player models locked behind big XP requirements or a paywall.

You can’t blame XDefiant for needing to make money, but I’d always be far more inclined to spend money if I felt like it was good value.

It feels a touch expensive to be honest.

Still, you’re not forced to buy anything, and looking at the XP progress game to game, you’d need to sink a significant amount of time in, to get lot of of your battle pass. I think there’s room to improve here.

XDefiant - Battle Pass


All-in-all, XDefiant is doing a lot of really good things, and it’s free.

Not to mention it doesn’t require 100+ GB storage to play.

I hope it meets a better fate than Hyper Scape, which was again, good, free-to-play and fun.

Fingers-crossed that it gets a full lifetime support. New factions and gear. New maps. New modes. Give it life and let players want to keep coming back.

So far, so good. Highly recommended!

Highly Recommended

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