XDefiant Review: Just another shooter that falls quite short

Seriously, what’s the deal with XDefiant? Ubisoft’s attempt at a free-to-play shooter feels like a mishmash of ideas that don’t quite gel. The flashy marketing pitched it as a punk-rock shooter with fast-paced firefights. But now, it’s a melting pot of factions from various Tom Clancy titles, lacking any real cohesion. So, in short, here’s my take on it:

At its core, XDefiant is a first-person shooter with factions having unique abilities. You’ve got the Cleaners from The Division, Libertad from Far Cry 6, and Phantoms from Ghost Recon, among others. The game promises tactical depth with these factions, but why they fight together or against each other remains a mystery. There’s no storyline, no lore, but just chaos.

The gunplay is solid. Each weapon, from the M4A1 to the M870 shotgun, feels unique and satisfying. But the balance is all over the place. Sniper rifles are overpowered, especially if you’re good at aiming. The movement is super fast, with high-speed strafing and jumping, which makes it hard to hit a target, again, especially if you’re a sniper. It’s frantic and not in a good way.

Abilities are hit-or-miss. The Cleaners’ incendiary drone sounds cool but often fails due to environmental snags. In contrast, Echelon’s wallhack ability feels overpowered, with too short a cooldown. The ultimates, or Ultras, are powerful but rarely come into play, leaving you feeling underwhelmed most of the time.

The game modes Domination, Escort, Zone Control, etc., also feel like something we have already seen. The maps are recycled from older Ubisoft titles, and the package feels sparse. No custom matches, limited-time modes, something players are looking for.

Customization is robust but tedious. Each weapon must be leveled separately for attachments, making switching weapons a chore. The Mastery skins, Bronze, Silver, and Gold, are uninspiring. The UI is a mess, constantly pushing you toward the Battle Pass.

Network issues plague the experience, which results in poor hit registration and frequent deaths around corners. Something that players won’t welcome warmly. Combined with erratic movement, it makes for a maddening experience when you’re facing skilled players.

XDefiant feels like a generic shooter wearing a Tom Clancy mask. It has potential, especially with its free-to-play model, but it needs much more polish and content to stand out in a crowded market. The foundation is there, but Ubisoft needs to work on this a lot more.

Ultimately, it seems like a massive miss for Ubisoft once again. How many times have they tried to make a shooter that will surprise the fans but failed to do so? Like we do not have Valorant or CS2 already. No matter the idea, the game does seem to be shaky. I am also said because I honestly hoped for a lot more fun this weekend.


XDefiant - 5.5



XDefiant is a free-to-play first-person shooter video game developed by Ubisoft San Francisco and published by Ubisoft. XDefiant was released on PlayStation 5, Windows, and Xbox Series X/S on May 21, 2024. On PC, the game will be released exclusively on Ubisoft Connect.

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Angel Kicevski

I am ANGE1K. I started playing video games a long time ago. In a blink of an eye, I became a hardcore gamer. A couple of years later, I traversed to the professional Counter-Strike 1.6 scene. After the competitive ERA, I managed to find the gaming industry amusing and started working on FGR. 8 years after founding FGR, my mission remains the same. That is to discover secrets within the gaming industry, create guides for all the games I play, and provide you with some important news. Oh, yeah, I post tons of patch notes too. At the time, I play everything that seems reasonable to play, make content about it and help gamers to the best of my abilities. P.S. Last time I counted how many hours I've spent in video games turned out to be 13+ years. And that was a long time ago too. Almost 24/7 in front of PC. If you need anything, feel free to contact me on X!

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