(embed) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oyizdujFcXo (/ embed)
Ubisoft is expanding its FPS offerings with a new free 6v6 game that closely resembles Tom Clancy’s Call of Duty. Is called XDefiant, and stars three factions seen in other Clancy games: The Echelon (Splinter Cell), The Wolves (Ghost Recon), The Cleaners (The Division) and The Outcasts (also The Division). Check out the introductory trailer above to get a better look at the features, characters ’abilities, and the pace of their action.
XDefiant is being developed primarily by Ubisoft San Francisco, the studio that previously did South Park: The Fractured But Whole and is currently manufacturing Rocksmith +. Call of Duty student Mark Rubin is the game's executive producer and Jason Schroeder, who worked on the original Rocksmith and South Park, is the creative director. In the revealing trailer, the couple describes XDefiant as "fast-paced firefighters encountering punk rock mosh pits."
I’m not sure what that means, but “fast paced” and punk rock aren’t two things I usually associate with the Tom Clancy label. If the premise of XDefiant sounds familiar, it's because it's the same Ubi crossover game, codenamed "BattleCat" at the time, which was leaked in early June.
Because of its sound, XDefiant is really Ubisoft's bet on Call of Duty multiplayer. It's 6v6, apparently will focus on objective game modes (Ubisoft mentioned two called Domination and Escort in a press release) and has a pretty fast kill time. As I watch the game, everything from the speed of the sprint, the limited verticality, and the reflective shots of stopping and spraying, are very reminiscent of Infinity Ward-style CoD games. Check out the short game clip that Ubisoft has shared with us below, as well as some others delivered to the press and influencers before the game's announcement.
Get a quick taste of a new Ubisoft game right here, right now! We've had a chance to see what it looks like and we can't wait to tell you more. Stay tuned to @Ubisoft tomorrow July 19 at 11:15 am PT for full revelation. pic.twitter.com/nZkZB8kKNfJuly 18, 2021
Here is a real game mode. https://t.co/2dsqcfgCCK pic.twitter.com/VnYos1hdWbJuly 18, 2021
You may want to tune in tomorrow at 11:00 PT / 20:00 CEST so prepare @Ubisoft pic.twitter.com/fDRcpJxZQQJuly 18, 2021
Another CoD-like FPS isn’t exciting on its own, but XDefiant hopes to shake things up with its character skills. Each faction will have its own skills and devices that perform different functions on a team. Echelon, for example, are support players who can help spot enemies or flank. The trailer shows the marginalized as healers, wolves as tanks capable of deploying shield barriers, and cleaners as aggressors with large-ass flamethrowers. All players have a standard primary / secondary weapon (customizable with attachments, of course), grenades, as well as a gadget and a definitive ability exclusive to the faction you are playing. One of the ultimatums (Ubi calls them "Ultras") seems to be the Cleaner flamethrower.
So he’s not entirely a shooting hero, but Ubi plans to expand his list with more factions (including more Tom Clancy crossovers and “Beyond”). Given that everyone seems to share health compartments and similar weapon options, the setup seems closer to Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 and 4 operators, who could occasionally pulls out a super weapon. It’s unclear what flexibility these loads will have, but Ubi said each class will have several capabilities to choose from.
You may have noticed an obvious faction of Clancy that is curiously missing from the XDefiant: Rainbow Six list. Despite the extensive group of 60 Rainbow Six Siege operators and devices, XDefiant's revelation makes no mention of it. This is probably a deliberate move to avoid confusion with what are two very different types of FPS, although this is the closest Ubisoft has competed to itself in a while.
Ubisoft isn’t ready to say when XDefiant will launch widely, but the first playable test will begin in a few weeks. Sign up for XDefiant official site to have the opportunity to play the exclusive trial version of PC from August 5. When released, XDefiant will arrive on both PCs and consoles, with cross support "expected" on the first day. An Ubisoft representative told me that as of this writing, XDefiant will only be on the computer through the Ubisoft Connect store.