Ubisoft today announced the latest Tom Clancy game — a free-to-play FPS called XDefiant. On the surface, it’s got the fast-paced gunplay of something like Call of Duty, but there’s a twist: At its core, XDefiant is building a unique gaming community, bringing all types of players together.
XDefiant’s reveal took place in a brief livestream from Ubisoft earlier this afternoon. It’s mostly what you’d expect from a multiplayer FPS, with colorful maps, a fast time-to-kill, and a range of modes. The key difference is how developers Ubisoft San Francisco are approaching the player-base. It’ll cater to both casual and competitive players, and promises to listen to fan feedback throughout the game’s release.
Creative Director Jason Schroeder, and Executive Producer Mark Rubin, hosted the presentation. In the first minute of the reveal, Schroeder said “your feedback is essential to help us make this game great.” That starts now, as they encouraged viewers to discuss the game on their social channels. It’ll extend into the first phase of testing, which kicks off in early August. It’ll let players get their hands on the game early, while providing tweaks to make the final product better. It’s interesting that Ubisoft haven’t referred to it as a ‘beta’ — instead it’s a test, which instantly marks XDefiant as something different.
How XDefiant will cater to its community remains to be seen. However, the trailer promises support for casual and more competitive players – with different game modes catered to different skill levels, creating a more balanced experience. Equally, the constant post-launch support for XDefiant will ensure the game caters to what players want. This will likely manifest through consistent updates, weapon balancing, and new features based on player feedback. How fans can deliver this feedback, we don’t yet know — but not many games have made the community the focus of their attention like XDefiant has.
Tom Clancy’s XDefiant will release on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, PC, Google Stadia, and Amazon Luna. We don’t have a release date yet, but the first PC testing window starts on August 5.
Luke Hinton is a freelance culture journalist living in Cardiff, Wales. He graduated from Cardiff University with a degree in Journalism, Media and Communications, and currently balances his freelancing work with postgraduate studies. He specialises in film, TV and entertainment writing.