XDefiant Early Preview: COD Killer?

By Shubham
8 Min Read

The closed beta for the XDefiant, Ubisoft’s newest free-to-play arena shooter game has begun with soaring players. Being a part of the Ubisoft Originals, this arena shooter game pits Ubisoft characters from different universes against one another. While currently a work in progress, the closed beta streams on Twitch has already more views than COD’s MW2 & Warzone, combined. With seasonal updates every three months, Xdefiant will also have new factions, characters, maps, cosmetics, weapons, & a new battle pass. But does the closed beta strike a chord & is it worth it? Check out our early preview for the first impressions of the XDefiant closed beta.

XDefiant Closed Beta Early Preview

Rather than beating around the bush, let me get straight to the main point. The closed beta for XDefiant has been a sheer chaotic and outrageously fast-paced joyride till now. The maps are vibrantly refreshing overall with an ability to hop over different objects. While it can be confusing to grasp the setting of these maps initially, constantly grinding on them helped me a lot. But that’s not the best part about this FPS game.

In my opinion, the best part of XDefiant is that the devs are implementing the changes by listening to the feedback. Due to the progression & bugs, the devs decided to unlock all weapons, loadouts, and attachments for everyone. While formerly having a Tom Clancy title, XDefiant features characters from other Ubisoft universes. This includes factions from Tom Clancy’s Phantoms, The Division, & Splinter Cell. Aside from this Clancyverse crossover, this shooter game also brings characters from Watch Dogs 2 and Far Cry 6.

This opens a door for a lot of possibilities. Fancy, a modern take on a character from the Assassin’s Creed series? With constant seasonal updates, this crossover might be possible someday. But before we get ahead of ourselves, XDefiant’s gameplay mechanics might need a bit more polishing with many adjustments. But considering the changes from its first pre-alpha version to the current beta, there have been a lot of improvements over time. So, I am pretty sure the devs will resolve any underlying issues.

Since Ubisoft is open to feedback, we can expect many changes till the XDefiant comes out in the future. Until then, let me breakdown the best things about the closed beta in our XDefiant Early Preview:

Factions & Characters – Massive Crossovers

xdefiant early preview

Starting with the different Factions, there is no storyline or narrative based on the characters. As with shooter games like Overwatch 2, Apex Legends, or Valorant, these factions are like classes. Choosing them decides what skills, passives, and ultimates you will have for the rest of the round. After grinding for hours on this game, I liked how every faction has different counters.

Before hopping on to the match, we suggest heading to the Factions tab to understand every character. This will help you grasp the abilities, passive traits, and their ultimates or “ultra” as referred to in the game.

Speaking of which, here are all the Factions and their game titles:

  • Cleaner (Pyro Technicians): Tom Clancy’s The Division
  • Phantom (Future Soldiers): Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Phantom
  • Libertad (Freedom Fighters): Far Cry 6
  • Echelon (Super Spies): Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell
  • Dedsec (Cyber Attackers): Watch Dogs 2

For me, playing Echelons have been a good experience as their main ability involves Invisibility. You can use its Digital Ghillie Suit to destroy your opponents in stealth. Similar to every faction, you can counter other Echelons by using the ultimate, Sonar Goggles. This ultra helps you reveal the enemies and take them down with a 5.7 Pistol.

Additionally, I also enjoyed wreaking havoc with the Dedsec characters. These characters can temporarily prevent enemies from using their abilities, ultras, or seeing the mini-map. Nevertheless, you can try all the factions and choose the best before the Close beta ends on April 23rd at 11 PM PT.

Game Modes – Incredibly Fast-Paced

XDefiant’s closed beta game modes included Escort, Zone Control, Domination, Occupy, & recently added ranked matches. Due to the recent bugs and progression issues, the devs added a new game mode called Hot Shot. The game modes like Domination, Zone Control, & Occupy felt similar to Call of Duty. But with the added Welcome Playlist, you can mix all these modes to grind for a longer time.

While playing any of the game modes in XDefiant, I could not help but die instantly. Honestly, at first, I thought it was a skill issue. Then, I realized the overall setting of all these game modes is pretty fast-paced. So, if you want to catch up, you must get accustomed to the Player movements, abilities, & most importantly the maps. Once you grasp and get the hook of all those things, it will be a cakewalk.

During the closed beta, one of the things I liked the most was the smooth player movements and weapons. It was pretty fun to simply slide away or melee attack with your weapons in close range.

Maps – Colorful & Vibrant

xdefiant early preview

If you share a love for Punk rock artwork, you are about to have a great time grinding on some XDefiant’s maps. In total, there are 14 maps with a variety of themes and setting you can go for. I enjoyed seeing the vibrant colors featured on these maps. These maps matched the tone that the devs are targeting. Every map has its secrets such as Vents and Perrons that you can utilize to surprise your opponents.

Is XDefiant the Call of Duty Killer?

In my opinion, I don’t think XDefiant can kill or beat the Call of Duty. Instead, this game has great potential and can be a huge competitor to COD games like Modern Warfare 2 or Warzone 2. It has better map designs and smoother player movements like old COD games.

As the ranked mode will feature skill-based matchmaking, COD fans might get what they wanted for a long time in MW2. But nowadays, with a plethora of shooter games dropping now and then, XDefiant will need to make major changes to stand out. And for that, we suggest players keep on sharing their feedback with devs.

We will be sharing a final review when the game comes out, later this year. So, stay tuned!

That’s all with the XDefiant Early Preview and First Impressions. If you enjoyed reading this, check out our more Reviews right here on Gamer Tweak.