Terminator: Dark Fate – Defiance Review

Terminator: Dark Fate – Defiance Review

One of the most captivating elements of the Terminator series has always been the future war segments, which have also inspired some of the best video games based on the franchise. Terminator: Dark Fate – Defiance attempts to capture that essence by delving into the post-apocalyptic world where humanity is at war with killer machines. However, the game falls short in its execution, failing to seamlessly blend the future war fantasy with the gritty real-time tactics gameplay.

Story-Driven Battles

Defiance unfolds a series of story-driven battles set in the post-Judgment Day United States and Northern Mexico, where players face off against Legion, the equivalent of Skynet in the Dark Fate timeline. The characters may come off as stereotypes with some entertaining voices, but the narrative of a cut-off military unit teaming up with local resistance against oppressive forces manages to keep players engaged amidst the intense RTS battles.

Realistic Warfare

The battles in Defiance are characterized by realism, detail, and deadly consequences. Soldiers are vulnerable to stray bullets and explosions, emphasizing the importance of strategy and logistics on the battlefield. Every unit requires specific ammunition, fuel, and parts for vehicles, necessitating thoughtful planning and management.

Combat Mechanics

Facing off against the machines in Defiance offers a thrilling experience, with aggressive enemies that charge into battle without concern for their own safety. Deploying units strategically becomes crucial in order to outmaneuver and defeat the formidable enemy forces. The game truly captures the essence of modern warfare, with engaging infantry combat and thrilling encounters with Terminators.

“There are no visual indicators for vital stuff like line of sight.”

Challenges and Limitations

Defiance presents players with challenges that require more than just strategic thinking. The game leans towards trial and error gameplay rather than strategic military exercises, often leading to frustration and repetitive gameplay. The lack of mid-mission replacements for fallen soldiers adds to the intensity of battles, requiring players to be highly attentive to every move.

“Higher difficulties require either silly luck or constant save scumming.”

Gameplay Flaws

While Defiance attempts to deliver a real-time tactics wargame experience reminiscent of acclaimed titles like Men of War, it falls short in certain aspects. The game’s reliance on luck and repetitive gameplay mechanics detracts from the overall experience, making it challenging to progress without resorting to constant save reloading.

“Army management is a waste of time full of false choices.”

Army Management and Mission Design

Between missions, players can manage and upgrade their army, but the limited structure of the campaign restricts the impact of such decisions. The enforced supply requirement between missions leads to disbanding units unnecessarily, while mission design often hinges on arbitrary factors rather than strategic planning.

Multiplayer and Skirmishes

Defiance offers multiplayer and single-player skirmishes centered around point capture and hold mechanics. While the modes provide a decent experience, the limited map variety hinders the longevity of the multiplayer component. The ability to play as Legion adds an interesting twist to the gameplay, but the lack of diverse maps affects the overall appeal of these modes.