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Defiance: Castithan Charge Pack
Score: 70%
Publisher: Trion Worlds
Developer: Trion Worlds
Media: Download/1
Players: MMO
Genre: Third Person Shooter/Online

The Castithans Have Arrived:

The release of the Castithan Charge Pack brings new content to everyone playing Defiance. It brings Castithans into the game, and introduces their trademark energy blades, as well. In addition to Castithan Charge Blades, there are other weapons that can be charged up, new game modes, vehicles and character customizations. While you have to purchase the DLC to have access to everything, there are some features available even if you don't purchase the DLC. Everyone will get access to:

New Game Modes:

  • Duels - Test your mettle against your friends
  • Volge Sieges - Capture and hold strategic points
  • Battle Arenas - a new Underground Fighting Game Mode

New Weapon Types:

  • Charge Weapons - New Weapons that do more damage if you "charge" them up.
  • Castithan Charge Blades - Yup, Light-saber-esque weapons included.
    • Tint Mods - Customize the color of your Castithan Blade

Character Customization:

  • New Character Voices - Add some depth and attitude to your Characters

...And More:

  • Military Academy - a new PvP Map
  • Dark Matter Arkfalls - New Arkfall to take things up a notch.

But Wait - That's Not All:

Players who actually purchase the Castithan Charge Pack will get certain additional things that are not available to everyone with the upgrade associated with this DLC:

Purchaser Exclusives:

  • Customization Redo - Change your Character's name and appearance and even swap races.
  • Playable Castithan Race - Buying this DLC allows you to actually play as a Castithan. The above-mentioned Customization Redo will allow you to change an existing character's race to Castithan, if you so choose.
  • Charge Weapons - A Charge Weapons Starter Pack, to give you something new to play with.
  • New Mission - Mission that incorporates the new Battle Arena Game Mode
    • Rewards - Castithan Charge Blade and Ceremonial Mask
  • Raptor - Special version of this 4-Player Vehicle that lets you cart your friends around
  • Castithan Outifit
  • New Pursuits - 9 Pursuits only available via Castithan Charge Pack: 5 Arena Mastery Pursuits and 4 Mission-based Pursuits

A Closer Look:

If you're a fan of Castithans and you want to have your own playable character inspired by Datak Tarr or Alak Tarr, perhaps then you need the Castithan Charge Pack. This DLC is not mission-heavy, but there are a lot of new game elements and nice bonuses packed into the purchase. This is especially nice if you run several characters, as each of your characters will receive the bonuses.

One of my favorite aspects of this DLC is actually the ability to (finally) give your characters a voice. This adds a great deal of depth to your characters and, since the Castithan Charge Pack includes a free Customization Redo per character, you can tweak your existing characters, whether it's to make them Castithan or to simply choose a character voice and, perhaps, add a scar (now that they've seen some action) or just change their hair style.

When I first started to make a Castithan, I was a bit lost as to what "class" to choose, since my primary points of reference is Datak Tarr's clan, and none of them seem to fit the standard Classes, necessarily - and definitely not with the initial costumes, which are the same for a Castithan character as for the others. However, playing around with the appearances a bit and the different voices and my female character just sort of emerged, with some rough edges and an insane run-headlong-into-danger attitude. I actually find myself playing less defensively with her than I usually would, based on her attitude.

As for the Customization Redo, as I said above, you get one per character, so you can update your existing characters, but the usage is a bit quirky, so I'll explain it a bit. The Customization Redo will be available to be claimed in your Item Claim (in the store). In order to claim it, you will have to have an available slot in your inventory. This is a bit confusing, since it won't actually show up in your inventory. Instead, the next time you attempt to log in again with that character, the button that usually says "Play" on the Character Select screen will, instead, say "Update Appearance." You will have to customize the character and save your changes at the end of the customization before you can play with that character again. If you don't actually want to change anything, you can just save the character as is, but this will use up your Customization Redo. The moral of this story is not to claim the Customization Redo item until you are ready to change your character up.

I'm a bit of a loner when it comes to MMOs, so the "Raptor" four-player vehicle sounded good in theory, but wasn't something that was going to be a must-have for me, personally. When I tried it out some, however, I found it to be disappointing. Yes, it can hold four players, but the three players who aren't driving are simply passengers; they're simply along for the ride, even though the backwards-facing seat is specifically referred to as "Turret." Further, you would expect that the Raptor would be heavier than a one-seater vehicle, so it only makes sense that it might be a bit sluggish, but the Raptor isn't just slow, it's painfully slow. I enjoy taking out enemies by applying a bit of thrust and rolling over them, but the Raptor is so sluggish and slow that it only pushes around enemies that my smaller, faster vehicles would have run over. If you're looking for a vehicle to take your three friends to the other side of the map while they all run to grab some snacks, then the Raptor might be useful to you, but I can't think of another situation where I'd want to get in one again. Well, unless they actually put a turret on the thing, but as of this writing, the turret has no bite.

As for replayability, the Battle Arenas themselves offer a whole lot of opportunity to play. There are five different Battle Arenas, and the threshold to get a "gold" is pretty high. Plus, each Battle Arena has its own faction and, along with it, faction vendor, so there are opportunities to earn some nice Castithan rewards.

The Charge Weapon Starter Pack gets you three different charge weapons: A Shotgun, a Sniper Rifle and a Pistol. The aspect of "charging" the weapons requires thinking differently; possibly the largest difference is that you hold down on the fire button and then you want to "unclick" the fire button when you want to shoot. Personally, I found this made me a bit less accurate, especially with the Sniper Rifle, but then again, I'm not used to a Sniper Rifle that has a large kick and fires bursts. The idea of charging a weapon up is interesting, but will require some getting used to and changing one's gaming style a bit. You can still use these weapons without charging them, but they seem to start a little less powerful than average, increasing their power (or likelihood of causing secondary effects) the longer they are charged. I find that I will go ahead and hold down fire when I think I'm going to be shooting someone soon, so that the gun is likely to be fully charged when I unpull the trigger.

The Verdict:

All in all, there's a good bit of content in Castithan Charge Pack, but a lot of it is available for free for all Defiance players. If you're interested in playing a Castithan character, then you'll have to buy this pack. If not, it might be a bit tougher decision. However, the included Customization Redo per character, and Charge Weapon Starter Pack make it a bit more enticing - and the price comes down a bit if you get it via buying the Season Pass.

-Geck0, GameVortex Communications
AKA Robert Perkins

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