The world premiere of "Defiance" the TV show aired just a few moments ago from this point in time on SyFy. Catching the show became top priority to me upon finding out it would directly tie in to the just-released, multi-platform MMOFPS video game, Defiance. Having already played the game to a point deep enough to make a statement, I can safely say after watching the two-hour long premiere, whoever thought of this idea is brilliant.
Before carrying on, i'm going to say this isn't a review of the show itself or even the game itself but more so about the idea of joining a game and TV show together rather than basing something off the other. What I mean is, the Syfy iteration of "Defiance" is the "whole" -- The entire story between the races, the conflict, and all about Defiance, St. Louis. I guess you could call that the bigger picture. The game on the other hand, from what i've come to realize, is about YOU and your adventures in what once was the San Francisco area. Mind you, Defiance's story mechanic is not like games such as Mass Effect, where player choice plays a huge role, but more so about how you, the lone hero, tries to do what he can to help the cause with the tasks you are given.
The common misconception here lies with people thinking the video game is based off the show, or vice versa and is just the same thing that caters to two different types of people - gamers and people who just like to watch TV. They're two separate things placed in the same world.
"We wanted to do something that would be that next step in development of the two mediums together," says Mark Stern, president of original content at Syfy, "the way to tell a story and to bring an audience to a larger immersive world."
In the past, gamers got games that were almost DIRECTLY based off of the movie or show they are representing. I remember playing a ton of Star Wars: Episode III The video game but that really was just a video game version of the movie. Didn't get much extra story and never really got to see "Episode III" from the view point of perhaps one of the other Jedi Masters before their demise. Defiance changes this rule completely, and gives us more than just a show turned into a game.
Now let's get more specific. The two main characters in the TV show, Irisa (Stephanie Leonidas) and Chief Jeb Nolan (Grant Bowler), are introduced in the first few seconds of the game moments before your own character and everyone in the room are ejected via escape pod. This immediately implies Irisa and Jeb are either Ark Hunters or members of the Earth Military. You eventually cross-paths with the two fellow survivors early in the game but after you help them in a quest, they leave for St.Louis which is where the show takes places while you stay behind in the bay area where the game takes place. I guess this is the only part where playing the game is beneficial in-terms of back story and extra knowledge, but other than that, the two worlds are divided. As far as I know, maybe it took Jeb and Irisa forever to get to Defiance and the show could be taking place long after your in-game avatar has already defeated the root of all evil and obtained the gun of a thousand truths.
So long story short, let's just say the game and show are in the same world in two different settings with many different conflicts. For Trion and Syfy to do something like this, i'm sure a lot of planning was involved in both the production of the game and movie. After all, both methods have way different takes on what's right and wrong and mixing too many different things together adds to the budget which i'm sure is well over the $100 million mark. To me, all of this is a creative risk and personally, I LOVE IT. Whether or not the whole thing has seen success is still too early to tell, but this is sort of a stepping stone for what others may do and if there are two things I definitely enjoy, it's TV shows and games.
So what do all of you think of the game or TV series? Do you think Trion and Syfy have a good idea going? And lastly, what other TV show/gaming combinations do all of you want to see? Personally, i'd enjoy a Halo TV show primarily about what is happening wherever the Chief isn't present. Comment below and let us know!