Another grab for the brass ring
Ubisoft has announced that its crossover first-person-shooter, XDefiant, will be holding its latest “Insider” playtest this week, giving its dedicated community the first opportunity to check out the crossplay functionality of the incoming military mash-up.
Announced in 2021, XDefiant — previously known as Tom Clancy’s XDefiant before fans took umbrage to its quippy nature — sees operators from titles such as Rainbow Six, Splinter Cell, Ghost Recon, and other UbiShooters battle it out in six-vs-six rat-a-tat-tat action. The title is Ubisoft’s latest effort to score a piece of the lucrative free-to-play pie, following on from unsuccessful ventures such as Roller Champions, Elite Squad, Hyper Scape, and canned endeavors Ghost Recon Frontline and Project Q.
The XDefiant playtest will kick off tomorrow, February 16 and will run until Sunday, February 19. During that time, PS5, PC, and Xbox Series X owners who have a “Ubisoft Insider” account can download the XDefiant client on their platform of choice, before waging wars against players on all available platforms. Four modes, (Escort, Domination, Occupy, and Zone Control) will be available across 13 of the game’s maps. The tests are held under NDA, so don’t be taking any screenshots.
Please forgive a wanton bout of editorialization… I just don’t think this is happening. Ubisoft seems determined to conquer with the lucrative, free-to-play, “juggernaut title” market — To find its own Overwatch, Apex Legends, League of Legends, or Call of Duty Warzone. And the string of failed releases, complete with the publisher’s own cancellation of multiple free-to-play projects, stings of “Just keep throwing, something’s bound to stick eventually”.
Ubisoft has a successful multiplayer shooter, Rainbow Six Siege, which also happens to be very popular and, incidentally, an excellent video game. But the Elite Squads and Frontlines and Hyper Scapes of the world just aren’t cutting it. So many of these AAA “Next Big Thing” endeavors — from ALL publishers — seem so much noise, time, and effort, seemingly queueing up to enter a crowded market already conquered by a handful of stalwart releases.
Maybe XDefiant will prove me wrong. Maybe it won’t close down within two years. We shall see.