The hero shooter XDefiant is perfectly competent, but it won't help you forget about FPS fatigue.

Ubisoft's latest arena shooter, XDefiant, offers a fast-paced first-person shooter experience to anyone who wants to diversify their play styles or has grown tired of Call of Duty's sanitised military drivel.

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I played all Factions and game modes in a two-hour XDefiant session. I also played with the weaponry (albeit two hours isn't enough time to customise your loadout). Thus, only time will tell how powerful or loadout-transforming weapon attachments are and what meta arises.

Factions include characters and utilities from Ubisoft's biggest franchises, like Far Cry 6, Ghost Recon Phantoms, Watch Dogs 2, The Division, and more. The game's maps, inspired by Ubisoft's vast catalogue, are its best feature.

The hero shooter XDefiant is perfectly competent

After all, driving the box (which is one of those weird robot dogs that deliver things now) about the Zoo map was fun, but I died more than once marvelling at the map's intricateness. Fighting Yara from Far Cry 6 in Domination or Occupy was entertaining, too. Switching between bright terrain and various combat modes keeps XDefiant new. When competing with Overwatch and Valorant, looks are key, right?

Gunplay is needed because the novelty will wear off quickly.

When latency is good, XDefiant gunplay is great. After levelling up, you can choose from a variety of prepared loadouts or create your own as your faction. Progress unlocks weapons, attachments, and standard utility.

As expected in a free-to-play game, XDefiant becomes more customizable as you play. Given our two-hour time limit, I hope bespoke loadouts are more powerful. Standard loadouts were fine for killing, but nothing special.

Each faction has two members with distinct powers including shields, med packs, and my fave, the Spiderbot. After the preview, several of us liked the Spiderbot. This handy little robo-friend can be flung onto the floor and pursue down an enemy, jumping on their face to deplete their health and paralyse them. If you're close, you can kill.

XDefiant is perfect for Ubisoft series enthusiasts and CoD breakers. It's like Sega's Hyenas. Long-term, I didn't like it. Apex Legends, Overwatch 2, and Halo Infinite (now good!) are first-person, free-to-play, and fast-paced shooters.

XDefiant has stunning original maps and plenty of possibilities to personalise the five game modes, but I'm not sure we need another live-service shooter. Not one that isn't a game changer or inventive. Is 'the Ubisoft Smash of hero shooters' enough to win over FPS fans?

XDefiant will be fun for awhile. I didn't discover anything that kept me coming back to it. It felt like another live-service shooter, and while I respect what Ubisoft has done with this game, I only wish they would try something new.

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