The first rule of XDefiant is: There can only be one bullet. That is, according to the launch trailer for Ubisoft’s upcoming IP-crossover shooter. With the official free-to-play doors opening soon, here is what we learned from the launch trailer for Ubisoft’s new FPS.

XDefiant Cinematics

As a disassembled rifle drops into the center of the screen, its individual parts begin to connect with one another. The sight attaches on top, the muzzle up front, and the cache of bullets on the bottom. The camera zooms in as one of these bullets is loaded into the chamber. As the bullet exits the long barrel, it disappears in the fire reflected from the mask of a Cleaner from post-apocalyptic urban thriller, Tom Clancy’s The Division. As the bullet leaves Times Square, it disappears in the familiar green signature glow of an Echelon field operative from Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell. Partially in stealth, they kneel and line up their shot inside a shadowy compound with a spotlight.

As the bullet crosses genre, we watch it begin to glitch out and fade into a classic DedSec hacked screen. One of the hackers from the Watch_Dogs series begins bursting out of the phone display. As the bullet again goes whizzing past, the scene pivots to the back of it, zooming out on a trademark symbol of Libertad. It is seen again, emblazoned upon the gun of a guerrilla fighter from Far Cry 6, before the audience discovers he is not alone. Not one, but two battle-buddies, accompany him. The second them is lobbing a grenade canister in place of the bullet, which lands on a dome shield. The outline of this sci-fi shield is exposed, rippling a spectral effect down the sides. As the viewpoint shifts down, it reveals three Phantom operatives from Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon. They prepare to defend their waypoint. As one member completes their athletic vault over an obstacle, the camera fades into our first glimpse of gameplay.

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XDefiant Gameplay 

At this point in the XDefiant trailer, the pace quickens and the viewer is treated to a montage of shots from the intense action the game has to offer. We start with a firebomb landing, and spreading the heat in the middle of a courtyard. The next scene flips to night vision goggles, as we see combatants inside a server farm filled with lights and technology.

An attack from higher ground occurs inside the underground museum portion of a national Zoo. Briefly, the activation of invisibility takes place. Simultaneously, an audible flashbang warning is heard before a Cleaner’s flamethrower engulfs the current viewpoint. A clever agent flanks the side of a transparent barrier shield in response to the current player activating his own dome shield, covering a downed ally.

Quickly, a team’s forward player slides on the ground, but ends with a collision involving miniature electrified robots littered across the ground. Similarly, the next opening shot sees the active player launching a flying drone with a flamethrower hovering over an enemy. Another player is vaulting over a ledge in the previously mentioned underground area. The scene transitions into our first glimpse from behind the flamethrower in use. The trailer concludes with a few pinpoint shots behind the reticle. Meanwhile, one reload later, the viewer is dropped onto the title card, encouraging everyone to pre-load at the game’s website.

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What’s Next for XDefiant?

The single bullet has completed its journey, but in the chaos of the final gameplay sequences, its destination is likely untraceable. With all of the IP all over XDefiant, there is a shocking absence of any Faction from Tom Clancy’s Rainbow 6 Siege. However, more factions are confirmed to come post launch, and this seems like a no brainer.

In this era of video games tapping into IP, (looking at you Fortnite and Multiversus), will we see Ubisoft’s frenetic shooter quickly ascend into the esports scene?

XDefiant releases May 21, 2024 on Ubisoft Connect (PC), PS5, and Xbox Series X|S consoles.

Jonathan Outlaw

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