Defiance trailer emerges from the Shadow War

Posted by CB Droege

Defiance is an upcoming cross-media sci-fi story from Syfy and Trion Worlds. The television serial and video game of the same name will be tied together by the movement of characters between the environments, so that the actions of one affect the other.

As an NPC leaves the San Fransisco Bay, where the game takes place, they may appear in St. Louis, where the show takes place, and vis versa. So far it’s looking like the two halves of the project will, in reality, have very little narrative effect on one another, but we’ll have to see who it works to be sure. Whatever happens, it’s an interesting experiment at least.

The video game side is an MMO with all the mechanics that implies: quests, guilds, competition, and a variety of ways to interact with the world. The ‘player v. player’ (PvP) portion of the game is being called The Shadow War, and is something like the PvP system in Guild Wars 2.

Players who want to do battle with other players head to a special location which transports them to the front-lines of a turbulent on-going territory war. The actual combat plays out more like a standard first-person shooter, but the territory system provides for lasting consequences when the players do well or poorly. This trailer gives us some sense of how that combat will play out.

The synopsis for the project is thus:

Set in the near future, Defiance introduces an exotically transformed planet Earth, its landscapes permanently altered following the sudden - and tumultuous - arrival of seven unique alien races.  In this somewhat unknown and unpredictable landscape, the richly diverse, newly-formed civilization of humans and aliens must learn to co-exist peacefully.  Each week, viewers will follow an immersive character drama set in the boom-town of Defiance, which sits atop the ruins of St. Louis, MO, while in the game, players will adventure in the new frontier of the San Francisco Bay area. The dramatic tapestry of the series and the intense action of the game will exist in a single universe where their respective narratives will inform one another and evolve together into one overall story.

The protagonist of the show is a wanderer who begins his story in the former San Fransisco Bay area, where the video game is set. He’s a former soldier who fought - and lost his family - in the war that followed the initial arrival of the aliens. After a couple weeks in the game, interacting with players, the character will leave the game world, and arrive in the ruins of St. Louis, where the residents of the growing town of Defiance could use a new lawman.

He’s accompanied by a young alien woman, about whom little is so far known. Her identity, and reasons traveling with the protagonist, is likely part of the mystery of the early episodes of the show. In the trailer he calls her his “daughter," but previous press material clearly says that his family is dead.

Here's the latest trailer for the television serial:

Defiance, the game, is slated for April 2, 2013. Defiance, the show, will premiere with a double-length episode on April 15 on Syfy.