Syfy has posted the first 14 minutes of Defiance a few weeks before the official premiere of the long-awaited series.
Defiance can best be described as 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.
For example, as an NPC leaves the San Fransisco Bay area, where the game takes place, they may appear in St. Louis, where the show takes place, and vice 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.
The official synopsis is thus:
"In the year 2046, it’s a new Earth – with new rules. Over thirty years after various alien races arrived on Earth, the landscape is completely altered, terraformed nearly beyond recognition. To the town of Defiance, on what used to be St. Louis, comes the mysterious Nolan and his charge, Irisa.
"As they settle into town – overseen by the mayor, Amanda Rosewater and filled with residents like the powerful Rafe McCawley, enterprising lounge owner Kenya and the ambitious, alien Tarrs – events begin to unfold that threaten the fragile peace this border town has fought for."
Defiance, the game, is slated for April 2, 2013. Defiance, the show, will premiere with a double-length episode on April 15 on Syfy.