I Think I Might Be Too Old And Slow To Ever Be Good At xDefiant

I Think I Might Be Too Old And Slow To Ever Be Good At xDefiant

I am too old and slow to ever be good at xDefiant, I fear.

After spending half my weekend stuffing around trying to get it to work on my PC, I played around 10 or 11 rounds of Ubisoft’s new free-to-play multiplayer shooter. Comparisons to Call of Duty are apt — its fast and flowing, full of loud guns and maze-like level design. The time-to-kill is equally quick, and the spread of game modes from traditional team DM to point capture will suit most players down the ground.

The problem I ran into right away is that I suck at xDefiant. Granted, I don’t play Call of Duty multiplayer often, which probably puts me at a disadvantage. Nevertheless, I understand how that style of game works. What was the worst that could happen?

By the end of my 10-round run, I felt like I’d gotten the hang of it, but I also felt like I was dying too often to be of any real benefit to my team. I’ve just celebrated my 40th birthday in the last couple of weeks, so the ever-advancing march of time has been on my mind a bit. xDefiant made it clear that I might finally be over the hill when it comes to twitch-reflex military shooters. The senses have dulled with age, the reflexes too slow to beat Prime-swigging teenagers to punch.

The first round I joined was your standard 3CP mode — three capture points, one at each team’s spawn point and one in the map’s centre. Capturing them for any length of time raises your team’s overall score, and the first team to reach a specific score total wins the match. The more control points you hold, the faster your score will go up.

I think I must have died seven or eight times before I even set foot on the central B point. I was a pile of horrendous dead weight, unable to do much of anything to help my team. We lost pretty badly because I had contributed practically nothing.

Over the matches that followed, things didn’t seem to improve much. I started getting the odd kill here and there, but I never felt fast or accurate enough. Body shots were the best I could hope for, if I managed to hit my target at all. Again and again, I’d be flattened before I’d even realised another player was present. It began to frustrate me — I couldn’t even find time to start learning the game’s rhythms before I was being gunned down again.

Despite this, I still had a pretty good time. Beyond a certain point, my cartoonish number of deaths became more funny than frustrating. Once that switch went off in my head, I started enjoying myself a lot more. The game looks great, runs smoothly, and plays well. It feels like the team really did pay close attention to the way a Call of Duty multiplayer experience is assembled and has attempted to reverse-engineer it with good results. It feels like a game for people who find Rainbow Six Siege a little too tactical and punishing. This has the same chaotic, juggling-balls-in-a-tumble-dryer vibe of any fast-paced multiplayer shooter. Despite being absolutely abysmal at it, and a clear liability for any team I’m matched with, I’m still feeling an urge to play more. That’s about the highest compliment I think I can pay xDefiant — I don’t play games like this very often, and yet I want more.

Maybe I can improve with time. Based on my current K/D, however, I don’t know if there’s hope for me.

You can try it yourself for free.

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