xDefiant, Ubisoft’s Next Free Shooter, Is Now Just Weeks Away

xDefiant, Ubisoft’s Next Free Shooter, Is Now Just Weeks Away

xDefiant, the free-to-play arena FPS from Ubisoft, will launch very soon: May 21.

The shooter is a Ubi universe crossover featuring factions and characters from its various games — mostly Tom Clancy titles, but some of its own internal gear, too. Featured factions include Echelon (Splinter Cell), Phantoms (Ghost Recon), Cleaners (The Division), Libertad (Far Cry 6) and Dedsec (Watch Dogs), the latter of which is unlockable during the game’s initial preseason battle pass. The brands involved are honestly less of a draw than the gameplay, which Kotaku US’ Zack Zweizen compared to Call of Duty — fast and flowing without being too over the top or too grounded in dull reality.

The shooter, which has been in development for quite some time, held a short open beta in June last year that generated some positive responses from players and critics alike. It then went dark until September 2023, when it was revealed the game had failed to pass certification on console (meaning that it hadn’t hit certain platform compliance milestones). The delay in its release and the situation around its certification failures were addressed in a refreshingly candid blog by director Mark Rubin.

The game had been aiming for an August 2023 release window at the time. The failure to pass certification meant the game would need a little extra time. Missing the Christmas 2023 launch window (and having Assassin’s Creed Mirage to lean on in the same timeframe) appears to have given Ubisoft the space to put xDefiant back in the oven for another nine months. It will now slot into late May, picking up the slack from the already-vanished Skull and Bones, which launched in February, and (hopefully) carry the publisher through to the beginning of Silly Season in late August.

xDefiant will launch PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S and Windows PC.

Image: Ubisoft, Kotaku Australia

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