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Does Tom Clancy’s XDefiant Blur Too Many Worlds?

This week, Ubisoft revealed its big new hero shooter, Tom Clancy’s XDefiant. This game has a lot of stuff going on in it, and that’s sort of what I want to discuss here. Narrowing it down, I want to discuss if there are just too many worlds being pulled together here. Sure, I understand that the Tom Clancy universe is a shared one, all of the military forces seen in those games coexist, but I don’t see how they all work in a single space. This is never more evident when you have an Echelon soldier working alongside one of the insane Cleaners from The Division. It’s pure madness.

Don’t get me wrong, I like that Ubisoft is trying to pull all of these universes together. It’s what I loved about Endwar in certain moments. However, the heart of these hero shooters is the lore, the stories told over seasons, and the stuff that I feel like Ubisoft is ignoring. I don’t see how one of the Wolves from Ghost Recon: Breakpoint, soldiers who actively hunt the good guys, can team up with an Echelon soldier, one of the people working in the shadows to disperse groups like the Wolves.

Moreover, The Cleaners are the result of a pandemic and sort of apocalyptic world in The Division and The Divison 2. I don’t get how one of them would end up fighting alongside anyone against another group. It simply doesn’t add up. My hope is that Ubisoft can clear this up before launch. If it doesn’t, this shooter isn’t going to stand the test of time. All hero shooters live and die on their seasons and lore, and this game just doesn’t have any.

The Tom Clancy’s universe has always been teetering on a knifepoint. Now it’s going over the edge though. There’s very little that can save this game, and I’m genuinely surprised someone with authority on the lore of this universe hasn’t stepped in already to question if this concept is a good one. If Ubisoft wanted to make a hero shooter, it should have pulled from other titles where it can make some sort of reasonable argument for their coexistence. Not this.