Defence Alliance II

Defence Alliance II

Friend of The Reticule Craig Lager has been playing the Killing Floor mod Defence Alliance 2 and has written his thoughts on it, hit the jump to check them out!

Defence Alliance 2 made by the aptly named ‘Defence Alliance Team’ is a total conversion mod for Killing Floor – the survival horror zombie shooter made by Tripwire. It sits in the Battlefield/Enemy Territory territory of large scare, objective based multiplayer; and for a freely available mod based on something as low profile as Killing Floor it has massive ambition.

You choose from one of six staple classes: Medic, Mechanic, Rocketeer, Machine Gunner, Sniper and Rifleman. Each class is equipped with a primary weapon, pistol, explosive, and some sort of ability ranging from active camouflage (Sniper) to laying down huge turrets (Engineer) and ammo crates (Mechanic). And it’s imperative that each class is represented in a team – ammo is scant and death is frequent so the lack of ammo boxes or a way to heal can cripple a side.

Standard games of Defence Alliance revolve around capture points inside a base that one side must attack and the other defend. Attackers are fed objectives to destroy; having to fight past the dug in defenders trying to stop the onslaught. While the concept of attack/defend is always fun, combat isn’t actually that rewarding. The weaponry on offer looks solid along with delightful kickback after each shot, but the amount of damage they actually deal can feel frustratingly low leaving your experience flat; almost all bark and no bite.

The maps you play on are large scale and often surprisingly detailed – one with a bridge just outside of a ruined town a highlight. Often however they feel a little too contrived and without space for any ebb and flow. Rigid battle lines are constantly produced, meaning players can effectively stay rooted to a single spot for minutes at a time – only moving when the line is broken, at which point everything descends into chaos.

If there is any saving grace it comes in the form of an alternate mode which bundles everyone together and pitches them against hordes of zombies fresh from Killing Floor. It’s far more enjoyable than the standard game but whether this is just testament to how well Killing Floors enemies are done, or how well they are implemented here, I’m not sure. It is a marked improvement though and manages to shelve a lot of the issues gunplay has simply because the zombies are easier to take down – but you can’t help but ask the question ‘Why don’t I just play Killing Floor?’

With Defence Alliance’s massive ambition of making a huge online multiplayer in the Battlefield realm, it seemed to have lost its self in the crowd. Nothing here is particularly spectacular or original and when you factor in that it doesn’t do even standard combat that well, there is little that would draw you in to playing for an extended period of time. There isn’t anything here that you haven’t seen done better before, either in DAs Battlefield or Killing Floor mode. And while yes, it is just a mod, if Tripwire are going to be audacious enough to insert it into my Steam games list without so much as an opt-in; it has to be something worth playing. Defence Alliance 2 is a bland, needless experiment in cloning existing formulas rather than doing what mods do best – innovating.

If you want to learn more about Craig’s work, check out his blog.

One thought on “Defence Alliance II

  1. To offer a little clarification, Defense Alliance was a very entertaining Unreal Tournament mod a very long time ago, not sure why they’ve re-released it for an inferior game. Used to be a lot of fun, defending against massive waves of robot-things.

    Studying their various releases on ModDB seems they released Defense Alliance 2 for Unreal Tournament 2004, and for some reason have forgotten that and released *another* defense alliance 2 for KF..

    .. You say this is a standard two team attack defend game? DA has always been about defense against waves of AI =\

    And the only AI mode was against KF zombies?

    Alright, my only guess is that when Defense Alliance 3 development stalled on UT3 (because no-one plays UT3, apparently), they transferred their plans and content to KF and flung it at Tripwire.

    Oh, and to further clarify; the original Killing Floor was a mod too, made by a different team than Tripwire – I’m not sure how much of the final work was done by either team.

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