XDefiant, the class-based, free-to-play first person shooter that looks to be Ubisoft’s answer to Call of Duty, is kicking off its first “insider” playtest of 2023 this week, serving as a reminder that XDefiant is still in the works even as Ubisoft has canceled numerous projects in recent months.
The playtest is for insiders who signed up via the XDefiant website and will be cross-play between Xbox Series X|S, PlayStation 5, and PC, with the goal of the test being to put cross-play through its paces and gather feedback on the console experience.
For a playtest, there certainly seems to be plenty of content for players to try out. The test will feature 13 maps and four game modes. The test begins on February 16 and runs through February 19. As with previous XDefiant tests, this one will still be under a non-disclosure agreement, meaning players will not be allowed to livestream or record footage of the game in action.
Ever since its reveal in the summer of 2021, XDefiant has drawn numerous comparisons to Call of Duty, with the game’s executive producer Mark Rubin having previously worked on Activision’s juggernaut FPS franchise. It puts an emphasis on fast-paced combat and tight gunplay, but unlike Call of Duty, features various classes to choose from inspired by factions across Ubisoft’s Tom Clancy game universe. Despite featuring factions from various Tom Clancy games, XDefiant no longer sports the Tom Clancy branding.
Ubisoft has been relatively quiet about XDefiant since the game’s original announcement. The game wasn’t included as part of the publisher’s Ubisoft Forward 2022 event, and the previous XDefiant playtest was back in October 2022, after which little has been heard about it. Ubisoft announced it had canceled three, unnamed projects back in January, and had previously canceled four other games, including the free-to-play battle royale Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Frontline and a Splinter Cell VR game, since July 2022. The string of cancellations left some fans concerned about the future of XDefiant, but judging from this latest playtest, it seems the game is still moving forward. XDefiant does not currently have a release date.