Tom Clancy’s XDefiant is a new free-to-play FPS coming from Ubisoft, and it looks to have both a variety of features and factions that call back to previous Tom Clancy games. Multiple game modes like Escort and Domination will be coming to the game, along with plenty of customization. While XDefiant looks inspired by Call of Duty in the gunplay and weapon customization department, the game’s characters, factions, and setting will draw heavily from other games set in the Tom Clancy video game universe.
Ubisoft is emphasizing gunplay and playstyle customization when it comes to XDefiant, but one major feature that will set it apart from the FPS competition is the ability to join one of the game’s factions. Depending on which faction a player is a member of, they will get access to certain traits and abilities usable only by that faction. When used properly, these abilities can turn the tide of battle, and will be a key part of claiming victory in XDefiant.
So far Ubisoft has revealed four factions players will be able to join: Wolves, Outcasts, Cleaners, and Echelon. Here’s what to know about each faction, what game they are from, and how that faction’s history may factor into XDefiant’s gameplay.
XDefiant Factions – Cleaners
Coming from Ubisoft’s series The Division, the Cleaners are a faction of former sanitation workers, street cleaners, and public utility operators who took the issue of subduing the mutant small-pox virus that ravaged New York City into their own hands. The group is known to use flamethrowers to “cleanse” everyone and everything that may have come in contact with the virus, and can often be seen wearing hazmat suits and wielding fire axes. Though the group’s leadership and napalm factory were destroyed in The Division, it seems the Cleaners are still alive and kicking in XDefiant. Players can expect this faction to sport multiple fire-based abilities, with a player wielding a flamethrower briefly appearing in the game’s recent reveal trailer.
XDefiant Factions – Echelon
Echelon, also known as Third Echelon and later Fourth Echelon, hails from Ubisoft’s Splinter Cell series, in which Third Echelon operative Sam Fisher would sneak behind enemy lines to save the world from certain destruction. Third Echelon disbanded after Sam Fisher disposed of its corrupt leader, and Sam would go on to lead Fourth Echelon. XDefiant is likely to take place post-Third Echelon, so the operatives seen in the game’s reveal trailer wearing the iconic green goggles that have become associated with the Splinter Cell series are most likely part of Fourth Echelon (or some other splinter group). Given their night-vision goggles and the Splinter Cell series’ emphasis on stealth, it seems Echelon may be the faction for players who like to ambush their foes from the shadows or use advanced technology to gain an advantage in firefights.
XDefiant Factions – Outcasts
The Outcasts hail from The Division 2, a group of quarantine survivors from Roosevelt Island that essentially want revenge on society for their treatment in forced quarantine. They have no issue with murder or spreading the virus as a means of punishing the world at large, and have an almost religious dedication to their leader and the group’s cause. Outcasts have been known to use suicide bombers and generally show a complete lack of care for life in general, meaning this may be the faction for players to like high-risk, high-reward gameplay.
XDefiant Factions – Wolves
Hailing from Ubisoft’s Ghost Recon Breakpoint, the Wolves are a group of ex-Ghost members and special forces operatives. Led by rogue Ghost team leader Cole D. Walker, the group would partner with a private military contractor and take over a private island operated by Skell Technology in order to cripple the U.S. military, which it views as corrupt and politicized. Given their special forces background, players can expect them to pack serious heat on the battlefield, likely utilizing high-tech military options like drones and heavy armor.
Ubisoft has teased that more groups from the Tom Clancy series will appear, and entirely new factions and characters will come to the game as well. There’s no word yet on when XDefiant will officially release, but players can sign up for an early beta of XDefiant starting August 5.
Tom Clancy’s XDefiant will release on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series S|X, PC, Google Stadia, and Amazon Luna.