Review: Defiance, “The Opposite of Hallejulah” + Steam Summer Sale Recommendations

Another Steam sale is upon us, my friends, and the wallets of PC gamers everywhere quake in terror. With so many deals on offer, it might be hard to know what to look for.

The Saint-Michal District of Neo-Paris in Remember MeI’ve got you covered, though, as I’ve done up a list for Nexopia on some of the most interesting diamond in the rough titles on Steam. Any of these games are definitely worth your time, and with all of them heavily discounted during the Summer Sale, it’s a perfect time to try them.

On a related note, I’ve also published another article on Nexopia, Even More Bizarrely Elaborate Easter Eggs. From Whimsyshire to the Cluckshot.

Review: Defiance, “The Opposite of Hallelujah”:

After nearly a year-long wait, Defiance is back. In a world starved for decent sci-fi television, this is cause for celebration.

“The Opposite of Hallelujah” picks up nine months after the first season finale, “Everything Is Broken.” Nolan scours America in his search for the missing Irisa, and the town of Defiance languishes under the rule of the Earth Republic.

At first glance, Defiance seems to be at peace. The E-Rep’s appointed mayor, an insufferably pompous man by the name of Niles Pottinger, lavishes praise on the town for its inclusive ideals and peaceful acceptance of the Republic’s benevolent rule.

The cast for Defiance for season twoBut it’s a peace forced at gunpoint, and a deeper inspection shows plenty of evidence of the E-Rep’s brutality. Rafe McCawley and his miners are being literally worked to death, and dissenters like Datak Tarr, Doc Yewll, and many others languish in a savage prison camp outside of town. Some trouble-makers simply meet with “accidents.”

With Datak imprisoned, Alak has taken over the family business, but he runs things with a gentler touch than did his father. Conflict brews in the Tarr household as Stahma feels that Alak’s mercy is unbecoming of a Castithan crime lord businessman.

To my surprise, it seems Kenya did die after all. I find this… strange. I never really formed any strong opinions about Kenya’s character, so I’m neither disappointed nor relieved by her absence, but that was a pretty weak way to kill off a major cast member. Maybe Mia Kirshner just didn’t like working on the show?

One other interesting thing to note about this episode is that it is the first time one of the characters previously exclusive to the game version of Defiance has appeared on the show. The Liberata mogul Varus Soleptor, a major NPC in Defiance the MMO, appears briefly to confront Nolan about his theft of the Libera Nova gem, an event that plays out during some of the game’s early missions.

I enjoyed “The Opposite of Hallelujah” quite a bit. It wastes no time in getting the story moving in new directions. There are many different plots running at once, but it doesn’t feel too scattered, and everyone seems to get a fair shake.

Jesse Rath as Alak Tarr in DefianceOverall, it’s a classic example of what makes Defiance worth watching: A little action, a little tension, a lot of intrigue, and just enough humour to keep it all from getting too heavy.

It also felt a little more cinematic in scale than Defiance traditionally has. It was interesting to see more of the new Earth as Nolan travels to communities such as Angel Arc (formerly Los Angeles) and New Chicago.

Although I am starting to find it weird how apparently the only things that ever survive apocalypses are iconic landmarks.

My one complaint would be that Irisa’s plot was once again not that interesting. It didn’t really answer any questions or advance things in any meaningful way. All we know is that she has somehow managed to become even more violent and unhinged.

Overall rating: 8/10

Edit: Apparently, this is my 400th post on this blog. Yay?

2 thoughts on “Review: Defiance, “The Opposite of Hallejulah” + Steam Summer Sale Recommendations

  1. I enjoyed the overall darker tone. With the EF mayor’s speech in the beginning about how happy and optimistic a place Defiance is, I was worried, but then they wasted no time popping in to that mining accident to show that for all his words, there’s a lot going on underneath that isn’t what he says it is.

    One annoyance I do have with Nolan is how he can be all bad-ass one moment, but then when the bad guys capture him he’s all goofy and ineffective. Trying to charm them, but doing it with no subtlety at all, which I find extremely off-putting. But hey, it set up Irisa rescuing him, so it wasn’t all bad, I guess.

    Loved that Alak got completely overwhelmed by the sheer force of his mother’s personality. He’s always seemed to say the right things but not have the gravitas to back it up, yet when Stahma got in his face you just *knew* that she could make anything happen that she wanted to. And Alak did too. He couldn’t get out of there fast enough.

    I’m looking forward to seeing how this new alliance between Datak and Yewll plays out. There was a lot of good setup for the season in this episode. Looking forward to seeing how it all plays out.

    • Datak and Yewll are my favourite characters, so I figure anything involving to two of them is bound to be awesome.

      I’m also curious how things with Alak will turn out. He’s just been kind of a vaguely douchey non-entity so far. It’ll be interesting to see if Stahma’s coup forces him to finally grow up.

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