Fans of a sweatier Call of Duty are championing Ubisoft’s free-to-play XDefiant

The closed beta for upcoming Ubisoft FPS XDefiant managed to attract more eyeballs on Twitch last week than Warzone 2—not bad for a game that was heckled into a hole a couple years ago when it was first announced as a Tom Clancy game.

XDefiant reemerged this year without the Clancy branding, and at just the right time. The 6v6 shooter’s totally radical Ubi-tude hasn’t gotten more appealing, but the loudest discourse around Modern Warfare 2 and Warzone 2 right now says that Call of Duty has lost its way—that it’s too casual—and XDefiant is seizing the moment. Part way through this beta, it’s being championed (opens in new tab)by streamers and esports-types as the return of early 2010s-style Call of Duty they’ve been waiting for.

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