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XDefiant’s broken Splinter Cell class fixed just in time for launch

The pre-launch XDefiant patch notes confirm that the Echelon Faction (and a pesky DedSec ability) will be back in the game from day one.

XDefiant patch notes: A split image showing two Echelon operators wearing black stealth suits and glowing-green night vision goggles, and a shot of someone in a gas mask running with a massive flamethrower

It’s actually happening, folks – the heavily-delayed new FPS from Ubisoft, XDefiant, is finally here for Xbox and PlayStation players. For those of you who took part in the final server test a few weeks back, you may recall that XDefiant’s Splinter Cell-inspired Echelon class was completely busted and had to be pulled from the game. Well, it seems that Ubi has sorted a fix just in the nick of time, as the pre-launch XDefiant patch notes confirm that Echelon will be in the game when it drops today, May 21.

The XDefiant classes (or Factions, as they’re called in-game) add an excellent layer of variety to the new FPS game – I’ve had a blast trying all five of the launch classes out during the game’s various betas over the last 12 months or so. The fact that they stem from some of the best games in Ubisoft’s catalog is also a huge draw, and the Echelon class flies the flag for its brilliant stealth series, Splinter Cell. With an ability that lets players go near-invisible for a short period of time, it’s definitely one of the most fun classes to use. However, during XDefiant’s pre-launch server test in April, a bug allowed Echelon players to become invisible for an incredibly long time.

As you can imagine, playing against a permanent ghost isn’t much fun in any competitive multiplayer game, and with Ubi’s primary focus being on monitoring its servers, it couldn’t work on a quick fix. So, Echelon was banished.

Thankfully, you’ll be able to slip on your night-vision goggles and sneak around in your invisibility suit once more, as the issue has now been fixed. A new set of XDefiant patch notes says: “The Echelon faction is back. We fixed the issue with agents turning invisible in a bad way versus the good and intended way.”

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Personally, I’m thrilled that Echelon will be back from day one. While I’ve definitely emerged as a Phantoms main from my time with its various betas, this stealthy class works really well on certain XDefiant maps – suitably, the Echelon HQ map is one of the best for terrorizing people with your invisibility and wall hack abilities.

Echelon wasn’t the only casualty either during that server test. The DedSec faction, which is pulled from Ubisoft’s open-world game series Watch Dogs, had its Spiderbot ability removed as well because the robotic bug was, well, bugged. However, Ubi has sorted a fix for this too, so the ‘bot is back. “DedSec’s Spiderbot ability has returned. Prepare your face for hugging,” Ubi says in the patch notes.

There are also lots of fixes and improvements to netcode, which means some of the connection issues players experienced during the server test should now be resolved – fingers crossed for a smooth launch. Xbox players should also have a much smoother experience when it comes to in-game socials, with fixes to aspects like friends lists. You can find the full set of patch notes here.

So, the time has finally come for XDefiant, and all five of the game’s factions will be at your disposal. I’ll be sinking plenty of hours into the game along with the rest of the team, and we’ll be regularly updating our plethora of guides on the best XDefiant loadouts and keeping a close eye on the XDefiant meta too. Also be sure to drop us a follow on Google News so that you’re always up to date with what’s going on in the brand-new shooter.