Defiance has RPG facets to it. A form of XP with unlockable skills as well as perks. Also loot with various rarities. MMO wise, yes very much. I played last night and was plopped right down in the middle of Noob Character Central. Probably over a hundred other players all running around doing the same things. Took any hint of realism out of the experience. I imagine, like most MMOs, once you work your way out in to the world at large it will get better.
The game itself was interesting and had some fun moments. It was also far from polished.
Please, no blank friend requests - let me know who you are!