Sunday, January 31, 2016

I Played, "The Division," Beta And Have Thoughts--So Read Them!

Tried it Out
As my title states, I gave the beta for, "The Division," a go this weekend on the PlayStation 4. My main thought would be that it's alright. Should that be all you wanted to know of my thoughts feel free to resume talking to the rest of the dinner-party you're ignoring to look at your phone, but if you want to know why I felt it was alright, read on...

I was able to acquire a Beta key on eBay for a bit over a dollar and put in a good four or five hours Saturday, so I basically paid a quarter-an-hour and feel satisfied in terms of getting my money's worth. However, the big question becomes if people who spend 60 bucks on the full game are going to feel that way. It is of course hard to judge a beta as it is just a slice of the metaphorical pie that will make-up the main game, but even when you just taste a slice of pie you still get a pretty good idea of the overall flavor, ya know?
Yeah, it ain't this good-looking.
So, how is the taste of, "The Division," pie I bit into and what parts were bitter or sweet? I would start off by saying the game's graphics are pretty good, but of course not as snazzy as it looked when the title was first announced (but seriously, who expects a game from Ubisoft to look as good as its reveal trailer anymore these days after what they have pulled with all their games from, "Assassin's Creed," to, "Watch Dogs?"). The gameplay is a bit like Destiny-meets-Borderlands where you can team-up with other players to fight computer-controlled bad-guys in various little side-missions or main missions. The game goes stat-heavy with RPG elements for all your gear and weapons so it is kind of odd to face enemies in this, "realistic," world who can take 5 hits from your shotgun in order to go down because they are a higher level, but you get used to it.

The thing that I found most off-putting about the normal game-world is that if you aren't teamed-up with other players it is just you and the NPCs. Therefore, things don't get really interesting until you go into the feature of the game that I spent the majority of my time in as soon as I was allowed to enter it, the Dark Zone. The Dark Zone is pretty cool (as others agree) and is a place where you face tougher NPCs and other players who will be wandering around. It is a bit of a free-for-all because you can easily shoot another player and steal their gear. This will temporarily get you marked as, "Rogue," and allow other folk to attack you without consequence, but a lack of rogue status on someone doesn't mean you should ever let your guard down. A character who seems perfectly friendly can shoot you in the back as soon as you turn around, and the Dark Zone gives everything a greater air of danger that the areas of the game outside of it so sorely lack.
Without the Dark Zone this would be a somewhat uninspiring RPG-style shooter, but thanks to the Dark Zone there is enough intrigue to make me think the game could have something interesting going for it. Oh, and as for all the base-development stuff and character perks, most of that was locked-off during the beta so I can't share much in the way of thoughts on that. Still, as far as things go right now I'm cautious about, "The Division," but feel if it can really capitalize on the enjoyment found in the Dark Zone is might turn out alright, as I said at the start.

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