Please The Division, Please Don't Suck...
Let’s take a step back to E3 2013: a time before Something Wicked Studios, the most recent round of consoles, and a whole slew of other things I am not going to bother spelling out here but do include me finally starting to wind down my Borderlands 2 addiction. I was still riding the hype train of the future of new consoles and I was looking for things to get excited about and then Bungie and Ubisoft revealed Destiny and The Division. One was a FPS loot shooter from the makers of Halo that featured insane space magic, crazy science weapons, jetbikes, and lots of MMO inspired game world ideas. The other was a cover based post-disaster exploration loot shooter with a heavy emphasis on squad play and a more more grounded in reality design and play style. At the time, the only questions I had was how I would be balancing my time between the two games, well, that and which one I was more excited for.
Returning to the present: Ubisoft had a disastrous 2014 with the much debated Watch Dogs and the hilariously glitchy Assassin’s Creed Unity, Destiny managed to have have a clean and successful launch but received a mix of mostly negative/highly critical reactions from the gaming community and media alike, there are already fears that the current consoles are already at the ends of their power limits, and in general, the consumer end of the video game community is a lot more cynical about video games as a whole. Hell, Ubisoft, the makers of The Division, are partially at fault for the somewhat aggressive anti-preorder movement. To say the gaming landscape is a lot darker and significantly more jaded than it use to be… is probably understating it some.
Almost three years after it’s reveal, The Division is finally slated for release. It’s been delayed multiple times which is often a damning mark for a game, especially one made Ubisoft who’s is still struggling to repair its reputation. On top of that, there has been a suspicious lack of actual coverage or media for the game. Hell, the inspiration for this article are the somewhat sudden trailers Ubisoft just recently put out, which oddly enough, are the first official pieces of media for The Division since E3 2015.
So all this being said, where does this leave me? I was lucky enough to play The Division at E3 2015, and what little I got to play was very impressive. The cover system felt good, the shooting despite my low level guns felt good, and while I was only playing a quick match of what essentially equated to team deathmatch I had a lot of fun, and ultimately fun is what I judge video games by. After all, it’s not the story that has kept me coming back to Destiny long after I made my peace with its disappointments. I will not say that I think The Division will be a ground breaking game in some meaningful way, hell, I will not even say that I think it will meaningfully change the world of loot shooters. I will say that given all that’s gone on since it’s announcement I am worried about it, that because it is being made by Ubisoft I am beyond suspicious of it, and that with all this being said, I will not be canceling my pre-order.
From someone who is more than eager to inhale the crack-like goodness that only a loot shooter can provide me, for the love of the gods The Division, you had better not suck and make a idiot out of me.