The Division - A New era of gaming
Gaming is has been slugging along for the past few years, can The Division give it the bump it needs?
Let's start with GTA V, the game itself is fantastic and it sold very well as expected but it released during the console next gen transition period which caused several issues (such as needing to purchase the game twice if you upgraded your console). The game was delayed on PC for over a year but many gamers will happy to wait if the game was in a playable condition. Unfortunately the game whilst playable launched with major issues that are still yet to be fixed such as the insanely long load times just to get into a lobby, on a high-end PC you can be waiting 5 minutes just to get into a public server, if you decide to do a mission or heist and the game crashes(which happened often upon release) you'll have to wait all over again. It's 2016 we shouldn't have to wait 5 minutes to play a video game online.
H1Z1 look very promising and alongside DayZ launched a new genre of gaming the zombie survival MMO, it's been stuck in Alpha limbo for far too long and suffers from a major lack of development progression and with the launch of The Division which provides a much more refined experience it may be the end of H1Z1.
Star Wars Battlefront had fans drooling upon the announcement of development, the game released with some major balance issues and lacked a server browser, the game play itself is fantastic along with the graphics but balance and a lack of replayablity ruined the experience for many players who vanished within a month of the game releasing, it now has less players during peak than Battlefield 4 which is over 2 years old. Dice went silent for months when players were crying out for fixes, when fixes finally game they over nerfed abilities which made them completely useless (Bowcaster & Barrage anyone?). The overall faction balance was also terrible, you were punished for playing the objective as a Rebel player as you could sacrifice yourself over and over to get no extra score or benefits, the end score screen had a tiny image for the player with the most objective but had a huge central avatar for the player with the most kills, in what's meant to be a game that encourages teamwork it fails to reward the players who play the game how it was meant to be played.
Rocket League is a odd game out here as it's not a AAA game but it deserves a mention as it's done fantastically well across all platforms by combining challenging but easy to grasp gameplay with a high skill ceiling with addicting game play mechanics.
The Division is unique in that it's taking a huge risk as a big budget game and not sticking to the basics, its core game play is focused on a mix of H1Z1, Diablo and a hint of Destiny. The Dark Zone is an area where you get the thrills of H1Z1 with the RPG elements of Diablo and more refined elements of Destiny. One of the biggest things The Division has got right is the implementation of Voice Chat being enabled by default, this encourages players to engage each other and creates tense game play.
The Division release tomorrow and has a lot of gamers excited, let's hope it can live up to the greats and solidify its place in the history of gaming.