I have never been to New York, despite it being top of my 'must see places' list for a long time: after this week, I would know my way around just that little bit better. In case it's not obvious I have been playing The Division pretty much every day since launch and the big surprise? It's actually a decent game but that praise comes with a few caveats.
The launch was fairly successful with an initial twenty-four hours of choppy connectivity and the servers going down altogether. However this is to be expected (but not accepted) with any big online game and while you would have thought the world was ending in some corners of the internet, the game now seems stable. As far as I can see The Division has been a commercial success (Ubisoft's most successful new IP in history no less), media sites have also given out some decent scores and indeed my own review was overall positive. There is, however, an undercurrent of discontent regarding many of the games systems and I do think players have got plenty of reasons to be a little worried. The main problem thus far seems to be structured content - or lack thereof.
Myself any many others have been at level cap now for days and apparently the 'real game' starts here - but if I am honest there is not a huge amount to write home about in the current build. Players are invited to complete daily missions on challenge mode which pits you against tougher foes that drop better loot - if you can get them down. Myself and my friends have had some amazing fun in these missions and to get through you do need razor sharp communication/teamwork. But for a game that was pegged to keep us busy for weeks/months we do seem to be running out of road and fast. The fact Microsoft have snatched a thirty-day exclusivity deal for the first two DLC packs is also going to add fuel to the problem and, unfortunately, I don't think people are going to hang around that long. I question the wisdom of alienating two-thirds of your player base in a game so new, even if MS dropped a big pot of cash the overall negatives do not seem worth it. I watched Angry Joe give his final opinion in his usual angry way and I have to say I agree with his entire summary: the game is lacking so much and it is not the game we were sold by the hype train.
As the VR horizon ebbs ever closer the gaming world is buzzing with news, from games, applications and people deciding which camp they will reside in come spring: team Rift or Team Vive. Right now I am still the most excited to try Elite Dangerous and Subnautica running in VR but I have also seen some very cool things in the pipeline. As I am currently sitting squarely in team Vive's camp I have been keeping an eye on the comings and goings. Valve have announced a VR desktop mode which allows users to play 'none-VR' games in a VR space, even watching films will benefit from this theatre mode and it all sounds awesome. Expect more details to emerge out of GDC. We have also just seen a very cool Trials on Tatooine trailer which looks like an interactive VR movie, Valve really is pulling out all the stops to make the Vive the gamers choice for a VR experience.
The other big game popping onto my radar this week is the new episodic Hitman from Square Enix. As I am just digging my teeth into it, for now, I will hold off judgement until my review is done - but early impressions are very good. I have been a fan of the series since the very first game and while Agent 47 has seen some highs and lows this latest offering is looking like a return to form: however some are understandably cautious about this piecemeal way of delivering content. We shall see in time and I am hoping to have a review out by the end of this week.
That's all for now guys, as always please tell your friends about my site and check back soon for more reviews and articles. If you do see a game you think needs to be reviewed please let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org and I shall take a look. You can also follow me @riggedforepic and find me on YouTube under the same name.
Take care for now,