Yay a new month! God I hate January.
The Division Beta
As you can probably imagine I’ve been playing a lot of The Division beta over the weekend. I will do an more in depth write up later on discussing some of the finer points and opinions on what I think of the game, but I figured I would give a little overview of what I thought whilst playing.
I was lucky enough to get in on both the Xbox One beta and PC beta and spent most of my time playing the PC version – although I did play most of the content on Xbox One as well.
Firstly I think the game looks really good on both platforms. There has been talk of downgrades and whilst it may not look exactly like the first E3 trailers, it still looks very good. It also runs pretty well right now. I had a few moments where the framerate dropped a little on the Xbox One version, but it was maybe once or twice in the space of a couple of hours. The PC version seemed a little more solid.
As for bugs, I only encountered one on the Xbox One and that was where I got stuck in one stop when I spawned in a vendor area, but it resolved itself fairly quickly. On the PC version I encountered a few more – and that is possibly partly down to the fact that I spent a lot more time on it. A couple of times my ‘trigger’ would get stuck and it would just unload my gun and keep firing until I unplugged my controller – yes I used a controller on the PC, I couldn’t get on with the Keyboard and mouse combo with it for some reason. But I don’t think anything I found was really too much cause for concern.
As for the gameplay itself. Well, there wasn’t too much on offer in reality – only one main story mission, a handful of side missions and some ‘encounters’. The missions seemed fairly generic to me too, clearing out areas of enemies to get to a tougher enemy at the end. I know there will be a lot of people that don’t like that but personally I don’t mind it too much. There were a few other variations where you had to search buildings for containers within a time frame, but mostly it was just shooting lower level enemies in the face to get to a higher level one.
A lot of the RPG elements weren’t available either, so it was hard to get a grasp of how all that would work. But from the looks of it there does seem to be quite an in-depth RPG side to the game. Maybe not as in-depth as a ‘real’ RPG, but there is still skill trees, perks, crafting, base upgrading, standard RPG levels and a kind of sub level system that grants you extra perks on weapons and gear.
The real draw to the game comes from the Dark Zone for me. I was very eager to get exploring it. The Dark Zone is the PVP area and also the area where you will find some of the game’s best loot. I spent most of my time on PC in the Dark Zone and it didn’t take me too long to hit DZ rank 12 (which was the maximum). I really enjoyed playing in the Dark Zone – even solo. But I do feel like it needs some work to become viable end game content. Going rogue is broken on two accounts – quickly shoot an unsuspecting player in the back, nab his loot and run off down an alley until your rogue status is removed, this promotes negative play in my opinion, people could easily kill a player, run away until ‘clear’ then repeat. On the flip side to that every time you kill a player (whilst rogue) your rogue timer increases meaning the only way to successfully ‘win’ going rogue isn’t to try and defend yourself, but to run away. But as a rogue player you have a big red cross above your head easily bringing you to the attention of other players – even through walls.
Personally I think once you hit the top rogue rank you should just have a set timer to try and survive and that only a general location should be marked on the map. It’s not dangerous for non-rogue players if you can see exactly where the enemy is at all times.
There are some other issue with it too but I will save those for another day.
For the most part I really enjoyed the Dark Zone, it felt fresh and was fun to explore. It did provide some tense moments when large groups would be trying to extract, but I think those moments were a little few and far between.
The Dark Zone has some amazing potential and I really hope it can live up to it.
Well as you can see Will enjoyed The Division BETA. I on the other hand didn’t quite enjoy my experience with it. Granted my play time didn’t clock up anywhere near as much as Will did, but that’s down to how much enjoyment I didn’t get out of the short time I did play it.
The Division Beta
Yup, I downloaded this in the week with anticipation of spending all weekend on the Beta. 5:30pm finally hit on Friday evening and I left work in anticipation of spending all that night on The Division. But I didn’t spend all evening on it at all. I played it for about 45 minutes, doing a few of the introductory solo missions that are mandatory before progressing to the real part of the Beta, the multiplayer.
For the record the single player stuff didn’t really excite me. I found it a bit of a chore retaking Madison Square Garden and was looking forward to it being over so I could explore the “Dark Zone” which is where the fun happens.
I eventually got to the Dark Zone and was nervous and cautious when entering expecting to enter a frantic and chaotic war zone. But this was not to be. The place was dead. There was nothing going on at all. I found the extraction point where the chopper appears and got to spend a good portion of time there with no interaction from friends or foes. It was so dull. I tried again on Saturday hoping that maybe Friday was not busy as many PS4 users were just then opting to download the 25GB Beta. Unfortunately this wasn’t the case. On the Saturday play through I did encounter a few allies and we did explore the Dark Zone together for a while, but we encountered next to no opposition. In my time spent on the Division Beta in the Dark Zone I encountered 4 enemies total. I was pretty disappointed by this. I went to install Game of Thrones from Telltale games that I got for Christmas. I was notified that I was out of space, so without hesitation deleted the Division BETA freeing up 25GB. I knew I wouldn’t be touching it again for the rest of the weekend, and now think I’ve saved myself £45 in the future as I’m not convinced I’ll be buying it.
Onto some other cool stuff that happened in the week though:
Somebody owns EVERY Wii game ever
Yup, some dedicated Nintendo fan has got every single Wii Game ever. Including all the terrible shovelware titles.
Shinsuke Nakamura leaves NJPW & Joins WWE NXT
During taping’s for WWE NXT, some fans at the taping’s were treated to a video tease of none other than former NJPW Intercontinental Champion Nakamura with the confirmation he will be coming to WWE NXT in the future. It’s also leaked that he will be fighting Sami Zayn at the NXT Takeover event on Wrestlemania weekend. Pretty damn amazing news. So with AJ Styles in WWE, that’s 2 down 2 more to go with regards to the NJPW talent joining WWE story from earlier this year.
Pokemon 20th Anniversary Superbowl Commercial
Superbowl will be taking place next weekend. With this being America’s most watched TV Spectacular of the year companies are willing to spend millions of dollars for 30 seconds of TV time to show off their products. This year Nintendo and The Pokemon Company will be showing a spectacular Pokemon 20th Anniversary trailer. The trailer has officially be revealed already so check it out here. Watch closely and you’ll spot plenty of Easter eggs referencing the original Red/Blue/Yellow titles from 1996.
Lucha Underground is back
And it’s glorious. Season 2 of Lucha Underground aired on Wednesday to reignite the Wednesday night war with WWE NXT. The first episode was absolutely incredible with a title change on the very first match, a triple threat for the number one contender for the Lucha Underground Championship, with the title match decided that very same night too. The introduction hype packages where just that, incredible hype. It’s good to have Lucha Underground back.