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The Division Beta Signals Changing of the Guard in Multiplayer Gaming

/ Feb 24th, 2016 13 Comments

Tom Clancy's The Division

Is it too early to speculate on the impact that Ubisoft’s upcoming title Tom Clancy’s The Division will have on the world of gaming? Yes. Am I going to do it anyway? Absolutely.

As Gaming Illustrated’s own Ben Sheene reported, The Division’s open beta was the most widely played beta of a new IP in the short history of this console generation. Over 6.4 million people got involved in the fracas — second place in this category belongs to the 2014 beta for Destiny, which was played by roughly 4.6 million people. While it would be premature to take Destiny’s crown and place it on The Division’s head, it certainly stands to reason that it could end up there by the end of the year.

Where’s Your Crown King Nothing

I can hear the gamers yelling at me now: “Michael, who said Destiny even has a crown? What about games like League of Legends and DOTA? And why are you quoting Metallica lyrics in your header?” First of all, who let you PC gamers into the sunlight? Second of all, Destiny had a formidable showing in Twitch’s list of the most streamed games of 2015 (ranked seventh, to be exact), which is even more impressive when you consider that Destiny isn’t available on PC. No other game that cracked the top 10 can boast that.
 

The Division

If the beta is any indication, extracting gear from the Dark Zone is sure to be a tense affair

Furthermore, Destiny’s popularity had much to do with the fact that it offered both PvE and PvP multiplayer entertainment. Black Ops 3, on the other hand, is a console multiplayer juggernaut that does contain PvE options, such as the popular zombies mode, but I don’t think many people would put that in the same category as what Destiny has to offer and what it looks like The Division will. So, yes, Destiny gets a console multiplayer crown. Now, let’s talk about whether The Division will stage a coup.

4 > 3

At first glance — which is all any of us have really gotten with The Division so far — what could lead a person to believe that The Division will offer a more satisfying multiplayer experience than Destiny? Well, in what might seem like a very minor difference to some, the number of players you can have in your team for a normal mission in The Division is four. In Destiny, it has always been three.
 

The Division

Exploring a dilapidated building in a post-apocalyptic world is much safer with some friends

Many people out there who possess two or fewer friends might balk at my suggestion that this is actually a big deal, but some will see this as a welcome change. A PSN party holds up to eight players at a time. With three-man teams, there’s just no symmetry. Now, with four-man teams in The Division, your party can hold exactly two teams at once while people suffering from OCD rejoice. OK, I say this somewhat facetiously, but when it comes to cooperative gaming, I think many of us have a “the more the merrier” mentality.

Presentation

It’s important to note that there is a huge difference between the quality of the presentation of Destiny’s latest expansion, The Taken King, and Destiny when it was first released. Upon release, Destiny’s presentation was abysmal in many respects. The voice acting was simply not up to par with many games we’ve seen over the years and the story was almost non-existent. We all had a good time with the game despite these things, but it was something that we had to acknowledge. So many of us played the game and said, “Wow, if this game had any kind of story, it might be the greatest thing ever created!”
 

Tom Clancy's The Division

The game looks good, sounds good, and feels good. The physical copies probably even smell good.

With The Division, at least from what we’ve seen from the beta, it appears that Ubisoft has put some serious effort into making this a complete game. The story seems solid and the voice acting is excellent. It lives up to the expectations set by other Ubisoft offerings in terms of presentation, and it has MMORPG elements to it. This should excite many gamers.

Will the Coup be Successful?

Destiny has stepped its game up quite a bit over the past year and a half, but it often seems as if Bungie insists on taking two steps back for every step forward. Every time you hear some exciting news from Bungie that makes you hopeful, you then hear something ridiculous, like how they’ve been mismanaging servers. In many ways, it feels like The Division is primed to do immediately what it took Destiny an entire year to do.

The Division open beta seemingly had its proverbial ducks in a row more than Destiny did during all of its year-one content. This could all be wishful thinking, though. It’s easy to see the new bright, shiny object and become more attracted to it than something you’ve been familiar with for a time. The time is nigh for us to truly pass judgment. The Division in its entirety will be released on March 8, and then we will sit back and listen for shouts of “The old king is dead! Long live the new king!”

 

Michael Mays

Michael Mays

Michael Mays graduated from Concord University with a B.A. in both Sociology and History with an emphasis in Philosophy before moving on to obtain his M.S. in Criminal Justice. Realizing that these degrees and six figures of crippling debt only made him roughly three nightly Jeopardy answers better, he decided it was time to pursue his lifelong passion... competitive snorkeling. That didn't work out, so now he writes about video games.

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13 responses to “The Division Beta Signals Changing of the Guard in Multiplayer Gaming”

  1. Stephanie Sofranko says:

    Agreed on all fronts! Ducks are in rows for sure. The story and pvp elements were on point.

  2. Stephanie Sofranko says:

    Agreed on all fronts! Ducks are in rows for sure. The story and pvp elements were on point.

  3. Justin says:

    Destiny was in all aspects a great game, and I’m sure it will continue to get better. But with that being said, weather you classify Destiny as a FPS or a MMORPG, games in that genre need content (i.e. a significant number of raids, a solid story, and balanced classes) to continue to be strong contenders in the arena. I believe The Division will take cake in this battle. After only just playing the beta, I felt there was an aggressive story that will captivate the audiences as well as plenty of cooperative gameplay and character customization through looks, and talents/skills. Where Destiny started on the the hybrid of FPS/MMORPG, The Division will surpass and expand on bringing to light a whole new era to gameplay. Nuff said.

  4. Ben Bertsche says:

    I missed playing the Beta due to being out of town, but this article has me pretty excited for March 8th. I played a ridiculous amount of Destiny and loved the PVE/PVP options it brought to console in a single game. If the Division can improve that and offer solid end game content, I’m sold.

  5. Steven K says:

    Great article! Only a better man would give a game the respect it deserves after so many flops and failures. All points given were valid and cannot be denied even by a rager such as myself. Playing the division beta was one of the greatest gaming experiences I have had in a long time. With the addictive gameplay style of Wow, loot assortment as vast as Diablo 3, and addictive combat scenarios with more depth than destiny this game is quite possibly the greatest thing i’ve played In years.

  6. Louie Lou says:

    AWESOME article!

  7. Doug Laxton says:

    Great article Michael Mays!

    I think this game is brilliant and I think that it will consume me like all other great games do. The game play, graphics, story, concept, and the RPG elements are going to set the bar for future games, just like Destiny did. I think the major thing here is that this third person shooter is the first and only of it’s kind, just like Destiny is the first and only first person shooter of it’s kind.

    With that said. The PvE has to have other options. I know everyone loves the dark zone but if we infinitely play that same PvE mode that is in the Beta, the first month will be a blast. But the time thereafter will be boring and people will start to complain, just like they did with Destiny. You can only kill people, steal loot, and put it on a helicopter so many times. Hell, I got bored typing that.

    I would give the beta a solid 8.5 out of 10. I can’t wait to sink hundreds of hours into this game and lose an unhealthy amount of sleep.

  8. Christopher Lyons says:

    Great article. I welcome this new title with open arms as it descends upon a, in my opinion, stagnant ps4 market. I think the 3rd person aspect is really cool and reminds me of the good ol SOCOM Navy Seals days. That being said it does have one thing going against it, Ubisoft. The developer of games like Watch_Dogs and Assassins Creed Unity which were so bug ridden and half-assed they were almost unplayable. Not to mention their micro-transactions with the ability to buy your way past levels or buy gathering items. So we will see as I hope their ducks are actually in a row this time around.

  9. Christopher Lyons says:

    Great article. I welcome this new title with open arms as it descends upon a, in my opinion, stagnant ps4 market. I think the 3rd person aspect is really cool and reminds me of the good ol SOCOM Navy Seals days. That being said it does have one thing going against it, Ubisoft. The developer of games like Watch_Dogs and Assassins Creed Unity which were so bug ridden and half-assed they were almost unplayable. Not to mention their micro-transactions with the ability to buy your way past levels or buy gathering items. So we will see as I hope their ducks are actually in a row this time around.

  10. TetsuPanda says:

    Minus the tags on the article, I counted 16 Destinys and 14 Divisions(if you count article title). Based on this data, Destiny takes the win by 2, with the final score of 16 to 14.

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