Let’s Talk: The Division

Hi readers! Today I’m going to be talking about the game that everyone has been hyped up about – Tom Clancy’s The Division. If you have been part of the gaming community in any capacity at all over the past year, you would definitely have heard of this one. Being one of the most anticipated games of 2016, The Division is going to kick off its Open Beta exactly a week from now! But before I begin talking about the game itself, I must first say that I am just a casual gamer. And in terms of The Division, I have intentionally avoided all kinds of gameplay videos as much as possible so that when I get into it for myself on the 19th, it will be a totally new experience for me.

So with that said, what I’m going to be talking about today is based on my own knowledge and opinions, which are probably very limited as compared to those that have already experienced the game through the previous Closed Beta or videos online. Therefore, please do not take my words as a pro’s! Because I don’t play much & I don’t know much. But anyways, let’s get into the Zone.

What is The Division?

Simply put, it’s a third-person tactical role-playing game. Yes, it heavily features guns and action, but it is first an RPG, then a shooter. In other words, the game’s main focus is on character progression, skill trees, gear upgrades and maybe even map exploration. It is no doubt however, that the shooting in this game is incredibly well done. But what makes it different from other shooters like Call of Duty is that this game has a dynamic open world. And yes if you want to, you can play online. So you can meet with other players and interact with them in many ways beyond just you know – shooting them. For example, you can work with them to complete missions and achieve different goals together.

How do we the players come into the picture?

This is where the story of the game comes in. In the fictional world of The Division, we find ourselves in fallen New York City, where a nationwide pandemic on Black Friday has thrown the city into utter chaos and destruction. Because of the deadly virus that has spread through banknotes from person to person, society and its services were swiftly crippled. During this state of emergency, an automonous government organization known as the Strategic Homeland Division is activated to fight the threats that the virus and its creators have brought about. We are agents of The Division, roaming the city to take back and restore whatever that is left of it.

Where exactly is this “Dark Zone”?

Behind these walls of a once bustling city, lies a dark side of humanity. Because of the collapse of law and order across the city, evil and cruelty now rules the streets in the form of criminals, rioters and men alike. These murderers will stop at nothing for their own selfish gains, especially so in a place called the Dark Zone. These are probably the most virus-contaminated areas of the city, where even the military has retreated from. And because the military has retreated from these areas, the most valuable kind of loot like weapons, clothes and supplies are found here. Knowing this fact, the scum of the earth gather in this place in large groups, making it very dangerous to traverse. The Dark Zone is also the place where certain agents might fall to the “Dark Side”, as I’d like to call it. These Rogue Agents might turn on their own teammates just to keep all their loot to themselves. The Dark Zone not only brings out the selfish/selfless sides of people, but also the most exciting aspect of the game.

Who would enjoy this game?

People like me; okay just kidding. Haha but seriously, if you love to interact (AND BE NICE) with other players while gaming, The Division is absolutely for you. Because so far, it seems that most of the fun in this game is derived from working together with and against other people! This is not the kind of game you play when you don’t have friends, it’s the kind of game you play with friends! Enabling the Proximity Voice Chat feature within the game also takes the experience to a whole new level. Basically, this allows everyone to communicate with one another like in real life. The closer you are to one another, the clearer & louder you can hear each other speak. What else? If you are a person that enjoys immersing yourself into an open world and exploring every inch of it, you will love it. If you’re a person that loves cool guns and gadgets, and secretly fantasizes about being an elite sleeper agent, you will love it too. Relate to any of those? Then you know what to do. 😆

Why am I so excited for this?

You guys know me. Be it in books, films or video games, I am constantly into fresh & new concepts. The Division happens to be one such case in terms of video games this year. I mean I can’t exactly remember ever playing a game like that before! The tone. The setting. The plot. The gameplay. It’s so different and so cool – every part of it. From the fact that the entire game is based off of a real bio-terrorist attack exercise [Operation Dark Winter] to the fact that the environments are a 1:1 re-creation of Midtown Manhattan, everything I’ve seen and heard so far is just so impressive. And not to mention, the incredible Snowdrop engine enables the game to have a dynamic global day/night and weather system, resulting in a game both so beautiful and atmospheric at the same time.

Man, I can’t wait to dramatically walk down the broken streets of snowy New York with the sun setting behind me. See you in the Dark Zone, Agents.


Most Anticipated Video Games in Q4 2015

Just for Fun: I’ve been a casual gamer since I was a kid and although I do not game as much now, they continue to be a source of entertainment for me from time to time!

So with the launch of Destiny: The Taken King just a week ago, I thought it would be really cool & fun to talk about it, as well as some titles that have been released over the past month. But mainly, I’ll be mentioning some upcoming titles that will be released in the last quarter of 2015 that just looks amazing.

Now before I begin, I must mention that I currently game mainly on the PS4 and only occasionally on the PC. So please do not be upset if you don’t see any of your Xbox One exclusives on here! It’s not because I find them bad, but it’s Just Cause (hehe) I literally have no access to them! Also, I would probably only play a selected few of the games mentioned below, leaving most of them foreign to me (I have other priorities in life, LOL). So the list is based on what I currently know, and have good opinions about.

Please do not think I’m trying to replace sites like IGN or Kotaku! This is just me having fun with my own thoughts. So with that, here goes nothing!

(September releases)

1. Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain

A Hideo Kojima game.

I’ve only been exposed to the Metal Gear series recently through Ground Zeroes and I can’t say I’ve played enough to know it all. But playing Ground Zeroes for that few hours has gotten me hyped up enough to do some reading about the series. And together with watching videos & trailers like the one above, I have to agree this is one massive game and series that continues to deserve and live up to the expectations of its fans. Epic story, open world, brilliant action and tactical freedom, what else can I say? Imagine being the Big Boss once again, crumbling a base slowly while being disguised as a cardboard box the entire time. Wouldn’t you like that?

2. Mad Max

As if the locations in The Phantom Pain wasn’t enough to satisfy your desert battlefield fantasies, Mad Max gives you an entire desert wasteland to play with. Fully open to explore, the world of Mad Max is home to extreme weather conditions, deadly car chases and brutal action & adventure. This is the game that was released on the same day as Metal Gear Solid V, and though I have not watched any of the movies or played this game, I’m sure there are people out there going mad (see what I did there?) thinking as to which game to spend their money on. I mean you can build your “dream car” and “show it off” to people in the desert! If this is the kind of world you like to “live in”, why not?

3. Destiny: The Taken King

One of my sources of entertainment right now.

Personally, I’ve only played the demo for Destiny half a year ago. Well that is, until last week! I’ve been waiting for the best opportunity to get the full experience of Destiny and now, with the release of The Legendary Edition, that opportunity has come. So I’ve played a bit of it here and there over the past week with a buddy of mine and I totally enjoyed it. I think what really is praiseworthy about the game is its multiplayer experience. Compared to many multiplayer games I’ve seen & played, Destiny’s multiplayer is really stable, easy to get into and more fun than playing alone (which obviously is super important). Oh and have I mentioned that I have a thing or two for science-fiction? So what continues to appeal to me is its world & setting. In Destiny, I can literally be a Guardian of the Galaxy!

(Upcoming releases)

4. Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection

Xbox has its Master Chief. Playstation has its Nathan Drake.

I’m sure many would agree that Drake is one of the most beloved characters created by the highly favored developers from Naughty Dog. He is almost like a Playstation icon, and with his return in full high-definition glory on October 9th, I’m sure many are excited to experience and find out about his adventures for the very first time. Yup, I belong to the group of people that has never touched a single Uncharted game before. But I’m sure this collection would definitely blow us away and prepare us for the next installment in the series – A Thief’s End.

5. Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate

Why is this game on my list? Because I see it as the make-it or break-it installment for the Assassin’s Creed franchise.

Let’s be honest here. A lot of people would feel that the franchise’s previous installment did not meet up to the expectations that it gave people, even though I’m sure that there are good points about it. So because of that, all eyes are watching this one. Some are convinced that it will be a flop too, but I choose to have a little hope and am waiting to see how it actually turns out! Cause honestly, it has a decent setting! Victorian London is seriously beautiful so far, and has managed to catch people’s attention. But will the game play as good as it looks? We will only know for sure when it comes out on October 23rd (for consoles).

6. Fallout 4

Bethesda. The kings of open world role-playing games are back with one of their highly acclaimed franchises – Fallout.

Set in a post-apocalyptic world after the events of a nuclear war, the creators of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim brings you on a journey through dystopian, mysterious, and yet beautiful re-imaginations of New England regions such as Boston. When it comes out on November 10th, fans of open world RPGs as well as post-apocalyptic genres would definitely be drawn to the sheer amount of adventure and environmental storytelling present in the game. And by the way, have you seen how your character’s face can be created by sculpting? Man, I almost fell out of my chair when I first saw it. *ding!*

7. Star Wars: Battlefront

Everybody knows that movie that’s going to be released during Christmas season this year. Everybody’s hyped up for it. But there’s also a game that everyone is hyped up for, which will give them more hype for that hyped up movie. HAHA cut the chase, this year’s Q4 has “Star Wars” labelled all over it. One of the perfect examples of video games based off movies, Star Wars: Battlefront has fans of the franchise going bonkers, and even more so since Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens is also just around the corner. Though it can’t be compared to how long it has been since the last movie came out, it has also been some time since the last release of a Star Wars game. With beloved characters making appearances, large-scale battles reminiscent of those in the movies, and epic dogfights in the sky, many fans may end up in a galaxy far, far away when November 17 arrives.

8. Just Cause 3

Did you enjoy The Expendables? Do you love Michael Bay films? Would you like to set the world on fire and chaos in ridiculously creative ways? Then this is the game for you!

Having played Just Cause 2 before in the past, I have to say this is one series that presents action in the craziest way possible. And because of that, this is the kind of game that makes a great stress-reliever. Just watch the video! You can do whatever you want, you see explosions more than your enemies, and you feel invincible. Maybe you would get this game when it comes out on December 1st. Just Cause…

9. Hitman

On December 8th, Agent 47 will return in this really interesting prequel/reboot (no one is exactly sure yet) to the Hitman video game series. It looks totally amazing and the developers of the game are awesome. They removed the idea of additional paid content & DLCs, as well as micro-transactions from the game, explaining their belief of it as a wrong approach. With that, players would just need to pay once and for all for the game when they purchase it, and continue to receive free updates including new missions and locations regularly. The passion & dedication of the developers can be clearly seen not just in their promise to deliver, but also in the gameplay footages released so far. Players can explore huge levels that are like sandboxes and neutralize their targets in so many possible ways, be it quietly or dramatically. Gosh, now I need to check out the movie that was shot in my country.

10. Firewatch (BONUS)

The last game on my list is an indie title that many people including myself, wants to check out right now. Unfortunately, there isn’t an exact release date as of yet, though it’s worth noting the developers are hoping to release it by this year. Which is why it made it to this list!

But seriously, recent indie games have become more and more impressive and Firewatch is definitely one of those highly anticipated ones. I’m totally in love with the art style of the game, its voice acting and the interesting mystery that seems to fuel its story. Definitely watching this one closely for any news.

So that concludes my list of Most Anticipated Video Games in Q4 2015. I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I did writing it and I’ll see you in the next post! Thank you!