Author: Cathew Murlock
When I woke up this morning, it was hilarious to read that Activision was taking Ubisoft to court over The Division.
Ubisoft’s The Division “Biggest first week ever for a new franchise game.”
were the headlines for the first few days of The Division’s launch, soon then followed by articles and articles of exploits, tips, reviews, videos, you name it and it’s been uploaded, published and/or made. So far The Division has had a non stop hurricane of an active community being driven by one of the craziest hype trains that the gaming world has ever seen and is still being fueled every second of every minute of every day and it has only been two weeks. A new franchise that has been killing it and living up to it’s hype, yet at the same time not coming through with it. A game so good that it deserves a 10, but at the same time deserves a 7 for not living up to what it had promised. It’s a confusing game to review, dull and lacking, yet one of the most fun I’ve had in a long time. It’s perfect, yet oh so not? It’s really hard to pin point where The Division went right, but so easy to see where it went wrong, but in the end this is a video game. So if it game can be satisfying enough to feel like a 10, while being a 7, then….. The game has done it’s job right? It’s lived up to what it’s meant to be? Probably to the point that it would deserve a 10?
The Division is a game with so much promise and a bright future ahead of it
If Ubisoft isn’t dumb enough to not let it slip through there fingers, The Division is a game that can be the backbone that Ubisoft has been looking for since the launch and milking of the Assassins Creed and Far Cry franchise. It’s what Ubisoft needed, it’s what a few of the AAA studios wished they came up with, but didn’t. It’s what Bungie wished they had in their hands, but don’t. A orgasmic open world of life, that never takes you out of the game with horrible load screens and match making menus, unless you are setting up a team for challenges and allow it to. It is probably the first game to organically fuse single player and multiplayer together without making them feel separate or torn apart from the world. One of the best shooters in decades, that will suck you into it’s world, without it ever coming to an end or have you walking a linear line of story telling.
The Division is driven by exploration and curiosity
But when the exploration and curiosity comes to the end, you are driven by possession and the possessing, the game of building and becoming feared and or respected. Not by the game or the story, but those who dare confront you or stray by you in the Dark Zone. Yes, The Dark Zone. A Martial Law section of New York City, that was lost due to the infestation of rioters, gangs and cleaners and now…… Agents and Rogues. You roam around this section of the game, also known as the multiplayer section of the game as you fight off mobs of enemies to get loot to suit up your character and equip him with the tools he needs to survive the new world around him. But before you can own those tools, weapons and gear, you must extract it out for it to be cleansed of the virus before it comes in contact with your hands. That’s if your hands ever come in contact with them at all, for you will either fight to keep a hold of them or at least be paranoid enough in a circle of other agents ready to drop to the savagery levels of your most worthless victims, that you have brought justice too. This is a world, where you might want to be the good guy, you might of brought down mobs of enemies and even brought Rogues down and made your agency proud, but no matter how many good deeds you have in your resume, you are going to be the bad guy no matter what. Doesn’t matter if you have standards, you will be brought to the level of survival, that’s if you want to keep what is yours, Your guns, your gear, YOUR LIFE. When time for action comes, if it ever comes to that, which trust me, it will, you will be the bad guy, Rogue or Not.
But for some, the line between bad and good is easily swept up under the rug
And kept simple and more linear. Taking all the complex things out of morality, simplifying it and titling it Rogue, well it’s at least what this game did with the rules of what makes a bad guy. Because in this world you can be a Rogue, while at the same time not being so, you can trick others into becoming what is considered in this in game world as the bad guy, by taking advantage of the good guy when you get him to accidentally become bad. A good guy can be persuaded into dropping to your level by being tricked into becoming Rogue with simple tactics, such as letting your Rogue timer run out and then being shot, which would turn the agent into a Rogue himself or by walking into another agents line of fire, while he is fighting off mobs. Which throws off the whole I’m an Agent/Rogue ordeal. The rules of this post apocalyptic world isn’t really catered to the good or those looking for justice. You even get experience points for shooting dogs, which never seem to attack anyone, just bark at people for being hungry or territorial. You are never really good, you are more just surviving, the only time you are ever considered a good or bad guy in this game, is when someone goes rogue and is being hunted down, by the “good guy” agents. Who are only considered good guys at that moment of time in my honest opinion. Because being a Rogue aka bad guy is only defined by shooting another agent, not if you pick up and steal their loot or corner someone into falling for your evil plans in getting them to turn Rogue. There is no bad or good in this game, just wanted or un-wanted. Which makes the whole agent thing pretty worthless and kind of a lame experience, especially when you don’t even have to kill someone to becoming rogue. The whole experience of bad and good is a little too simple for a game so massive and complex, that it kind of kills off what the story has set in motion, but luckily the game play lives up, where the story does not.
Then again it is easily to bypass the story
When there is basically no story to be found other than, Bad men created a virus, set it off onto New York during Black Friday using money, everyone is dead, evacuated or in the process of being killed and you are out to find a cure before everything gets worst. Luckily for the games story, if you have done the 10 missions or so of story it has, you find out, that it is all basically an origin story, leading to scenarios and future possibilities of what The Division can become or what our agents can face, depending of what is planned for the expansions to come. There might have not been much to the campaign, but the little there was I found pretty enjoyable and the bad guys they put me up against, where pretty disturbing to the point, that I wanted to be an agent and push forward so I could hurt them or at least bring them to justice. Other than the campaign missions, the side quests became exaggeratedly repetitive to the point, that I just wanted to be done with them, but the game makes up for it with content, content that many will end up passing up. Yes, you may have collected the collectibles or maybe you are just not a fan of them in games, but have you looked into them? They are filled with content and the details of the lives of the victims of the virus. We get so see mini flashback scenes and listen to the last breaths of the people of the city living out there lives, some more tragic than others. From homeless singing Christmas Carols in the alleys to men hungry enough to feed off of the soon to be extinct dog. It’s a dynamic world with gorgeous scenery, parts of it may even come and pull at your hear strings. You can be roaming around in a blizzard or a trash infested street and find your self all of a sudden looking around and seeing that the place you decided to catch your breath at, is lifeless, grey, ash, burned out of it’s life by cleaners, it was un-real, scary, that is what this game can do to you, if you get lost in it’s amazing world, because where the game fails, the world makes up for it, I couldn’t see The Division being pulled off without it, because without it, it would of just been another Destiny.
But no matter how gorgeous and amazing the game might be, it has its faults.
In the end, we all end up looking at the same vendor up stairs in the tech wing, buying the same gold blue prints, trying to mod out the same gold guns, while roaming around in the same gold gear. Honestly the only things that stands out, the only thing that keeps the gamer from feeling like everyone else, after getting to the point of fully experiencing the game, is the clothing we all wear. We all farm the same routes, there really isn’t much to do that keeps us all from doing the same thing in the game and that is where the game comes short. The Dark Zone is too small, too lacking of experience, The Rogues get tiring, the few who are around at least, because it is un-rewarding in the end to become a Rogue, but then again, it should be un-rewarding to be a bad guy, well at least it should be, if the game didn’t hype it up as being another side to be on, other than the “good” side, The Agent side. The game also becomes really aggravating when it comes to coming up with your own weapon, will at least one that suits you, you may be one or two skills off from getting the perfect Vector or AK47, which will lead you to wasting more resources on creating more Vectors you don’t need, when there should of been an option of rolling skills on your weapon. In the end, it may feel like there are so many options to choose from, but there really isn’t, after a while you start seeing how everything is just to similar, from the gear, weapons and side missions, to the enemies we face. There is not enough variation in this game, but somehow it doesn’t matter for the time being, unless you are completely addicted to it like I am and a few others. But hopefully Ubisoft comes out with more content before the casual gamers start catching on to how empty this game really is, because when it is all said and done, it should be more then just shoot yourself from point a to point b, extract, rinse and repeat. This game should be more than that, it is more than that, We just have to hope Ubisoft makes it more than that, because oh man, this game is oh so good and I want it to be what it deserves to be.
The Division is a game that is something that must be experienced at least once.
You can not judge it by watching a stream or a YouTube video, you can’t judge it by an article or a review, give it a chance and then make up your mind for yourself, because whether this review makes it sound like it’s the worst game or the best game ever, I can promise you it is not, is it average or in between? No, it is not. Then what is it? I honestly can not tell you, I have never played a game like this before, It feels lacking and repetitive, but at the same time perfectly enjoyable with an abundance to do. But then again, you will start seeing the short comings of any game once you hit the 100 hour mark.
When it comes down to it, The Division will be put you into a world as large as GTA, Witcher, Elder Scrolls and Fallout
Without all the detailed content within the world and missions. It is a world with a few variation of enemies and few variations of game play and styles of play. Unless you decide to collect all the collectibles, the game lacks even more content, because you will end up missing out on so much story and leave you with an even more lacking experience. Either way It’s just a whole world of mobs ready for the killing and there is nothing much else to it, but why is it so good? You will have to decide that for yourself. Ubisoft has laid down a foundation for greatness, not only for The Division, but for new Twitch streamers and content creators as well, from the few days the game has been out, I can honestly tell you, we can expect nothing more then greatness in the future thanks to The Division. Lets just hope it doesn’t die down before we get a chance to see what it started, grow.
It’s that time of the month again
Where the next big game has hit shelves and our digital libraries, ready to be downloaded and played. But while you usually wait for these long 30+, 50+ gigabyte downloads, there is always the day one Nvidia Drivers to take care of, but those drivers don’t always go as planned and can do the opposite of what you had planned of them doing. For example the Game Ready drivers for The Division had my monitor flickering and blacking out until it crashed, then boot up and flickered until it got to the Windows log in screen and crashed, rinse repeat, rinse repeat. I had to basically plug in the HDMI to the motherboard input, since the HDMI being plugged into the GPU was the problem, the one little thing breaking law of man and crashing my pc, but when the DVI/VGA converter was plugged into the GPU everything was just fine. But hey, maybe this isn’t your problem, maybe these drivers are just doing your head in, in another form of torture, so here is the solution we all tend to forget through out it all. you can ROLL BACK the drivers. No need to really seek help in forums or panic, which is usually the go to for me, just simply roll them back and there you go my friends, Serenity!
Step by step instructions on how to roll back your Nvidia Drivers
If you are using Windows 10 like I am, just open up run by clicking the Windows logo key +R. Then Type in Control Panel
Click Control Panel
Click Performance and Maintenance and then System (in Category view) or System (in Classic view)
Select the Hardware Tab
Click Device Manager
Double-click on Display Adapters
Double-click on your NVIDIA GPU
Select the Driver Tab
Click on Roll Back Driver
Welcome to this weeks edition of Back At It
With your host, the one with the most, the most of what I don’t know, It just rhymed so I gave it a go, Cathew Murlock. And this week I dwelled into that horrifying thing we like to call a backlog to see what Indie gems and AAA power mongers we could find and with just a few steps we ran into one of the most elite franchises in gaming history, yes, I am talking about, GTA. And it may surprise you, that until recently I had still yet to play Grand Theft Auto V, a game I’ve wanted to play since launch, what kept me from playing it? Who knows, but luckily it was there waiting for me when I was ready to play.
To start off I wanted this experience to feel new
Like a GTA I never played before, so I decided to play my first play through in the stunningly marvelous feature we call FPS mode. And oh what a dynamic experience that was. I know there was backlash from the community when the feature was first announced, but trust me, it was worth implementing and worth giving a go, it was just wow. I felt immersed and right in the game, the car flips, the rolling down hills are just a few things that must be experienced first hand, even getting hit by a car. It was like VR, but without the VR, so entertaining and fun and felt new every time it happened. The fighting, the walking down streets, falling, crashing, bikes, motorcycles, you name the experience it was perfected from head to toe to fit perfectly with the First Person mode. Rockstar honestly didn’t slouch on this feature, you could just feel that they made sure it was more then a mode, that it was basically the game when you played it, not just some added broken feature that the company could brag about, no, it was an ADVENTURE and EXPERIENCE.
But with good came the bad
Because as much as I loved the world around me, as much as I felt mind blown by every single detail they added in this game, it felt a little short and dull. This GTA was probably the first GTA since GTA 2, where I did not get sucked into the characters. I was left feeling eh, like there should of been more to it, like the game should of been longer and the only reason it wasn’t was because they decided to go a little too big and do too much with the 3 character at once feature. I love the characters, but never through out the game did I become attached to them. It was a weird feeling for a Grand Theft Auto game really. We have all fell attached to the silent protagonist in GTA 3 and even his enemies, along with the characters in Vice City, San Andrea’s and GTA IV, but for some reason I really couldn’t get into these new faces or lives. The majority of the time I just wanted Michael’s whole family just to burn in a horribly caused accident, because they really didn’t bring anything to the table, other than annoyance. I know GTA is meant to be a parody of films or at least a homage, but this whole game actually felt like a long drawn joke. Where by the end, your just like, well that happened, it’s over. The game wasn’t bad by any means, it just wasn’t GTA and by that I mean, it just wasn’t special. The story was too short for there own good and the characters felt expendable, Uh, I don’t know how to explain it other that this campaign might be the first underwhelming GTA campaign that I have ever played.
It is understandable why they have basically skipped bringing out any DLC
Being basic clothing items to an actual new story missions to the GTA V campaign. Since with this GTA, so far it has felt like it was molded and created for this new generation of gamers, as in Rockstar has focused on the money maker, the main selling point this day in age for the franchise, GTA Online. Yes, sadly Rockstar has joined the rest of the triple A studios in abandoning the campaign and focusing all there time on the multiplayer aspect. The story felt short and dull for the campaign, but everything about online has felt bright and vivid so far and is basically all you see gamers play on Twitch or on there spare time when it comes to GTA V, It is also the only one out of the two, Online and Campaign, that is getting any support at all. It was even announced, that it’s the reason they have delayed/not coming out with any campaign DLC as well, basically, it’s not worth there time and effort, since it’s no longer what this gen wants to see, which in the back of my head is pretty crippling, because it’s my favorite experience in this franchise, the Campaign, but hey, we old farts, we are the past, guess we just have to say goodbye, because I doubt GTA 6 will cater to us next time around at all.
In the end, I kind of wish that I hadn’t played GTA V
I enjoyed the world in it’s glorious FPSness, Thought the story was decent enough, glad to have played and watched the characters go through there dramas, but to see that my favorite genre was falling to the new age kind of hurt. Sure GTA Online is popular and great, but from seeing how much support it gets compared to the campaign, I just have a gut feeling that the future holds nothing positive for us old GTA story mode loving fans.
BAI is my backlog segment Back At It
Where I play one of the hundred of games shoved away in one of my many love dungeons (Steam, Origin, Uplay etc.) and describe my experience, thoughts and/or feelings about what I have played, I don’t like to keep it suit and tie, basically loose and random, not so professional, I don’t want my articles to be This is a review, blah blah blah these are the rules, this is the format, no, because this isn’t a review, It’s just a tool to open a discussion with you guys and get you to tell me your experience with the game currently being talked about or played. And also have it as a gateway to getting me to play many more games that I have left abandoned for far too long in may backlog.
So please, let me know your experience of GTA V
Does it feel like the campaign will be abandoned completely in the future? What are your opinions on Rockstar not having any plans for any campaign DLC? Let me know in the comments below.
NBA 2k16 was free to play during the weekend
So I decided to give it a go, for I remembered that it had a story mode that was written and directed by legendary film maker Spike Lee. But as you would have guessed, the whole thing ended up falling short and becoming kind of a really really underwhelming experience. It felt around the lines of having some random person putting random footage from a random film in between basketball matches. Yeah it was pretty cringe worthy to see how little effort they put into making it all feel as one, but then again, this is an actual basketball simulator, so can you really blame them. Though the mode didn’t live up anywhere close to it’s expectations it opened up a whole new world of what ifs, that I doubt 2K Games will ever explore. A new game that most AAA companies do not dare too attempt to create, My Story has the opportunity to be greater, to be it’s own game and do for this generation what Tony Hawk Underground did for its own.
Though there was so much promise of what it could of been
My Story left me and many a like disappointed on how the whole thing ended up playing out, because the majority of the scenes ended up being of the characters just sitting down and talking there way through the whole experience, right after random basketball matches as mentioned above, but I will say, the scripts dialogue was on point. The high school and college years where too short for there own good and the story was missing so much, that basically they ended up just writing it into the dialogue. You never get to see what events occur, you only get to here the actors in the cut scenes explain them to you, but it would of been nice to live them out. The whole experience was lacking, I can’t mention it enough. But oh how it was a little taste of something that could be so delicious, something that can be it’s own thing, something I need. Something we need, something gaming needs, something fresh.
We need a game like this, GTA meets Tony Hawks Underground
No violence just an open world with a brilliant story such as the one Spike Lee had written that we can roam and explore. Because sometimes a free world can make a game with so little feel so massive, Red Dead Redemption for example, It had a story, but the world didn’t have much in it or to it, it had the same side missions and was pretty repetitive even though people would dare to admit it, but it was so satisfying some how. And that’s what we need from NBA 2k My story. Make the setting around the main protagonists neighborhood, have it all play out at the local high school and the community college, A story about a boy and his struggle, things go wrong and he ends up having to play his dreams out in community college, but somehow, even though his dreams where destroyed after a tragic accident, he ends up making the best of it and coming on top and into the NBA. Have a pick up and play experience around the high school and local parks basketball courts, have hang out spot for him and his friends that are a part of the story as well. There is so much 2K games can do with this new property, but will they do it? Only time will tell. But to avoid having the whole thing being crammed into one game, make it where the character transfers to the NBA 2KA game so you could play with them on there, maybe even make a short story that coincides with the previous non simulator My Story game, that will take advantage of your characters data and customization.
In the end as much as I was looking forward to NBA 2K16’s My Story
It was ruined by its over hype and name dropping. Because in the end you can not drop such a massive name as Spike Lee and not give him the necessary tools to blow the top off our heads off and prevent him from giving us a world shattering experience. But not all was bad, as much as the mode was out of placed I really felt like the characters and especially the parents shined, my favorite part of the experience was hearing the dialogue and seeing the characters interact with each other in the lengthy conversations we got to see them have, it was brilliant how well they played there parts. I also have to give My Story a ton of credit from straying itself from the stereotypical mess NBA Ballers was when it launched about a decade ago.And give them mad props for making it about a family, making it personal about life, I wish I could recommend people to go out of there way to play 2BA 2K16 for its My Story mode alone, but sadly that I can not do, It’s something that I know 2K games will probably drop from its future games, which makes me sad, but I am glad I got to play it, because it allowed my mind to wonder and imagine a world of a game that could one day be, no matter if 2K Games are the ones to makes it or not. All in all, Spike Lee held his end of the work and brought us a brilliant cast and story, but it wasn’t enough to carry 2K games lack of passion to make it something more then what it was and ended up being.
Link to the vod, From you main man and FOF, Infinity Beast(Me). Parts are muted or frozen, but mostly due to pressing tab and chatting with others and copyrighted music.
During the Division Beta, there where many complaints
One of them being The Rogue Status. And after playing the game for nearly 20 hours, here on Epicpowergaming, a few of us found the lack of love for the Rogue status, disturbing. I remember seeing over a handful of the beta testers peeved about there in-ability to set themselves up in the world of the criminally minded in this Black Friday chaos ridden swarming wasteland. Their arguments ranging from, The difficulty and how rewards didn’t come with the risks or at least where not at all worth it. Everyone gangs up on the rogue, that’s a fact, but honestly, that is as real as it gets.
In real life the bad guy never wins
The bad guy gets ganged up on, the bad guy gets caught and sent to jail or killed. You want more time, but yet you have plenty, how is it every ones fault you went all in and started guns blazing when you could of picked off people one by one, while letting your time run out and reset, basically clearing you of the rogue status. I even seen the really smart and amazing rogues try to get me to become rogue so they can pick me off for themselves and get everyone to hunt me down as they reap the rewards, strategy, your mind, USE IT.
Shoot someone hide for a few seconds
go un-rogue pop up on that persons radar, they become rogue if they hit you after shooting back, kill them and bling bling. Don’t be the stereotypical whiny criminal, be intelligent sli, BE ROGUE. You may call it dirty game play, but remember! You are not playing as an agent, you are playing as a criminal and unless you are equipped for the fight and heavily crewed up, then you got to keep moving, hiding, staying 100% paranoid, because everyone wants what you have. You want things easy? like when you where camping at the extraction point? Put in some work scrub, you don’t deserve everything handed to you, but at the same time I understand the frustration.
But Hopefully that frustration is set by the beta
and it’s lack of features and environment. There are a lot of things that need fixing and that can be added that would give the rogue class some much needed help, because I didn’t mean to make it sound like the rogue status is perfect during these last few paragraphs, but yeah, it’s far from that. Some real problems come around the time of when you are escaping and running from mobs. How so you may ask? well, it’s hard to run from a group of 8, that have sniper rifles and heavy artillery while running down these long one way streets that where shoved throughout the beta. I understand that this is the beta and that Hazmat areas may be the spots that will make this fair, but still, out running bullets in this game when being hunted down, is waaaay more difficult then it really needs to be.
Yes, I agree
we keep it difficult, so people have to work to take the objects you grinded so hard on attaining, but at the same time, lets not make it impossible, because the last thing we want is a world without rogues. Having a bunch of agent buddies is all fun and stuff, but when it comes down to it, the rogues bring the excitement, the excitement we need, the excitement we love. Because nothing is better than being at the extraction with over a dozen people pointing guns at each other and rushing in when the copter arrives hoping that nothing sets off. It’s like a bar filled with anti heroes in a western, pointing guns at each other in a 12 way Mexican stand off. Well today be the day? BANG BANG!
All in all
The Rogue Status and the Darkzone are some of the most satisfying and refreshing features I have had the pleasure of experiencing in a Single/Multiplayer game. It just felt so perfect for The Division, Like something that I needed, that I have been missing out on all this time. The rogue status, is what it is, a difficulty setting basically, you want to casually play be agent, you feel like playing on hard for a few minutes, go rogue, though we could use some help in making it more of a pleasing experience, so why not add mounts. Mounts ranging from dirt bikes, mountain bikes and bicycles, I even thought skateboards would be cool, but it would look pretty ridiculous when riding over snow. Help the rogue actually have a chance at escaping, over that 97% faith of death and failure, because in the end, the rewards are satisfying, you level up faster and you get a lot more swag because you are killing others who will drop there personals and or random items. The rogue status is near perfect, you want to make it an upsetting and horrible experience then that’s on you. So just go out there and have fun, enjoy yourself, it’s a apocalyptic world where everyone is out for themselves, while being burned alive by anti virus maniacs, so there will be annoyances and frustrations.
But I understand if you disagree and if so, let me know how you would go on improving the Rogue status in our comment section below, See you in the battlefield AGENT…….
Bound to stay in the hearts for the rest of eternity
The amazing team at GameTrailers as of today, right now, about 50 minutes ago, is no more. They have been holding down gaming entertainment for the last 13 years and is a name we have all come to love, so we wish the best to the team. Make sure to get in your farewells in about 8 minutes when they go live on Twitch for the very last time, as GameTrailers at least.
After 13 years, GameTrailers is closing down today. Thank you for your continued support over the years. It has been an adventure.
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Watch them go live one last time
— GameTrailers (@GameTrailers) February 9, 2016