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.

My road to the Oculus began a late stormy night, a strange man knocked on my door, he said “Ay mang, you wanna buy some snicker doodles” and I was all like ” Yes sir, I would love some snicker doodles.” so I bought some snicker doodles, but anyways. I went back to my super epic command center, which is where I do my super awesome Epicpowergaming.com reading ( All The Adverts! all up in ya! ) When Oculus twittered tweeted “Bruh, we started from the bottom and now we will be here in 2 days.” so I made sure to get on that. So after doing the time glitch like in Animal Crossing the Oculus was finally upon me! 3,2,1 …… Wait what! The site won’t load, $600! $680 with tax and shipping! What is all this nonsense! It was a  raging shit storm of angry rakins t bagging confused Sony fans at a no online service contest.

I started to question my self and also questioning if I really wanted the Oculus after all, two different subjects I know, but why not throw it in anyways, but that is besides the point. The point is as much as the future of gaming is VR, as much as I have wanted this gaming experience in my life since Disney’s Blank check and The First Kid, not to be forgotten the marvelous show VR Troopers. Did I really want it that much? Did I want it enough that I would drop $700 in a seconds notice, even though the library of games announced are trash and that there are rumors of the Vive being 10x more powerful? Well, of course, duh. But then again all it really was, was a pre order, no reason in beating myself up over the decision, I have a month and a half to cancel if I decide to change my mind. But I promise you this, I will be keeping my eyes peeled throughout the next few weeks and making my decision with which VR headset I decide to go with, because no matter what, VR gaming will be in my future, whether it’s the Vive or Oculus. Though the time is upon us to head to the other side, Hello….. can you here me…. I’m in California dreaming of what VR can finally be…

There is still time to decide and see, do you want the hype of the future to fall flat with the decision you make or do you watch carefully and make sure it’s everything you dreamt of it being. Because the last thing you want is to power a fail machine and turn a company into an un-reliable hardware distributor that everyone throws there money at, at the launch of every new device, that is just an updated broken piece of garbage as the last version they put out. Wow, where is that anger coming from? Oh it’s nothing, it’s not like the majority of us haven’t been screwed over time and time again by Microsoft, RRod Xbox 360, Broken sound in the headset Jack problem in there Surface tablets and not to mention there very very sorry excuse of an app store that has nothing in it. How can you even call it a tablet when you can’t even support Pandora or Spotify, along with a number of many other basic services we get from our android/ios counterparts. Yes, yes, I know off topic, but is it really? We are venturing into a company, a brand new company, that is just now starting there app service, that has a dashboard in the rift or that will be available for it, that has no support and even if there is, we have no clue whether they will actually support it. Although my mind is still set as of now in getting the Oculus, After setting up my mothers Surface tablet and being a early Xbox 360 adapter, I see and know of the roads that the Oculus can lead. There are many what if cons that come along with it, but what about the what ifs, from the pro side?

Well lets talk about the pros then my friend. It’s owned by Facebook, it has been in development for years so there is no way it can be lacking that much power compared to the Vive, even though it wont have the apps or same Steam software compared to HTC’s product, it is looking into venturing in the cinematic universe as well, so why do all these things make it superior compared to the Vive? Because the Oculus has more then just video games in mind, it has the same dream and idealism that Facebook and Twitter had when they where both let loose upon us. They are going beyond the blue print of Virtual Gaming and trying to bring us into the world of Virtual Reality. What does that mean you may ask? Well as of now, Twitch is already working on becoming VR/Oculus compatible, Facebook will most likely become VR compatible and I have no doubt in my mind, that many are following suit and I honestly hope they do. Because Virtual Reality should go far beyond gaming. Because whether you disagree or not, it’s not really a Virtual Reality if it’s over at Game Over.

We can go beyond gaming, we can take Virtual Reality to new heights, to a marvelous new form of education and a new way of interaction and showing affection. Soldiers being able to physically interact with there children, Teachers being able to reach out to children all across the world and be there in person through virtual reality, though for now the Oculus is too expensive to do such things, it will become accessible to all at one point, but I agree it can’t come soon enough.

Reality is upon us my friends, Embrace it.

sheldon-joey

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Prologue

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Sometimes we get too comfortable on our side of the couch  forgetting there are many other seats around us being filled up with the same amount of emotions, fight and struggle that each and every one of us go through on the daily. We have become too accepting of being the gamer the world see’s us as to the point we have become stuck. Glued into our cushions and unable to move, but every day we budge a little more, like the captured super hero tied onto the same ole eroding wooden dining chair the bad guys just happened to tie us to. Yes you’re right! breaking loose will be a struggle, but being a gamer has always been a long time struggle, ever since the dawn of its creation.

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Not until I first laid eyes on G4 back in 2002 have I ever heard the term gamer be used to describe oneself and since that day the world I thought I knew had grown right before my very eyes and Oh, how it grew. All of a sudden we had become more then just a simple flagpole in front of a castle, we had become the kingdom and soon to grow far beyond our wildest dreams.

We have reached the day in time were standing on a simple scale would break on contact from all the weight we carry on our shoulders. We are now our own culture and we heavily influence every single other culture that breathes and lives around us, we are not the new tomorrow, we are the present, We Are This Moment. We have become the Empire we worked so hard to build, but before that empire was built and the term gamer was established we were just a mere group of people that couldn’t be defined by a single word. We use to be that person who got bullied and shunned for trying to be one self (and sometime still are), the same person who spent all day playing the same single player levels as one saved up to hear the pop of new plastic snapping as you removed the cartridge from the holder that held it firmly into place(and sometimes still are).

And that’s what we have to do now, we have to hold ourselves in place and stand strong through the turbulence we have experienced and will experience in the futures to come. Once, a majority of us were a lonely bunch who played games with no access to the wide vast communities we have today, There was no live or social consoles to go to after school or work, we had to hope and wish our friends had this same interest and the gamers out there that were shyer than the usual player….yeah, imagine how much fun playing Goldeneye or Perfect Dark on multiplayer was for them(not so much).

We were the stereotype, we were the ones who were segregated. But with new technology booming and popularity hitting our little boxes of love like a Titan bursting through a row of steel bared walls. A hole had appeared in the center of our world, a hole that we have all been trying to get others to walk through before the hole was even in existence. A hole that was soon to be filled with new gamers who had become just as passionate about our contraptions than we ever have.

Oddballs out we were no longer and as the mass majority of the world caught up it brought up a whole new set of troubles to light. We were no longer the shy, quite, nerdy, dweeb, bullied on stereotype we were use to being  presented as all our lives. The society that once defined us as those weak, pale and scared human beings had become the same society that would soon help define us. When our worlds and cultures merged the gaming industry blew up and so did gaming in general.

But no matter how much good came from it, the bad soon over shadowed everything. We became as spoiled and as hurtful as the the society that once inflicted pain upon us. We had become them as we trashed about every little thing that didn’t make us happy for the sole purpose of trashing it. We have separated into little groups of genres that talk down on other genres. Sometimes it has felt like this new generation lives to bring heat on games that didn’t meet there expectations even though the game lived up to what it was suppose to be.

We get sequel upon sequel and we toss it back into developers faces and claim we don’t want it, we pick apart why a game shouldn’t have been made instead of playing and supporting the games we do love and want more of. JRPG’s addicts trash westerns, Fighting lovers tear apart open world games and state that the Fighting genre is much harder to make and for what? So they can feel better?

Then we go off and start becoming another group of people who hate what they use to like and segregate ourselves even more and start new stereotypes based on games we no longer are interest in. For example Call Of Duty has never been a bad action game or a bad shooter for a matter a fact, one can get tired of it yes, but who’s fault is that? Our own, it’s there, we can avoid it, go on and enjoy something else.

These heavily sequel’d games are not shoved in front of our faces, we shove them into our own faces and force ourselves to hate them. But at the same time it’s not like the big 3 are helping. Casual gamers? hardcore gamers? Casual gamer consoles? Why would you segregate yourself from the rest of our beautiful community? Why would you want to break away and keep everyone from being a part of it, a part of you?

The sad thing is that this kind of negativity doesn’t only live in the software side of gaming. It also very much lives in the personal world of ours, but what makes it just as sad is that before gamers were even a thing there have been people in our amazing community that have never been able to feel like they were completely a part of it, even to this date. And to make it a bigger trip is that it has been the people behind our games and communities who have felt this way. There are actually gamers out there who make our games who have at least been disrespected one time in there career for something as simple as there gender while everyone else looked away. If something as simple as gender can outcast one amongst there peers, then it can’t be to hard to imagine something like  race and sexual preference having come into play behind closed doors in the past.

No, not everything is bad, I’m not trying to be a downer, I’m just trying to help everyone understand that gaming is far more complex then it use to be, it’s not just shut up and play games anymore, it’s not just a console. It’s us and has always been us and there’s far more of us now than there has ever been before. And now that we are finally able to reach out to each other across the world it has brought more issues to the table that we now have to give attention to, because they are our problems now. And that is a good thing, because now we can help one another out knowing that there was once a time we couldn’t, knowing that there was once a time no one was willing to extend a helping hand, a time where we were too afraid to ask from the fear that others wouldn’t care or understand.

We fight for hours making the universe a better place with in the worlds of our games, so why  shouldn’t we take that and bring it back home with us? Why do we have to stop once our journey ends? Why must we shush ourselves and others instead of speaking up? Why must we learn to endure hate and toughen up? Our journeys do not stop once we’ve turned off our consoles. It starts when we have put down our controllers, keyboards and mouses and only only then does it begin. 

“An adventurer is like the wind. No one says to where the wind blows, and it should be this way with adventurers too.” –Justin, Grandia