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Edited by Spawn: 1/30/2016 1:10:59 PM

Worry not, Desticles.

This s just an opinion piece on the The Division beta, so take it with a spoonful of salt (widely available in the forums for you all). I played it most of the day yesterday and here is what I thought, divided into categories and compared to destiny for you all: Graphics: The game looks alright in motion, but stand still for a bit and its actually kind of ugly. I couldn't quite put my finger in it, but i believe its the lack of global illumination causing this. As you know (or maybe not) Destiny is one of the few games on consoles to use global illumination and as a result, things just feel [i]right[/i]. nothing looks out of place and the world seems graphically concise. everything belongs in the environments and light interactions are believable. In the division, things don't quite match. shadows under cars are odd, objects have some all around illumination that doesn't quite matches what the human eye would expect from a real life scenario. Destiny doesn't do humans exceptionally well, but The Division lacks there when it comes to material shaders (read here, skin) and facial animation. The character that speaks to you from the get go has some horribly animated speech patterns more akin of 2008. The character models are otherwise good and well detailed, however, so points there. All of the above is passable, as the game is roundabout on the average graphical threshold for graphical prowess. The true downfall of The Division in this department comes from the incredible amount of pop-in and objects not loading as expected. Let me exemplify the first: get you character and start running through the streets. Look ahead and you will see phone booths or barricades suddenly pop in, sometimes as close as 20 metres in front of you. Twice I walked past some Coca-Cola like trucks and they weren't loaded fully, only having the low poly super low res models there. The wheels were triangles and the textures were illegible. It bothered [i]me[/i]. Onto the art direction then: The Division is heavily grounded on the real world, having NYC as the setting. This is cool as you get a fully functional city to explore. Well, actually, no. More on the City limitations later, but for now think about this: I play Destiny because I like the game mechanics, but it very much helps me stay for the long haul that the environments are varied. we have 3 planets, a moon and a creepy spaceship by Saturn to explore. Things just look different, each of those have their own types of buildings and decoration (let alone enemies). it truly helps that Bungie has a good a art department. The vistas and skyboxes are gorgeous and despite spending over 1000 hours in Destiny, I sometimes still stop midway through a mission to admire the sky or some cool little detail on the map. Massive (the folk that made The Division) might have a GREAT art department for all I know, but the setting of the game greatly limits their scope on variety and how to diversify the game. This I feel will be one of the downfalls of the game as after just one day of exploring every nook and cranny of the available beta map, I was kinda fed up with finding the same trash bins and cement blocks scattered around similar looking buildings. The snow thankfully gives it a nicer touch but I don't think they can do much with it otherwise. Side note, it would be awesome if they had a weather system where the weather follows real life conditions of NYC and seasons go by naturally. In the end of the day, I would much rather look up and see Saturn from its own rings than another tall building. This limitation also extend itself to the enemies and characters. In Destiny you may have all sorts of armor and guns, sometimes made like traditional medieval era armor, sometimes made of future tech looking things and sometimes straight out of flesh and bones. I got bored of the 5 similar looking jackets I got in The Division real fast. Sound: I felt as if the initial cutscene has a bit of a sync issue with the character which was speaking, but i will toss that up to the bad mouth animation. Other than that, I enjoyed the sound design. Guns fired with a satisfying thud and sounded different enough from one another. Echoing of gunshots and explosions had a really satisfying echo to them and I felt like I could genuinely tell the direction they were coming from based on how it bounced off of the buildings. Kudos to them there. Voice acting felt a bit forced, but still reasonably ahead of what vanilla Destiny had to offer, but This is kind of a partial judgement as the Beta has very little in terms of dialog. I particularly enjoyed this one vendor swearing at me, it characterized the situation well: a somewhat shady vendor operating on the border of a dark zone where shit is going down inside and people kill one another all the time. Yeah, she was right in calling me names. The gun sound design here is nicer, I feel. Guns in Destiny can sometimes sound super cool and the variety of sounds is nice BUT I find that most of them feel plastic-y and don't carry a satisfying low pitch thud to them. I love shooting my Hawksaw but god damn it sounds so bland. Gameplay: This is the harder one to draw parallels, at least when it comes to the core shooting. Destiny is an FPS and The division is 3PS, so here goes nothing. The Division shooting feels like its somewhere between TLOU (The Last of Us) and Gears of War. Not bad, really. It is mostly nice for a 3rd person shooter. The aiming camera is positioned well and shooting form cover was pretty decent. The only thing that bothered me was the way the recticle drifts a bit when you stop pushing on the analog stick. it was too floaty for my taste. The character moving felt a bit awkward. Shooting mechanics felt decisively slower, due to the 3rd person nature, so don't expect any sweaty encounters in PVP like you get in destiny, the game simply isn't geared to that competitive scene. With that said, it worked well for PVE. Encounters were definitively less hectic that in Destiny but the slower pace allowed for much more strategic thinking on how to tackle enemies. I personally prefer the craziness of Destiny's fast paced shooting but I can certainly appreciate the direction of The Division. One sticky point for me, however, was the close quarters. If (and hope to god this doesn't happen to you) you let an enemy carrying a baseball bat come too close to you, good luck. Despite the game being in 3rd person, the melee attack feels just like a FPS melee does. its a single, one directional move. Close quarters have no contextual interactions and the camerawork becomes cumbersome, so you better down those bat-yielding mofos as soon as you can from as far as possible. The CQC leaves a lot to be desired (or maybe I missed some vital information on how to light close quarters, but more on that later). The loot mechanics seemed reasonable, and customizing your weapons with accessories was nice, adding an extra layer of depth that we just don't get with RNG perks in Destiny. Sure, getting an accessory might be RNG based, but you can apply them to all weapons of that class (As far as the beta goes). The loot system is remarkably like destiny on the tiers. Lower tier gear is white, then followed by green, blue, purple and the coveted yellows working much like exotics. At this point I have no idea if you can have multiple yellows equipped at once but nothing indicates otherwise. The loot menus give some nice information on gun DPS, which is a real nice bonus over what we get in Destiny, and the game has similar stat system to Destiny when it comes to armor. There is a defense number, followed by 3 possible stat boots that work much the same way as intellect, discipline and strength do in Destiny. If you are familiar with the Destiny look you will be right at home in The Division. I don't know how much of a fickle b**ch their RNG is going to be at the end, but here is hope that its nicer than Bungie's system. EDIT: had to add a shot version of the rest as it was not letting me post: I had more to write but the forum -blam!-ed up on me. maybe I will update this later. Short version of the rest: I found their Xur, a guy selling yellow tier guns for a lot of in game currency. I laughed at it. Enemies are red, purple and yellow bar, indicating how hard they are. Bullet sponging wasn't so bad (better than destiny's beta) but unloading 3 mags ona dudes head breaks immersion a LOT. PVP was very nice and different, tho not competitive in any way. City map was big at first glance but its barren of stuff to do and most the buildings are closed off so its mostly an outside corridor.There is a lot of walking involved, which got boring. Hud is very busy and I probably missed some stuff as you are kinda just thrown in there. the learning curve for it had a big initial step. Thank you bungie for such a simple clean Hud. Connectivity was dogshit for me and 2 guys I played with. Errors connecting to the server, errors joining groups (fireteams), servers down for maintenance twice already. And I thought Destiny's connectivity was bad. There is some sort of delay between bullet hitting and numbers popping up even on PVE, so sometimes I don't know if my stream of bullets was enough to kill. All in All I don't feel like The Division will take many players from destiny as it suffers form some similar problems (also does some things better and some things worse) but the game environment will get boring really fast as its all the same. ALSO: their microtransactions are BS. way worse than Destiny's and will actually impact gameplay. Thats a big no-no to me.

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