Originally published on Trevor Trove on March 7, 2016
The long-awaited Tom Clancy’s The Division launches/launched tonight. Originally announced during E3 2013, the game has never managed to draw me in. Early footage hit me at a time when I wasn’t particularly interested in third-person shooters and then the game suffered delay upon delay finally being released to the world now nearly three years later. The Tom Clancy name has zero weight in my gaming history. And nothing I’ve heard out of the Betas for the game has ever suggested this to be a game for me.
It’s entirely possible some of my apathy toward the title stems from Ubisoft themselves, as well. The gameplay demos/trailers from E3 2015 for both The Division and Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege raised my cackles when they showed off their multiplayer elements with their highly scripted “comm chatter” that struck me as incredibly disingenuous. The only time I imagine a team of players would ever sound like this chatting over Xbox Live or the PlayStation Network would be if they were a team of Navy Seals unwinding or something like that. The Ubisoft Marketing team presented a new level of fantasy that pretty much nobody would ever experience and it left a bad taste in my mouth.
Of course, that brings me to the multiplayer-centric nature of the game, itself. While there is a single-player component to the title, I haven’t seen anything that dissuades me from believing it to be very similar to Destiny in that regard. And as someone who poured many many hours into that title, I walked away from it acutely aware that the game was built for the multiplayer experience and kept many of its best experiences behind that wall. So much like I never got to experience any of Destiny’s raids, The Division’s “dark zone” and team-work/betrayal features would simply remain unknown to me were I to pick the game up.
Lastly, there might still be residual buyer’s remorse on the Ubisoft-front from supporting games like Watch_Dogs, Assassin’s Creed Unity, and Far Cry 4 in 2014. Of those three, the only one I actually enjoyed was Far Cry but even that game was far too derivative of its predecessor to feel like I had invested in something new and worthwhile. Now if they were still also producing titles like Child of Light and Valiant Hearts, they’d be much quicker to get back in my good graces.
If you’re diving in to The Division tonight/this week: best wishes! I hope you have a great time! Maybe I’ll take the opportunity to revisit LEGO Dimensions and Fallout 4…