Tom Clancy’s The Division just had its first open beta, and is already being referred to as “The Destiny Killer” among some factions of the gamer community. But is this the game that will defeat Destiny and take away its gaming base?
That depends on why people play either game.
At the outset, I was confused that people were even making comparisons between the two games. The Division is a third-person shooter, much more tactical and strategic than Destiny, with a more realistic world.
Did I say realistic? What I honestly want to say is boring. I am bored to death of brown and grey shooters set in metropolitan areas. But, judging from how well these types of games do in the market, I’m obviously the minority in that opinion.
Destiny, on the other hand, is a sci-fi first-person shooter, with a focus on casual, cooperative play in the standard open-world. Filled with aliens, spaceships and pod-racers, it looks like it has an interesting backstory. It probably does, but I’ve never logged off of my game to head to the website to read my little cards, so I don’t really know.
I play Destiny in the same way that I play Candy Crush: it’s pretty, simplistic and it feels good. The gameplay mechanics of the main Destiny mode feel flawless to me. Destiny is all about chatting with my friends while shooting monsters in the face.
The Division, on the other hand, has a much darker tone. Literally, in The Dark Zone, players will be able to steal your hard-earned loot, betray alliances and leave you with nothing.
My time with The Division beta showed me a game in which I would need to spend a lot of time thinking and planning. And staying in cover. And re-organizing my stats depending on situations. It felt like a true RPG, just one with a boring city and modern setting instead of a fanciful land filled with elves and lizard people. It just didn’t appeal to me. The shooting mechanics didn’t feel as satisfying either.
But am I the norm? I’ve already mentioned that I don’t think I am. The more I looked into the discussion, the more I realized that the average gamer probably will leave Destiny for The Division, unless they are a PS4 player (there’s some 30-day timed exclusive stuff going on with the Xbox One).
Destiny has made several missteps throughout its lifetime. From repetitive missions to a muddled story to laggy PVP to not seeming to understand just what it is that fans want-this game is no perfect princess. I remember my first week playing Destiny. I fought that purple orb guy on Earth about eighty-two times. Friends asked me why I played it. My only response was that it scratched some sort of color-coded loot drop itch. That’s not really a lot of attachment there on my part.
And now, more than ever, Destiny has let down its fanbase. One has only to peek in on Reddit to see that even the most die-hard fans, the ones who played the game because they truly loved it, are fed up and looking for a reason to force Bungie to get its act together.
What better way than by leaving to try a new MMO shooter? And this particular MMO shooter contains The Dark Zone.
If anything can steal away Destiny players, it will be The Division’s Dark Zone area. The competitive-shooter-loving players who hate Destiny’s weak PVP will love the intense atmosphere of The Dark Zone. It can’t be repetitive because the very vibe of the map can change any given day, depending on how many people decide to go rogue and how many choose to work together. Those who love the cooperation and looting aspects of Destiny will find that same environment in The Division. The feeling of a huge, open world? Still here in The Division.
I think a significant portion of Destiny players will hop over to The Division, and, while they’re there, they may discover that The Dark Zone’s wild, lawless nature is more compelling than any repetitive raid in Destiny. In the meantime, I’ll patiently await the next actual console MMO. The kind with the elves.
Tom Clancy’s The Division is set to release on March 8, 2016.