The Division is shaping up to be Ubisoft’s third-person Destiny, I’m sad to say.

I’ve kept an eye on The Division since footage of the closed beta started being posted to YouTube and I have to say, it’s definitely piqued my interest. I had a bit of hope that it would create a compelling MMO-like experience like the one that Destiny had attempted to create—even though it’s a third-person cover-shooter and is practically doomed to fail—but after a certain developer gaffe, I’m not so sure that Ubisoft’s development studio is even sold on the idea of their Tom Clancy-branded iteration on Destiny.

via PCGamesN

via PCGamesN

Most recently, an interview done by Team Epiphany with unidentified developers of the game revealed that the consoles ports may not see parity with the superior PC version. Some publications jumped to the conclusion from these comments that the more capable PC version of the game was being held back by console version that couldn’t keep up.

A console version of a game not being able to keep up with its PC counterpart? Unheard of.

Today, Ubisoft fired back with, what I’m assuming is, an intentionally vague statement about the quality differences between PC hardware and current generation console. PCGamesN published this comment from Ubisoft as an update to their original writeup:

It has come to our attention that a comment from one of our team members has been perceived by some members of the community to imply the PC version of The Division was ‘held back’ and this is simply not true. From the beginning, the PC version of The Division was developed from the ground up and we’re confident players will enjoy the game and the features this version has to offer. And the feedback from PC players who participated in the recent closed beta supports this.

So, a few things off of the top of my head:

  • Ubisoft’s standard misdirection PR doublespeak is on display here. The statement seems more as if it was aimed at putting PCGamesN on notice instead of offering details that would prove the PC version was not lowered to a console level of parity.
  • “[F]eatures this version has to offer” implies that the PC version of the game is actually meant to have a superior feature set to the console version. What are they going to make available on PC that they won’t allow for console platforms? A first-person mode? VR support? Additional premium content?
  • If other features are available for the PC version or are being A/B tested on (even if I refuse to give Ubisoft that much credit), why haven’t any of the closed beta testers figured out the differences between their version of the game and the console edition given how long the closed beta test ran? I’d imagine that a whole week would have been long enough for the likelihood of someone being able to take part in the test for both versions of the game to be more of a certainty than a chance.
  • Is the original developer quote a case of Ubisoft lowering expectations in the case that the reviews of the game label it as a third-person iteration of Destiny? If that’s the case, does today’s statement mean that Ubisoft wants to lower the standards even more?

Ultimately, I’m not sure I will be paying to find out. Destiny’s grind and lack of value made me feel like a worthless player if I didn’t put fifteen or twenty hours into the game every week, in the end, and I imagine that The Division is ultimately going to demand that same level of commitment to feel any sort of confidence in the game. With the scope of The Division’s playable area unclear before its release, and probably unknown until a couple of weeks after launch, it’s not really possible to judge the game pre-release unless a games journalist wants to break some Ubisoft-imposed embargoes.

It’s too bad, though. I wanted to get into another MMO-ish game.

I suppose I’ll just play one of my classic PS1/PS2 RPGs wait for Fire Emblem Fates to launch. Or try to get out of Silver in CS:GO. One or the other.

I’m beginning to think that I’m more of a console scrub than I previously thought.

I’ve been bitten by the yearly round of the Call of Duty-bug… but this time, I think I don’t mind in the slightest. While the title certainly spoils the conclusion of my thoughts, I think that explaining myself—or ranting, whichever is more descriptive of the following—is probably for best with regards to my sanity. (A sidenote: I am also an EVE Online player, so statements about sanity should be taken with a great degree of disbelief.)

I like keeping things simple. I used to enjoy complexity when it came to computing and figuring things out. It was one of the traits that set me apart from other kids growing up. That and I couldn’t form a proper sentence until early primary school. And I learned how to read upside-down before any sane person would acquire such a skill. And I’m rather tall. Regardless, the experience of picking up a controller and having a reasonable amount of fun without having to tweak with settings, cross my fingers in hopes that my computer would run the game properly and the network play (if the game had any) would work out-of-the-box were compelling reasons for me to forgo doing anything with my PC outside of EVE Online and the odd bout of Team Fortress 2.

Simpletons like myself are often drawn to mainstream shooter titles like the recent Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 because shooting pixels that can potentially represent other players is the new neighborhood pick-up sport-style of proving that the player has skill. I’d like to think that I’m pretty competent with shooter games in general, but the most that I’ve played with any sort of zeal have been games with a mouse and a keyboard. Utilizing a game pad to execute anything was a challenge at first, but I think I’ve gotten used to it. I mean, I’m able to pull off stuff like this:


There are some instances where communication with other players in the game become its own special experience. This is because I’ve never really played a shooter game on Xbox Live before, thus I’ve missed the community’s rules governing talking to other players. One particular practice is to never compliment your opponent. When someone finds a new place to hide, or makes a shot that I’m pretty sure that I couldn’t have made were the roles reversed, I typically give a ‘nice shot, man’ over the headset. I’d like to think that I’m acting like a decent human being by acknowledging a special achievement in a game.

Instead, the typical response I receive from players who could be labeled a ‘tryhard’ or an ‘aspiring MLG champion’ runs the gamut between ‘fuck off’ to ‘shut up, faggot’ and other possibilities between. With that crude retort, the conversation was over before it began when it came to complements.

When the roles are switched and I make the fortunately-timed right trigger pull to frag a player who believes that he/she is supposed to win the round, the kindness I tend to distribute when I’m the one fragged isn’t returned in kind. Instead, I hear ‘get the fuck out’ or ‘nigger please’ or something voicing their frustration at me. Normally, I let these exclamations go without reply and I just keep playing the way that I generally do—not very well, but getting lucky sometimes.

In one case, I can remember doing pretty well in a match and replying with ‘don’t blame me because you shot at me first and missed, man’ which might not have been the best way to diffuse the situation.

The following is a paraphrased reply:

The fuck? Who are you? Your KDR is only 0.95, man. You’re so bad at this game, why do you even play it? I mean, yeah, I missed you, but you got so fucking lucky—ugh—fucking lag compensation, I swear to God that Treyarch is really fucking up this—actually, I’m going back to Modern Warfare 3 if they don’t fix this in the next patch because I’m getting shot like this all the time by fucking pubbies like you.

I mean, why would someone play a game like this if they are that easily tilted? How quick to attack does the typical Xbox Live-playing try-hard have to be in order to deserve the air of superiority they project?

And then, it hits me—I have a little bit of the troll in me, I think.

All I’ve been doing with the game lately is playing without a primary weapon and relying on a pistol alone to be able to dispatch opponents. Personally, I find that it’s more fun, if not just as much fun, as using what might be considered the primary weaponry in the game.

Is that not the perfect troll? Players who take any match seriously can lose to someone not using half of the function that the game provides on purpose. This truth signaled that my gaming preference really has changed considerably.

A second truth also confirmed what I suspected of myself after putting tens of hours into Skyrim and Borderlands 2, that I am now that which I had hated at one point: someone that would prefer simplicity in entertainment over the superiority of the endless configurations possible on a PC—a console scrub.