When it first came out five months ago, I was taken with Destiny: The Taken King and why shouldn’t I be? But, as Bungie proved to us time and time again, the shine would soon fade from sight and we’d see things yet again as they are. The Taken King changed a lot for Destiny and most of it was good. Some of it wasn’t. Time and time again, though, we’ve also proven that we just can’t put Destiny down. It’s a game that you come back to when you’re bored and just want to kill some time. Call of Duty, Battlefront, Battlefield, and even Rainbow Six: Siege have all tried to dethrone Bungie’s shared world shooter. None of them have and there hasn’t been any real challenge to the title.
Until now. As divided as fans were before, the schism is about to get a lot bigger. Back in 2013, Ubisoft announced Tom Clancy’s The Division, a multiplayer open-world third-person cover shooter RPG set in a dystopic New York after the outbreak of a deadly virus during Black Friday. The release date was pushed back and pushed back and now it finally has a date: March 8, 2016. Before it could reach that date, however, it needed an alpha. People signed up and people were chosen. Non-disclosure agreements were signed. Testing came and went last month. Now, the closed beta has been announced for January 28, 2016 and fans are ecstatic. Massive Entertainment, Red Storm, Ubisoft. These are the names you’ll see associated with this game and these are the names we look forward to uttering for a long time. While Ubisoft’s track record is questionable depending on who you ask, Massive Entertainment’s renown was, well, massive back before Ubisoft bought them out. I can’t help but trust their judgment on the matter and assume the best when it comes to these companies.
In the game, players create their characters who are agents of a special task force known as The Division whose sole purpose is to restore order to a broken city. Along the way they’ll team up with other players, gathering gear and resources to take on various factions – the Rikers, the Cleaners, and even fellow agents gone rogue – all in the name of restoring order. There are some nice weapons with various upgrades as well as sweet-looking skills capable of wrecking an enemy combatant. Auto-turret, anyone? Smart bomb that rolls along the ground and explodes next to the baddies? Riot shield? Portable cover? The Division has it all. And, as players progress, they’ll unlock bases of operation where they can resupply and meet up with other agents controlled by fellow players that they can team up with to tackle Dark Zones, PVP-possible areas with stronger-than-normal NPCs and high tier rewards.
What we’ve seen of The Division so far is beyond stellar and it’s only a few weeks away from the closed beta. If you’re interested in the beta at all, you need but preorder the game for guaranteed access or you can sign-up on their website and have a chance at getting into the beta. As I announced earlier, the beta drops first for Xbox One on January 28 and runs through January 31. The game is set to release worldwide on March 8, 2016 for Xbox One, Playstation 4, and PC.