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The Division's beta test gave us a nice taste of what to expect from the final game, but many gamers felt like they've experienced it all before. In fact, The Division has been compared to a certain futuristic MMO-slash-RPG shooter mashup that's now crumbling under its own ambitious weight. According to Ubisoft, our fears are premature, as The Division is "very different" than Destiny.
While playing The Division, it was hard not to see how it parallels Destiny. Both have that same mix of shooter, RPG skillsets and progression, open-world MMO-style scope with drop-in drop-out co-op, PVP modes, and that distinctly grindy loot style. And both games have this sense of disconnect with NPC's, characters and environments. Apparently I'm not alone; most Destiny players feel the same way.
Julian Gerighty, The Division's associate creative director, says that the two games are quite different. "It's hard for me to talk about Destiny, obviously, but thinking about the qualities of The Division: contemporary; virus-ridden real-world city; open-world game. There are a lot of differences that make it stand out, so I think it's a modern game in the way that it's a very co-operative focussed experience. Progression is extremely important. So I would say that they are both very modern and different games."
Having one's own ideas and completely original IP seems like a positive direction to take for any developer, but it seems that it might not necessarily be the most practical route for everyone. Platinum Games, of Bayonetta fame, explained why that's a very difficult route to take.
Speaking to Famitsu, Tatsuya Minami, the chief executive for Platinum Games said that "We used to have the idea that we wanted to be a studio that only made 100 percent original games," He then continued, "However, it turns out that only doing that is considerably difficult, and so now we take on various work."
There are a tremendous amount of risks involved in developing your own and paving your own path. And they don't always pay off it seems. Popularity of your own idea is never guaranteed and you never know what the reception will actually be. You and your team could be incredibly excited about a particular game, but then it might flop before your eyes.
Things aren't looking good for Deep Silver's new Homefront sequel. Initial tests of the upcoming closed beta reveal that the game has tons of problems on the Xbox One, and needs a lot of work before it's ready to hit store shelves.
According to analyses from Eurogamer's Digital Foundry, Homefront: The Revolution's beta suffers from a myriad of dysfunctions, including FPS drops, jittery and jerky animations, and frequent glitches. Digital Foundry further notes that the wonky animations and enemy glitches can be attributed to the CryEngine's poor networking optimization.
The graphical hiccups and disruptive frame rates ultimately break the immersive fluidity that's vital to first-person shooters. Homefront: The Revolution beta apparently runs with an entirely unlocked frame-rate on Xbox One, which is a bad idea given the console's limitations. On top of the unlocked framerates, the game also has an adaptive v-sync that creates ugly tear lines on the screen.
Trackmania has never been your typical racing game anyway, with the ability to put together some of the most insane tracks, limited only by your imagination. And the newest insane addition, Trackmania Turbo, now has a March 22nd release date.
The dynamic racing game was originally intended to be released in late 2015, but that release date was pushed into 2016 back in October so that the developer, Nadeo, could further refine the mechanics of the game based on feedback from fans. The expectations are rather high for a series that's won a Guinness World Record for being the most popular online racing sim with the largest content base of any racing game.
When it releases it'll be available on the Xbox One, PC and the PlayStation 4. It'll support the Oculus Rift and eventually have support for PlayStation VR as well.
There are concerns that The Division might not be as big as some think it is, with Ubisoft only teasing us with the beta. The developer reportedly opened 22% of the full map from the final version of the game.
The news comes from Reddit users who did some great work, overlaying the map from the beta (purple = 22%), while the blue part of the map is from the version of The Division. They put the map onto a grid, with 8165 squares - with the beta taking up 1167 squares. The full game however, has 5315 squared, meaning the beta represented just 22% of the full game.
So we know that the full version of The Division is going to be quite big, but what about the Dark Zone - where that glorious PvP action happens, with better loot and rewards? The Dark Zone is reportedly 18% of the entire map, which is just shy of the size we experienced during the beta. Not too bad at all.
The Division will be released on March 8 for the PS4, Xbox One and PC.
Logitech has a great deal going on with some of its gaming keyboards, where if you pre-order specific models, you'll get The Division for free.
The gaming keyboards you get to choose from are the G810 Orion Spectrum RGB Mechanical Gaming Keyboard which sells for $159.99, or the G910 Orion Spark Mechanical Gaming Keyboard, which costs $179.99. This isn't too damn bad at all, considering you get The Division for free, which would cost $60 on its own.
The Division's beta might be over, but now people are having time to digest what went on with Ubisoft's open-world RPG, and more.
According to Reddit user 'ArekkzGaming', there was a UI option on the PC version of The Division which teases multi-group support. When moving the group panel, an additional panel appears, which could be related to a multi-group system. There's a video that shows this in action, which we have above.
Ubisoft hasn't confirmed or even talked about multi-group raids and activities in The Division yet, but with only a month until the game is out, we would expect Ubisoft to reveal new features and such from the game any day now.
EA has just opened up the beta sign-ups for Mirror's Edge: Catalyst, with PS4, Xbox One and PC owners being able to now put their names down for the closed beta.
We don't know when the closed beta will kick off, but it'll happen sometime between now and May when Mirror's Edge: Catalyst launches. Signing up for the beta doesn't ensure you'll get into it, but at least you'll be in the running.
EA will be offering the Mirror's Edge: Catalyst closed beta through Origin, which makes sense - Origin has become much better in the last year or so, compared to when it first launched. We can all remember those days, can't we?
The forums for the popular zombie apocalypse MMO DayZ have recently been hacked, and the devs at Bohemia Interactive say that the situation is much worse than they anticipated.
According to the dev's Twitter update, the forum user data has been compromised and downloaded by cyber criminals. The security breach is so severe that the developers are advising users to change their global passwords if they match those used on the DayZ forums. So if you use the same password for your banking as the DayZ forums, change it ASAP.
"A security incident occurred on forums.dayzgame.com recently. According to our investigation, all usernames, emails and passwords from the forums were accessed and downloaded by hackers," reads the update. "While the passwords were not stored in plain text, but in a more secure form, it is highly reccommended that you if you have used the same password elsewhere that you change it immediately on all applicable websites and services."
After a month-long lapse, the Overwatch closed beta test is set to wreak FPS chaos once again starting February 9.
Blizzard today announced the schedule, revealing that the beta test will be tweaked with a few content updates. Overwatch will now sport a brand new progression system, two new maps with a fresh game mode to keep things interesting, hero balances (which spells nerfs for some overpowered avatars) and a bevy of Private Game updates such as AI-on-AI battles.
If you had access to the Overwatch beta before the break, then you'll still be able to get in once it resumes next week. Blizzard says they're going to start enlisting fresh players, so if you haven't already, be sure to sign up today.