(Originally published on Gamer Professionals)
There has been a small debate between gamers about the upcoming game, The Division, and popular FPS-RPG, Destiny. The debate is that some believe The Division is coming out at a time where Destiny is dry in content, which will result in an exodus of players from Destiny due to boredom. I do see why people would choose to compare these two games; they’re both multiplayer-shooter RPGs for consoles, which are quite rare in the industry. The problem with this argument though is that they’re both quite different in ways of gameplay. Basically, there are aspects of The Division that long-time Destiny fans may not enjoy. I’d like to take a closer look into why this argument simply doesn’t make sense and is unnecessary.
First, let’s talk about Destiny. It is a FPS-RPG (some would call it an MMO) from Bungie, the creators of the immensely popular games known as Halo. The game takes place in a dystopian future a few hundred years after humanity’s golden age. As the player, you are an ancient warrior resurrected to fight the angry hordes of aliens that wish to destroy the last human-populated city in the universe. You’ll be able to pick up a large variety of weaponry while playing, including swords, that you’ll be able to use against the unique alien races within the game. This game, despite how wonderful the description makes it sound, was actually one of the most disappointing games of 2014. When it first released, it was lacking in end-game content that was vitally needed after the poorly written story that lasted for a good three hours if you knew what you were doing. This was a major setback for the game and some would even argue that it’s the reason Destiny lost a large amount of players. Along with this, in the one year it’s been out it has managed to pick up some major controversy, which didn’t really appeal to anyone.
Enough about the game’s failures though: let’s talk about gameplay. Destiny is largely about playing for loot while making friends along the way. The better loot you find, the better you’ll be able to progress and mow through enemies. Now like a normal MMO, the game encourages cooperation and teamwork with other players for the best experience. This is where Destiny sets itself apart from most MMOs (at least that I’ve played). In most MMOs, you’ll get a slight experience boost for playing with one another, but in Destiny, you cannot progress and get the best loot in the game without teamwork. There are raids within the game where it’s almost necessary to play with a team of six and these raids hold some of the most fun and cool looking weapons in the game. Then I could go into PvP, but honestly it’s just Call of Duty with super powers and more lag.
Now, let’s talk about the supposed “challenger”, The Division. The game isn’t fully released yet so we can’t take an in-depth look into the game, but we do know a lot about the gameplay due to the recent closed beta. The Division is a TPS MMORPG from Ubisoft, the creators of the popular Assassin’s Creed games. The game takes place in devastated New York City after a smallpox pandemic spreads on Black Friday. As the player, you’re part of an elite squad, known as the Division, who are told by the President himself to restore New York City to its former glory. This already sounds a lot like Destiny. They’re both shooters that have MMORPG aspects and both have a story about trying to return a certain area to what it once was, but the gameplay is really the difference here. The Division is a game that relies more on strategy and planning than going into situations gung-ho like in Destiny. The player is forced to stay in cover if they wish to live and have to use their arsenal sparingly if they wish to survive multiple encounters due to the limited amount of ammo they have.
This is really only a slight aspect that might turn away a few players, but really what sets The Division apart from Destiny is the multiplayer. In The Division there is a certain area called the Dark Zone, which holds the best gear. This area is aptly named because it’s dark, resources are valuable, and other players will kill you for them. While in the Dark Zone, your objective is to gather weapons and armor for yourself and get to a helipad to have a helicopter come to secure your earnings. Key word in that sentence is ‘secure’ because before the helicopter takes it away, players can kill you and take it from you. This feature promotes killing, but players may also choose to work together for a safer and more profitable journey into the Dark Zone. This area seems to be a highly competitive area for resources and is the main feature that makes it different from Destiny.
Now that I’ve explained these games more in-depth, let’s look at why they are different and reach our verdict. Destiny is a game that is based around teamwork for better loot. The Division is a game that is based around teamwork or killing for better loot. This key difference will discourage many Destiny player from making the switch over to The Division, even while Destiny is in a dry period. Many gamers don’t like the competitive aspect that The Division will provide. It’s a game that’s for the more intense player; the one who can take a beating, the one who will do anything to keep his/her loot. I, myself, know I’ll be playing the heck out of The Division even as a long-time Destiny player, but I know many gamers out there who hate the idea of losing hard earned loot because another player took it from them. I honestly think I’ll love having that survival instinct take part in a game; it’s fun. Do I kill this guy for his gear or do I want to be allies with them? It’s a cool concept that many Destiny players would not enjoy. To sum it up, The Division is for the more competitive/patient player while Destiny is for those looking to have a good time playing with pals and strangers alike.