The new photo mode in The Division 2 lets you "step out" of the game, moving the camera around and adding filters, to capture some very atmospheric images. You can tell everyone involved poured a lot into this new game.
3 min read
The original game has been my mainstay for a couple of years now. An original concept of NYC collapsing after an engineered smallpox pandemic. Completing missions, grinding for gear and commendations kept it interesting.
With the second one announced, I was all in. I have already pre-order The Division 2, and I was lucky to get a beta code from E3 last year too.
I really like the time and location jump. Washington D.C. in the sweltering summer after the pandemic. The city looks overgrown and falling apart.
Adding 'Settlements' that you have to help and maintain is something is interesting. Adding to the lore and continual play. Holding "control points" also looks like a challenge.
With the rise of new factions, and the promise of an "invasion" as part of the endgame, has me sold.
Good grief it's dark. Running into internal corridors, or in the open world at night and it's hard to see anything.
I turned the brightness up to 20 (the highest setting) and I still couldn't see half the stuff. I don't expect to see everything, but not knowing what you're stuck on right under your feet is an issue.
In the first game, sound design was great! It was immersive and gave great clues where people were. In this beta I had big issues with the sound - as in there was none.
I would go into combat and have zero sound. Running around in a silent movie didn't help. Both times I tried 'Conflict' all I could hear was the wind. Made it unplayable.
When it was there though, it was excellent and atmospheric.
I'm not the greatest fan of PvP to be honest. In the first Division game I would go into the Dark Zone only when I had to for the first year of play. It's in the Division 2. I'll play it, but I don't have much to say.
Yes, it's a beta so we're still running out the kinks. Some though were very annoying. I mentioned the sound, but there was also a delay when firing certain weapons which felt weird.
Completing the hostage rescue only to find you couldn't actually rescue him. It didn't register the door opened or you in the room.
When talking to NPCs, I'd get trapped in boxes or behind barriers. Also NPCs would walk through the scenery.
I'm sold. The graphics are better, the world larger and felt more interactive.
If they can sort out the sound and small glitches (this was a beta) then I can see losing vast amounts of time on this.
2 min read
Anthem is a new game from Bioware and EA Games. The demo released this weekend so I thought I'd spend a little time running through it.
Before I could get started I had to login with an EA/Origin account. This meant searching old emails and finally doing a password reset.
Screenshots seemed disabled, so no photos yet.
Now I'm in, I have to say, the world looks great. Has a slight Afro-futurist version of a Morocco souk vibe to it. Being a demo there's only 2 people you can talk with, so I ended up with a lot of "content not available" pop-ups.
After accepting "the mission" I actually chose Freeplay (which is a roam around and do stuff mode). Climbed into my Javelin (souped-up Iron Man suit) and off I went.
The environment is beautiful and teeming with "life". Flying overheats your suit, going through water cools it down.
Running out of the approved map was very annoying and I hope this was because it's a demo.
It took a couple of tries to grok what was happening with my first encounter. I died and ran out of ammo - a lot. I couldn't see what I was supposed to do. I did notice these appeared and disappeared around me a couple of times which I found weird.
I could see other players on the map, even got messages they needed help. I couldn't set a way point or find their direction after leaving the map which was frustrating.
There felt like a lot of reading to do in the sub-menus and I didn't find a comfortable entry point.
I'm going to be playing this some more over the weekend. Midnight was probably not the best time to start.