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I Can't Wait to Play It...For Now

Shannon Doyle Posted:
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Convention lines are a fact of life. But lining up for…I didn’t even know what, that was something new. The Division was hidden inside a giant box. There was no sound coming from it, no hints at what might be inside. Our only choice was to jump in and find out for ourselves. While waiting we wondered, would we finally be getting hands on time with the game I’ve been eagerly awaiting since it was first announced?

Sadly as we walked in and saw the theater set up we knew the answer would be no. It was to be another presentation with more video to tease us and developers talking about how awesome the game is. At least we had to assume that was what the developers were talking about. The entire presentation was done in German. Which wasn’t so bad considering that we were in Germany and two thirds of the small crowd there said that they understood German. But for the rest of us we were told not to worry, that it would all be ok and we would be able to follow along easily.

For the most part this was true. I may not know the details of what they were talking about but the familiar footage of the trek through the subway and firefight that took place afterwards was how they started it all off. The only difference this time being that we got to see the UI in the video rather than just the gameplay.

The second scenario involved a firefight on the streets in front of a supermarket. And when I say firefight I really mean firefight. The enemy had flamethrowers. Perhaps the most exciting part of that scenario was seeing the gameplay from the tablet point of view as well as those players on the ground. This was something entirely new and sort of makes me think I need a tablet when I eventually am able to buy the game sometime next year.

This was the first chance to see the game being played on the Xbox One and a tablet. Of course during these sorts of presentations there is always a bit of doubt over whether or not people are actually playing the games while you’re watching them. This was still true of this presentation. Especially because they used the subway sequence which looked absolutely identical to the video we’ve all seen before. But I have to say, if that was indeed actual gameplay we were seeing; the videos we’ve been seeing so far are no lie. It is a beautiful and very well made game.

But, as much as I want to love this game, as much as I can’t wait to FINALLY try it out for myself I find myself growing bored. We saw the same footage we’ve seen before just with little bits of UI added in. And sure, we saw a bit of something new but it wasn’t really all that new. Sure visually it was new. We were in a new location and instead of guns the enemy had flamethrowers. But it was just more gameplay. We’ve been seeing gameplay videos for well over a year now with nothing really substantially new to be added.

The sad fact of the matter is that the game was announced too soon. A year early is pushing it, but two years? No, I’m sorry I am going to lose interest. The very same thing happened to me with ArcheAge. I had been so excited for ArcheAge when it was first announced. Then after waiting ages with little to no word on its progress and I checked out. I’ve not played any of the beta weekends and so long as there are other writers happy to do so I likely will never play it. The Division is quickly coming to that point in my mind. Yeah, it was great to see it at Gamescom, and yeah, I’ve looked forward to it at all the major conventions. But I’m reaching the point of not caring.

This doesn’t only have an impact on my gaming though. It also has an impact on Gamescom itself. Gamescom is exciting for two reasons. Number one, it is the largest video games convention in the world. And number two, each year is different from the last. If the trend of announcing games years in advance continues then Gamescom will turn into a repeat. ‘Didn’t go last year? That’s ok! The games they had last year are all there again this year because they still aren’t out!’ This is…less than ideal. At least I think so as I attend Gamescom every year.

Hopefully by next Gamescom The Division will be live and we will be talking instead about Ubisoft’s next great project, whatever it may be. It really was great seeing the presentation, even if I couldn’t understand a word of it. The UI itself looks very streamlined and attractive. You can catch glimpses of it and the rest of the presentation in the teaser trailer that was released for Gamescom 2014 which is posted above in the article. Hopefully the full presentation will make its way to Youtube very soon so everyone can experience it. Until then though, you’ll just have to take my word on it. If next year at Gamescom 2015 we’re still waiting for the game to launch or even worse, still waiting for hands-on time with it then it may be time to start questioning marketing strategy for games. All that said though, the game still looks epic, and I still can’t wait to play it…for now.


Shannon Doyle