The Division vs. Destiny: Is this open world shooter rpg "destined" to fail?

With The Division coming in about a week and a half, fans have an uncomfortable feeling of Deja Vu.

No matter how you spin it, Destiny saw had a lot of unhappy players within the first couple months of release.

There is a huge concern that Tom Clancy's The Division is going to go down the same route because both games are considered open world shooter rpgs -- and Ubisoft's reputation isn't exactly the best these days. It's understandable that some question as to whether Ubisoft can create longevity in their game when Bungie couldn't with Destiny.

A Quick Look at Destiny

Destiny promised to be this big open world first-person shooter multiplayer with a great narrative and smooth gameplay designed to create a compelling world that keeps you engaged. Since it was said that the game series would span 10 years, fans were eager to see what Bungie and Activision had up their sleeves to keep this game from becoming stale. All this hype had fans going crazy for anything Destiny. Posters, documents, new information, and trailers all teased Destiny as the game of the year. As more information was released, and more assets were shown, fans expectations soared.

However, when the title finally launched it did not live up to what fans were hoping it would be. The vast galaxy was only a few planets, the story was uninspired, the rpg elements did not function as well as players had hoped, and finding a group to play with was hard. Lack of content, as well as grinding resources and bounties for better gear also did not resonate well with players.

Although it did not live up to expectations at launch, that does not mean the game was bad. The game mechanics were spot on with a fluid combat that is satisfying. Shooting, jumping, gliding, and melee blend well as you slay your foes. Destiny's graphics were gorgeous and the little details like dust storms on Mars or vegetation on Venus did a good job of making you really feel like part of the universe of Destiny; even if it was not the most expansive universe to be in. 

Despite its faults, Destiny succeeded well commercially, selling millions of copies and has an enormous player base that still plays the game even though it did not fulfill all their expectations. The DLC packs that followed its release improved on a lot of gripes players had with things like PvP, story, raids and gear.

In short, Destiny is a great first-person shooter that excels at graphics and gameplay but failed to deliver the game that fans expected and poorly executed the mmorpg elements it tried to implement.

 Will The Division share the same fate?

With The Division being the next big game the gaming world is talking about, we can't help but feel as though history could be repeating itself here.

The Division is an open world shooter with RPG mechanics and multiplayer areas. You play in a disease-ruined New York divided into a lawless, dilapidated jungle. You and a band of friends build your base of operation, and go around the city fighting enemies and earning loot. The world is full of other players that you can easily link up with to take on missions and there are PvP zones where you can find the best loot in the game, but you must get the bounty extracted via helicopter and defend it for a set time from other players.

As of late, The Division has been compared to Destiny in terms of genre, but where Destiny succeeds at movement, animation, and gameplay, The Division lacks. It has been compared to  Gears of War in terms of cover mechanics. Gears of War uses one button to sprint, take cover, and vault, but The Division dedicated separate buttons to these actions, making the experience choppy and not as seamless.

The game looks fantastic even if it is a graphical downgrade from its reveal. The scenery of a destroyed New York is great and the music complements day/night cycle of the game very well.

As with Destiny, there are a large number of people out there who are eager to get their hands on The Division when it launches. The game's developers to be learning from Destiny's mistakes. The recent betas show that Ubisoft is taking steps to get player feedback early and show players just what they will be getting into. Everything from the trailers seems to be playable from what was seen in the Alpha Test and the Beta and most of the problems that Destiny had have yet to be seen.  

Ubisoft is keeping the story under wraps for the most part. We do know that the RPG elements are not really groundbreaking. Server crashes are feared at launch,and the lack of content outside of the story is a lingering worry. The exclusion of Staten Island, Brooklyn, and Long Island at launch have some worried that there will not be enough content to keep players playing until the free and purchasable DLCs come out. 

Impressions videos and Reddit posts around the web have been saying that the game is enjoyable. Players are eager to get their hands on the final product. Others express that there is nothing that makes The Divison unique gameplay wise and a lot of elements in the game have been done before. 

Only time will tell if The Division will end up like Destiny but what can be assured is that, like the best and worst game of 2014, there will be a stubborn player base with a love/hate relationship with Ubisoft that will not be able to put The Division down.



Published Feb. 28th 2016
View Comments
  • Si_W
    The biggest problem with Destiny was that it was console only...
  • Anthony Rossi
    Destiny also suffered from a change in internal staff and narrative direction late in the game's development. Although Bungie is constantly updating the game's core, the lack of relevant content i feel is what is pushing people away.

    As for The Division, I have heard nothing but high praise for the game, and I am HOPING that they watched what Destiny's shortfalls were and are working to avoid those things!
  • topher339
    That's what pushed me from Destiny. My brother got me the Taken King. And while it's an improvement over Destiny (which I had sold) I couldn't help but feel that not only should it have been included in the first place but that none of the content felt all to relevant. It didn't feel like a personal story or that it even had much story.

    The Stranger showed up several times in Destiny but just dropped from the game afterward (haven't quite finished Taken King so I may be wrong). I just feel like there is so much that is left unexplained in the game. I've all but stopped playing because the story simply does not compel me to finish it. I just feel that whatever ending the game has it can't be good enough to warrant more time spent leveling so I can actually finish it on my own.

    The Division on the other hand looks like it will actually have everything that people expected of it and Destiny.
  • Anthony Rossi
    A huge part of that is that all of the lore is in the Grimoire Cards, which you can only access through the mobile app or going to the Bungie website. If you take the time to do that, the lore is VERY deep and rich. But, you have to leave the game entirely and flip through entry after entry to find it.

    I remember when the Grimiore was first revealed, nobody like it. Even the the crew of Guardian Radio agreed that they should've included the lore in to something like the Codex of Mass Effect. At least then you could've remained in game and read them as they appeared.

    The Taken King has plenty of content, and the game finally feels complete with it included. The problem now is that each time a new DLC is released, the old DLC becomes irrelevant. All the year 1 gear is worthless and the only Raid that gives you any gear of worth is Oryx.

    I could go on, but I think we both agree that there are plenty of issues with Destiny. I wasn't able to personally play the Division Beta, but of the podcasts I listen to there are two persistent points:
    1 - everyone seems to love it and
    2 - just like Destiny, it is WAY better if you play with friends. there is stuff to do while playing solo, but both games were designed to by played with a small group.
  • topher339
    And that really kind of hits the nail on the head for me. If they had the lore in-game, good. If they integrated it into the story, amazing. If they put it all into a book, I would buy it and read it. But I don't want to log into the website every time I unlock a new card. Of course, the year differences don't help anything either.

    As for the Division. I had the good opportunity to play through the Alpha and Beta. The game was great. There really isn't much I don't like about it. The only thing that bugs me is you can't headshot-kill the enemies but that's just part of getting used the MMO side of the game.

    The only thing I hate, the Dark Zone. And that's mostly due to my bad experiences with it. I pretty much always play solo due to the fact that none of my friends can afford a One. I often found myself dying within minutes of entering the zone. A single player is an easy kill for a group of rogues. It annoyed me so much I just stopped trying to get anything done in the Dark Zone. It simply ceased to be worth the aggravation.

    Other than that, it's great. And I imagine it is a lot more fun with friends.

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