Will Destiny or the Division offer the best online experience?
Now before I'm attacked by claims that Destiny is not an MMO and that Bungie have preferred to label the game as a "shared-world shooter", though I personally like to call it "a failed attempt at an MMO", I'm aware they don't call it one. Let's face it, Bungie attempted to make an MMO but then appeared to be frightened of ostracising certain kinds of gamers, so stripped it back and removed a lot of aspects that could have made it a great one.
The game tries to be far too many things for far too many people, thus it broadened its horizons too far and flattened them into a beautiful albeit banal world in which players can grind and grind and grind. Am I being too harsh here? Look, I've had a lot of fun with Destiny. The combat is a pleasure and the varying enemy types, strike missions and crucible can still be enjoyable. But its "story" and interactive methods with other players are far too restrictive.
Thus, we're left with a game that feels like Bungie spent 500 million Dollars on, in order for them to realise that they didn't learn the techniques that many game developers of MMOs had done years before. Maybe Destiny can get better and better with time, but they'd need to seriously increase its size for starters and let their players interact with one another far more.
Where does Destiny leave The Division?
Obviously we can't completely compare these two since Tom Clancy's The Division won't be out until 2015, but seeing as we have a full picture of Destiny, the game we thought was going to be better, we have a certain formula to judge the next Tom Clancy game with.
In terms of numbers there is almost no way that The Division can match the numbers of Destiny, that's a given. I mean Destiny has an average of 3.2 million visitors a day! A DAY (granted I still am one of them)! Therefore, I highly doubt that Ubisoft are pumping $50 million into their game and are looking for this kind of following. But where Destiny wins in terms of quantity, could The Division win in terms of quality?
The differences between The Division and Destiny
There are a lot of variables we have to take into account with these games. Destiny is a FPS set on various planets with a focus that shifts away from reality with special powers and futuristic weapons, whereas The Division will be third-person shooter and grounded in realistic settings with urban tactics and customised gear playing major roles.
The main area that we can really analyse these games is in terms of their MMO and RPG settings and what they each hope to achieve, or have achieved in Destiny's case. What is vital for these kind of games to work is a sense of community. Do you feel that in the Tower in Destiny? Do you feel that when you run into someone on a patrol mission on Mars? Most importantly; do you feel that community when you stand alongside fellow guardians in the hardest Strike missions Bungie can throw at you?
To be honest I never really have. I will dance in front of someone for ages, that's no problem. But no one talks to one another, I've befriended people who I never hear from again and everyone seems to be doing their own thing in this massive world which should have a great potential for camaraderie. What are your thoughts? Maybe this is just my experience of Destiny, but I don't think I'm alone on this one.
PvP, PvE and Community
You've also got to compare these games in terms of PvP and PvE. Let's look at The Division for a moment. To elaborate on this further, The Division does have a seamless PvP which runs parallel to its PvE. For example, you and your team are clearing enemies from a building and out of nowhere, another group of players come to the same building. In this moment the PvE turns into a PvP match and you need to hold your ground. Destiny’s PvP is separated from the PvE, although your character is maintained through both modes.
In this sense Destiny feels a little bit old fashioned and a little too safe rather than innovative. Sure I can interact with players that are twice my level when I step into a place I've never been to before. But clearly they know the area and kill everything in sight before I can fire thus making things difficult and less enjoyable because all you do in this game is kill stuff. If someone takes that away...what's left?
The Division seems to focus heavily upon the reliance of team work and interaction with other players in order to hold your ground against any other force out there in the world. That's what MMOs are about. We should get the feeling that we are in this world together and that we can work with one another to overcome odds. In Destiny, every one is on their own trying to level up so they can kill each other in the Crucible. Granted on the hardest Strikes you've got to stick together, but no one can talk to each other on them to coordinate plans of attack.
RPG Elements and Storyline
In terms of RPG though Destiny may have the advantage. You do feel proud of your character as you see his abilities continually increase and his armour becomes way cooler than everyone else's when you see him standing there at the start of a crucible match. This is something that The Division is going to have to compete with. We know the customisation is certainly a pivotal element of the game but to what extent?
In terms of storyline, The Division's premise already wins in my book. What is the story in Destiny, and to be honest, does anyone care? Peter Dinklage doesn't sound like he gives a rats ass about anything, I know he's a robot but his voice acting was just annoyingly bland, and I love the guy!
In The Division we're faced with an America that has collapsed following one week after the spread of a highly dangerous infection. We are under direct orders from the president to salvage what remains of human life. This is a story that naturally binds us together. We are part of a team that must save what is left of our world through careful planning and tactical accuracy.
Verdict on Destiny and The Division
To be honest I don't think it would take much for The Division to beat Destiny in terms of content. It certainly won't be as colourful but the game does look beautiful! The combat may not be as slick and enemy types may not be as varied, but with a story and community that we can feel a part of with good combat to much, The Division is going to top Destiny in every way.
Let me know what you guys think about Destiny and Tom Clancy's The Division in the comments!