GameSpot's The Lobby - Does The Division live up to expectations?GameSpot's Peter Brown, Rob Handlery, and Scott Butterworth share first impressions of Tom Clancy's The Division. From ridiculously long lines for in-game laptops to the dark story line, The Lobby covers this hot title.
[MUSIC] To get things started I'm joined by Rob Hendlery-. Hi. And Scott Butterworth. Hello. Hello, boys, you've played a lot of the Division lately, right? Yeah, a lot. Yeah. I think Rob's played a little more than me, but Yeah, it's been since yesterday morning, it's vision time! Go! Yeah. Unlike most games, we did not get this early, so you guys are playing like the real deal, retail servers at launch. Yeah, correct. How has that been so far? I know some games like Street Fighter had some problems at first with their servers but the division seems to be going pretty well. Yeah nothing compared to the problems Street Fighter had for sure. You hear issues a little bit, for me I've been fine. I've been completely fine as far as joining up and playing with other people A breeze, but every once in a while, I played with Eric [UNKNOWN] yesterday for a very long marathon. Which you can check out on videogames.com. That's right. He unfortunately had a couple crashes, no big deal, and I saw on Reddit this morning there was an issue. I don't know if it was just for PC, but it was a Photo of this huge line for one of the first missions and no one was able to hold F. Yes so when the game starts everyone has to go to the same shared safe room. In that room there was one laptop that you have to walk up to and hit a button prompt to initiate a certain mission. So you have a room full of like actual live human player who all need to use the same laptop and apparently rooms have been so populated, that people can't physically move their character to the laptop to engage the prompt. That sounds ridiculous. It's literally a line. it's the funniest image. It's like Two dozen people just in a line. [LAUGH] There's one laptop. It's so funny that everyone would even line up to do that. So thankfully I think Rob and I both avoided that problem, and we haven't seen anything that stupid since then. There have been other smaller issues, but that's just kind of a funny situation. But you guys have gone into the game and played it a bunch, so I'm really curious I'm assuming you both had some experience with the beta. How have things changed since then? It was only a couple weeks ago, but now we have the whole game. What's new, do things feel any different? The only concerns I had were just quantity all around. More NPCs, more AI to battle in the dark zone. All of that, for the most part, has been fixed. It's not surprising how alive this huge New York City is. Like free. As a recap of how I feel, I'm having a really great time with this game. I mean, I haven't necessarily been just utterly blown away by the worlds, but certainly there's a lot more going on than it did in the betas. I definitely agree with that. It's really cool to be wandering around and you'll hear somebody say something nearby. It's like, where did that come from? And you'll look up and you'll see people are actually In the buildings that you're walking underneath which is kind of a cool touch. You notice things like that as you wander around. I haven't seen too many reused assets or anything, they did a pretty good job of making streets feel kinda unique. So far everything I've seen has just been exactly what you'd expect. It's an urban environment in ruin and there are cars strewn about. But you know, within that context they've done a pretty good job of making the environments feel diverse and like you were saying, a little more alive. So I'm curious because this is a, sort of a dark story, you know, the city is under horrible disease, like society itself is starting to change as a result. Rob, you were telling me about some really Dark stuff that is in this game, and I wonder if you could share some of that. Yeah, so many elements of, just like, you take a step back and you go, wow this is. Like they're not holding anything back in telling this really dark story which no one really knows. It's basically Black Friday terrorists have devised a successful form of Smalltalk. Better than all the paper currency in New York City, and everyone's got smallpox, and everyone's dying. So you're constantly just walking around the city, just body bags. Or, one mission's a huge incinerator Where they're just throwing bodies into a pit. It's dark. There's literally a waterfall of bodies in bags just pouring into a pit of fire. I'm like, okay, cool! [LAUGH] Yeah, and with that in mind, it is a very grounded Story and that it's not too far in the future. This is going to happen, right? It's a Tom Clancy thriller, this could happen and you're constantly reminded of these factions. Some people wanted to just base Basically burn everything or some people want to take advantage of this uprising and go rogue, take on the government. Yeah, there are these things, they have collectibles with little cinematics. One of them being the scene where it's a girl on a cell phone, so you got like a cell phone video, and she's in her room and there's these guys called the cleaners and they come in and they got flamethrowers and they just torch everything and she's hiding from them and she's in a market, so she's looking through cracks, and you think she's okay, and then Gusts of snow and wind goes right past the camera meaning there's someone behind her. And she opens up and the flame thrower guy is there looking at her. It almost reminds me of Pyro from Team Fortress where he's like looking at her and **** his head. Just because he has a flame thrower he's really dark. And then he kills her and she's screaming. So and then you hear audio of her screaming and her being burned alive. And that type of stuff happens all the time. Yeah, most of that kind of content comes from like the collectables. The story is clearly not the focus of the division. You're not getting a cut scene every couple steps or anything like that. This is not a Hideo Kojima game, but if you're looking for collectables you can absolutely find like cell phone videos, or audio recording, things like that. Yeah. And those tend to be Both the darkest and do the most to kinda flesh out the world. And there's another one that you found that I also found pretty early on. It's a bunch of security camera footage of two guys running from a bunch of looters, and it's Pretty harrowing watching them trip over themselves and of course they run into a gate and can't get past and then get caught and just basically beaten to death and tastefully cuts away before it shows any real gore or anything, but it's obviously implied that they're being brutally murdered, yay! And, yeah, it's pretty unflinching, but at the same time, there are moments where you kind of have to Ignored the world that this game is set in in a weird way. I mean the most basic, the most obvious thing you can point to is the fact that it just take a long time to kill anybody. Dudes in hoodies and jackets can withstand like three or four head shots before they die. [UNKNOWN] [UNKNOWN] yeah apparently. And that's a widely known thing. And people that like to defend the game will always point out, that it's an [UNKNOWN] shooter. But it's still [UNKNOWN] is odd to be shooting a human and then watch them just completely shrug off bullets and barely react and stuff like that. And I also, have a bit of a hard time getting past the fact that you're this sort of peace keeping unit and your job is to kind of clean up and restore order in the city But literally the way you do that is just wandering around killing people. But you will just see looters in the street who are not engaging you, who are not threatening but because they're that particular character model you know that they are the looter enemy class. And you know that as soon as they notice you they're going to shoot you, so even if they haven't done anything, your job as a gamer is like well I've got to kill them, because if I don't, they're going to shoot me. So there's this weird semantic disconnect of like you kind of have to ignore the world that you're in You can make it all make sense. You know, that's a beautiful segue into a question from Sir Planted in the chat. Why don't people flip over in the snow? They're so good at it, I mean. [LAUGH] So the agents were all, they're embedded in like, they're active in New York because they were living in New York, so their Seasoned pros, they know what they're doing. They have that gingerly walk, [INAUDIBLE]. Yeah, yeah. [INAUDIBLE] My trendy mountain boots are doing just fine, [UNKNOWN] boots. So a great game for boots. Just to mention one thing though, yeah, I agree with you. You just use [UNKNOWN] and, yes, if you don't engage they will, I'm sorry, If you just approach them they're gonna engage you. However, you know on the flip side, you'll you'll turn a corner and you'll see a looter hovering over a distressed civilian who is standing there. And [UNKNOWN] this happens a couple of times. But it's a really interesting thing where She's got a bat and he's saying like, you're worthless, like what are you gonna do about it? If you don't kill him before he basically takes this woman down, beats her and then if you don't even engage he's just gonna continually beat her dead body. It's like, you're witnessing this and I think I've had that happen like three or four times. And I've only been able to shoot him like twice before he kills her. It's like there is still a hero element of you, you have a good heart and you're going around and you're trying to prevent the wrongdoings, but it's just like really, again, dark scenarios that make you take a step back and kind of think like, this is Kind of surreal, but like surprisingly real. Like I don't know. Writers in this state of apocalypse, like this is what would happen. And I like that idea of being reminded of how awful humanity can kind of unfold and do scenarios. I don't know. It's just No, I think the game's actually It really goes ou of its way to sort of justify your actions whenever it can. But it still feels weird that you're just a total judge [UNKNOWN] type like judge jury executioner. Like anyone you see death sentence. For sure. You're behaving badly, death. It's just like okay. It would have been nice if there had been a little more nuance. But I agree, I don't feel like you're a horrible human by playing this game, or anything like that. Right. There are certain moments where the theme's kind of fall apart, where you come into conflict with the way that the game actually plays. Yeah. I mean, it's not the end of the world, it's just something that I've noticed, as you're playing. Yeah. And that we've got your early impressions up on the sight right now. Yeah we always like to just throw up a page, let people know, no we're reviewing the game. This is why we don't have a review the day the game goes up because we often do, so yeah people can go find my early impressions They can watch the live stream that Rob and Eric recorded yesterday. That's all up there, so plenty of stuff for people to check out, even if we don't have a scored review, and get a good sense of what to expect from the game. All right, well maybe we'll find out more later this week. There's so much more to talk about, too! All the perks and the cover system, you could easily talk about this game for an entire hour, so. And yeah, we did the live stream yesterday, but Having the game before it's released, the dark zone, that's still up in the air. We did, towards the end of the stream, get in there and Eric Tay did backstab me a few times. [LAUGH] Just to kind of show what What maybe the potential rogue life is. But there weren't really many people playing, so it's hard to tell what that is even gonna be about. For the people that haven't been playing the Dark Suns or the PvP areas within the world that you consciously enter. And then it becomes this kinda free for all. You can sorta join it with people or not. Or you can betray them or take loot. Or it's this whole crazy thing. It seems like maybe one of the most interesting mechanical aspects of the game. But as Rob pointed out It requires a bit of a higher level. So we'll get there. Right. We haven't had a chance to really explore it yet. Okay one last question before we go. Jeffrey Sparks wants to know are collections from the dark zone actually worth it? Or just re skins or different perks? I don't know what he's talking about because I still haven't played the division. But. [LAUGH] It's hard to tell. The beta like, pushing aside the beta, I would imagine the idea or the incentive to go in to dark zone is to get higher valued loot. At the moment, judging from the beta it would be likely that you do missions. You do side missions. The pay off as far as loot goes. Is all right, it's like substantial, but in my opinion, the idea of the dark zone is to go for those higher, you know, those purple weapons, you know, the better stuff. At the moment, it's hard to tell, but you know. It seems like it would kind of have to be, and I feel like that it's almost the part of the design of the dark zone, but again we haven't Actually spend that much time in the now finished retail version of the Dark Zone. Most of our strengths was in betas. And I feel like, you know, it was worthwhile in the betas. You know, the best stuff that I. Absolutely. Came across was all in the Dark Zone. So I would assume that would be true in the retail version Version as well but hard to confirm. I mean there was an obvious added challenge in just getting stuff out of the dark zone so it would only make sense for the developers to incentivize that gameplay in some way. So it would be kind of insane if those items weren't better, but we'll see. All right, well thank you Scott, Rob, talking about The Division. We will be playing more of The Division before our review goes live later this week. Have you been playing? Are you waiting in line to press F on that laptop? Let us know in the comments below. [MUSIC] [BLANK_AUDIO]