Story Content Missing: The Division = Destiny, But Does It Really Matter?
I haven't completed The Division story mode yet, so take everything you're going to read here as provisional. I was asked to detail things that make Ubisoft's online role-playing shooter game different from Destiny, a title which has surely served as an inspiration for Massive Entertainment, and here we are, with the thing I care about most and was more afraid of when first enjoying the beta: the storyline.
Destiny's storyline was, and still is, something pretty obscure for me. And when I say for me, I say for a gamer who only played the core game, skipping the expansion packs The Dark Below, House of Wolves and The Taken King, which have undoubtedly added story content to the game. But that was too late I think, or at least it was too late for me to change my mind about the story itself or even get back to the game, level up my character and enjoy the new content with enough strength. Is this happening all the way again with The Division?
Well, now I am level 15 and I'm starting to see it is exactly the same stuff in terms of storyline. You just need to do missions over missions, only caring about the loot, gear and weapons you get by killing enemies along the road. I had the certainty about this yesterday, when I tried and kept the game running while I was watching a football match in TV.
The Division was still running, I was still going on with a story mission, and nothing prevented me from playing it without any comprehension of the story content right there and what I was actually doing. What does this mean, then? It could be something negative, from my original point of view: you have a game where story doesn't have any importance and all you need to care about are enemies coming in front of you, and all the stuff they will drop once dead.
But, from the standpoint I look at the game from, The Division doesn't really need a story so far, and probably Destiny didn't need one either. It will perhaps be something the developer will add along the road with the three upcoming premium expansion packs, when you (and me) will start feeling like you don't care anymore about just shooting at enemies without understanding why and what are you doing that.
Of course we'll try and keep you up to date about this matter, but my first opinion is Ubisoft and Massive Entertainment just worked about setting up the mood and atmosphere for The Division to attract and keep people engaged in a couple of months or so.
This is exactly what happens with most MMORPG and it's another clue about the fact we're playing a massive online role playing shooter game rather than a simple third person shooter. Things are pretty different now and this genre of games relies most on co-op, with The Division making a further step by giving up (at least at the moment) competitive multiplayer as we knew it.
So, am I enjoying The Division? Definitely, yes. Although there's a lack of story content so far, it seems like the game has what it takes to further expand upon this base with additional contents and, more importantly, it can survive that lack by offering an addictive gameplay and solid multiplayer skills.
And, with it having so much success and Destiny still being the talk of the town among gamers, it really seems like we'll have to learn and appreciate this genre of games, which develop content post launch adding some story rather than simple gameplay mechanics or modes.