Dark Zone Radio Recap

User Interface, Gear and Grind

Overall, The Division does a remarkable job of keeping currencies, stats, numbers, and items in check with a relatively clean interface and methods of organization. Admittedly, a lot of things get thrown at the player all at once – Bones remarks that without experience with Destiny, he’d have no clue what to do with all the items and materials.

Unlike Destiny, The Division’s materials and currencies don’t feel like physical objects carried around. In place of consumable and strange coins taking up vault space, you have simple counters for supply points or Dark Zone money. That being said, weapon and gear mods, plus three different forms of currency can certainly make the game cluttered.

Despite all the items being lugged around by players, the Division keeps a clean face and along with great graphics makes for an overall beautiful gaming experience.

When it comes to progressing and grinding, The Division runs into the same problems with dismantling tons of low level gear, but perhaps makes the greens and blues more worthwhile than Destiny. Without needing 4 different materials/currencies to level up a gun, Division weapons are free to mod immediately and always ready to use as soon as you acquire them. Mods can be removed and used on other guns as well, which is a big plus; it doesn’t feel like all energy put into a lower-rated gun has gone to waste.

Overall, the grind is very much the same: get to the purple guns and forget the rest. Nevertheless, The Division is currently scratching the loot itch that Destiny hasn’t for a while.

Gunplay and Combat

Experiencing every weapon type in The Division is a must. The game does a great job of making rifles, SMGs, Marksman’s rifles, shotguns and sidearms all feel distinct and different. This is especially important considering the third person perspective; players feel more attached to weapons based on feeling rather than appearance considering they aren’t covering half the screen at all times.

When it comes down to it, Bungie has unparalleled skill when it comes to developing incredible gunplay. The feeling of shooting a weapon in Destiny is one of the elements that has made the game so beloved. The Division, a game without aim assist and a “realistic feel”, can be a fun experience but overall cannot match up with Destiny.

Human enemies taking an incredible amount of bullets has been a heavily discussed topic leading up to The Division’s release. As an RPG, the “bullet sponge” effect is a necessary evil; without it, the game would either require a lot more NPCs or be too easy. That being said, it’s hard not to think about the ridiculous image of a man with a hoodie absorbing a full clip of rifle fire without much of a flinch; it’s an element of realism that perhaps The Division will never be able to tackle.

Competition and Longevity

When it comes to competition, Destiny has been building a community of competitive players who love to shoot each other in the Crucible, fight their way through Trials tickets, and even set up tournaments watched by thousands of people on Twitch.

The Division has the Dark Zone: a free-for-all area in Central Manhattan where players can either work together or attack each other – both decisions with their own rewards and consequences. While the standoff scenarios players can encounter when another squad runs around the corner can be exhilarating, it’s certainly not an organized competitive scenario like the Crucible.

As players are finding out once they hit the highest level, going Rogue in the DZ (attacking other players, placing a target on one’s head) doesn’t actually pay off that highly. And if a Rogue is killed, they lose quite a bit of currency and XP. This has lead players to play it safe and fight NPC enemies in the DZ, rather than shooting other real players.

The fact of the matter is, The Division is in its current state a loot-based RPG with shooter elements. Destiny, on the other hand, is at its core a pure shooter with incredible gunplay and environments that encourage competition. Destiny has the edge here with the Crucible along with a quality PvE experience.

In terms of longevity, Destiny has the edge here as well. The Division is loads of fun and does a great job of encouraging players to keep grinding for better weapons. The story mission experiences are fun and the cover-based combat system creates a lot of enjoyable scenarios – the replayability is there. But when content gets played over and over again, The Division does not have a strong PvP experience to fall back on.

It’s still very early in the game to analyze The Division from a community perspective, but again, Destiny has an established playerbase that love to play together day in and day out. The Division could easily reach this point, but that remains to be 

The Crucible guys are going to keep playing Destiny for the PvP arena, but The Division is likely going to remain in their gaming rotation as well. With a long roadmap of DLC and expansions, you might expect to see Crucible Radio take a few more vacations to Manhattan in the future – but Destiny will always be home.

Bones
A Crucible warrior trying to fight my way up the rankings and host of the Crucible Radio podcast under my better-known pseudonym “Bones.” But don’t let the show fool you – I’m obsessed with everything Destiny has to offer, and I’ll talk about it until you tell me to stop.