New Destiny Content, Cross-Platform Play and Division Final Thoughts

At the tail end of last week, while I was putting down my Call of Duty: Black Ops III tips, we got a couple pretty big pieces of news. So to start off this week, I thought we’d hit those big points, along with my final thoughts on The Division now that I’ve finished pretty much everything the game has in store.

The Division BetaLet’s start with The Division since it’s pretty fresh in my mind. The more and more I played through the story content, I can’t help but cool on the game. I loved the first third or so of the game – I thought the early game missions were tuned, difficulty wise, pretty much perfectly for the level scale. The second third though felt like a major turning point to me – the main missions slow down during that level 14-20 area and in fact the game directs through a whole neighborhood without a mission. Normally, I’m totally fine with an RPG steering you towards side quests, but the side content in The Division is so repetitive that it really felt more like an obligation. That feeling really got hammered home once I hit the final section of the game – those last few levels and missions. Once you hit level 30, any side mission is, from a reward standpoint, useless. Once the Base of Operations is fully upgraded, those encounters don’t give you loot that really makes sense. Side content only rewards up to Blue quality items – by the time you’re in those last few neighborhoods you’re chasing purple and higher, especially once you hit level 30. I honestly only finished all the side content in order to reveal all the collectibles on the map for the achievements to collect them all. Add in to that that the actual story content feels really hollow as it comes to conclusion and the last taste that The Division left in my mouth was really bland. The actual ending was so anticlimactic that I really don’t feel at all excited for the free content headed our way next month. And that kills me because the foundation that the game has is so damn good. I don’t know where along the lines the decision was made to keep an actual confrontation with Keener out of the game, but that is the big misstep that I think hurts the story the most. I feel like, while I’ve been avoiding comparing The Division to Destiny because the games are very different, I find myself now going back to the same thoughts I had with Destiny’s story ending. It’s so blatantly setup for future content that we know is right around the corner that it just takes away any sense of accomplishment for finishing the story. I still think The Division is the first really good game of the year, but I’ve definitely cooled on my opinion with it.

Moving on though, we got a piece of news last week that I’ve been waiting a long time for. Microsoft announced that cross-platform play is not only possible on the Xbox One, but is essentially here. We all expected Microsoft to eventually push cross-platform play with PC, but last week they announced that Rocket League will feature it, and it will be cross-console – that’s Xbox One and PS4. That’s pretty huge – it essentially kills the console war idea – both manufacturers realize that working together is way more beneficial than not. That’s not to say that exclusives and that sort of thing are going away, but we’re slowing moving toward the idea of gaming being unified as a whole. I look at it the same way I do with movies or music. I love music, but I don’t listen to one specific label or band – I wouldn’t do that with gaming, playing only one console or developer. It’s just silly. Now, there’s still a lot of hurdles to get over before this is the norm – but Microsoft has basically put the ball in Sony’s court. By saying that it’s up to the developers, and giving them the power to put it in, that’s a good move – and important for them after their stupid GDC party move. Microsoft has a big year I think this year – they’ve been lagging a little behind Sony so far, but with Xbox One going down to $300 for the Spring Sale, and a pretty damn solid lineup of games this year, they could be a good position.

Finally, rounding out the catch-up from last week, we finally – finally – got some concrete details about the next update coming for Destiny. We’ve known about this amorphous “spring update” for a while now, but the little breadcrumbs Bungie had been giving us were starting to get a little stale. Finally though we know not only when it’s coming, but we have a little bit more concrete idea of what it is going to contain. The new update – now called the April update – will be pushed live to the game on April 12. It’s bringing with it patch 2.2.0, which will feature the first major sandbox (meta) update since the end of last year. We got a little more cemented list of what to expect from the update – sort of. Bungie did their usual trick of being vague – new PvE challenges, new gear and new light levels – but did say we’re getting a new quest and strike coming. The biggest talking point among the community though has to be the image that Bungie used as a header for the weekly update: Destiny Taken Guardians. It’s not too hard to see why we’ve been talking about this image since last week. To me, there are two big points that it raises. First, there’s the obvious visual look – those are guardians, and they are Taken. There’s a few possibilities to explain that – the boring, and probably right answer – is that it’s just a shader. A freaking cool looking shader, but still just a shader. The other options could be that that’s just how the armor looks – I doubt that is the case because of what that armor is, which we’ll talk about in a second. The third possibility is that this is a new enemy type. I think that eventually we’ll see enemy guardians in PvE – but I really doubt that we’re going to get that during Destiny 1‘s life. That seems like a perfect twist to put in for the sequel – which you might remember is something I said during my fantasy development for that game. The other major talking point from the image though is just what that armor they’re wearing is. If you’ve been playing Destiny since launch, that armor is probably very familiar to you. You were chasing it for most of last spring and summer – it’s the armor that was rewarded in the Prison of Elders. Hell the background of that image even looks like the Reef. That opens up a couple questions. Is the Prison of Elders going to be the new PvE activity that Bungie said is going to favor replayability? Again, that’s the boring answer, but probably right. The community has been asking for old raids to come back – technically, the challenge tiers of PoE were considered raids. Does that open the doors for the others? I actually hope not – as fun as the old raids were, I want to see the game moving forward. Add in that to make them work in the current PvE space would be a pretty involved undertaking, and I doubt that is something we’d see in a free update. I could see them adding the Taken into Prison of Elders as a new, selectable, tier – essentially acting as a new difficulty level for it. Since Bungie said that replayability is a big part of this new activity, I think that Prison of Elders is a good start, but definitely would need a little work. We’ll learn a bit more this Wednesday, and the next two after that, as Bungie does their usual livestream reveal thing. These are usually pretty solid watches, so if you can, I would tune in. I’ll offer up my thoughts on them afterwards of course as well. Regardless, Destiny definitely finally has some life injected back into it.

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The Under Appreciated Best Part of The Division

The DivisionWe’re officially one week in to the life of The Division. That means that the super hardcore community is going to start shifting focus around to nitpicking and going a little off the beaten path. We’re already seeing it in the Dark Zone with Level 30 players decked out in High End gear just focused on ganking lower level/geared players for the hell of it. That means that we’ll probably see a whole lot of communication between the player base and Massive in the next couple weeks or so about the game moving forward. But before that potential confrontation really shakes out, I want to stop and talk about the one aspect of The Division that I don’t know has been getting enough attention.

In the maybe 24 hours of playtime I’ve put into the game so far, I would easily say that the bulk of that time has been spent just roaming around Manhattan picking up all of the collectibles scattered around. And in doing that I’ve seen maybe the best job of crafting an atmosphere and world in a modern themed game since probably Grand Theft Auto V. Massive has done an incredible job of making New York City feel like it actually is the real deal. The little touches like the NPCs fighting over supplies, looters looking in the windows of abandoned cars, and even though they’ve kind of become a meme, the dogs wondering the empty streets. And that’s just little touches involving the inhabitants of Manhattan. The world itself feels alive even in the face of the pandemic. Walls covered in memorial posters for missing people – especially the ones that appear in safe zones – really help put the human impact of the Green Poison in perspective. With the story revolving around this super-bug, and the fact that such an outbreak is actually a very real and terrifying prospect in the real world, seeing how much work Massive put into the human side of the game is really impressive.

The Division Collectibles

For me though, the most impressive part of building this world and making it feel alive is in the intel/evidence scattered around Manhattan. The intel pieces you get from completing the main story missions are visceral, dark, but still do a great job of explaining just what the hell is going on in the story. The Division isn’t a particularly gory or visually brutal game, but it is absolutely still an M-rated game thanks to the sheer brutality and realistic basis that the violence takes. The first Found Footage video you find, showing Cleaners clearing out a little bodega from the perspective of a terrified woman is so damn intense. It does an incredible job of advancing the overall narrative, and also outlining exactly what the Cleaners are all about – ruthless efficiency in destroying and burning the virus – all without any real dialogue. The phone recordings that are all over Manhattan are probably my favorite though. They’re written strongly across the board – even ones that could have easily been cheesy or goofy like the “On Fleek” recording come across as authentic. Add in that they’re acted well, with the voice work sounding much more like normal people instead of actors, and they come to life. I also like that Manhattan in full of different people with different lives – they aren’t all carbon copies. There are people of color, different economic classes represented, gay and straight, young and old all are in these phone conversations. They do a phenomenal job of giving the world of The Division before the outbreak a foundation, then as the outbreak happens and spreads, you can hear the panic and fear in the conversations. The collectibles were something that I was dreading a little going in to the game, just based on how damn many there are, but since there’s an upgrade you can take to mark them on the map, along with how well they’re organized in the HUD as well as how well they’re written makes them a big part of what I like getting in the game.

It’s still early on in The Division‘s lifespan – and in truth, I don’t know just how long the world they built will feel as strong as it does now – but regardless I am super impressed with Massive’s work here. I still think that The Division is the first really great game of 2016, and does a great job of setting the bar moving forward this year.

Deeper Thoughts on The Division: Day Two

The DivisionYesterday I was able to get a little more in depth on The Division, hitting level 12, playing through some content that wasn’t in the beta, and playing around with my builds a little bit. A lot of what I wrote yesterday still stands – I am liking the game as a whole, but there still are a couple questions I have that are slowly getting answered. One thing that I forgot to mention yesterday was just how much I’m in love with the visuals in The Division – it’s definitely one of the best looking games on the Xbox One right now. The standout for me is the environmental effects – the weather in particular is spectacular; step out in a snow storm and you’ll be in for a vastly different experience than in clear weather.

What I really have been digging into is the real depth to the combat and potential variety in the builds. Only having three stats might seem a little simplified, but I think it actually helps drive players to realize that focusing on one or two stats makes you a lot stronger than trying to go Jack of all Trades. Even without explicitly talking about it, my group has already started to establish some different roles based around the builds we want. I’m focusing on raising my health and skill stats as much as possible – I am forgoing DPS a little bit in favor of being more of a medic/tank build. One of my buddies is going pure glass cannon – DPS and skill over health; he’s sitting around 2,000 health, while I have over double that. We have another who’s definitely building around per-bullet damage, with a strong marksman rifle and playing a little more defensive. That simplified nature of stats makes slipping into those builds really easy, and that’s why we didn’t even need to talk about the roles we wanted to take. It just happened, and that’s a sign of good game design. Sure a little of that was initialized by the random rolls we got in loot drops, but that’s easily changed as we progress.

Tom Clancy's The Division™_20160307161110

 

In regards to those build choices, I think the two I mentioned – Glass cannon with high DPS and Skill, and Tank/Medic with high Health and Skill – are the best all around options. I think going high DPS and Health is tempting, and with the right weapons and group makeup could work, but it’s definitely a little trickier to use in difficult content. I think skill power might be the most important stat overall, since it dictates not only the actual results of your skill (healing power, damage from attacks that sort of thing) but it also impacts cooldowns, keeping you at full power more often. It’s really tempting to chase crazy guns trying to find two super strong weapons to run with, but with guns you’re stuck playing around reloads. You need those abilities to fill the down time and keep the enemies at bay while those reloads happen. If you’re playing in a group – which I certainly recommend – you’ll definitely want at least one guy with high skill power.

When it comes to ability selection, that’s where the depth really shines. Gunplay in The Division is solid, but pretty straight forward. SMGs, assault rifles and LMGs all fill the same basic roll – sustained DPS and suppressing fire, while shotguns and marksman rifles are your pure damage options. It’s your abilities that add the variety and, frankly, fun to the combat. We had a group of three yesterday running through a mission, set to Hard of course, where we were a little underleveled – but we were able to power though because we had a mix of abilities. Even early game when you’re really picking and choosing your Base of Operation upgrades carefully, it’s not hard to get a good mix of different abilities in a group. We had one running turret and heal, I ran sticky bomb and heal, and we had our third with upgraded pulse and sticky bomb. Now, I probably am going to change up my skills as I upgrade my Base (I’m eyeing seeker mine and support station right now), but that mix seemed to work pretty well to me. And with my focus on skill power, my heals do more, and they come back faster – that’s why I am playing the medic role.

There’s still a lot to discover in The Division – I’m not even halfway to the level cap yet, there’s still a lot of story content to play, a slew of collectibles and I haven’t even begun to explore the Dark Zone. But even this early on, I feel pretty confident in saying that The Division is the first truly great game of the year. It’s not flawless, but the flaws it does have are pretty minimal and at the end of the day, it’s a damn fun game to play.

Tom Clancy’s The Division Launch Day Impressions

The DivisionYesterday saw the launch of what I would call the first big release of 2016, Tom Clancy’s The Division. It’s a game that I’ve been interested in for a while now, having played both the closed and open betas, so I’m excited to really dig into the world that Ubisoft and Massive have created. I played a good few hours yesterday, some solo, some with just one partner, and a little bit with a full group of four. There’s still a whole lot of game to get into, but I wanted to put down my first impressions, and some thoughts that I think will ring true for the whole game.

Firstly, I’m pretty pleased with the actual launch experience. I know that at midnight the servers were a little overloaded and there were plenty of posts about people not being able to log on, but by mid-day Tuesday (at least on Xbox One) there really weren’t any problems that I saw or had. In this day when games are persistently online and launches are always a shaky experience, it was nice to not have any major issues. The question now is how well the servers handle the full first week load as more players get their copies of the game and get logged on.

In terms of new content that wasn’t present in the beta, I only played a little bit last night. I ran through one full mission, unlocking the Security Wing for my Base of Operation in Manhattan, and obviously the tutorial section in Brooklyn. It’s not a huge sample size, but I will say that each mission I’ve played – the two in the Open Beta and now the Lincoln Tunnel Checkpoint mission – all felt very similar in their execution. The details differentiate them enough to the point where they have enough individuality, but I am a little curious at just how much variety they can put into the missions. That said, that security mission is definitely my favorite of those first three initial missions – running it a little underpowered made it challenging without being obscene, and the flow of it just felt really fun. It’s certainly worth running that mission as soon as possible though, as the reward for unlocking the Security Wing grants you a +10% boost to XP earned.

The Division Beta

Where I’ve actually spent most of my mental energy with The Division is in looking at the abilities, perks and talents which weren’t available in the beta. In the two betas, you couldn’t even look at them – it just said “not available in beta.” Now that I’ve been able to look through the upgrades, perks, talents and abilities, I feel a little more confident that the combat and action will stay fresh thanks to the different build options. There’s a ton of variety in there – from damage boosting talents to keep your DPS guys strong, to great team healing buffs and cooldown reducers for your medic players supercharging the team. What I really like is that the perks you unlock with each upgrade to a wing of the Base of Operation are all passive abilities. You unlock them, and they take effect – you get stronger right away. It puts some value on grabbing some of the, maybe less powerful looking upgrades, to get perks that immediately help your whole team. If you’re coming into The Division from Destiny – which I’ve definitely seen a lot of audience crossover online – you’re probably in for a pretty big shock. This is very much an RPG first – stats and abilities/talents/perks all matter a lot more than thumbskill and shooting accuracy. If you have a background with RPGs – in particular ones like Mass Effect, Dragon Age, or maybe a bit of Diablo – you’ll be right in your element. Min-maxing is the name of the game here – you’ll be chasing gear not with high damage or armor values, but with high stats in either Firearms, Health or Tech values to charge your DPS, Health or Ability powers. As long as you go in with that in mind, I think you’ll definitely enjoy The Division.

Now, that said, there are a couple things that I’m still concerned about. I already touched on that I’m curious about just how much mission variety the rest of the game has. There’s also some little details in the actual gameplay that I’m less that thrilled about. The A.I. is pretty dumb – sure they’ll flank you, but it’s more of a bumrush than anything resembling a concerted flank. They’re a lot more content to sit back in cover and just shoot a lot at you. The other thing is that the game really isn’t super difficult, even on hard difficulty. With crafting added – which is a little over generous calling it crafting – it’s not hard to get solid gear, level appropriately and go in with a partner or two and suddenly the missions are pretty simple. I’m still unsure that any end-game content is going to be enough to keep me engaged after I complete it. With other looter/shooter/RPGs (Borderlands, Destiny, Diablo) completing the end-game/raid content once is just the tip of the iceberg. The fun comes from running them multiple times to get different and better loot. I don’t know, based on what mission content I’ve seen so far, that The Division is going to have that same feeling at the end, but we’ll see. Lastly, the Dark Zone is still a huge question to me. In a perfect world, I think the Dark Zone would be the perfect end-game area. It’s got the highest leveled enemies, at their highest tier, and has the potential for PvP engagements. The problem is that I think the ganking method – camping those extraction zones, waiting for everyone to bunch up and start putting their loot on then pouncing – is too potentially rewarding with not a huge downside. And going in as a solo player is even more punishing – if you wind up running into Rogue agents, especially if they’re in a group together, you’re pretty much done for. Now, because the Dark Zone is divided up into six zones, instead of just the couple from the beta, maybe lower level players can use that first zone to get a start on looting; but there’s really no guarantee. That’s putting a lot of power into the hands of the anonymous gaming community. Regardless, The Division is a really strong game – the action is fun, the depth is surprising, and the game itself looks gorgeous. If you’re on the fence, I recommend it – just know that it isn’t flawless.

The Division Beta Wrap-Up Thoughts

The DivisionToday’s the last day of the beta for The Division after Ubisoft extended it 24 hours. I played a bit more since I last wrote about the beta, including a relatively extended stay in the Dark Zone, as well as playing the story mission on hard difficulty with my buddy. So since we’ve got about a full month before the launch of the game, I thought I’d wrap up my impressions on the beta.

The big question that I’ve been seeing over and over since the beta launched has to be “will The Division kill Destiny?” That question was really never a viable question – it was always going to be no. Games just don’t work that way – one game can’t “kill” another. Sure player bases might shift a bit, but that doesn’t mean a game is killed. The reason that has been coming up is twofold. First, it’s really easy to title a YouTube video with a crazy thumbnail and then do just what I’m doing here for a few minutes. Secondly, it’s the easy comparison to make right now. Both games are RPG’s with shooter trappings. But the execution of those mechanics are very different and really don’t put the games in the same place. The Division is an RPG first, Destiny is an FPS first, and that’s really all you need to know. A better comparison for The Division I think is Mass Effect, but we’ll talk a bit more about that when the game actually launches.

Let’s focus a bit more on what we got over the weekend. My biggest question going in to the beta was always one that was never going to get answered – end-game content. What the beta did was show that there might be a little hurdle to get over to even reach that end-game content. Leveling was a little slow, but that could be from the lack of beta content. The biggest thing to me though was that pretty much everything I did was all really, really similar. I worry that there might not be enough variety in the missions and side-quest content to keep the bulk of the player base invested to the end-game. That worry is compounded for me by the Dark Zone’s inherent wonkiness. Already in the beta people found a number of exploits, both on console and PC. PC players are going to need some kind of anti-cheat put into the game to combat some of what I was reading was going on. Aimbots, invisible players, infinite ammo and levels – all that in the beta. On consoles, people figured out that if you went Rogue and then reached the boundaries of the map, it would warp you to the safe rooms, where you could just wait your timer out. I really don’t see that making it to launch, but still, it’s a little worrisome.

The Division Beta

What I did really like was pretty much everything else in the beta. The guns all felt like I would expect in a third-person cover shooter RPG; the abilities we got each had their uses, both in solo play and in team play; and the playspace had a pretty unique feel to it. My personal favorite parts though were the real little details – the weather system is amazing, in particular the snow storms; the snow actually will accumulate on your player character if you stand out in it. The enemy A.I. is surprising good, not content to just sit in cover and wait for you to move to shoot them, they’ll suppress you while rushers push up to whack you with bats. The inventory, weapons and stats all felt very much at home in a min/max style RPG. Trying to figure out gear to max out your stats in the right mix to get weapon talents is definitely something that I think gives the combat some depth. There’s a lot of really good gameplay headed our way in The Division, to me the questions more surround the story and end-game level stuff. There’s still a month before launch, plenty of time to iron out some of the beta wackiness and hopefully enough time to address some of the Dark Zone inconsistencies.

The Division Beta Impressions

The DivisionYesterday marked the launch of the beta for The Division, and I dove in headfirst. It’s a game that I’ve been pretty excited about for a while now and as Ubisoft starts to share some of the nitty gritty details of the game, I do find myself getting more interested in it. So I was pretty excited to see just how the game is shaping up.

Let’s get the elephant out of the way first – the big comparison that has been thrown around all over the place is with Destiny. Both are co-op, shared world games, with RPG mechanics and a strong loot emphasis. Here’s the thing though, the games really couldn’t be more different. Destiny is first and foremost a shooter – the FPS mechanics are arguably the best out there now. The Division is first and foremost an RPG – everything is determined by the stats and numbers under the hood. In that way it’s a lot more like Borderlands than Destiny. Add in that it’s a third person cover based shooter and that’s really where I think the best comparison shows up. While it is easy to point at Destiny and Borderlands from the loot side of things, I really think the best game to compare with is Mass Effect. In particular the first game in the series, which I think had the strongest RPG elements.

And in that capacity, everything that The Division does works really well. Much like Mass Effect, combat from cover works perfectly fine. Blind-firing is a possibility, just a poor one. Moving from cover to cover is the best way to go about engagements, which is pretty easy with the constant tooltip for the controls (which I know can be turned off, but I think actually adds a little character to the game). The weapons all function much better when you’re in cover. The third person camera gives you a great overview of the entire action, and using the pulse ability to highlight enemies pairs really well with the third person action. In general the action actually feels really solid – once you get your head around that it’s an RPG and not a shooter, the combat makes a lot more sense. The movement and everything like that all feels really solid too. In truth, the biggest issues I have with the beta aren’t actually about gameplay. I’ve found a couple little graphical bugs that popped up, but really nothing terrible. My biggest complaint is that the player character isn’t voiced. In 2016, one of the biggest early releases of the year, will feature a silent protagonist. That boggles my mind. Since The Division clearly takes a lot of inspiration from Mass Effect, why not follow suit with the protagonist – give him/her a name, voice that name and let the player give him/her a first name. That way the story, which doesn’t seem too bad, has a little more immersion and impact.

All things considered, I think that the biggest problem I have with the beta is just that it’s really short. There are two actual missions, both of which are really short. The side missions and side encounters are also pretty short, which means hitting the level cap of 8 can be a bit grindy, honestly not that huge a deal. I think it’s designed to be a beta that people play for just a couple hours, get a good idea of how the full game will behave, and move on. Since the beta is only live until Sunday I think that’s probably a smart move. Sure you can go venture into the Dark Zone and get the best loot in the beta, and find out just how primal other people get when loot is on the line. But I do think that maybe a few other PvE activities would have been warranted. That said, it’s a fun beta – if you’re in it, load it up and play it for a bit. We do have to wait until March for the full game, which I hope means that they’ll fix a couple of the little things I’ve noticed pop up.

Looking Ahead to 2016: What I’m Excited For

We’ve spent the last couple days looking back at the past year in gaming. Today though let’s look ahead to 2016. We had a really fantastic year this year, so I fully expect that 2016 will continue that and have some serious heavy hitters. With that in mind, let’s talk about some of what I’m excited about for next year.

No Mans Sky logo

We really don’t need to wait too long for some big names to drop. Uncharted 4 and The Division are both set to drop in the first quarter of the new year. While I’m personally more excited about The Division, I do understand the importance of Uncharted and why this next game is such a big deal. The Division has a beta coming down the pipe soon, so we should be able to get a decent idea about how the multiplayer side of it will work. We’ve also got No Man’s Sky coming out early in the year, which if you have a PS4 should be on your must-buy list. If that game can come anywhere near delivering on its promises, it could be the most important game in years.

Black Ops 3

We also have DLC to think about for the early part of the year. Black Ops III has its first DLC coming to PlayStation in February, and Xbox One in March. I feel confident in saying that Fallout 4 will have something in the first quarter as well, in addition to mods coming to console. We know that there are a couple timed events headed to Destiny – including “bigger events” than we’ve seen since The Taken King launched. I always keep my eyes out for big songs heading to Rock Band, and with Halo having monthly content updates, we know we’re bound to get a couple big additions coming to the game. Depending on timing and actual content quality, that DLC will be what keeps those games fresh until we get new games.

Final Fantasy VII

That’s all stuff that we know about though. When I start looking at the coming year, I always think about some of what we don’t know for sure. Things that we kinda can infer, but haven’t been confirmed. Things like exactly when Kingdom Hearts III and the Final Fantasy VII remake will be coming out. We know Crackdown 3 is coming out too, just not an actual release window yet. We know that Infinity Ward is working on their entry with Call of Duty, but we don’t know exactly what it will be. I think it’s fairly certain to be Ghosts 2, but we don’t know what direction they’ll take it. With Treyarch and Sledgehammer both having pretty sci-fi influenced games, I kinda want Infinity Ward to stick with the near future/modern setting. One thing that I don’t think we’ve seen a ton of talk about is Borderlands – I wouldn’t at all be surprised if we see something about a new main entry to the series announced. I’ve seen a couple rumors about the studio having some financial issues that could be impacting a Borderlands 3, but until I see it actually reported, I’m going to remain hopeful that we get a new one in 2016. One other game that I could very well see make a surprise return would be BioShock – a true next-gen entry, maybe returning to Rapture could be damn good to play. We also know about Mass Effect Andromeda but beyond that, we’re still waiting on some details. I could very well see that being one of the big names at E3 this year – and depending on the release window they’re aiming for, I could see a Next-Gen trilogy collection of the first three games to tide us over.

As great as 2015 has been for gaming, I think 2016 could equal it. We’re finally starting to really feel like we’re in a new console generation. I think we’re going to see games move away from last-gen support (Destiny 2 I’m looking at you) and really start to take advantage of the technology on our hands. Nintendo will be showing off their new console – the N-X – which I think is a very important console for the company. They need something to appeal more to people who focus on graphics and online play, which the Wii and Wii U didn’t really ever have.