Tom Clancy’s The Division
After being run through the tutorial, and familiarizing myself with the tight and responsive controls, me and two others were thrown into the stage demo from Ubisoft’s press conference on Monday, in a mode they call The Dark Zone. In this mode, you and your two squad-mates make your way into an area with valuable, contaminated loot that requires extraction before you can add it your arsenal later. When entering the area, you and two squad members — including other teams — are trying to get to the extraction zone with your precious cargo. Other teams can either help you, or go rogue and try to take it all for themselves. If you opt to go rogue, everyone will be gunning for you. During any mission, everything you start with is what you get. There are no re-supply crates or support classes to keep you going. To re-supply, you simply have to kill another agent, or an NPC and then pick up what they dropped. Everything in this game is about survival and discovery, and it’s absolutely beautiful. During this demo, I took on the role of the medic. I came equipped with five frag grenades, and five personal healing stimulants, as well as an echolocation device for proximity awareness and a health grenade, both of which have a cool-down time. My teammates weren’t doing a very good job of being a team, so I decided to go rogue about halfway through. While it put a giant target on my back, it was ridiculously entertaining using all of my gadgets to either stop other people from extracting or keeping myself alive just enough to wait for other teams to start opening fire, giving me more opportunities to get better positions. I ultimately ran out of all my re-spawns and spectated the rest of the way. All in all, I’m happy to report that it’s just as beautiful in its pre-alpha state as it was when they initially revealed the project, and everything seems to be on the right track.
Total War: Warhammer
Full disclosure: I haven’t played any Total War game, ever. That’s not to say I’ve never been interested, I’ve just never had the money to spend on a desktop PC. Creative Assembly and Games Workshop have teamed up for what they’re calling a “wet dream project.” It carries on the same tradition of all the previous games in the franchise, but is now set in the Warhammer fantasy universe, letting the developers’ imaginations run wild. With its scale and set pieces still in place, they’re now able to add verticality to the battles, adding gryphon mounts that can wreak havoc from the skies—something that wasn’t possible in the previous entries because of their historical backdrops. Joining them on the ground are orcs on boars or wolves, Arachnarok spiders, wyverns, even dragons, this is just to name a few. Heroes can cast insane spells to deal massive amounts of damage to the foot soldiers by summoning asteroids from the sky to plummet to the ground and decimate anything in its radius. While this was a very short demo, I walked away wishing I had the money to spend on a PC to get ready for this game, that as I was told, “will be out soon.” Keep your eyes peeled for more Total War fans.