Review | 2016.04.03

Broforce Helicopter extract Rambro explosions screenshot

Nothing particularly interesting to report outside the media room. Soccer, vball, tennis, and occasional laundry - the usual. So, games...
The Division

J came out to visit so we binged on The Division. Any game with teamwork and a loot system is a pretty good draw for us, we were hoping Ubi would execute better than Bungie did with Destiny.

Tom Clancy The Division teamwork mechanic

And teamwork is pretty important. While we never expanded our fireteam beyond two, the benefits of complementary skills, items selections, and tactics is pretty obvious. And in contrast to the Borderlands 2 endgame, there really doesn't seem to be a dominant set of skills/items/tactics.

The Division Tom Clancy clothing scarf pants hat fashion

Cosmetic modifications aside, the skills/inventory system is pretty deep. Weapons and armor all have rarity, modifiers, and special bonuses. There are usable skills and passive traits. Vending and simple crafting, too.

Tom Clancy The Division streets trash

I'm saying this about most games nowadays (maybe not below), but the graphics and ambiance are fantastic. The game is set in post-outbreak Manhattan, so there's a mix of GTA-level fidelity and Mad Maxitude.

The high tech feel has been cranked up to 11 though. In addition to the regular HUD stuff, you'll find navigation, teammate info, enemy info, scan info, cover highlights, and movement lines. It takes some getting used to and isn't always helpful.

Tom Clancy The Division fire explosion

The over-the-shoulder perspective places the gunplay about midpoint on the hardcoreness spectrum. Other controls are hit-and-miss. Forty hours in I still pop out of cover with what feels like the slightest tug of the joystick, yet remain glued to a wall while a shotgun-toting ruffian has decided to rush my position. I'm glad you can't get by x-mashing like in Assassin's Creed, but I miss the smoothness of those player controls.

The Division Tom Clancy helicopter boss

There really isn't all that much variety in missions and enemies. Defend cache, push button, or take down evil guy - nothing too creative. The individual enemies have unique properties, but outside of the above vehicle, they're all just dudes with some type of gun and some amount of armor. It doesn't feel tired after 40 hours, but might do after 80.

Tom Clancy The Division Dark Zone DZ01 south entrance

Having beaten the campaign and almost maxed out level, the remaining challenge is the loot-filled, PvP-allowing ball of ominousness called the Dark Zone. Gear is great, but only if you have something to use it on, so hopefully the DZ will bring some interesting new challenges.

thumbnail Tom Clancy The Division Christmas Magical Season thumbnail Tom Clancy The Division studio make us laugh thumbnail Tom Clancy The Division graffiti thumbnail Tom Clancy The Division grow room thumbnail Tom Clancy The Division blizzard weather streets
thumbnail Tom Clancy The Division Colonel Bliss helicopter thumbnail Tom Clancy The Division welcome to the party thumbnail Tom Clancy The Division streets

The epilogue cutscene, so it'd be a spoiler if this game had much of a story.


Broforce screenshot bloody explosion brosplosion BA Broracus

We did need something light to play while patching The Division, so we rescued POWs and Murica'ed it up with Broforce.

Broforce BA Broracus Broforce Brade Broforce Bro Dredd

It's a self-aware Contra knockoff starring a cast of action flick knockoffs. And it's co-op.

Broforce screenshot sneaking terrain level design

With heterogeneous, destructable terrain, there are always alternate paths to the extract point.

thumbnail Broforce save hostage thumbnail Broforce bridge thumbnail Broforce helicopter extract explosion thumbnail Broforce blood
thumbnail Broforce destructible terrain


A few more shiny shots from Helldivers. I really should try an Enemy Master level mission before putting it down.

thumbnail Helldivers extract APC mech thumbnail Helldivers extract mech thumbnail Helldivers extract airstrike thumbnail Helldivers smg
thumbnail Helldivers mech APC objective



An Austin bachelor party, The Division, Firewatch, and Broforce.


Finishing The Division and starting Warframe.

Some more screenery

Starcraft II gallery.