Whatcha Playing: March 2016

I am a huge nerd.

You know, fifteen or so years ago, that statement would’ve gotten me beat up, but now it’s normal to be into video games, comic books, whatever other stereotypically nerdy things. I’ve been a lifelong nerd – I fell in love with video games when I first played Final Fantasy VI and Earthbound as a kid. I’m not as into comic books, but I did have a nice little collection when I was younger. Board games? Into it.

I’ve been trying to expand my horizons a bit when it comes to video games. Turn-based JRPGs are still my favorite, and I had never even touched a shooter of any type until I played Mass Effect back in 2013 (yeah, I was late to THAT party). I do watch E3 every year (shoutout to Lacy, because remember when you stayed at my apartment and we woke up early just to watch E3 back in 2012? I long for those breakfast burritos you made for us), but so often I’m just like “meh” on everything. Recently, due to my fiance and his love of just about every game, I’ve started to try new things.

Enter The Division.

I first saw the trailer during E3 2013, and was immediately interested. I knew it wasn’t the type of game I was good at, but the premise was so intriguing to me. What can I say, I like the apocalypse. I eagerly anticipated seeing it at E3 2014 and 2015, and finally the release date was announced: March 2016. This is the first time I’ve pre-ordered a game with as much general hype surrounding it – I don’t consider Persona games, or even World of Warcraft (at least recently) to be quite as huge. It seemed like everyone was talking about The Division.

Imagine my surprise when I bought it, started playing it, and didn’t totally suck.

I mean, don’t get me wrong – I’m not GOOD by any means. I just watched Nate (so I don’t have to keep referring to him as “my fiance”) play for a little bit, and I almost felt ashamed of myself. It takes me awhile, I’m way more cautious than I probably need to be half the time, but oh, man, am I having fun with it. Mild spoilers ahead, but nothing that you wouldn’t know if you played even fifteen minutes of it.

Some evil genius made a deadly flu, and infected dollar bills with it during the holiday season. You, the player, are a member of the Division, a special group of government agents who come in when everything else has failed. The game is set in what amounts to a post-apocalyptic New York City, and it’s your job to establish a base and get things under control. I have no idea how the game ends, but the story is compelling enough to get me to keep playing. I want to help these people. I find myself really attached to a lot of the characters. I love my commander, a tough-as-nails woman who takes absolutely no shit from anyone. The people that help you are, while not fully fleshed-out characters (at least not yet), have distinctive personalities of their own.

The bad guys, not so much. Some are named – whenever I kill a group of rioters or looters, inevitably one will yell “They got Alex!” I guess Alex is a super common name among rioters in New York City in the world of The Division.

I’m glad I’m expanding my horizon when it comes to gaming. I’ve always had a tendency to go back to older games – I’m also in the middle of my third playthrough of Final Fantasy XIII (which is another post for another time – I could talk for a long time about the criticisms of FFXIII and how I disagree with probably 90% of them), in yet another attempt to get a platinum trophy on it. There are several other games on my list to play as well – on top right now is Bravely Default, considering I’ve pre-ordered the collector’s edition of Bravely Second, which comes out next month.

So tell me, what are you playing this month?

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