Mov­ing on up


On Fe­bru­ary 17, 2014, Cliff Bleszin­ski laid out the im­me­di­ate fu­ture of the on­line shooter with a sin­gle tweet: “Wall run­ning is the new cover”. The man be­hind the game that put the cover shooter on the map sent that curt mis­sive a cou­ple of months be­fore the launch of Ti­tan­fall, and two years later, he’s been largely proven right. Shoot­ers are in­creas­ingly de­fined by move­ment, skills and pro­gres­sion sys­tems; wall run­ning might not quite be the new cover, but Bleszin­ski’s real point is that shoot­ers have in­creas­ingly come to be de­fined by the things they let you do when you’re not fir­ing your gun. This month’s Hype crop brings fur­ther proof of that fact.

Tom Clancy’s The Divi­sion (p36) would have been a hard sell when Call Of Duty and Gears Of War reigned supreme, but in 2016, now Des­tiny has made the no­tion of an MMO shooter with an RNG loot sys­tem a lit­tle eas­ier to stom­ach, it feels like a log­i­cal evo­lu­tion. Ubisoft Mas­sive may not have ex­e­cuted its grand idea as gracefully as Bungie, but what The Divi­sion lacks in flu­id­ity of mo­tion is more than made up for by a class­less suite of abil­i­ties, an in­trigu­ing blend of PVE and PVP, and some smartly con­ceived RPG sys­tems whirring away in the back­ground. Mean­while, Bliz­zard’s MOBA-in­spired shooter Over­watch is now headed to con­soles, and is per­haps as far re­moved from the Bleszin­ski stop-and-pop era as you can get. It has 21 playable char­ac­ters, each with a be­spoke set of skills, who can be switched be­tween at any point in the ac­tion. Yes, it has guns, but it also has tele­ports, grap­pling hooks, mag­i­cal spells and time pow­ers. It’s all the more thrilling for it.

For those seek­ing a rather more plau­si­ble in­ter­pre­ta­tion of wall run­ning, Cry­tek’s The Climb is just the ticket – a VR moun­ta­neer­ing sim that will take you on a tour of some of the world’s most fa­mous peaks. The shooter has to change be­cause it’s been around so very long, but in the emerg­ing VR space, sim­plic­ity, not com­plex­ity, is key.

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