Summit Kind of Wonderful

Though I haven’t watched it since probably 1982, I’m gonna go ahead and guess the movie The Jerk has not aged well.

But I was thinking about the all I need scene from that movie, and how it’s a pretty good metaphor for Division 2. In it, a destitute Steve Martin starts out defiantly proclaiming the only thing he needs is “this ash tray.” As the scene plays out he grabs more items he “needs” until he walks out of his house awkwardly encumbered with this ashtray, this lamp, this paddle game, this chair etc.

Comedy!

Anyway, when it first came out, Division 2 was the ash tray. It had all I need from a video game; blasting baddies, nifty weapons and fun missions I could play co-op with my friends. But like The Jerk, Division 2 just couldn’t help itself and kept adding layer upon layer of cruft that it didn’t really need.

After awhile the game was less about action and more about inventory management, making sure all your equipment had the same brand logo and working through an increasingly complex skill tree.

Which is why I was happy that Ubisoft added The Summit mode for Division 2 this week. Imagine Die Hard and The Raid had a baby and Mad Max: Fury Road was that baby’s gas mask wearing nanny. That’s The Summit.

Here’s the pitch: You (and your friends) go into a high-rise building and work your way through 100 floors of gun-toting, flame-throwing, increasingly harder-to-kill bad guys.

That’s it.

Sure, there is still all the weapons modding, resource looting and skill point management if that’s your bag. But The Summit lets you sidestep all that clutter for a streamlined gaming experience.

Sections are broken into ten floor groupings. Each floor is randomly selected and can feature small mini-missions (hack into a system, protect a hostage, etc.). The maps can get repetitive, but that’s not really a problem because the emphasis in on the action, and it gets pretty intense.

FWIW, it took myself and my two (middle-aged) friends about an hour and a half to get through ten floors. Pro Tip: Do not die before completing all ten floors as it will send you back to the beginning (die on floor nine, get sent back to one).

Long story short, The Summit helps Division 2 hit a new peak (though it could have used more can shooting).

https://tenor.com/embed.js

4EVH

OK. So, we’re going to take a quick trip to parent corner here. Sorry. It’s still videogame related, but feel free to skip ahead.

As I’m sure you know, Eddie Van Halen died this week. While I’m a fan of David Lee Roth-era Van Halen and recognize Eddie’s genius, relax. I’m not going to go full boomer and lament how the kids just don’t know how to rawk anymore. Gross. The news wasn’t that devastating to me. EVH had a good run, and put his dent in the universe. We should all be so lucky.

What I’ve been thinking about since his death was how Eddie found his thing. Music and guitar. And when the guitar didn’t do what he wanted, he invented ways to make it do what he wanted.

I bring it up because I have a 10 year old son. I don’t need him to be a musical prodigy, or any kind of prodigy or even like the band The Prodigy. But I want him to find his thing.

I try to introduce him to lots of different activities (drums, martial arts, drawing, coding) so he can find something, anything that he really digs. Something that’s his. Something he wants to spend time with and get great at.

But the only thing he really digs right now is videogames. And as much as I love videogames, I want something more for him. (The irony of me writing about this, on my own time, on a Thursday night in a newsletter all about videogames is not lost on me.) Videogames are great, but just playing them doesn’t exactly, you know, do stuff.

I dunno. Maybe this is more about me than him. Maybe it’s all because *I* didn’t become a jukebox hero with stars in my eyes. Whatever. I don’t need to get too deep here. I’ve already spent enough word count on it, and if you have read this far, you’re probably ready to move on.

The point is, I’ll keep showing him new things, and he’ll pick up what he picks up, and hopefully he’ll have a healthy relationship with videogames and who knows, maybe one day he’ll be able to play Atomic Punk without becoming one.

Cold War Kid.Image via PlayStation Blog.

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And because I’m not a jerk – Protocol launched its own business-of-gaming newsletter this week. Though I suspect theirs won’t contain as many Regan-era references.

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