This past week, Tom Clancy’s The Division turned one year old.
It had a really rocky start, but this new IP from Ubisoft wasn’t going to go down without a fight. After several patches and fully released DLC, The Division gets ready to turn another chapter as it was announced this week that two new DLC’s are planned for this coming year – and a full featured movie is also in the works.
But is this one year old title worth your time?
Tom Clancy’s The Division
Tom Clancy’s The Division was a pleasant surprise.
While most post-apocalyptic, atmospheric, RPG type games catch my attention, the bad press, fumbled release, and confusion of exactly what kind of game this was kept me from looking any further into it.
My brother I have been gaming online with each other now that I am living in the United States, and after two solid months of Battlefield 1, we needed to change up the pace. So after searching around for a good multiplayer or coop online game, The Division surfaced.
Since The Division is a year old, we were able to snag the Gold Edition (which includes the Season Pass) for 50% less than when it was first released.
A great story, I’m sure you’re touched, but let’s get down to what you want to know: What’s it like?
The game is set in a modern day New York (maybe slight future, considering the technology used by your character). The open world map is very large and there hardly seems a shortage of apartments, store fronts, and back alleys you can find yourself searching about. The look and feel is impressive – especially when you consider the environment isn’t located in an exotic or fictional location like most games.
The short backstory is this: On Black Friday, a deadly virus is spread throughout Manhattan via tainted money. The entire area is on lockdown, crime gangs try to take control of the city, and the remnants of the holiday season are seen throughout. The game has a night-day cycle and dynamic weather that brings both cloudy days, sunny winter skies, and various snow fall conditions.
It’s impressive to see the snow slowly accumulate on your character as you walk about.
Throughout the world, you’ll find “echos”, lost phones, and other bits of information that may turn into small side quests, but always give you background information that explain the destruction and despair that surround you. The only problem with the story-line currently, is there’s no endgame. Even after finishing the main missions, you’re left without a conclusion. A double edge sword, because even after the main quest line, you’re still wanting to play.
The endgame is a criticism, but also a strength.
The Division is an open world, cover based, 3rd person shooter with RPG elements.
This is my first cover-based shooter and I’ve really enjoyed it. Directing my character from cover point (behind a car) to cover point (to behind a corner of a building) has been a lot of fun. It’s rare that you can approach a situation with guns blazing. You have to plan, execute, and adjust according to the ever changing situation. I’ve never played solo (even though I could), but The Division is much more enjoyable if you can play with friends – or at least meet-up with other players in the different Safe Houses throughout the city.
In some ways it sounds like a lot of other games out there, but it has combined online game-play in a very unique way. You can play up to four players in your squad, but when you play in the Dark Zone (an area of the city that is highly toxic), you can also face other online players that can choose to help or hurt you. I’ve never played a game with such a curious mix of coop, PvE, andd PvP play.
[Video via YouTube]
I mentioned RPG, but don’t think in terms of character creation per se. With games like Fallout and Mass Effect, creating multiple characters and classes has it’s rewards. With The Division, the RPG elements come more in the form of the gear you collect, so you won’t find any skill trees in the usual sense.
Which brings me to the element that keeps bringing me back to The Division: Better gear.
In full Borderlands and Diablo fashion, The Division is a looter. There are so many different guns, gear, mods, and clothing elements to gather from fallen enemies, supply chests, mission rewards, and contaminated gear from the Dark Zone. As your player levels up, your gear gets better, as your gear gets better, you can make the enemies harder, which give you more XP, and the cycle continues.
It’s a grind. And it’s so much fun.
I feel like I’ve barely scratched the surface. There’s much more I could say about The Division – so feel free to ask me any questions you might have in the comments below and I’ll be sure to reply.
I play on PC, so if you would like to connect, hit me up on Uplay (dyecasting).
A free trail is currently available on PC, PS4, and Xbox One.