Ubisoft’s The Division is set to be this year’s Destiny. While it shares some similarities with Bungie’s shared world shooter like random loot drops and daily missions, The Division can definitely stand on its own two feet and do its own thing. The Division’s 3rd person cover based action helps to set up the game as its own entity and is one of the main things that differentiate it from Destiny.
The Division is set in a disease-ravaged New York City that’s been cut off from the rest of the world after someone released money containing a modified version of the small pox virus into the general public on Black Friday. By putting the contagion on money, they assured that it would spread to as many people as possible on America’s biggest shopping day of the year leading to a massive outbreak. This is where you come in.
As an agent of The Division, a secret government-funded group of elite soldiers who were put in place for an incident just like this, it’s your job to help hold the city together by any means necessary. Restoring power, water and communication are your main goals along with clearing the city of the many criminals and finding out who is responsible for the outbreak.A large portion of New York City has been recreated in great detail. Everything from streets to well-known landmarks like Madison Square Garden can be found in The Division right where you would expect to find them in real life. Aesthetically things have obviously been changed since you’re in the middle of a quarantine situation. The city is in shambles with cars blocking snow-covered roads and intersections while ever-changing weather conditions affect your visibility. Garbage and dead bodies fill the streets giving The Division a great post-apocalyptic feeling.
The Division will set you out on a lot of different missions but for the most part all of the missions are basically the same thing. Go here; kill the bad guys and leave, usually with some kind of new intel or surveillance footage. Side missions work pretty much the same way. Go to a place, clear the enemies and move on while occasionally defending a group of soldiers or protecting supplies until soldiers arrive. It gets to be very repetitive but the action still makes it enjoyable.
Boss fights suffer from the same problems as missions. The bosses of each mission are all for the most part the same. They are big, they have big guns and they shoot at you. Aside from the weapon they choose to use the only difference between any of them is where their weak spots are which is usually a tank or ammo pouch on their back. This is disappointing. A simple mechanic like luring a boss with a flamethrower to an area where water can be dumped on him by another teammate on a higher floor to put out his flamethrower while you do damage would add considerably more depth to the fights that right now just feel like you’re battling an overpowered version of a standard enemy.The PvP side of The Division takes place in the dark zone, a highly contaminated section of New York where criminals and rogue agents rule the streets. This is where some of the game’s best loot can be acquired, if you can get it out of the dark zone by calling in an extraction. Once the extraction is called in,everyone in the area will know you have something you want to get out and if they kill you before you can get your loot out they can take it for their own. The dark zone is an amazing PvP idea that leads to tense standoffs with other random agents who could turn on you at any second to steal your hard-earned loot. The dark zone has proximity-based voice chat so if you’re using a microphone anyone in the area can hear you and you can hear them so be careful when planning to take out other agents, there’s a good chance they just heard you say you were going to kill them.
In terms of end game content there isn’t all that much to talk about yet. Once you hit level 30 you unlock daily missions and challenge modes. Completing these will net you some phoenix credits which are end game currency for buying high-end items. Past level 30 your level stops mattering in favor of a gear score. The total of all the gear you’ve acquired will be your gear score which is what will tell you if you’re strong enough for end game activities like the not-yet-released incursions which will be similar to raids in Destiny. You and 3 friends team up to take on some kind of massive challenge. While that challenge still remains a mystery, it will be interesting to see if they change the way missions and boss fights work to be more eventful.
The Division is an overall good game that made a few mistakes. The amazingly detailed environment is beautiful in a sort of post-apocalyptic way and is littered with fun, little Easter Eggs to find. While missions and boss fight do suffer from repetitiveness, they’re still enjoyable, just not as much as they could be. Like Destiny, The Division’s major draw is getting the best loot and the end game content which we have yet to see. Once I’ve had a chance to check out the end game content in full when it releases I’ll be updating this review to reflect that.
NOTE: THE REVIEW IS OLD AND IS JUST A BACK UP OF THE PREVIOUS ONE.