Tackling one of the more interesting releases for the first half of 2016, The Division, and why I think this is a genuinely engaging game from Ubisoft.

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First off I’d like to thank the fam over at GG Network for the hookup and I know its a month late but hot damn, I’ve been busy playing the game.

So without much delay, let me write down the reasons why The Division is such a nice game in my humble opinion.

Synopsis:

Tom Clancy’s The Division is an open world third-person shooter video game developed by Ubisoft Massive and published by Ubisoft, with assistance from Red Storm Entertainment, for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. It was announced during Ubisoft’s E3 2013 press conference, and was released worldwide on 8 March 2016. The Division is set in a dystopian New York City in the aftermath of a smallpox pandemic; the player, who is an agent of the titular Strategic Homeland Division, commonly referred to as simply “The Division”, is tasked with helping to rebuild the Division’s operations in Manhattan, investigating the nature of the outbreak and combating criminal activity in its wake. The Division is structured with elements of role-playing games, as well as collaborative and player versus player online multiplayer.

Should we classify ‘The Division’ as an MMORPG? Maybe yes maybe no. But if you ask me, it definitely falls into the category of an MMORPG.

So lets get down to the nitty gritty of things. At first the game looks gorgeous, but as you progress, it begins to wane and you start noticing similarities between one street or one avenue to another. Still the locale is awe-inspiring, its not a joke to generate and build a virtual version of New York City. The other parts are equally beautiful, like subways, hotels, malls and even sewers.

Still on the subject of visuals, you definitely have to give Ubisoft props for making it possible to wear a variety of clothes to some extent. That definitely tried to bring the customization for The Division to the next level. The keyword though is tried.

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Missions are set up to match a specific level, so for the Broadway Emporium mission you’ll need to be at least 16 to be able to match up with the enemies in that place. It’s non-linear though so if you’re confident with you’re skills then you can go right ahead and do harder missions.

Replayability is an issue for me in all the games that I play and so far The Division pleases me because it forces players like me to grind and get better weapons. The aforementioned lvl 16 mission, when replayed, could feature lvl 21 enemies with good weapons, smarter AI and improved armor. And we’re not even talking about HARD MODE.

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Guns are amazing here. Sure, there are only a handful of guns but how they tiered guns in this game is interesting. And its easy to follow for people who don’t bother to go a game’s technical aspect. I have never appreciated color coordination in a game until this game. For my playthrough, I have encountered a couple of pink weapons which are totally powerful, although I know that the orange ones from the “Dark Zone” are twice or even thrice as powerful.

Skills

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Let me tell you there are a number of skills that will mean life or death in the game. Be cautious of what you pick and equip at any given time because on certain missions, they would do squat or make your life easy.

Builds are important too in The Division and so you have to study what build you want to put your character in. My Geralt of Rivia look-a-like character is currently built like a tank with 41,000++ DPS and 38,000++ Health. I can’t say just yet if my current build could really be considered asĀ  a tank, but working with skills like that portable shield and turret under the “Security” tree.

Story

Pretty much what the trailer offered us fans, that’s it. There’s no overly complex plots and if there was, it didn’t seem like they were complex. NPCs have very little to nothing to offer in terms of story. Jessica Cambell, the virologist working for The Division, did get some rather feelsy moments by looking for her estranged, pianist girlfriend and that’s that.

Backstory for most of the characters here, regardless if they’re bad guys or good guys, fall on the materials that you collect all around NYC. From the Rikers’ boss being a pragmatic guy who to Last Man Battalion’s self-righteous POV of doing things, you’ll find everything in the phones and surveillance videos.

PvP/ Multiplayer

To be honest, this is one aspect of the Division that I have yet to touch fully. From what I gathered though, the “Dark Zone” is where you get to find all the sweet swag that can really change the game. Its difficult and from the four times I’ve entered the DZ, its so easy to encounter OP (overpowered) players that can kill you will just one strike.

VERDICT: 9/10

It’s got good replayability, the recent patches gives more things for players to do but the lackadaisical amount of clothing and weaponry plus the ho-hum story are some of the things you need to consider when buying the game.

Special thanks to GG Network and Sony Asia for the review copy they gave me. I’ll be working on the video version of this review soon.

 

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