My progress in Tom Clancy’s The Division can be summed up in three words: Not. Done. Yet. The Division is something that itches the itch I didn’t know I had to scratch. Destiny has gone stale for so many of it’s players, with a ravenous desire for more content. Even now, after an entire expansions release in October of 2015, there seems little to draw to it. I’d laid down my Nightstalker Bow and Hawkmoon for another adventure, one I wasn’t sure I’d find. I found it with The Division.
We Spoilercasted The Division HERE for any interested.
But now, after hitting level 30, and seeing the end game that lies in store for me I have to say, I’m rather excited. I held off on the Dark Zone the entire time, waiting and savoring that as my end game experience. There’s still an upgrade left to get for the Security Wing, and I have to ditch this blue equipment and weapons for the glory that is the purple and gold. But I can safely say I can give my review of the Division at this point.
The Division is stellar. It is a game that has had the hype train at full speed, and the unending marketing machine over at Ubisoft letting the world know that THE game was here. *CLUNK* That’s the sound of the Division. Despite being a stellar game, a phenomenal and immersive experience, that *CLUNK* is the most prevalent enemy you face in the Division. The game plays smoothly, seamlessly weaving RPG mechanics with the third person shooter experience. It treats sniping as a unperceptive scoped shot, rather than the “press this to hold breath” mini-game so many do. Sniping takes you out of the comfort of knowing your terrain around you, leaving you vulnerable to grenades, non-line of sight enemies, and other dangers. Some of the most fun I’ve had in The Division comes from the chaotic battlefield setting as I engaged in a snipe-off with the scope icon enemy NPC’s.
Exploring Manhattan was a trial at times, random enemies appearing, just as you run past their patrol point was often expected, but I never got sick of them. If I became to careless in a new area, I often got myself killed like an idiot, thinking myself as some invincible god to the common enemies of New York. I was wrong on that front, but I learned as I fought my way through the common rioters and thugs, through the disenfranchised utility workers, and later the PMC’s that held an Eastern Front.
I love The Division, truly I do, and despite my frustrations, my feelings on it’s story, and the simple ways they could improve it, I am left with a game I have poured my time into, and like any good MMO, even an MMO-lite like The Division, I was rewarded to keep moving along the path The Division set before me, with them dangling the carrot in front of my face. Be warned, The Division suffers from the same issues many MMO’s do. A sprawling world that is often littered in minor bugs, ranging from random standing up after being crouched while under fire, to an enemies flamethrower coming through a concrete wall or floor.
There’s something special about the Division. It has that special sauce all continuous gaming experiences like this game NEED to have. That special secret that drives you through maddening rage quits, slack jawed guffaws at frustrating oddities occurring during tense and brutal firefights. That sudden panic as you realize you just postulated an entire Encounter in your mind while at work, torn back to reality from a daydream you didn’t realize was happening. That fire stoking in your chest, flourishing through your arms and hands, right down to the tops of your fingers as you pace your way through New York City, a city abandoned in the wake of a modern plague, with you and so few others as it’s sole remaining hope of not becoming our civilization’s Pompeii.
Outside the compelling reasons to play, the single factor of the *CLUNK* remains. This is an Ubisoft game. Your NPC enemies are at times inexplicably strong, and your NPC allies are infuriatingly weak. The JTF “backup” is a running joke to those I tend to play with, as they do nothing but fire blanks at waves of enemies right in front of them. The cover works well enough, except when it suddenly fails and you’re left taking a full ending to Hero, starring Jet Li, but with bullets instead of arrows. The benefit of the Ubisoft factor is the collectibles. And boy do they have them in spades.
VERDICT: A stellar game that suffers through it’s flaws to come out the other end a great and immersive experience for most of the time you’ll spend with it. Comes close to being a perfect gaming experience, but falls short in too many ways, minor though they may be, to earn that accolade.
Knotty Gamers gives Tom Clancy’s The Division: 4.4/5