The latest from Tom Clancy and Ubisoft is nothing short of breathtaking.
Since The Division was released back on the 8th of March 2016 I know I’m a little late, but as the saying goes "better late than never". I got my copy while I was on holiday in Italy back in June and I try to play as much as I can which isn’t as much as I’d like… because of life and shit. The Division is a perfect mix of a RPG (Role Playing Game) and a 3rd person (I personally found it close to Gears of War), set in the open world sandbox of Manhattan, though seems to be mainly based between 14th street (south) and 59th (north), and I can only assume more of the city will open up when addition patches are made public.
The detail of the environment is second to none, I’ve spent a little time walking the streets of New York in real life, but even I noticed a lot of similarities, a bit of reading online confirms the game’s NYC is almost the same as the real one with only a few streets removed.
Back in 2001 the US government conducted a simulation of a bio attack of smallpox on major cities to see how the nation could cope, it failed miserably. That wasn’t from the game, that was the real world scenario that The Division is based on. In the aftermath of the test, which was called ‘Operation Dark Winter’ the president made a new law called Directive 51, which helps the government keep order in such events.
Enter The Division where in its universe, the Homeland Security has placed sleeper agents into the population so if anything ever happens they are in the perfect position to help out in any way they can. It is in this world that someone has infected a large amount of cash with a virus on Black Friday and so begins the emergency. The player must then do missions to gain materials to build up their base, this is more important than it looks. There are also side missions which will shine a bit more light into the story.
"But Dan you said this was a shooter, what’s all this about viruses and stuff?" Well it turns out when something like this happens society crumbles a bit, so yes there are people to kill. They are lumped into 4 ‘gangs’ so to speak.
First you have the Rioters who are lightly armed and just out to loot. Then we have the Cleaners, insane sanitation workers who think everyone but them are sick and need to be cleansed with fire and light assault weapons. Next there is a group called the Rikers, a bunch of inmates who escaped from Riker Island prison. I’ll leave the last group anonymous since they are heavily attached to the plot.
The game play is quite intelligent and close to Gears of War in the use of cover and the roadie run. The matchmaking is flawless for when finding a group. In the centre of the map there are 4 areas called Danger Zones where it’s full of elite enemies with awesome loot and bonuses, just watch out, that random person who’s been helping could go rouge and blast you, this is also a PvP (player vs player) map.
I’ve been interested in The Division since last year when a lot more details came out at E3 but it wasn’t until a friend told me about it after an all weekend binge that it got me frothing at the mouth. Now that I’ve finally got it, I love it, the visuals are stunning, the game play is easy to learn, clever and the story is gripping and makes you want to keep going. This is a game that has been 3 years in the making and it really shows with its attention to detail, is a must for any lovers of shooters, RPGers and fans of either Destiny and/or Gears of War.
Written by Dan.