The Division has come a long way from its first appearance at E3 in 2013. After completing the main story line and hitting the level cap of 30 I have had many opinions on my journey. So lets get into what makes The Division an excellent pick up.
As I entered Brooklyn and went through an interesting take on a classic “Tutorial” area I was immediately engaged in my surroundings. The visuals in this game are no joke. After seeing side by side comparisons on reddit of the game and real world , it was clear how much detail went into rebuilding this city digitally. As I moved into New York I was greeted with a sea of fog which showed the capabilities of Massive’s Volumetric lighting designs. Everything Massive set out to accomplish visually in this game they did. The game looks polished, the buildings and iconic landmarks look and feel immersive, and Your characters clothing is plentiful and detailed.
As we move more into the main story missions they are broken into three distinct sections tech, security, and medical. These are unlocked once you have established your Base of Operations in the Post Office across from what is left of Madison Square Garden. After you rescue the three leading members of each section you will preform tasks for them to help rebuild the Base of Operations. This is how you the main story progresses, and how your character’s skill tree and talents will be fleshed out. Every time you get enough credits for the specific wing you desire to upgrade you will be prompted to buy an upgrade which in turn will reward you with a new skill, perk, or talent. The system is straight forward, easy to understand, but manages to feel vital to your job as a division agent. It is extremely satisfying to look at the fully operational base knowing when you started it was a complete disaster.
The shooting is extremely polished and works hand in hand with the tactical cover system. Every gun handles differently and you can really feel the difference in recoil between weapons. Sometimes a gun may be more powerful but if you cant hit a shot it does not benefit you. The crafting system in the game is a little overwhelming at first, but is actually very simple. You get material for breaking down armor or weapons, the color of the material matches what you broke down, and to craft something of one color it requires the same color materials. You can also convert lower quality materials into higher level ones at a conversion rate of 5:1. I have learned over the course of the game to save all of my materials until the end game so I can use my materials to their highest potential.
The story is interesting and one that I believe everyone should experience, the story the game presents you with is great, and if you choose to watch the found footage, or read the incident reports you find it helps expand an already interesting lore. This game has hundreds of collectibles ranging from phone recordings, to crashed drone black boxes. All giving you a piece of what was happening to New Yorkers caught in the chaos. It really focuses on the horrors of a bio weapon attack on the civilians. This adds a fresh perspective while you get caught up in the sleeper agent/ military perspective of things.
The real action in this game takes place in the Dark Zone. An area quarantined because it is where to virus hit the hardest. Inside this area World PvP is enabled so you can choose to squad up with the agents you meet or take them out for whatever gear they might be clutching tightly. While there are enemies inside the Dark Zone that drop some of the best weapons in the game you can easily get overwhelmed with the feeling of no way out. While writer Nicholas Negri and I explored the higher tiers of the Dark Zone together we found ourselves cornered and had the battle of a life time to get out of it. Only to then get killed by another player who saw we were easy prey after losing most of our life. Nick managed to extract his gear while they gunned me down, but it made for a great gaming memory.
All in All I think The Division is a game that is extremely fun to play alone and together. The Dark Zone offers a great world for lone wolf style players, and people looking to group up and score some sweet loot.
+ Polished Gun Play and Tactical System
+ Base of Operations Upgrading
+Matchmaking for lone wolf players