Release Date: 8 March 2016
Developer: Massive Entertainment
Genre: Action role-playing, Survival
Platform: PC, Xbox One, PS4
Hours Played: 122
Strong winds are blowing against you and your vision is clouded by a thick layer of fog. It’s night time and you’re walking through the streets of Manhattan; moving to the next district where your assistance is greatly needed. “Ughh ahhh! Curse you!”, you hear a shout a few streets down.
In this desolate city where the law does not exist and where violence is often the first approach to a problem, anything goes. Thinking that a conflict could grow out of proportion, you quickly rush towards the direction of the bawling in hopes of resolving the situation. With each step you take, you hear a series of consecutive blunt strikes against a mushy object. A rioter, gripping his baseball bat with insane strength, is pounding it hard on the already bloodied (and likely dead) civilian.
Regardless of his motive, you take aim with your exotic Caduceus and fired off a few rounds to his head. Less than a second was all it took to take down the street thug and fearing that your gunshots would attract unnecessary attention, you continue your way towards your destination.
With Tom Clancy’s The Division, you’re thrown into a world which has been consumed by a deadly virus known as the “Dollar Flu” or “Green Poison”.
You play the role of a Division agent, activated to restore order and peace in the havoc-filled New York City.
The game starts you off with a trailer to introduce you to the plot of the game and who the Division agents are. Then it brings you to the customisation, which is pretty limited but sufficient for the game. You are entitled to select a few different face options and varying shades of skin colour and males have the additional option of having facial hair. Both genders come with the same set of choices for miscellaneous items such as scars, warpaints, tattoos and accessories.
A Sight To Behold
In every street and alley of the game features its own story to tell and piecing them together forms a larger whole of the plot of the game. The amount of environmental detail that has been placed into the world of Division is simply amazing, to the extent that would leave you thinking if all those details were entirely necessary.
You have graffiti sprayed over the walls. Worn teddy bears and beat-up presents decorating the interiors. There are NPCs from all walks of life scattered throughout the city, some of them with their unique interaction. Each piece of furniture in a place has its purpose and taking them away would most likely upset the balance and feel of the location. Whether they are used to guide a player towards a specific direction or to imply a narrative of the game, there’s an endless amount of things you can discover while traversing within the world of Division.
Tom Clancy’s The Division is yet another shooter in this massive array of existing shooter games. Picking off enemies with headshots is as satisfying as it can get, however, be warned that a lack of situational awareness could lead to your demise.
The Division features 3 main factions in the game, namely the Rikers (or Rykers) who are escaped convicts of Rikers Island, Cleaners who are flamethrower-wielding, hazmat-protected sanitation workers and lastly, private military contractors of the Last Man Battalion.
As mentioned earlier, being unaware of your surroundings could allow enemies to pick you off, whether you are playing alone or in a group of 4. The game gives you a challenge of having various enemies that can engage you at different distances with different approaches.
As a Division agent, you are equipped with a number of abilities and perks. It starts you off with 3 abilities unlocked from each of the 3 branches of skills in the game (aka Wings).
Equipping them in different combinations allow you to explore various playstyles depending on your liking, all of which you will be able to unlock as you progress through the game.
Using the abilities you have equipped, along with your teammate’s, you are given a few different options in engaging a firefight. You could attempt to use the Stickybomb to take away a chunk of their health first or throw out a turret as a means of distraction to keep their shots away from you. As the battle between you and your enemies progress, the situation might call for a certain ability to be played. This is especially so for your Signature skills. They are abilities that you activate to turn the tide of a battle in your favour and the timing of activation is crucial. Using it correctly means effectively converting a losing fight to completing the mission successfully.
Positioning in this game is also another key to survival. Standing in a bad spot or leaving yourself open for shots despite being behind cover could set the enemy up to kill you when you least expect it. I’ve encountered several situations within the game where enemies are closing in front and back and with nowhere to hide, I was gunned down in a matter of seconds.
So what do I think of the game?
If you’re a fan of virus-struck open-world shooters where you emphasize strategy over mindless shooting, this is the game for you.
Your progress could be halted countless times during a mission due to a miscalculation or bad positioning on your part (not excluding your teammates of course) and allowing your enemies to overwhelm and take you down but once it clicks for you, the mission becomes a breeze.
The game offers different levels of difficulty if you start to feel that it does not challenge you enough. The game scales its difficulty through increasing enemy health and shields and having a greater variety of enemy archetypes within the mission. You’ll have to find ways to overcome them by using different approaches. Some builds work better in all kinds of situations while there are situation-specific builds that would allow you to blast through enemy front lines like they were made of paper.
This game also features an extensive upgrading system for both your equipment and your abilities if you’re into min-maxing builds. Couple that with your choice of perks, you could spend endless hours trying to craft your ideal build for your playstyle. Each weapon comes with their available mod slots which allows you to fit different attachments to the gun to alter their stats. Additionally, as you reach the end-game stage, the game offers Gear Sets and Classified Sets that come with set perks that will further enhance your chosen play style. Whether you like to play solo or a tank in the team, maybe even a supporter, there will be a role and build for everyone.
If the story of The Division is of a concern to you, then look no further.
The plot in The Division is carefully crafted to help you piece the story together as you make your way through the game and leaves you wanting to know more. Littered all around the map are phone recordings, ECHOs and other collectables that give you an insight into the lives of the citizens of Manhattan as the city breaks down from a world-class metropolis to a violence-filled wasteland with bags of dead bodies scattered on the streets. But among the torn up, buildings are pockets of respite, Safehouses as they are called, with people still looking out for one another, attempting to cope with the tragedy that has befallen unto them.
As with every game comes its own set of problems and possible setbacks that could put off players of the game all of these which may or may not affect some of you.
Controls could feel clunky at times in high-pace situations. You might end up getting behind cover instead of dodging away which leaves you vulnerable for sneak attacks by Rushers in the game.
The grind gets real as you try to craft your optimised build. Each piece of equipment comes with its random set of stats that may be better or worse than what you are expecting to get. The game allows you to “recalibrate” your equipment, and that is to roll for the stats of your equipment. However, even using recalibration, you are only allowed to change up to a maximum of one stat at a time and after recalibration, you are only allowed to re-roll for that particular attribute.
Allow me to explain further. Your gears come with its stat bonuses, major and minor attributes. Let’s say that you have this piece of body armour that is lacking in the minor attribute. If I were to roll for a stat in the minor attribute, that is the stat which the equipment is allowed to re-roll for in the future. You’d not be able to change other bonuses or attributes of that piece of equipment.
Unless you love trying to get the best equipment possible for PVP or PVE playstyles, in terms of end-game content, then this game is not for you.
I’ve heard stories of many bugs and elements of the game that ruins its experience during its release in 2016 but seeing that it has released several patches and DLCs along the way, the game has improved fairly and thus are depicted as accurately as I can for you.
To conclude, if you enjoy a story-driven shooter with things to see and places to explore in a viral apocalyptic world, don’t hesitate to grab this game. However, the game is not worth its retail price on Steam.
Retail Price on Steam: $49.99
It’s best to wait for a sale and grab it when you can. If you have more cash to spare, grab some of the DLC like Underground. I’ll be doing a separate review for them soon. Take a look at my list of trusted online retailers!
To the others who are feeling mixed about The Division or want to know more about certain aspects of the game before making a decision or have your own thoughts and opinions, leave a comment down below and I’ll be happy to help anyone with their queries.
Thanks for dropping by~
P.S. First time here? Take a quick look here to help yourself get a better understanding of my standpoint for this game!