Developer: Ubisoft Massive and Red Storm Entertainment
Release Date: March 8th, 2016
Platforms: Playstation 4, Xbox One, PC
With a game like The Division, it’s incredibly hard not to get caught up in all the hype. The Division was announced way back at E3 2013 and ever since it’s generated buzz. Both good and bad. While they stuck to the open world formula they’ve used in multiple franchises at this point, Ubisoft opted to create a much darker world this time around for a wonderful, new experience.
The Division takes place in a run down New York City. A major virus has been released and the entire city is flipped upside down. You play as a division operative. A division operative is someone who is relied on as a last resort when all hell has broke loose and no one else will is equipped to handle it. They are a special elite group of individuals.
Right at the start of the game, you’ll get to customize your character. While the customization is severally limited, there’s enough to make a couple of characters that can stand out from the pack. The character creator is not revolutionary, but diving into the first few hours of the game with my new character was one of the greatest feelings I’ve had with a game in a while. Right from the beginning you’ll notice run down buildings, looted stores, vehicles, and plenty of enemies awaiting you in a detailed picture of a real world hell.
One of the best things I can praise about this game is that the controls are solid and feel different, but completely intuitive compared to most 3rd person shooters. While there are a few instances of the character getting hung up on objects, the mechanics work very well to be running on a brand new engine.
The mission system is split up into three different sections, Medical, Tech, and Security, with each mission having an impact on your base of operations. You’ll complete side missions of the same type. The side missions will reward you Medical, Tech or Security points. When enough points are achieved in a particular category, you can unlock new areas for your base of operations that reward you with new perks and abilities. One of the best perks is a gear customizer from the security ward where you can upgrade each piece of armor you get in the game.
There is an online component to the game as well, besides the drop in and drop out 4-man team for campaign missions. If you’re brave enough, you can head into the Dark Zone and battle not only A.I. enemies, but also online opponents. In this PVP area, anything goes. Not only is it an intense area you are going to be holding your breath through, there is some of the best gear in the game hidden away here.
While The Division does have a few flaws, like always having to be online to play even just the single player portion, connection issues at times, and some times incredibly easy enemies, this is one game that should not be missed. Some bugs at launch, in our mind, can be acceptable as long as the game is a hell of a lot of fun to play, as The Division is. Ubisoft has already mentioned they will be supporting this game the entire year with brand new content, both free and paid, it’s hard to pass up something that good. It’s rare for me to say a game is five-star worthy, but Ubisoft has really hit a home run with this one.