“The Division” is a third-person tactical based shooter and the latest from Ubisoft’s Tom Clancy series. It was in development since 2013 and set to have a companion app to add to the experience. The game has finally arrived after being delayed twice and the companion app being canceled due to having an unfair advantage for its online multiplayer.
Since it was announced at E3, gamers were immediately drawn to its setting and gameplay but were worried because the game is online based, like “Destiny,” which had mixed reviews on release. Fortunately with “The Division,” the game does give hope for online-only shooters having a high replay value.
The Division agents (right) fight off rioters to defend their base of operations in the tactical based third-person shooter “The Division.”
The game is set in a dystopian New York City where a smallpox pandemic breaks out on Black Friday throughout the city causing widespread chaos, and some people are put in quarantine. The U.S. government activates these sleeper agents known as “The Division” to assist a group of emergency responders known as the Joint Task Force. You play as a Division agent that you can create in-game to rescue certain people to help try to restore the city the best they can, and also try to find out who caused the virus outbreak and why.
The game’s biggest strength is its emphasis on tactics, so those having a run-and-gun attitude will die a lot. Tactics are a must in this game as you are required to plan your approach in each mission. Enemies will use cover, throw grenades to draw you out in the open and even try to flank you to get a lucky shot. You can play missions solo, which is challenging, but it’s highly recommended you play with a group of friends. This puts emphasis on teamwork and when you complete a mission with friends it makes the experience more rewarding. After completing each mission, you get supplies for certain areas at the base of operations ranging from medical, security and tech. This helps you in the long run as you can gain certain abilities, perks and even buy and sell your weapons and gear. You can also get gear and weapons out in the world in certain areas or by defeating certain enemies and bosses. And you can repeat missions you already beat on a higher difficulty to get better gear and find things you may have missed the first run-through.
Another way to gain supplies for the base of operations is completing encounters around New York that you find randomly or getting an update in safe houses you discover around the city. You can upgrade your weapons to your advantage by adding attachments that give you more ammo, improve accuracy and stability. But the main highlight of the game is the “Dark Zone,” which is considered the game’s competitive multiplayer mode. Here you must venture in certain contaminated areas to find loot and extract it from the Dark Zone. But as soon as you call for extraction, not only will elite enemies attack you but other players will try to take your loot and go rogue. Those who go rouge get marked on the map, having players team up to try to eliminate you. The Dark Zone also has a separate ranking from the main game and in-game currency is different as well. The one tip to remember while going into the Dark Zone is to watch your back and use tactics.
The game does have issues as certain side missions feel repetitive at times, ranging from rescuing hostages to getting research on the virus activating in an certain amount of time. But this is required to level up in the game as you must be a certain level to complete missions. Xbox One owners get early access to the expansion packs coming soon, which are free if you purchased the game’s season pass. This is a huge advantage for the Xbox One as Playstation 4 owners would have to wait a month to get access to the DLC.
“The Division” is a highly addicting third-person shooter with great emphasis on tactics and a strong online multiplayer/co-op gameplay that makes it worth picking up and playing with your friends. After three years in development, the game turned out be one that many will be playing for a while. It’s now available on Playstation 4, Xbox One and PC.