Welcome and thank you for joining me for Rebel’s Rants: Episode one.
I’ll be giving my review of, “Tom Clancy’s The Division”, for Playstation 4. It is promoted as a third-person shooter that incorporates roleplaying game elements.
The Division is a game a long time in the making, and as such, there was a palpable amount of expectation, hopes, AND hype surrounding it. I was wary of this game at the onset. I didn’t want to get overexcited about a game that could possibly not live up to the expectations. I’m sure that anyone reading this has been in that situation before. That being said, I did not pre-order the game for a chance to play, “The Division” Beta. I had plenty of folks, including a number of friends tell me that it was excellent and that there should be no question as to whether or not I should get the game. The bandwagon seemed awfully large and you can never be too sure these days.
However, after about 15 hours of gameplay, I am happy to report that the amount of hype and praise reported on behalf of “The Division”, was well justified. There are plenty of things to like about this game. The first thing to jump out at me was the grandiose feel of the setting and story. “The Division” was ambitious to undertake the task of recreating New York City, and in my opinion, nailed it. Granted, I’ve only had the chance to visit the Big Apple twice in my lifetime, but, as I play the game, it is unmistakably reminiscent of the time I spent there. The realism of the setting lends an extra sense of importance to the plot. I felt a greater sense of urgency to return this familiar, yet dystopian, New York back to a state of normalcy. It was almost as if the antagonists of the story had offended me personally.
But now, let’s get to the important stuff: Is “The Division” fun to play? Yes. Absolutely. The controls are intuitive to the point that they are almost second nature from the start. The cover system isn’t overly complicated to use, and the animations for climbing, vaulting, reloading, changing between weapons and interacting with the environment are quick and fluid. The animations are so well incorporated in fact, that you don’t notice them. The heads up display provides a wealth of information in a space compact enough to never be intrusive. Even with additional items appearing on selector wheels the symbols are clear enough to make navigating them simple.
The gameplay is as fluid as the controls. I don’t recall noticing any kind of awkward glitches while playing. That is pretty amazing considering the verticality of the map and the amount of climbing and jumping involved to get to some areas.
The game consists of you, a sleeper agent of a government agency trained for such events, traveling around to different districts in New York City cleaning up the mess left behind by a viral pandemic, all the while, gathering intelligence about the circumstances that brought the post-apocalyptic scenario in the first place. Each district has a safe-house where you can resupply, get missions from some comical NPCs, and/or purchase new gear. As you battle organized criminal elements and restore order, supplies, and basic utilities to the unlucky survivors, there is an over-arching whodunit plot that needs to be pieced together in the process. You battle mobs of bad guys in the streets, sewers, and skyscrapers of New York City, wielding guns, grenades and other, more technologically advanced, weaponry with both the bad guys and yourself increasing the level, quality, and skill with said weapons as you progress. Which brings me conveniently to my next point.
“The Division” provides a progression system with a high level of character, ability, and weapon customization. This is easily one of the most fun and rewarding elements of the game. As you complete missions, you also unlock abilities, talents, and perks in one of the three talent trees that correspond with the three wings of your base of operations. These three trees also correspond with your character’s three attributes: Damage, health, and ability. The clothing and armor that you earn in the game (by looting defeated enemies), contribute to these attributes. This allows you to focus on upgrading specific abilities or all of the abilities as you see fit. Even if you don’t manage to loot something that suits the attributes or character build you are going for, not to worry, “The Division” has also incorporated a crafting system that allows you to collect materials from the environment and/or breaking down old equipment to create your own new equipment from blueprints which also sometimes drop as loot from completing missions or from defeating enemies.
There is no shortage of content, at least, not for me. I haven’t played the game as much as some other folks I know. There is a large range for missions in terms of difficulty and duration. The main story missions actually have an option for you to group with other players and play at a higher difficulty level for better rewards. I have also yet to play in the dark zone, the player versus player area, where the levels of viral infection are highest and rules and mercy don’t apply.
I have progressed about halfway to the maximum character level so far and I have enjoyed every minute of it. I’m a bit hesitant to try the player versus player area. As fun as it sounds, the prospect of losing my paradoxically hard-earned loot is frightening.
So, in the end: Is “Tom Clancy’s The Division” worth buying? In my opinion, yes. It is a complete package. The best news is: We still have more content to come with 3 DLC packages set to come. Can’t wait to see how those enhance the experience.
This has been RebelScum 4-1-8 with the first of many Rebel’s Rants. I hope you enjoyed it. I welcome comments and criticisms, more so the former than the latter. And as always, remember, Don’t Get Cocky!