A devastating pandemic sweeps through New York City, and one by one, basic services fail. In only days, without food or water, society collapses into chaos. The Division, a classified unit of self-supported tactical agents, is activated. Leading seemingly ordinary lives among us, The Division agents are trained to operate independently of command, as all else fails.
As a Division agent you’ve been activated, and now it’s time to level up!
Having worked in the retail world for over 14 years I can really relate to the scenario of The Division. Let’s face it, every year around Thanksgiving society does for a day or two collapse into chaos. Perhaps however in such a technological age the basic premises of The Division fails, the spread of a virus through cold hard cash, something very few of us use these days.
Having only spent a few hours in the actual release of The Division but having played, OK only a few hours of the open beta I figured I’ve experienced enough for a review. Generally for me a few hours is all I need anymore to tell if a game is going to be worth my time. Perhaps begrudgingly I made up the decision that The Division was worth my time when I decided to buy the season pass. I loathe season passes and very rarely purchase them at all yet I felt that this was a game I was going to be playing for awhile. In any case I hope so now!
With the exception of accessing items from the season pass and other rewards that mostly showed up for me through the in game Reward Vendor (I’m looking at you 4 outfits that may or may not be in the game right now, see photo) I haven’t had any issues with the game thus far. When I played the open beta it was easy to get in, start playing and team up with friends and others. Prior to playing the release I read horror stories of people blocking doors etc but thankfully I have not come across any of that. I never played the release of Destiny but in reading up on the game I realized that there is no matchmaking in it, thankfully Ubisoft thought enough to make sure matchmaking was in The Division. Much like when I play World of Warcraft I tend to use matchmaking a lot.
Matchmaking aside it’s much better playing with friends and I’ve had a good amount of time playing with friends thus far in the game and it’s probably it’s best selling point. After playing with a friend who has already leveled to 30 last night and gave the rest of us some idea of end game content I am much more excited to level up faster than I was the day before. I’ll be playing The Division much more now!
Thankfully playing The Division is a pretty easy experience. The queue times from launch day have seemed to disappear now so getting in and getting going are rather quick experiences. The game controls seem to be spot on although there are some areas that can be difficult to figure out (it took me an hour to realize how to throw a grenade). The things I like about playing World of Warcraft are the quality of life parts of the game. The Division really makes it easy to manage your play time. From things like Fast Travel and marking items as junk in your pack to the matchmaking system the developers seem to make it a priority to give you a realistic experience while still maintaining that it’s a game.
When it comes down to jumping into the world of The Division, a broken down version of New York City, the game really shines. It looks great and I’ll never fault a game for having great snow effects. The graphics in the game really pull you into the world you are fighting to try and save with very little if any pop up and a good amount of varied graphical design both inside and outside. If there is one bland area in the game it may be the enemies you face which thus far for me have all pretty much looked like the same visual targets over and over.
When I started playing World of Warcraft all those many years ago I remember being at work and anxiously awaiting the end of the day so I could get home and start playing and leveling up my character. I get that same feeling with The Division, it’s something I want to play and continue to discover both with friends and solo. I will say that having a relatively solid solo experience has been a plus for The Division since we don’t always have friends to team up with.
Having already bought the Season Pass I look forward to the upcoming content and hope that the developers will stand true to adding content such as daily and weekly “quests” to keep me coming back and keeping the game fresh and playable. Since it seems that reaching level cap takes about 15 – 18 hours of play it’s not all that long till you’re playing end game content.
The Division was a game in development for a long time and it’s finally arrived and it’s a spotlight game for what can be done this generation that wasn’t possible years ago. It’s a solid gaming experience that will hopefully only get better post launch. It’s launching at a great time since the spring and summer months tend to be the weakest time for new gaming. I don’t expect to be playing The Division for two or three years (or over 10 in WoW’s case) but if the game gives a good solid year anything more than that will be like getting a buy one get one free sale on Black Friday.