Written by Twisted Ideas
The Division is a game that I’ve been hearing about for years and it still has yet to release. I had little interest in the game prior to the open beta that appeared on the PlayStation Store earlier this week but I decided to give it a try. I did all of the story missions available to me and I leveled up enough to get into the Dark Zone, online portion of the game and my big questions is, what’s everyone so excited about?
You’re thrust into the main story line of The Division in progress, acclimatizing you to the game’s setting. The Division has appeared to have a happy balance between the single player and multiplayer. The single player mode is where you play the game’s story and unlock new skills and ability for your character and level up. The multiplayer component showed a free roam, (which I didn’t explore) and Dark Zone. The Dark Zone is where you find better loot than you would in any other mode. The Dark Zone has its own level system but it only seems to be used to buy or access better loot. The Dark Zone is populated by strong CPUs and other players who can fight you if they choose.
I like the game’s structure. It’s a fairly unique system that wants you to progress the game’s story to be stronger for the multiplayer.My problem is how ordinary it really is. The Division just feels like a regular shooter but just with an emphasis on online. It has been compared to Destiny, also a shooter RPG but with Destiny you really felt that anything could happen. The Division is about a virus outbreak in New York. You can tell good stories in that setting but I don’t think that will happen. The game isn’t a survival game like Day-Z or Rust either. The Dark Zone could be fun to see how far you could go but what is this game’s ceiling? Are the game’s best guns and gear just guns and gear with high stats? It the end of the Dark Zone just New York with stronger enemies? I have little faith that the game will have a great payoff at the end.
This is my personal bias against games with a huge multiplayer component that expects a commitment between players; but the gameplay didn’t hook me either. It plays well and the potential for teamwork but I think I would get more out of other shooters than The Division.
The Division didn’t look like it was pushing any boundaries after I played the beta. This is a game that was announced over three years ago and probably in development at least a year prior. Why does this game feel so typical? Ubisoft’s gameplay trailers with real people talking and playing in ways that normal people would didn’t help. It made the mechanics feel more important than it actually is. I know that zombies have been done before but is this game just you versus other factions of people? Was this long wait just for this? I am not impressed. It’s not to say that people won’t have fun with the game. I know people who absolutely adore what they played in the betas. I however, am not sold in the slightest.