The Division: Divided We Stand


My First Impression of The Division, what works, what doesn’t and what needs to be changed.

Going into The Division I was expecting a Borderlands Style game, which now that I look back, I don’t know exactly what that entails. After playing The Division for a total of 38+ hours, I can say the experience was much closer to DayZ or H1Z1 done extremely well with a Diablo style loot and grind system and a middle of the road approach to hardcore PvP we used to see in Runescape, Diablo, etc.

The Division feels like a third person survival game to me but with more tactical movement. Some people might not be a fan of the latch to cover system (the absence of jumping and crouching might also annoy people), but it works in The Division, it reminds me a lot of Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter.

The problem a lot of games nowadays that go with the MMO/pseudo-MMO approach is that they run out of content quickly and are unable to produce content at a fast enough rate for their player base. Part of this is due to that players have forgotten that even games like World of Warcraft didn’t have tons of content on launch, they just happened to be the first of their kind and people were learning at the time which meant things lasted longer. The Division has a ton of content on launch, but I hope they can keep up the production of content as time moves forward. You have to realize we still didn’t see ½ of the factions in the Beta test, we haven’t experienced the full game yet at all. The event in the Beta with The Cleaners is a great example of how they could create content easily to keep players entertained while they try to pump out and expansion. Having Daily/Weekly community quests sounds like a great idea.

The whole open world PvE and PvP, being able to stumble across players, it’s something gaming needs again. We’ve become so accustom to being able to hit a button and getting matched with a group of faceless individuals we just grind something out with and go our separate ways. Video games don’t seem to have communities anymore, no one socializes, but with The Division you’re forced to form somewhat of an Alliance with other players to brave the harsh battlefield that exists in NYC.

Dark Zone PvP was what I personally have wanted in a PvP system for a while, I want there to be risk associated with getting better loot, it’s more rewarding. While a lot of people might not like the fact that you lose loot when you die in the Dark Zone but that’s the inherent risk. The whole purpose is that you need to be tactical, pay attention to your surroundings, and meet other players to work together to get the better gear. If you don’t like the fact that you lose items in the Dark Zone, you don’t need to play in the Dark Zone, there’s 4x as much PvE space.

Now to the things I didn’t like or might be afraid of in the future.

How will DLC and Microtransactions work? Are we going to have more content to play if we don’t buy the DLC or is it just going to be locked behind a paywall? I know it’s been stated the first raid is free and there are 3 paid expansions, this is a decent model if it stays that way. Perhaps allow players to play paid content as long as a friend owns it, similar to PayDay. This allows people to play content with friends, but incentivises them to buy it because they’d want to play it when their friends aren’t online.

Are cosmetics going to still drop on full release or are they all going to be microtransactions? I personally was disappointed with the cosmetic system until I ended up finding some clothes that made me look pretty unique, it ended up being one of my favorite features. Please don’t put it behind a paywall entirely, I’d be willing to buy cosmetics but if you lock the entire system out it would be incredibly disappointing.

Going rogue was a tad too easy, someone could be a jackass and run in front of your bullets causing you to go rogue. Shooting a turret once would make it go rogue and shoot the player that shot it causing you to go rogue. I’m not sure how to fix the former, you’re always going to have people being jackasses in video games, the latter is tricky because if you disable turrets going rogue, then a rogue player can just destroy your turret for free.

Comparing new gear you just received was a hassle at times. It didn’t actively display all the numbers necessary to judge what was best for the build you were going for. Just a quality of life change here should be made, a list of all the stats on your screen when comparing gear would be useful.

Positives and Negatives

+A survival game done right, tight controls, great combat and gameplay
+Right amount of grind, building up your gear sets will be awesome
+PvP has the right amount of risk and reward

=No jump or crouch function

-Surviving a Manhunt in PvP doesn’t seem worth it
-Is DLC going to divide the player base too much?
-Needs better ways to compare gear and mods
-Some pathing glitches, not being able to walk over a curb, getting stuck on top of chests, etc

For anyone that likes survival games like DayZ or H1Z1 this game should definitely be a buy. It’s a nice spin on the concept and if the community is there the game has a great potential. Overall this is a buy for me, but for a lot of people it might be a wait to buy, seeing where DLC will be headed and if the community is still there after a month or two.

Rating: Buy or Wait 1-2 months

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