The Division is a masterful recreation of Destiny’s loot cycle but finished and sharpened to a fine edge with more content than you can shake a stick at. It is also one of the first to try to follow destiny in the vain of the “Multiplayer loot shooter”(Really hope that is not going to be a new genre).
The game’s story follows a customized Division agent after a bio terrorist attack on Black Friday. The plot makes good use of it’s near apocalyptic setting. A silent protagonist was not a good choice given that on some occasions your character “tells other characters something” and it pulls you right out of it when they answer a unasked question. But although the story is not spectacular it serves as good framing for your actions and makes all your victories that much sweeter. It also treats LGBTQ characters as not just caricatures but as full fledged characters that are a part of day to day life.
The voice acting in The Division is amazing. Each character is portrayed very well and sounds realistic. Guns and other weapons pack the appropriate punch and sound really good from faraway as they echo through the streets. Ambient noise like character movement and wind also sound wonderful.
The game looks great and contrary to popular belief was not scaled down that much from the E3 conference. The way cover is represented is great and doesn’t have random immersion boxes that seem to have fallen from the sky. Particle effects are great and add to the feeling of the game. All the menus also look amazing and do a good job immersing you in your environment. Word of warning though, 60 FPS requires a really beefy PC if you plan to run it on ultra.
The Division is a finely tuned machine of looting and shooting with such a satisfying progression system that it becomes an incredibly addicting cycle. The pacing is wonderful because instead of a level based system it’s leveling system takes a back seat to the base building progression were resources acquired through missions are used to unlock perks, talents and new abilities and there mods. The system is gratifying and coupled with its addictive gun modding mechanics make the loot cycle engrossing and gives you plenty of room to customize your loadout. Besides PvE The Division has a PvP area called the dark zone. this is were all the best enemies and loot is. But there is a twist, while in the dark zone you cannot equip the gear you pickup unless you extract it by helicopter and players can kill you and take your unextracted dark zone loot. These players who engage in PvP are marked as rogues and can be hunted for currency for a minute or two. This tension combined with the local only voice chat system makes encounters tense and dangerous and playing both rogue or rogue hunter is fun. The gun play in the beginning of the game is satisfyingly lethal on both sides going down in a handful of shots in the later game the enemies become bullet spongy taking a clip or two to take down. Although it may take a lot of bullets to take down a single enemy i never found myself running out of ammo in the late game because i was averaging 700 spare rounds this is a huge missed opportunity to add another layer of thinking to gunfights and gives little meaning to the restock boxes scattered throughout the world.
The Division is a refined and streamlined Multiplayer experience with inventive PvP and well paced PvE with a focus on ambushes. The progression is satisfying and gives a great feeling of rebuilding new York. It is some of the best fun I have had in a public lobby or with other players in a while.