Tom Clancy's The Division Reviews

AuthorReview
Bytyqi
432,643 (263,900)
Bytyqi
TA Score for this game: 1,575
Posted on 20 March 16 at 00:46, Edited on 20 March 16 at 04:41
This review has 20 positive votes and 9 negative votes. Please log in to vote.
Originally posted on MyGamerProfile

It's safe to say that almost everyone is roaming the streets of New York disguised as "second wave" agents gathering supplies, helping out JTF, completing story missions or giving out bottles of water to those civilians that will drop you a scarf that looks like something taken out of a fashion show. The long anticipated game with 6.4 million Beta participants (!) that was well worth the wait arrived in stores roughly a week ago, and it didn't take long until the shelves were empty.

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The part about creating a game that focuses more on it's 'end-game' than the actual story mission and succeeding is one of the toughest things a developer can pull off. While they've saved the best for last, they still need to keep the player's interest until they get there. With a storyline for the player to follow, where they are forced to take out certain threats to The Big Apple, they make sure that you stay busy for a good while. As you progress through these missions, you'll come across better gear and weapon to keep with the enemies (as you level up, so will your enemies). You know that moment where you go: "Okay, it's 10PM, one last game. Shit, it's 4AM", that's what you experience. It goes without saying that this game is indeed made for you to play it with your friends (or befriended strangers), and you'll see that teamwork is crucial and the ultimate key to success. Try taking on a boss yourself at the later levels and watch your health bar get drained faster than a cake at a fat kid's birthday party.

You'll encounter a bunch of side-missions and encounters as you travel the abandoned streets of New York (they are not completely abandoned though, I don't know why I said that). These can become very repetitive, but this is indeed for the true-hearted completionist or the ultimate fan of The Division. They'll all reward you items that could improve your stats. The tougher the mission/enemy, the better the reward will be. Kind of obvious.

But where do you reside in an epidemic that is out to wipe out New York completely (and aiming itself on the rest of the world?) In your Base of Operations and in different Safe Houses of course! (I'm sorry, but if your guess was inside the Statue of Liberty, you were wrong). You enter the Base of Operations with nothing. The whole place is shredded. And who's to save the entire town and restore the BoO to its original glory if it isn't... you guessed it, you! By completing secondary objectives you are given "Wing-points". These are used to upgrade your base. Before you jump to conclusions that this is just another way of extending gameplay -- think again. The upgrades will help you out in and outside of battle immensely. Some will present you with other ways of battling, while others will locate collectibles on your map after certain criterias has been met. A funny thing to do (in moderation) is to stand by the door entrance to any Safe House and do Jumping Jacks, preventing others from heading outside. Just make sure not to piss people off..... too much.

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And collectibles? What about them? Did Ubisoft finally get rid of them?! Nope. However, you'll find the majority of these rather interesting. There are currently 293 collectibles for you to locate. Some annoyingly hidden, while others are in plain sight and in alleyways. You will want to pay close attention to the phone calls. They all present you with a voice message that lets you in on the story before and during the outbreak. There are six different collectibles. Upon collecting every single one of the same type, you'll receive a piece of clothing that you can show off. The only problem with that is that there isn't anything that truly ties the "reward" to the tedious task you've done. What I would like to see if a piece of a set. And once you've gathered every collectible, you're left with a full set that truly defines your dedication and devotion (or lack of social activities) to the rest of the remainings of New York.


Never mix your Non-Dark Zone rank with your DZ rank. They are two completely different things. You could be max level in the outside areas (30) but still be level 1 in the DZ (max level here is 99). Just like you can't level up your DZ rank outside of the DZ, there is no way to rank up your regular level inside the Dark Zone

Dark Zone, Bytyqi. Tell us about the Darkzone!
I never thought you'd ask. So what is the Dark Zone? In the center of the map, you'll find a red-coloured area. In here, you are able to kill other players. Yes, you heard (read?) me right. But, there is a catch. If you engage other non-hostile enemies (actual players), you will become Rogue. This status means that you've probably got 0,0053 seconds to run and run even farther. Enemies in your vicinity will be notified of your status and there's a great offer for them they just can't turn down. If they kill you, they will not go Rogue, since they are engaging an enemy that is already Rogue. If they kill you, they receive a ton of experience, and guess where they get it from? Yes, from you. You lose a massive load of EXP (meaning you can rank down.) Upon dying while being Rogue, everything you're carrying will get dropped. Items you've picked up from fallen AI's and/or other players will be in plain view to anyone alive.

In the Dark Zone you'll find some of the best loot in the game (high-end). Upon killing strong "named" AI's, there's a chance that they'll drop some good gear and/or weapons. The higher your level is, the stronger the boss is, thus yielding better stuff. But as I'm sure you all are familiar with the term "risk it for the biscuit", keep in mind that the Dark Zone should not be taken lightly. Only enter when you feel comfortable with the gear that provides you with a handsome amount of protection and a weapon that drains the enemy health bar quicker. And of course other agents in your squad. If you're in a group, you'll become less of a target to other players, because why would they attack you when you have three teammates doing Jumping Jacks right next to you?
But drops is not the only way to go about getting these high-end equipment. Upon reaching level 30, you are able to do certain missions that will grant you with a currency called Phoenix Credits. This is a precious currency that needs to be carefully spent on something you really want, as it takes so long to collect them. With these PC you are able to purchase high-end stuff from a certain vendor in the BoO.

Any item you pick up within the DZ will need to be extracted through a chopper that you or any other player has to call in. Upon lighting up the sky with the classic flare, a countdown starts. But this does not mean you're safe. AI's will be notified and want their share of the cake too (remember, the cake is still a lie), so they'll try to do everything they can to stop you from extracting the loot (weirdly enough, they won't ever touch your loot even if you die. Party poopers). Just made sure you're not holed up somewhere and you should be just fine. When the chopper arrives, extract your stuff, and they're all safe, but it doesn't necessarily mean that you are. You still need to haul ass out of there or they'll find you, and they'll kill you.

This is what caught my eye when I was watching a couple of streams on launch day. The DZ is a beautiful way to bring people together, even almost every other Agent you come across (more of that below)

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However, ladies and gentlemen.... However.
You know the saying that goes something like this: "People will always remember you for the bad things you've done, and forget about the good"? (To be honest, I don't even know if that's an actual expression. Well, it is now). The game has had its fair share of faults. Firstly. Within the first 48 hours of release, they game were VERY generous with giving out Phoenix Credits. A good handful of players went on a killing spree killing the "named" enemies in the DZ, dropping 10 or more PC for the slayers. By the time Ubi Massive noticed this, these players had enough PC to buy every piece of high-end armour/weapon in the game. Now, you get merely a few PC by killing these. It doesn't really bother me that there are a few fully geared up squads out there just waiting out their next prey (that being you and me. Unless you were one of those who played the game during the first 48 hours. In that case, shame on you) but I'm sure there's quite a few people out there who feel that their grind has to be three, maybe even four, five or six times longer to even get close to collecting the coolest things, but that's the whole idea of the end-game. You want to be the bad-assest kid on the block with an inventory full of yellow items (high-end).

Secondly, which could probably be THE biggest issue, is that upon turning Rogue and dying, you lose so much EXP, it's not even fun. This is nothing you shrug off and do that fake smile to let your nearby IRL people think you don't care, this is the real deal. And what has this resulted in? EVERYBODY'S FRIENDS in the DZ. Because why lose all that time it took you to take down the enemies and harvest the EXP just to see it being forcibly taken from you by 12 Non-Hostile Agents and then watch them "clap their hands" as you wait for the respawn time to reach 0? What's the point of having a PvP area if almost no one is firing at each other? Ubi Massive should really lower the penalty taken for turning Rogue, because, in the end, that's what the Dark Zone is mainly about!

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And just to wrap this up with two small tips: Remember that as you're shooting AI's in the DZ, Non-Hostile Agents may attempt to get in the line of your fire, turning you Rogue, giving them green light to fire until all that hard-earned loot of yours drops to the floor. And the second one is that people may try to trick you into thinking that they're firing at you, hoping that you'll shoot back, but in fact, they're shooting around you. (Speaking out of experience, don't be like me).

What are your guys thoughts so far about the game? What do you like, and what do you dislike? Make sure to leave a comment below!
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Deranged Asylum
466,104 (273,000)
Deranged Asylum
TA Score for this game: 272
Posted on 05 April 16 at 14:42, Edited on 05 April 16 at 14:44
This review has 4 positive votes and 4 negative votes. Please log in to vote.
Original Post

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Walking the streets of Manhattan at any time of the day can be troubling, this once great borough of New York has fallen on hard times. In the midsts of a truly horrendous outbreak caused by the Dollar Flu, Manhattan is cordoned off from the eyes of the outside world, a shallow shadow of its former self. This once thriving metropolis of business and culture, a glowing symbol of America’s economic power and strength has been reduced to petty looting, heinous, vicious and demeaning crimes leaving the streets that run through this borough awash with the stench of desperation, it’s an overwhelming feeling and it seeps throughout every orifice.

Welcome to the world of Tom Clancy’s The Division, Ubisoft’s latest outing comprises of a cover shooter set inside an open world with RPG elements that run surprisingly deep. The setting is Manhattan, New York which has been overrun by an influx of crime and violence after an outbreak swept throughout the famous borough during Black Friday, the virus, spreading like wildfire through banknotes, leaving the entire population exposed. The streets and large-scale buildings that make Manhattan such a popular tourist attraction is crafted excellently with incredible attention to detail. To create such a beautifully rendered large scale section of New York City and to then be able to stroll through it at leisure makes The Division a visual masterpiece.

A sleeper in the City that never sleeps

The latest Tom Clancy title see’s players take on the role of a member of The Division, one of many recently activated sleeper agents called into Manhattan to assist the Joint Task Force with bringing order back to the desolated streets. The Division boasts story-based missions coupled with a large amount of side quests and activities to partake in. The levelling system and the sheer amount of opportunities make for plenty of gameplay and hours of fun. You can opt to take on the harsh streets alone or with three friends cooperatively, there is also the option to matchmake with complete strangers if you so desire. Safehouses located throughout the environment provide perfect shelter for players when not tackling missions, these small safe havens also allow players to group up and restock ammo while there is also the option to purchase weapons, mods and gear plus buy upgrades.

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Combat within The Division is for the most part exactly what you’d expect from a third person cover-based shooter. You snap to cover and then cover is really clingy for a while, pop your head up from behind, fire a round or two, wash, rinse, repeat. Enemies have different tactics based on their combat role and I found the AI to be largely satisfying. They’ll move to flank, avoid grenades, keep their distance if they prefer sniping and generally at least attempt to offer a challenge. While there are four distinguishable factions in post-pandemic Manhattan, they don’t behave much differently in general and are only aesthetically varied. You have rioters: low-level guys in hoodies and poorly armed which occasionally come at you with baseball bats. The most interesting of factions, in my opinion, are by far the Cleaners: former blue collar workers that have taken it upon themselves to cleanse the disease from the city by any means necessary. They prefer fire-based weapons and will routinely rush you and try to flush you out of cover. You can counter them easily by shooting their fuel can packs. The Rikers are escaped convicts under the leadership of LaRae Barret and are among the more violent and aggressive of factions. The most competent faction is The Last Man Batallion, a Private Military Company that’s assumed control of part of Manhattan. They have the best weapons and will use the most advanced tactics.

Your skills, while not spectacular are useful tools. I’d call them utilitarian at best. You can mix and match between three different trees: Medical (self-explanatory), Technology (support and crowd control) and Security (tanking). You unlock these skills and abilities by upgrading your base through missions as described before and there’s no “class” limitation. You can essentially use and equip skills that fit your play style at any given time. One problem that the game has is that throughout the campaign the non-elite enemies are not particularly challenging and you’ll often forget to use your skills. This changes during the late and end game when you’ll have to use every trick in your arsenal in order to survive.

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The gunplay is almost realistic. I say almost for a very good reason, so bear with me. You’re an incredibly frail human being, just like in real life. A few bullets will rapidly chase you behind cover, health takes a long time to regenerate and won’t do it fully without the use of a medkit, recoil is very difficult to control and just holding down the fire button is a surefire way (pun intended) to miss your target. Reloading also takes quite a bit of time. And all the realism falls to pieces because this is an RPG and enemies soak up bullets like high-end sponges. You can empy an entire AK-47 magazine into a hoodie-wearing gangster’s head and maybe kill him. This is because The Division is essentially a looter-shooter, much like Borderlands, and stats trump your skill and accuracy. The dissonance is a lot more apparent here since in something like Borderlands or your favorite loot-based RPG you fight enemies that are far removed from the realm of the mundane so it’s not that distracting when they can take a lot of punishment since you’re probably firing fictional weapons at fictional enemies. Here you use familiar weapons against familiar foes in a familiar setting in a very alien manner. It’s not a dealbreaker by any stretch of the imagination but it is noticeable.

The affair of shooting for weeks at an enemy is made a lot less dull if playing with friends, as your tactics will become a lot more refined. You can draw fire while your friends move to flank, or keep the enemy suppressed while you regroup. It’s a shame that enemies scale to the highest player in the group, however, so if playing with your friends, you’ll want to make sure you all stay fairly within the same level range.

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The Division does contain a satisfying gritty and compelling storyline but it is slightly overshadowed by the repetitve nature of the games side missions and activities. There is no simple way to blast through the campaign without taking time out to encounter these missions and no amount of stopping to assist civilians with medkits or canned food will surfice, neither will random encounters with gang members while out taking in the landscape. XP dictates a large percentage of the games play. Level caps are placed on each mission which makes side missions all the more important, they carry with them a high amount of XP and open up a different avenue for players wanting to reach a desired rank to take on missions further into the campaign. Sadly these side missions feel overused and you’ll feel yourself following the same path on more than one occasion, this takes you away from the storyline which makes it less likely you’ll find yourself engrossed with what should be an exciting and powerful storyline. While it’s enough to satisfy from a co-op standpoint, at times it’s the games exciting combat system and Dark Zone that help to bring The Division to life.

The Darkness that consumes

I’ll be the first to admit that I entered The Divisions Dark Zone with a reasonable amount of trepidation. My experiences of the recent beta taught me that this wasn’t an area of the map I should enter or take lightly, it’s an area that breeds caution and for very good reason, it’s a place where fellow players can turn on you in the blink of an eye, it’s something that happens all too often. The Dark Zone provides players that dare to enter with the chance to take down one another, capturing the fallen’s precious loot, this idea alone brings out the inner evil in players, that thirst to kill another human player, relieving them of their loot proves too easy an option for most. There is an undeniable fear that comes from the not knowing and that fear alone makes The Division’s Dark Zone an exciting yet daunting place to be.

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My first venture into the Dark Zone was one born out of eagerness, after spending an hour or so wandering the dim lit streets taking on enemies of a similar level, looting their bodies without trouble, I soon had three players surrounding me, at first, they appeared to be assisting me dispatch of a common enemy, in that moment I lowered my guard, I no longer felt the need to have them in front of me at all times, unfortunately, that would prove to be a huge mistake, one that I would have to learn from. With bodies strewn across the icy streets, I approached my newly earned loot, seemingly safe from harm. No sooner had I turned away from the group, a barrage of bullets penetrated my back, stupidly, I turned, to see the three players suddenly coated in red. My first stint in the Dark Zone was a massive wake up call, this really is an area where nothing can be taken for granted, a place where very few could be trusted, where you live by the gun and die by it too.

Of course, not every player walking the Dark Zone is out for my blood, following on from my sobering first experience I found myself again with a large group of strangers only, this time, I really was safe. We paraded the streets together like a motley crue of loot hungry renegades wiping out enemies left, right and centre, looting high-value items before extracting them safely via helicopter. My newly formed alliance assisted me when I found myself in trouble, helping me to my feet when I was downed. When they killed my previous torturers and became rogue themselves they refused to shoot me. My time spent in the Dark Zone is probably a great example of most people’s experiences, a mixed bag of fortunes where sometimes you have to trust those around you, even if it leads to your death.

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Conclusion

The Division will certainly draw comparisons with Bungies, Destiny because of the similar nature of the two titles. They both share their positive moments but also have elements that hold them back, they are however, completely different. The Division is undeniably a great game to experience in co-op with a group of friends, I would go as far as to say that it’s the best co-op title out on the current gen console market today. Manhattan is beautifully constructed, if you blink for a second you might be mistaken for thinking you were actually strolling the streets of the real thing, it really is a picture of beauty amidst all the chaos that consumes the borough. I do feel that the story is slightly bogged down by the tedious but necessary side missions, which instead of helping string together the story only help to pull it apart.

Experiencing all that Tom Clancy’s The Division has to offer with friends is a major selling point and one that helps tilt The Division from just a normal cover shooter into an experience worth sinking hours of your time into. The Dark Zone is a daunting prospect for most, adding a diverse element to the game you just don’t get from wandering the streets outside of it.

If you’re looking to switch out Destiny, The Division would be a worthy choice.
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