The Division is something many of us have been curious about. Since its teaser that revealed the gorgeous graphics in this snowy, altered version of New York, we’ve wondered what The Division really was.
Most of the gameplay footage was multiplayer, and so this brought some argument when it came to light that no, this is not what the entire game is about. Personally, I thought it would be more sandbox and allow you to venture around and at its core, survive. However, as more and more announcements were made, it began to reshape as something a little different.
The Division takes place in a deserted version of New York after a very strong Small Pox virus takes hold of the city’s people and kills a lot of the population at a rapid rate. A tragic scene that many organisations would try to either fix in their own way or take advantage of. Now, as for the side that you play for, the Division is an organised group of trained individuals who, before called to the aid of the people affected by this virus, were completely normal people. These people could have been with their partner, friends, family, children, anyone…but if they are called to this organisation through the glowing ring on their wristbands, they have to abandon all they love and all they know. Honestly, I find this very severe and very sad, but then I guess it must have been advised not to get attached if you were to join such an extreme force.
So, you play as one of these Division agents. Make your own back story up because we don’t really get one for our character, which makes it a little easier to make it your own I suppose. Your job as this agent is to help take back the city of New York from rioters, cleaners (Not the vacuuming and dusting kind unfortunately), militia and all sorts. You can give the civilians water or food as well as invade territories that are being held by these gangs.
The city itself is incredible. If you live in New York, I’m pretty sure you can identify your home, or at least a version of it while you walk around the city. I think this is so cool, despite not living there myself, I just love the idea that it’s set in a real location you can recognize. The graphics hold the standard of today’s gaming needs, and the details of the mechanics are rather nifty to say the least. We’ve all seen the car doors shut when we go past them.
Now the goal of each main mission in the story of The Division is to reboot the city and restore it to what it used to be. This all starts in your main base, where you can update the resources from a clinic to heating to a canine unit. The base quickly changes from a dusty old building to a facility for civilians to enjoy their Christmas in. You even start seeing children having fun and adults planning Tai Chi classes outside of the base. I love that you see it transform this way, it’s a nice touch to any game.
When it comes to the multiplayer, you enter a small part of the city known as the Dark Zone. This is where the virus is still active to the point where you must wear your gas mask to prevent the disease getting to you. Rather morbid but necessary. Here, you can encounter big gangs of NPC’s, kill them and loot really nice looking weapons and gear as well as appearance items, such as hats and scarves. But you can also encounter other players, some may want to steal your recently acquired items because in the Dark Zone, if you get an item there, you will acquire another little bag on your back making it known that you have loot. To get rid of this loot and have it safe and sound in your base, you have to go to an extraction zone and wait for about a minute or so in real time before a helicopter comes and takes your loot home. This is where paranoia comes into it, as you sit quietly around other players, all suspicious of each other.
But other players aren’t necessarily a danger to you. In fact, I’ve had many a pleasant encounter in the Dark Zone, where they’ve either helped me or just been friendly.
The Division, to me, has also demonstrated a rather large landmark and achievement for the gaming community. Usually when a new game comes out and is openly multiplayer, quests and quest items will be impossible for anyone to get because we’re all fighting over them at the beginning. It’s natural, but I’ve never seen an order being placed so that everyone can get to the point of actually enjoying the game after the straining first step. That is until The Division.
Agents have to activate themselves through a computer at this desk…and because so many of us were trying at once, it bugged up or crashed itself or some other issue. We were all pretty disappointed until someone stood up and decided to make us stand in a line and have a go one at a time. Did it work? Not for ages, but the point is that we actually stood in a virtual line and respected the fact that we must take turns for us all to be able to enjoy this game. Pretty impressive right?
Overall, I think that The Division lived up to the hype it initially created and kept through the time of its development. The servers have been working fine that I’m aware of, and after the server issues with Rainbow Siege, this is a huge relief to anyone involved. I will say however, that as a player who adores character customization, The Division has one of the worst. The lack of option is such a disappointment for a game of this standard, in this generation. With only a few default faces for both genders, and limited hairstyles and nothing when it comes to body editing…we all look pretty much the same. Terrible.
Apart from that, I think anyone who enjoys action shooters with some open world multiplayer will enjoy this game. The Division is a great way to spend your days with your friends while shooting at some bad guys.
Have you played The Division? What’s your view?