Unless you have been living under a rock for the last few years, you have no doubt at the very least heard whispering about an upcoming game called “Tom Clancy’s: The Division“. Just in case you actually have been living under a rock (In which case, I am really sorry..that was a poor taste joke!) let me give you the brief run down! The Division is is a Massively Multiplayer 3rd person cover based shooter with RPG elements. The game is released from Ubisoft, under their Tom Clancy brand, and is one of the most highly anticipated game releases of 2016. It’s being released on multiple formats including PC, Xbox One and PS4.
Personally I picked it up on PS4, because I prefer playing certain games on a console(3rd person shooters being one of them). Some things to be aware of though, the PC version of the game requires a beast of a computer. If you aren’t sure if your system could handle it, you could always check on Can YOU run it and see what it says, though to be fair CYRI isn’t always very accurate. According to it, my computer can’t play Rise of the Tomb Raider, but not only can I play it, but I run it on the highest graphic setting.
You play a character who is basically a sleeper agent who is activated when a major attack happens on New York. You run through a very detailed recreation of New York City, and help people when you can. This help comes in the forms of missions where you rescue hostages, reclaim food and aid drops that have been stolen by gangs, protecting the people from riots, or even just giving them food/water/first aid kits when a person approaches you on the street randomly and asks for aid.
Along the way you can craft, buy and find better equipment or cosmetic items to help you customize your look so that you stand out from the rest of the playerbase. These items really are important too if you don’t want to look like every other agent in the field, because unfortunately there aren’t very many options while creating your character(At least for males, i haven’t tried female character creation, because I’m a male)..So, there’s a good chance you are going to bump into people who look a lot like you…that’s when the cosmetic items come in handy!
You begin the game in Brooklyn, which serves as a tutorial area of sorts. Once you secure/stabilize that area you are sent off to a more dangerous location..Manhattan! That’s where the game actually begins. It’s also the area that people involved in the open and closed beta tests experienced, so it’s at this point when the game might get boring for some, since they have already experienced a good portion of this early content.
The game seems to be, at least at these early levels, very solo friendly. In fact, your game world is mostly instanced, and you are alone on the city streets unless you group up with someone. There are public hub zones where you can meet up with other agents, and especially right now, finding groups is extremely easy. While the game can be done solo, there are certain main missions that are very difficult, and are much easier with a group.
Aside from the Main Mission the game seems to be packed with content, tons of side missions and encounters. basically enough to keep you constantly busy. The side missions are also very important! If you skip them, and just focus on the story missions you are going to have some problems. You do need to level up, you also need to bulk up your wallet so you can buy new gear, or at the very least find new gear so you live longer in the next portion of the story mission.
The game also does have some PvP, but I haven’t really focused much on it, I just dabbled here and there. PvP seems to take place in an area called the Dark Zone(Which incidentally is also where most of the best loot can be found. So, if you want the best equipment, you are going to have to brave that area eventually. Though I would recommend going with friends, people you can trust, cause the agents there looking to swipe your newly acquired loot? Odds are, they are working in groups too.
The voice acting is fairly good, though your character is your standard MMO “Strong Silent Type”, but the people you interact with do a fairly decent job of acting out their roles. This includes not just the main Characters, but also the quest givers and even the people on the side of the road just talking. Everyone does a great job, and I find that really impressive.
The gameplay is pretty much your typical 3rd person shooter. You take cover behind a wall or a car, pop out and fire off a few bursts of bullets at your enemies, duck back into cover and reload. Maybe toss out a grenade to spice things up on your enemies, especially when they are either clumped all together or dug in really good and you can’t seem to hit anyone with your spray of bullets. Basically if you have played a 3rd person shooter, you will get the hang of the play mechanics quite quickly. This is good, since it doesn’t have a huge learning curve. You won’t find yourself keeling over dead at every turn of the corner due to an allergic reaction to bullets.
The story is overall pretty decent! I don’t want to delve to much into it, so as to spoil it. However what I can say, is that it seems to be a pretty solid storyline. At least so far. Things might get weird and crazy and boring as the game progresses, but for the moment it’s got a good solid plot.
In fact, my only complaint is the name. Not so much the name I guess, but the brand. It’s branded under the Tom Clancy label, which I don’t really get. The game isn’t based on any existing Clancy book or story, and it isn’t even set in the Tom Clancy Universe. So, basically it isn’t canon to anything released with the name Tom Clancy on it. So, why bother with the brand? If it’s not set in the Clancyverse, and in fact has no connection to anything written by Tom Clancy, why does it have his brand? I’m sure there is a reason, I just don’t know it.
When all is said and done I believe the game is pretty great! I would totally recommend this game to anyone who loves MMOs or third person shooters in general.
Overall Score: 9/10