It’s not often I play a beta and have little to say in the way of criticism but here we are, at the conclusion of Tom Clancy’s The Division, and I’m impressed. We heard prior to release that there were issues with it. Every man and his dog had something to say about why it wasn’t going to be great and how many issues there were going to be and to be honest, I didn’t pay any mind to that. I went into the beta with a clear mind, no expectations and no idea about the supposed issues. I don’t see much point in discussing those issues as it is a beta after all so I want to get into why I am hyped for the March 8 release.
Tom Clancy’s The Division is an MMOOTPSRPG with SE or Massively Multiplayer, Online-Only, Third Person Shooter, Role-Playing Game with Survival Elements (Ok so that acronym is not even a thing but it sounds cool and I love acronyms). Not only is The Division those things but it also features a PVP (Player-Versus-Player) competitive multiplayer mode called The Dark Zone where players discover sweet loot to be extracted via helicopter to be used in the real world but more on that soon. Players start the game as part of the Strategic Homeland Division or ‘The Division’ for short, a classified force of self-supported tactical agents. The SHD is established to combat the outbreak of the Smallpox Virus, spread on banknotes on Black Friday. Under the authority of the President of the United States, said agents must do whatever it takes to prevent the collapse of society (New York really) as we know it.
When I first jumped into the beta I really wasn’t sure I was going to like it but the more I played the more there was to like and the more addicted I became. I just had to have the latest gear, the best weapons and the hottest loot from within The Dark Zone. There’s just something about walking around a dump of a city, being attacked by “hood thugs” and shooting rabid dogs (just me? I swear I’m not a bad person) that gets me going. But for real, I’m a massive fan of shooters and RPGs and The Division lays down a nice mix of the two. Outside of The DZ players base themselves out of their ‘Base of Operations’, roaming the wasteland to find supplies to restore medical services, technical support and security. As services are restored skills will be unlocked for players to improve their fighting capability in missions as well as in The DZ. Now none of this is really new but what I love about The Division is how real it seems. What I mean by that is the situation is one we’ve seen in movies and on TV for years. It’s a story-line we can really get behind because, deep down, we all have a niggling in our mind that it could actually happen. Aren’t we all just waiting for it to happen so we can get in the fight?
I absolutely loved the Dynamic Weather System and I feel like it could be a real game changer in different situations. At times, heavy fog will roll on through and visibility is severely restricted making it almost impossible to see threats approaching. The detail in the environment is impressive and little things like snow falling and bullet penetration of car windows create a realistic feel.
What I’m really hyped about with this game, despite how good I think the main story-line is going to be, is The Dark Zone. Rolling around as a team, collecting loot and getting it extracted from the air is pretty sweet. What makes it really great is that you’re on the edge of your seat the entire time you’re in there. At any stage other players can just kill you and steal your shit and there’s not a whole lot you can do about it. Sure, they’re going to be labelled ‘rogue’ but a short cool down with some smart team tactics will see them home and clear. The most nail-biting part of the entire ordeal is the extraction; any and all players may call for a chopper in one of the designated landing zones and when they do, people come running. You have a nervous 90 second wait in a Mexican stand-off of sorts with any number of players. As soon as that line drops people scurry out from apparently nowhere to load up their infected gear and scurry away just as quickly to grab more once it’s done. Make no mistake, your heart will be racing as you wait for that chopper, eyeing each and every bastard within that zone. It’s something I can’t recall experiencing in a game.
Demand for the beta was incredible with Ubisoft even going so far as to extend it to allow more players into the game. The general feel at DYEGB was that it looks to be a good game with a lot of potential to be great. I’m really looking forward to jumping into the full version soon to get a chance to play around with some of the other functions not available in the beta.
Did you enjoy the beta? Let us know what you liked or didn’t like in the comments below.
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Tom Clancy’s The Division is set for release March 8 on PS4, Xbox One and PC