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Review: Tom Clancy’s The Division takes online shooters to another level

15 Mar 16

The massive multiplayer online (MMO) genre has been established for many years, however they are usually for RPGs. Tom Clancy’s The Division takes it to a another level as it is one of the few MMOs that is a third-person shooter game.

The first thing that I should mention about The Division is that this game requires you to have the internet to play it. If you don’t have broadband internet at home, don’t bother trying to play this game at all because there are no offline modes offered here.

In terms of stability, my playthrough of The Division during its launch week had been smooth whenever I played it. There were only couple times that the servers went down, but this was because Ubisoft was doing maintenance on them. Other than that, the Xbox One version I played has been going well so far.

The premise of The Division is that it is set in New York City after a virus called “Green Poison” has swept the city and now it is in quarantine. The Government sends out “Division Agents” to help citizens out and restore peace and order. Later on in the game, you find out more about the “Green Poison” and the people behind it.

Like lots of other MMOs, the first thing that you will do in the game is create your own character. This character basically has no name or voice even though they are the main protagonist. You are free to change their hairstyle, skin colour and more. However, the character creation options are quite limited compared to other games.

As you progress though, you have the freedom to customise their clothing. You won’t be able to decorate them prettily as most of the clothes are drab green or brown. Some clothing does offer you more protection though so it pays to choose gear that will be helpful for you in battle.

Even though The Division bears the Tom Clancy name, this game isn’t based on any books or previous material from the late great author. I understand that his name is thrown in there for recognition, but the problem I have is that this game does not feel like it should have anything to do with Tom Clancy.

Actual Tom Clancy video games like Splinter Cell and Ghost Recon are somewhat realistic. You don’t see boss battles or enemies with huge life bars that you see in other games. Not to mention those games allow you to choose how you want to play as you can go all out with guns blazing, or you can do things stealthily without being seen.

The Division however strays away from realism as every enemy has a life bar and it takes a lot of bullets to kill them. The tougher enemies are bullet sponges as they can survive a lot of damage even if you throw grenades at them. Even though The Division aims for a more realistic setting, the gameplay is more in line with something unrealistic like Destiny.

The majority of the missions also lack variety as you are always going to a location just shooting waves and waves of the same looking enemies. You don’t have the option to storm enemy territory from different locations like you can in the Rainbow Six games and nor you can do things quietly. Most of the time, you have to go in the front door with all guns blazing.

The Division is also a game that encourages you to play with other people online. This is because the missions are quite difficult if you try and tackle them on your own. The enemy soldiers come in large numbers and will often surround you if you're playing solo. It’s best to play this game with partners online as you won’t like this game very much on your own.

What The Division does right however is that the controls are slick and there are many options to customise your gear and weapons. The controls are not too dissimilar to other Ubisoft third-person shooters such as Ghost Recon: Future Soldier or even Watch Dogs.

The presentation of the game is also immaculate. The graphics are great and there are a lot of things you can see and do in New York City. The open-world environment is large and the game is not shy on content. You can literally spend hours upon hours playing this game as there are a lot of missions and side-missions that are on offer here.

The Division is a good if you are into something like Destiny. However, some people may find the gameplay to be too unrealistic for a Tom Clancy title as the enemies don’t die very easily. It is also worth mentioning that the always-online component may turn away those that don’t like being forced to be connected to the internet all of the time.

Verdict: 7.5/10  

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