Ubisoft’s The Division “Biggest first week ever for a new franchise game.”
were the headlines for the first few days of The Division’s launch, soon then followed by articles and articles of exploits, tips, reviews, videos, you name it and it’s been uploaded, published and/or made. So far The Division has had a non stop hurricane of an active community being driven by one of the craziest hype trains that the gaming world has ever seen and is still being fueled every second of every minute of every day and it has only been two weeks. A new franchise that has been killing it and living up to it’s hype, yet at the same time not coming through with it. A game so good that it deserves a 10, but at the same time deserves a 7 for not living up to what it had promised. It’s a confusing game to review, dull and lacking, yet one of the most fun I’ve had in a long time. It’s perfect, yet oh so not? It’s really hard to pin point where The Division went right, but so easy to see where it went wrong, but in the end this is a video game. So if it game can be satisfying enough to feel like a 10, while being a 7, then….. The game has done it’s job right? It’s lived up to what it’s meant to be? Probably to the point that it would deserve a 10?
The Division is a game with so much promise and a bright future ahead of it
If Ubisoft isn’t dumb enough to not let it slip through there fingers, The Division is a game that can be the backbone that Ubisoft has been looking for since the launch and milking of the Assassins Creed and Far Cry franchise. It’s what Ubisoft needed, it’s what a few of the AAA studios wished they came up with, but didn’t. It’s what Bungie wished they had in their hands, but don’t. A orgasmic open world of life, that never takes you out of the game with horrible load screens and match making menus, unless you are setting up a team for challenges and allow it to. It is probably the first game to organically fuse single player and multiplayer together without making them feel separate or torn apart from the world. One of the best shooters in decades, that will suck you into it’s world, without it ever coming to an end or have you walking a linear line of story telling.
The Division is driven by exploration and curiosity
But when the exploration and curiosity comes to the end, you are driven by possession and the possessing, the game of building and becoming feared and or respected. Not by the game or the story, but those who dare confront you or stray by you in the Dark Zone. Yes, The Dark Zone. A Martial Law section of New York City, that was lost due to the infestation of rioters, gangs and cleaners and now…… Agents and Rogues. You roam around this section of the game, also known as the multiplayer section of the game as you fight off mobs of enemies to get loot to suit up your character and equip him with the tools he needs to survive the new world around him. But before you can own those tools, weapons and gear, you must extract it out for it to be cleansed of the virus before it comes in contact with your hands. That’s if your hands ever come in contact with them at all, for you will either fight to keep a hold of them or at least be paranoid enough in a circle of other agents ready to drop to the savagery levels of your most worthless victims, that you have brought justice too. This is a world, where you might want to be the good guy, you might of brought down mobs of enemies and even brought Rogues down and made your agency proud, but no matter how many good deeds you have in your resume, you are going to be the bad guy no matter what. Doesn’t matter if you have standards, you will be brought to the level of survival, that’s if you want to keep what is yours, Your guns, your gear, YOUR LIFE. When time for action comes, if it ever comes to that, which trust me, it will, you will be the bad guy, Rogue or Not.
But for some, the line between bad and good is easily swept up under the rug
And kept simple and more linear. Taking all the complex things out of morality, simplifying it and titling it Rogue, well it’s at least what this game did with the rules of what makes a bad guy. Because in this world you can be a Rogue, while at the same time not being so, you can trick others into becoming what is considered in this in game world as the bad guy, by taking advantage of the good guy when you get him to accidentally become bad. A good guy can be persuaded into dropping to your level by being tricked into becoming Rogue with simple tactics, such as letting your Rogue timer run out and then being shot, which would turn the agent into a Rogue himself or by walking into another agents line of fire, while he is fighting off mobs. Which throws off the whole I’m an Agent/Rogue ordeal. The rules of this post apocalyptic world isn’t really catered to the good or those looking for justice. You even get experience points for shooting dogs, which never seem to attack anyone, just bark at people for being hungry or territorial. You are never really good, you are more just surviving, the only time you are ever considered a good or bad guy in this game, is when someone goes rogue and is being hunted down, by the “good guy” agents. Who are only considered good guys at that moment of time in my honest opinion. Because being a Rogue aka bad guy is only defined by shooting another agent, not if you pick up and steal their loot or corner someone into falling for your evil plans in getting them to turn Rogue. There is no bad or good in this game, just wanted or un-wanted. Which makes the whole agent thing pretty worthless and kind of a lame experience, especially when you don’t even have to kill someone to becoming rogue. The whole experience of bad and good is a little too simple for a game so massive and complex, that it kind of kills off what the story has set in motion, but luckily the game play lives up, where the story does not.
Then again it is easily to bypass the story
When there is basically no story to be found other than, Bad men created a virus, set it off onto New York during Black Friday using money, everyone is dead, evacuated or in the process of being killed and you are out to find a cure before everything gets worst. Luckily for the games story, if you have done the 10 missions or so of story it has, you find out, that it is all basically an origin story, leading to scenarios and future possibilities of what The Division can become or what our agents can face, depending of what is planned for the expansions to come. There might have not been much to the campaign, but the little there was I found pretty enjoyable and the bad guys they put me up against, where pretty disturbing to the point, that I wanted to be an agent and push forward so I could hurt them or at least bring them to justice. Other than the campaign missions, the side quests became exaggeratedly repetitive to the point, that I just wanted to be done with them, but the game makes up for it with content, content that many will end up passing up. Yes, you may have collected the collectibles or maybe you are just not a fan of them in games, but have you looked into them? They are filled with content and the details of the lives of the victims of the virus. We get so see mini flashback scenes and listen to the last breaths of the people of the city living out there lives, some more tragic than others. From homeless singing Christmas Carols in the alleys to men hungry enough to feed off of the soon to be extinct dog. It’s a dynamic world with gorgeous scenery, parts of it may even come and pull at your hear strings. You can be roaming around in a blizzard or a trash infested street and find your self all of a sudden looking around and seeing that the place you decided to catch your breath at, is lifeless, grey, ash, burned out of it’s life by cleaners, it was un-real, scary, that is what this game can do to you, if you get lost in it’s amazing world, because where the game fails, the world makes up for it, I couldn’t see The Division being pulled off without it, because without it, it would of just been another Destiny.
But no matter how gorgeous and amazing the game might be, it has its faults.
In the end, we all end up looking at the same vendor up stairs in the tech wing, buying the same gold blue prints, trying to mod out the same gold guns, while roaming around in the same gold gear. Honestly the only things that stands out, the only thing that keeps the gamer from feeling like everyone else, after getting to the point of fully experiencing the game, is the clothing we all wear. We all farm the same routes, there really isn’t much to do that keeps us all from doing the same thing in the game and that is where the game comes short. The Dark Zone is too small, too lacking of experience, The Rogues get tiring, the few who are around at least, because it is un-rewarding in the end to become a Rogue, but then again, it should be un-rewarding to be a bad guy, well at least it should be, if the game didn’t hype it up as being another side to be on, other than the “good” side, The Agent side. The game also becomes really aggravating when it comes to coming up with your own weapon, will at least one that suits you, you may be one or two skills off from getting the perfect Vector or AK47, which will lead you to wasting more resources on creating more Vectors you don’t need, when there should of been an option of rolling skills on your weapon. In the end, it may feel like there are so many options to choose from, but there really isn’t, after a while you start seeing how everything is just to similar, from the gear, weapons and side missions, to the enemies we face. There is not enough variation in this game, but somehow it doesn’t matter for the time being, unless you are completely addicted to it like I am and a few others. But hopefully Ubisoft comes out with more content before the casual gamers start catching on to how empty this game really is, because when it is all said and done, it should be more then just shoot yourself from point a to point b, extract, rinse and repeat. This game should be more than that, it is more than that, We just have to hope Ubisoft makes it more than that, because oh man, this game is oh so good and I want it to be what it deserves to be.
The Division is a game that is something that must be experienced at least once.
You can not judge it by watching a stream or a YouTube video, you can’t judge it by an article or a review, give it a chance and then make up your mind for yourself, because whether this review makes it sound like it’s the worst game or the best game ever, I can promise you it is not, is it average or in between? No, it is not. Then what is it? I honestly can not tell you, I have never played a game like this before, It feels lacking and repetitive, but at the same time perfectly enjoyable with an abundance to do. But then again, you will start seeing the short comings of any game once you hit the 100 hour mark.