I’ve updated the first Division game to my current review system and made a few changes to it as well to reflect my current thoughts towards the game.
Everyone, including me, was disappointed with the downgraded graphics when compared to the E3 footage we saw a few years ago. I thought the game was ugly when I saw some people playing it on Twitch, but I was wrong. The Division is a jaw-dropping beautiful game in almost every area. Yes, the game has been downgraded, but it’s by no means an ugly game. New York City has never looked better in any game and I love how every district has a unique look from another. No part of New York City felt the same and I’ve spent countless hours just exploring the environments with Lunaliah.
The PC version of the game is not a port at all. It’s an actual PC game with a ton of graphical options for everyone to tweak to their liking. I was able to run The Division at full ultra settings. To keep a stable 60fps all I had to do was lower the AA and reflection settings. I honestly couldn’t tell the difference from high reflections and medium anyway.
Every sound in The Division is top-notch. Guns sound like should, but have more depth when compared to games like Spec Ops The Line or ZMR. When I fire a bullet into a windshield it sounds awesome. If an explosion goes off too close to my character he’ll be temporarily deaf. The only thing I’ll hear is a loud ringing noise all around and I’ll even be a little disoriented too. The voice acting is solid when compared to other MMOs and the way the wind sounds when I’m out in a blizzard running around is fantastic.
If I jump over a car some times the alarm will go off and every enemy in the area will know that I’m there and start freaking out before they open fire.
The Dark Zone:
The dark zone is where you go to find really good loot, but there’s a big risk involved in doing so. You’ll be trying to find better loot with other players and you can be attacked at any time by another player. The DZ was a lot of fun and honestly, it kept me on my toes the entire time. When I’m out in the PVE zone I don’t really have anything to worry about. I know how the enemy A.I will react to me and I know different ways to dispatch them.
None of that matters in the DZ. Other players can choose to try and kill you and take the loot that you’ve acquired or team up with you and you can find loot together. The third option, which is more likely, is that they’ll simply go their own way.
DZ loot is often better than the loot you’ll find out in the PVE zone and it’s a fun way to try and gather as much loot as you can before you go to extraction. I had a lot of fun navigating my way through the DZ by myself and with Lunaliah on occasions.
Most MMO’s has us fighting dragons, or going into space and doing other cool shit. This MMO lets us play in modern times with guns and it’s awesome in my opinion. I love the modern setting here, but I do wish there were more enemy variety in the game.
Don’t walk into this game thinking that you’ll get a great story. It’s not bad, but it’s weak when compared to other Ubisoft titles like Splinter Cell. New York City has fallen to a mysterious virus and an elite group of operatives known as The Division must take the city back. I really like the lore of The Division. All of the Intel that I’ve found so far is interesting, but that’s mostly side content that you have to go out of your way to find. The actual story is a bit bland because of the lack of in-game cutscenes and I think that’s because this is an MMO.
I enjoyed learning about the different factions and taking the city back one sector at a time from them, but it can be considered the weakest part of this game. No one should buy this game if they want a good story. It’s all about the action.
I’ve been spoiled by Rise of The Tomb Raider. The gameplay in that game is so amazing I don’t think any other third-person shooter can come close to it. The take cover mechanic in The Division isn’t bad. It’s like your typical third person shooter. You attach yourself to a wall, truck, or whatever looks sturdy enough to hold up in a firefight and start blasting away at the enemy until they die. It’s simple but really fun in my opinion. There’s more to The Division’s gameplay than simply taking cover and firing.
As you level up your base you’ll get access to new skills that can be used to help you in tight situations. My favorite skills are mobile cover, turret, seeker mine, and support station skills. Unfortunately, you can only get two skills at a time and an ultimate skill that can be triggered by pressing the T button.
There are three difficulty levels in The Division. You’ve got normal mode, hard mode, and a new difficulty that will only become available after you reach level 30. Once I reached the level cap I immediately went on my first daily mission and I enjoyed it for the most part.
Most complaints about The Division say that every enemy in the game is a bullet sponge. I think the only bullet sponge enemies in the game are the huge flamethrower dudes that you have to fight early on in the game. Most enemies don’t survive my first two shots from my sniper rifle. When they close I can kill two or three enemies with one clip from my assault rifle.
If you’re having problems killing enemies you might want to get yourself some better gear.
The Division has good replay value. I plan on playing a lot more even though my character is at max level. It has that Diablo/Warframe feel to it. I want to grind for the best loot possible. I might even start a new character after I’m done with this one. The point is I feel like I got my money’s worth and that’s always a great thing in my opinion.
Lack of Enemy Variety:
From the time you start The Division to whenever you decide to quit you’ll be fighting the exact same types of enemies. You’ll have your snipers, melee, shotgun dude, assault rifle dude, and a specialist dude that lays turrets all over the place. You can swap out that last one for flamethrower in certain areas. There is no variety in the enemies in this game and that’s a huge letdown for me.
I was hoping I would fight some dog units or even helicopters. Not every battle has to be against men with guns. We could have fought dogs, choppers, and maybe even vehicles like a tank. Anything would have been great because there is a lack of enemy variety in this game. We got a chance to go up against a big ass turret, but that’s like 40 hours into the game. Hopefully, Ubisoft will add some more enemy variety to the game.
It doesn’t have to be fantasy enemies like most want. You can keep it real and still give us plenty of variety in the game.
Most of the bugs in this game have been fixed. The terror that was patch 1.3 is long gone and, for the most part, this game is stable and runs like an absolute dream. The servers can still be pretty shit from time to time, but they work 90% of the time.
It’s the cool new thing to hate on everything The Division related. People blindly hate on this game because someone else is doing it. You won’t find any of that crap here so if you’re hoping for a mindless hate thread on The Division go somewhere else.
The first official DLC for The Division doesn’t bring a lot to the table, but it does add new loot, areas to explore, and new features to the game. The Underground DLC is part of the season pass or can be brought separately for $15. So far the expansion pass for The Division isn’t worth it in the slightest, but that’s based solely on this first DLC. As mentioned above it doesn’t bring a lot to the table.
The introduction to the underground really interesting. I was approaching a building and it went up in flames right in front of me. Most of the people in front of the building died and I’m assuming everyone in the building were dead because there wasn’t much left of it after the explosion.
When the mission led me underground I was hoping for more story related missions, but it turned out just to be random strikes you can do by yourself or with friends. I had no problems wiping out hard mode mobs with my current gear setup, but having a full party in anything above hard mode is a must because you won’t make past your first encounter.
These new missions are laid out in different categories. Your first mission will only take about 10-15 minutes to complete. If you don’t have a lot of time on your hands and you only want to do a match or two before you go to work this would be the perfect choice for you. As I completed missions I unlocked longer missions to partake in. The longest match lasted about 40 minutes.
To make things more interesting there are certain bonuses you can activate to make things more challenging for you. You can do things like deactivate fog of war or give enemies special types of ammunition that’ll make them do even more damage to you and your friends. Completing missions with these bonuses activated gives you a higher chance to get better loot at the end of the mission.
Almost every boss I killed drop a cache of some sort. Opening these caches always gave me a yellow, or unique item. My gear score went up from 160 to 185 in one day’s grind and I found some pretty sweet weapons too.
Every area that I visited was unique and looked really good in my opinion. After about 4 hours I noticed that I started to repeat some stages, but I’m impressed that it took that long for me to notice it. The areas in the underground are well crafted and enjoyable to play through by myself or with friends. I never had a problem finding a match and I didn’t have to wait more than 20 seconds before I got a full four-party team to help me tackle the harder missions.
Think of the underground like you would the dark zone, but instead of killing other players it’s just PvE. You even get to increase your underground level by killing enemies and completing missions. This isn’t an open world zone though. You can’t explore like you can in the dark zone and while that did disappoint me a little it didn’t take away the fun I had while I played through this expansion.
Survival Mode Review:
Survival mode changes the way we play The Division by thrusting us into New York City with nothing, but a ripped up hazmat suit and a pistol. We’re injured, our helicopter is down somewhere in the city, and we’re freezing to death. To top all of that off we’ve been infected with a deadly virus and we have one hour to live. At first, I thought I would be in a rush to do everything in this mode because of the one-hour time limit, but that’s not the case here. Taking pain killers temporarily halts the progress of the disease and gives us extra time to explore, collect loot, and get into the Dark Zone for extraction.
In order to survive in this mode, I had to find some clothes, medicine, gear, and weapons. I decided to focus on finding medicine first so I could have more time to explore my surroundings and it really paid off. I spent two and a half hours in survival mode before I needed to extract. The neat thing about this mode is that you’re not alone. Everyone is doing the same thing that I was doing, but the odds of running into other players is slim. I’ve only run into another player twice in two runs.
Entering the Dark Zone might put some people off of this DLC, but from my experience, everyone was just focused on trying to get out alive over killing each other. There is a PvE server, but you still end up going into the Dark Zone to end the mission. The only thing the PVE server allows you to do is to collect loot in town without having to worry about someone else blowing your head off.
The reward I got for completing survival mode was excellent. I got a bunch of neat gear and that really improved my character’s overall stats. Survival mode isn’t for everyone. People hoping for some good PVE action will have to stick to the Underground DLC, but I would recommend this DLC simply because it changes the way The Division is played. I had a lot of fun sneaking around New York City while trying not to die by freezing to death or by the virus that I had. I felt like I had accomplished something when I finished it too and I immediately went back in for another run. The PVE elements go along with the PVP stuff and the map is big enough for you not to run into players around every corner. Running into other players is actually a rare experience and I love that.
The Verdict: The Division had a rocky launch. Fast forward 3 years later and it's one of the best games in the genre. It's filled with content, had some quality of life improvements, and is an absolute blast to play solo or in a group of friends. This game is fantastic and it wasn't always so. If you're looking to jump into The Division you can't go wrong playing this one first because it's a complete game and it's one that I wholeheartedly recommend to looter shooter fans.