Title: Tom Clancy’s The Division

Platform: Steam, Windows, Xbox One, PS4

Reviewed on: Xbox One

Genre: RPG, Third Person Shooter

Players: Single Player and online Co Op/PVP




Written by Jack 24th April 2016
















Tom Clancy’s The Division was developed by MASSIVE ENTERTAINMENT and published by Ubisoft earlier this year. The game is a third person tactical shooter, open world RPG. It allows players to create their own characters and follow the story as a Division Agent in their own style of gameplay. The game has been released for a while now and most players have gotten to experience what it has to offer but this review will be looking at how the new released free update DLC “Incursions” will impact elements of the game.

The storyline and gameplay follows your character, an agent of Strategic Homeland Division (SHD) activated for Operation “Dark Winter” after a bioterror terror attack on the United States. When a virus nicknamed “Green Flu” was attached to bank notes on black Friday, the circulation quickly escalated. The player is deployed to Manhattan to regain order and control of the streets and combat hostile factions. They will also have to scavenge for ammo and supplies to survive and earn XP to upgrade the character and abilities.


A key element of the division is the customisation of characters and weapons. I personally am a big fan of RPGs and the ability to customise characters, so this element of the game really appealed to me as a player. The customisation within The Division allows players to attach mods to weapons such as scopes, grips, magazines etc. The separation of gear and clothing items is also a good part of the game, as it allows players to equip the clothing items they’ve acquired and dress how they want. The difference between gear and clothing items means the gear has stat changing abilities whereas the clothing items don’t change anything.




























 

Gear, weapons and mods come in a rarity system ranging from worn to high-end and legendary, where rarer pieces of gear have noticeably higher stats. Players can equip a primary and secondary weapon along with a sidearm. There are various weapon classes to suit each person’s individual play style such as shotguns and SMGs for close quarter fighting and assault rifles and LMGs for mid to long range combat. There technically isn’t class of snipers but there are various marksman rifles including semi-automatic and bolt action rifles for long range players.


Gear for your character can be equipped in 6 different slots including backpacks, holsters, gloves, masks, body armour and knee pads. These different types of gear also come in the rarity system and in addition to the stat changing abilities; the rarer items can also come with slots for applying additional performance mods to certain items of gear.


The main campaign is player VS environment and lets the player complete main mission either solo or co-op to earn experience and progress with the story. The Dark Zone however, is introduced to the player as a marker on the map while following the campaign missions but it is available to access from the start for players already familiar with the game. The Dark Zone is where player’s true abilities are tested as they face stronger AI and rogue agents. But that isn’t the biggest problem in the Dark Zone, it’s the loot itself. The Dark Zone is giant quarantined section of Manhattan and this means all the loot is contaminated. So all players can only pick up a small limit of loot at a time and this loot has to be delivered at extraction points around the area for them to be able to use the loot once they leave the Dark Zone. Rogue agents within the Dark Zone are other players who have shot first and even killed other players for their loot or other reasons. These rogue agents will remain rogue for a period of time but that time will increase if they continue to act against other players. While a player is rogue, they become targets and this lets other players attack them without becoming rogue. You could be reading this and thinking “that sounds like fun,” in which case the Dark Zone is for you but for others the challenge and having to place trust in complete strangers doesn’t seem worth it. That’s were they’d be wrong, even though the Dark Zone means facing tougher AI, possibly getting shot in the back in an extraction zone and robbed of your loot, the Dark Zone offers a lot more rarer items than the player could ever find in the campaign.





























Now the game uses a cover based combat system and players who don’t use this will struggle. If a player is feeling brave and decides to start the run and gun idea, then they might get few kills but sooner or later they’ll end up surrounded and watching their health drop quicker than their ammo. The cover based system allows players to be more tactical and if they’re playing co-op, it allows them to think as a team and good teamwork is crucial for the much harder missions. There are abilities and perks players can obtain to increase their combat power such as automated turrets and increased protection behind cover.


With the completion of the final mission the player has access to a new vendor and has the option to replay previously completed campaign missions to earn phoenix credits. This end game currency gives access to high-end weapons, gear and blueprints that can be acquired through replaying daily mission. However while this does lengthen the overall game time it quickly gets repetitious and stretches the experience thin.

The game offers more than just customisations, levelling systems and cover based combat. The graphics of the game have some great visuals and scenery. Occasionally standing on a rooftop and admiring the view shows just how well the visual effects were done in this game. These visual effects combined with the soundtrack composed by Ola Strandh, create a gripping combat and exploring experience.


Now with the release of the new free update “Incursions”, new features have been added to the game including the ability to trade with other in the game. The new update adds new exotic gear sets and includes a new rating system for gear and weapons after the player has reached level 30. The new update also adds a new mission type called incursions. These missions require the player to be level 30 and have a high enough gear rating, while far more difficult than daily challenges the rewards are well worth the trouble.





























With the new update introducing the ability to trade amongst players, this has added an element into the game a lot of players asked for during the game’s beta testing. Trading is still limited however as you can only trade with members who are currently in your group. Plus items can only be traded to current group members within in an hour of them being picked up. This might be stricter than it needs to be. I can understand the worry with the developers, as the trading could allow low level players access to high end weapons from their friends or other gamers. But high end weapons and gear within the game are already require players to be level 30 to use them. So the limited time frame and other restrictions with trading in the game aren’t really necessary to prevent player from exploiting this new feature.


The Division doesn’t struggle against other competing MMO’s on next gen consoles because it has so much to offer players. The customisation and levelling system of the game always makes it fun to start new characters and try different styles of playing the game. For me this is a great game and I really enjoyed it, however it does become overly repetitive towards ‘end game’, hopefully the new and following DLC will patch up these gripes and keep the game fresh.


Apart from the Mexican Stand offs in extraction zones, overall this is a great game that requires tactical thinking and good teamwork.



Pros:

Robust customisation,

Enjoyable tactical combat,

Dark Zone’s gives additional depth to gameplay.


Cons:

Campaign falls awfully short,

Gets repetitious after you complete the main story,

High end loot is scarce due to low drop rates.


Final Verdict,

Tom Clancy’s The Division successful scores a 8 out of 10.


Written by,

Jack



















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