I have been following The Division since 2013 and it was a long struggle to get where we are today. But we are here and honestly, the game as I saw it way back in the day doesn’t look exactly the same; certain things are changed or are removed completely. Some changes are for the good, for example a drone that could be controlled by a player on a tablet (horrible idea, but that was ‘cool’ 4 years ago). And if you watch the first gameplay trailer the whole game world looked a lot more… how do I say it… ‘investigationable’ (is that even a word?) I don’t know if it was changed somewhere in the middle of the project, and that they envisioned something else at first.
I know that it is quite a stretch to judge a game when you just have one gameplay video. I just expected The Division to be bit more darker and that the scavenging elements were worked out more; more mission boards hidden in places, guiding you to supplies and missions. Instead of that we are treated with a system that feels a bit to ‘hubby’.
You have the world map (or city map, whatever) and you’ll see that the Apple is cut in to pieces called regions. In each region there is a safe house. You look at a mission board and talk to a quest giver (in every safe house there is just one of each) -> you do all the missions / side missions and encounters -> return to safe house and collect loot -> go to the next region and repeat.
Much like Destiny did a year ago, only in my opinion better executed. With Destiny I did not have the feeling I was on a planet at all. This was created by closing off maps from each other. And when traveling from one map to another you were greeted by our friend the loading screen. The Division on the other hand is an open and vast world. They have created a map that is a replica of Manhattan ( a big part of it at least ) + all the dead bodies and overall anarchy – which by the way, weren’t present last year when Nelth was there. The only load screens I encountered was when I took an elevator ride. And even then it was just a relatively short blackout. I find that acceptable.
Scattered around this city are pieces of intel – little pieces of information – either cell phone recordings (voicemail), incident reports, missing agents com links (or that of agents going rogue), crashed drones, survival guide pages (written by a now missed person) and echo’s. The latter are certain incidents that have been recorded by several sources, and when synced it gives the agent (that’s you) an opportunity to witness this by a hologram. These little collectibles made me go out into the world and get them all (like Pokémon). Reading every piece of information, listening to every conversation, all to unravel certain mysteries of the virus and how it was created. It’s awesome to recognize a person in an echo, and then later finding a cell phone recording continuing the story. Oh yeah, you get some clothing for it to, when you collect them all.
Because apart from the armor and gear (that have stats improving your character). There are pieces of clothing defining your look for the most part. And that works for me. If I want to run around the city in a purple outfit with yellow pants and a pink gun. Without giving up certain stats. Than that is my life choice (just like the fashion-bender you are – Nelth).
The Division is classless, meaning you can be whatever you want. Not that the options are endless though. You have three ability groups, one for healing or support, one for damage and gadgets and one for security (mainly that means you are a tank). At the bottom of each tree there is a special ability that can change the tide of battle. If it is timed correctly, it has a hefty cool down so be careful. There are talents in those three groups as well. These are learned not by leveling, but by completing Quests (you you read it right, calling it like it is) which are divided in 3 types of missions, one for each group ( you will finish them all ). Each mission will give you points and with the points you can create certain stations in your base of operations. The sections in your base are divided over, you guessed it, three wings… And that covers most part of the game system. According to whatever you want to play (healer,dps,tank or gadget freak) certain talents and abilities will make your life easier.
Now I like to wander the urban wasteland alone, but if I want to be in a group, I can do that by selecting the matchmaking system rather easy. Also, with the build in VoIP possibility, communication isn’t a problem. I reached the highest level, rank 30, in about 20 hours. After that I recommend you hit the dark zone ( a zone where pvp is allowed, but be careful who you kill kids; whatever the reward, you will be hunted by other players.) Missions you have done before can be repeated on even harder difficulties (for better loot of course). And that is what little end game the division has now. Although there is new content on the horizon as the first major content patch is to be released this month. I can see myself playing this for a while. See you back whenever I am bored out of my gas mask.
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