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Tom Clancy’s The Division (PC) artwork

Tom Clancy’s The Division (PC) review

"A serviceable faux-MMO"

Whether or not an individual will like this game will depend largely on the type of games they're into to begin with. For many, this may be a bland military shooter. It doesn't even subscribe to realism this time around - enemies are bullet-sponges that will be reminiscent of Borderlands thugs. Indeed, this game is a mashup of Diablo-style lobbies and Borderlands’ loot-heavy gameplay and menus. It even reminded me of lesser known MMO Defiance, another game I enjoyed (for, at least, a while). The scrounging around mechanic also makes me feel like I'm scavenging in Dying Light, a game I adore.

So, a mashup of a couple games I like, from a developer I don't mind -- it all works well enough for me. I like the way the game feels, I like the aesthetic, I love the weather effects. I don't mind leveling up, gathering loot, or even playing the side missions which is considered a weak point among a lot of players. I will admit I like some less than others; I'm not fond of the timed missions where you run around and activate scanning beacons for the area. It leaves me a bit frantic and I don't enjoy feeling frantic.

Tom Clancy’s The Division (PC) image

It's a bit more interesting with other players as well, and I make it a point to join a matchmaking for every major missions outside the first one or two, which were reserved for getting a feel for the game. It creates a neat dynamic as players build differently; you can concentrate on three statistics: Damage, Health, and Skills. I build full on DPS so I am perfect for running around corners while my teammates suppress targets. I'm also impressed that suppression has an actual point here, unlike other shooters where the AI do not give a damn about their flanks. Here, suppression makes the AI not poke their head out of cover - PERFECT for getting around cover on the blind and unloading into them.

The Player vs Player Dark Zone is... interesting. PvP in general intimidates me, as I try to play against AI even in multiplayer games. It's an interesting balance. On one hand, it's profitable to concentrate on the NPC enemies for experience, loot, and extraction. Yet some get brave and try to gun down other players - which puts a target on your back and makes looting the area more difficult. If you become a full on rogue, you may just get swarmed and lose all progress, making the venture pointless. As a result, I spent an hour or two in the DZ only to find one duo of players actually in rogue status. I got gunned down once by an opportunist during an extraction, but I saw him again later with two other random players and he did not open fire. So the area is a gamble, but it's a very intense experience and might serve as one of the game's strong points - provided you go in there prepared, preferably with a friend watching your back.

Tom Clancy’s The Division (PC) image

There's a couple other things I don't care for. Running from one point to the next is very dull - very little serves as content as you run from one checkpoint to the next. The odd scattered group of 2-4 enemies or so may interrupt your commute but they act more as a temporary inconvenience. In 17 hours, I've yet to attain and notably loot from random groups on the road. Most of my gear comes from shops, crafting, or from doing actual missions.

I'm not qualified to make any suggestions on balance issues - There's people who get paid for that. At the moment, it's certainly a serviceable faux-MMO. I just wish I saw players outside the Dark Zone to make mission-to-mission jaunts more interesting.


Zydrate's avatar
Community review by Zydrate (April 10, 2016)

Zydrate is most active on Steam and Tumblr.

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Nightfire posted April 10, 2016:

I've heard it's quite beautiful but quite dull... Though I suppose that's not too surprising, Tom Clancy stuff is usually a bit dry.

The mixed reception that I've seen for this game makes me not want to risk paying the $80(!) Canadian dollars required for me to get it.

Hopefully it'll get some updates or DLCs that can spice it up a bit and I can grab it at a later time.
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Zydrate posted April 10, 2016:

(Writer here, just registered)
I wouldn't blame you for getting it on sale. I dropped the full 99$ on it (60 for the initial purchase, and got the season pass a couple weeks later). I'm sitting on 51 hours, and I'm essentially waiting on some content updates. Raiding is coming in a patch and I'm looking forward to that.

My biggest fear is that this game dies out too quickly, because the fun factor takes a turn for the better when you queue and play with actual people.

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