Let me start this list off with a statement – I am not a massive fan of Ubisoft. I think that their games are, in the most part, recycled, re-skind, and re-hashed. I’m looking at you, Assassin’s Creed series. That being said, they do make good games – despite how unoriginal they sometimes are. The Division was a foray into something more unique, though, and for that I applaud them. Whilst it hasn’t exactly had the best of releases, and it’s been marred by quite a few issues along the way, I still believe that it’s a solid game. But evidence, right? Here are my four reasons for believing that The Division deserves a bit of a break.
There’s not a huge amount to say about the story, other than that it’s pretty solid. It’s got everything you’d want for the type of game it is, plus some great characters along the way. I really enjoy the individual characters that guide you in each region of the map, telling you about missions and people that need help. From the guy who once starred in a TV series around the special forces, and likes to remind you of such at every given opportunity, to the guy who has severe allergies, and just can’t catch a break. It helps to make those missions feel a little more unique, even when they’re quite samey in content – as is with many an MMO (which The Division pretty much is…). Either way, the story and the characters have really kept me engaged with the game itself, and I find myself looking forward to unearthing new chapters to both the main and side missions. That’s good for an MMO, because the story can quite often get lost in the vastness of the world, and the repetitiveness of the content.
The co-operative multiplayer
As a single player RPG, there are better options out there. If you’re looking for a great single-player role-playing experience, stick to games like Fallout. With games specifically designed for a single-player experience, the content is always far richer and the story is always more engaging and meaningful. As an MMORPG, which The Division pretty much is (or is at least a version of) the co-operative multiplayer really stands strong. I’ve had no server issues, whilst playing with my brother, and I’ve constantly been engaged with the missions and story – even when he’s a higher level than me, and he’s done much of what I’m doing once before. We’re still enjoying the experience, and I think that’s a good sign. Other than that, the multiplayer in the Dark Zone is great, which leads me on to my next point.
The Dark Zone
I’ve not played many MMOs, so The Dark Zone is quite unique in my experience. I’m sure that there are zones, or similar, in WoW (and other games) which people will point out and compare The Dark Zone to – but for me, it’s a great idea. I love the fact that you can team up with other players to take on much harder enemies. But, at the same time, those other players could turn on you at any second. It makes for a very intense, but incredibly rewarding experience. When you add in the fact that you have to ‘extract’ any gear that you find in there, you have yourself a very edgy experience. I’ve been burnt by players who I thought were cool, once or twice already, but I’ve also been saved by others who I assumed would have been out to kill me and steal my things. It’s an interesting experience with a steep learning curve, for sure.
The loot and customisation
Loot is a massive part of any MMO, and The Division’s is pretty good. You’ll get the usual drops of green, blue, etc, etc, gear, but you also get apparel drops too. These are a distinctive light blue, and they allow you to add more customisation to your character. From hats to scarves to boots, you can make your characters look pretty unique – which is good, because there are pretty restricted customisation options at the very start of the game. The weapons are great too, and the fact that you can add attachments to them – as well as skins – adds even more customisation options, which I’m a big fan of.
So yeah. It might not be the best MMORPG, or whatever the hell it’s supposed to be, and Ubisoft have definitely learnt one or two hard lessons from the launch of The Division. Still, I’m really enjoying the game – and I think that if you can overlook its shortcomings, you might really enjoy it too. Are you playing The Division? If so, let me know what you think in the comments below!