The Division: Good idea, bad execution

  People love it as entertainment. There are hundreds of movies about it, all with their own plot and ideas. What is this I’m talking about? The apocalypse, or more specifically, the apocalyptic movies, books, TV and games that thousands of fans enjoy. Take The Walking Dead, Fallout, or I Am Legend as a few examples. There’s just something about seeing the world infested with zombies or destroyed by war that we love. However, there is one type of end-of-days scenario that is very real, but rarely discussed. Disease, of course, is the doomsday that was recently played out by online game Tom Clancy’s: The Division.

  The Division takes place in the aftermath of the Dollar Flu, a mutant smallpox virus that killed hundreds in New York City.This leads to a quarantine of Manhattan. After the police, National Guard, and military fail to keep order in the city, the government calls on The Division to protect the people of NYC and find a cure. The Division are an organization of sleeper agents (special agents who are disguised as normal citizens until they are needed) who are called in when all else fails. You play as an agent of this Division alongside your friends online as you fight to take back New York and find a cure to the virus.

  The game, so far, is pretty entertaining. You get to explore New York and see the effects of the virus. Some have turned to looting to get by, some smuggle themselves out of the city, and some just decide to make an impromptu flamethrower and set people who have the virus on fire, because apparently that helps. In the game, there are 4 factions: Street gangs, the Rikers (former prisoners), the Cleaners (who want to burn out the infection) and the Last Man Battalion (which I have not encountered much so far). While you play, you gain supplies for your Base of Operations, which you use to upgrade the base. The base building, however, does not seem to contribute much to the game itself, and feels more like a repetitive side task in the game.

  At this point, you’re probably thinking, what else can I do other than make a base and shoot angry garbage men, gangsters, and the trigger-happy version of the cast of Orange is the New Black? That’s where the Dark Zone comes in. The Dark Zone is a failed quarantine zone, and in-game it’s The Division’s answer to an area where players can interact and fight each other). It’s the area where the best loot is as well, but has much more difficult enemies. However, in the area, you have a Dark Zone rank which goes up if you kill enemies and other players, but can actually go down if you get killed too much. Not to mention, if you kill other players, you will be marked as “Rouge” and will be targeted by non-Rogue players. In other words, don’t be surprised after you let your little cousin play a bit.

  While the game does feel fun, the game can sometimes feel like a bit of a grind, as it seems that the only way to get good gear is to either grind, purchase it from a vendor, or find it in the “Dark Zone.” Not to mention the characters you meet are rather forgettable and the game’s missions can sometimes feel repetitive, so the game’s plot can feel irrelevant to the game. It is also worth mentioning that the trailer for the game promised much more than meets the eye, such as cross-platform play with tablet users being able to help their friends, like Battlefield 4’s Commander Mode. The trailer also conveyed that we would be able to explore much more of the city, not just Manhattan.
  Overall, I would say that The Division is a good game, but can feel repetitive at times and lacks on a good story that the Tom Clancy name is known for. I give it a rating of 7/10 overall, with mixed ratings on Steam, despite recent reviews being mostly negative. My recommendation? Buy it if you like the shooter genre as well as games like Destiny or Call of Duty, but it might not be worth the $60.

John Boughey, Online Editor

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The game’s tutorial area, in Brooklyn. PhotoCo: TechReview

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