A to Z 2016 : THE DIVISION

Just as Captain America: Civil War is one of my most highly anticipated movies of 2016, The Division was my most highly anticipated video game. It's already been released, it came out March 8th of this year, so I've had a good month to play it. So far I'm loving it. So much so that I dedicated my Generation Jak A to Z Theme to it!

So, What Is The Division?

The Division is an Open World Third Person Shooter RPG, given credence by the camera view and leveling mechanics, published by Ubisoft (also publishers of the Far Cry and Assassin's Creed franchises). The game takes place in New York City after a smallpox pandemic has ravaged the population, leaving death and destruction in its wake. All standard services have failed and executive decisions had to be made, initiating Directive 51.

You play a sleeper agent, a member of the Strategic Homeland Division (AKA The Division), activated as a last resort. Your mission involves discovering the source of the virus outbreak and restoring order and stability to the city.

Hybrid RPG

The game combines third-person shooters (where the camera view is over the shoulder) and RPGs (a leveling system), to create a unique gaming experience. This is further backed by some of the game design choices. It's considered a cover to cover game, meaning it has an extensive system of moving from one piece of cover to another, which is fantastic, but comes at a cost. There is no Jump, Crouch, or Prone functions, which really limits how your character moves and interacts throughout the environment, though you can Vault over much of the terrain and most obstacles.

In The Division, players complete missions (main and side), encounters, and challenges, all of which awards experience points (to level up to a max of level 30), currency (to purchase items), and gear (to potentially strengthen/upgrade their character). There are multiple Skill Trees, Perks, and Talents allowing player's to customize their agents to whatever playstyle they prefer. There is also a crafting system in the game, offering players the opportunity to build their own weapons, gear, and mods.

As exists with most MMO (Massively Multiplayer Online) games, there is End Game content available for those who wish to continue playing content after reaching the max level. These events are more difficult and award better prizes for completion.

First Impressions

Honestly, I loved the Beta (both of them) and love the core game. It was delayed for close to 2 years, and I would like to think they did so with the intent of polishing the game and adding even more content. The Downloadable Content (DLC) has been announced and most of it sounds amazing. There are also planned updates that are free for everyone. One of those is being implemented next week and I'm incredibly excited for it!

The game has had some connectivity hiccups, and some glitches/bugs that have been exploited a bit (think Loot Caves from Destiny, a game The Division is most compared to), but the developers have been very proactive with taking care of these issues as soon as possible. It's a continual process as they tweak and balance the game over time.

I'd really prefer to stick with this game for the long haul, replacing the spot left vacant by Destiny, one of my biggest gaming disappointments ever experienced! I definitely don't want The Division to follow down that same road. I think the developers watched the evolution of Destiny unfold very closely and learned from Bungie's mistakes. Here's to hoping!

Anyhow, I think it's a great game and if having even a slight interest in it I'd recommend checking it out!

Do you play The Division? If so, which system do you play on? What's your current level? What are your thoughts and/or opinions on it? Do you play Destiny? If so, what are your thoughts and/or opinions on that game? If you happen to play both, which do you prefer, and why?