Better Late Vicarious Videogame Impressions – the Division (PS4)

In short: I want this game.  It makes more sense that I would be interested in Destiny: it’s a sci-fi space opera massive multiplayer-light first person shooter from the people who brought us Halo.  My affair with Destiny was intense, but brief.  Once I stepped away from it, I never felt that twinge to go back. I also never played the Diavision demo.  So, when a “realistic” Tom Clancy massive multiplayer-light third person shooter comes about, why am I excited?

Even in Destiny, I tend to play alone, mute my mic and ignore anyone who tries to talk to me.  I match-make for instances, and PvP, but that’s pretty much it.  In The Division grouping seems even more integral for main-mission progress unless you’re either really good at the game, or you want to throw your pricey controller out of the window.  I have been wanting to come out of my shell more in this type of game and this is my chance to branch out.

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The story seems compelling enough, even if it is inspired by Clancy’s more-pulpy plots.  Money is laced with a man-made virus and spread among the denizens of New York City (and maybe the rest of the country?).  The results are catastrophic and in a matter of weeks, Manhattan is quarantined.  You play as a member of the second wave Division group, a secret military group that exists only for such circumstances.

The RPG roots seem to run deep.  I like the typical satisfying insta-kill head shot as much as the next gamer, but there is also something compelling about the RPG bullet-sponge systems.  Maybe it’s the fact that I adore Borderlands and love seeing numbers flying all over the place.  There seems to be a lot here for those who love loot: different color-teared weapons, mods for your weapons, upgrades on various clothing, and a deep crafting system.   The upgrade system seems deep and forgiving, letting you switch to different abilities on the fly.  The PvP, set in the lawless and contaminated Dark Zone, is also the freshest multiplayer idea I’ve seen in years.

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There are things I have to look past.  There is a threat of the missions getting monotonous: running to point A, duck and cover to destroy enemy wave B, do that three more times, destroy boss C and get to mission point D.  When I’m playing alone, would I be able to team up?  I have heard that the main missions do scale based on how many people you have in your group, but they seem best played with groups.  The third person shooting is also my other concern: is it hard to get precise shots when DPS does matter?

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The game looks damn good and that’s just another reason for me to get excited about eventually playing the Division.  As it stands right now: the Metacritic user score for the PS4 version is 7.4, which is “average” in most rating circles (I have my issues on the number scales, but this isn’t the time or the place).  Though I have never been one for more “real life” settings, I’m quite compelled to sink my teeth into this meaty shooter.

“Tom Clancy’s The Divison” is rated M for Mature for: blood, intense violence, and strong language.  It is released by Ubisoft and is available for PC, PS4, and Xbox One.

If you enjoyed, please like, and feel free to comment.  If you want to send me a friend invite, my PSN tag is bad_gamer83.  And thanks.

 

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