Tom Clancy’s The Division – Review
Follow Genre: Third-person action shooter
Developer:
Publisher:
Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One
Tested on: PS4

Tom Clancy’s The Division – Review

Site Score
7.7
Good: Great concept, amazing graphics, a lot to do
Bad: Forced to play multiplayer
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Technology and science are two major branches that have known a booming evolution during the past years. We’ve gained a lot of new intel on specific specimen that roam this planet, like bacteria and viruses. Although it is amazing that we have extra information, there are people or organizations that use this for malevolent reasons. Tom Clancy’s The Division shows what happens when someone releases a virus on the perfect moment.

The_Division_Logo

Story

In the United States, there is something as ‘Black Friday’ and on this day, loads of stores give amazing sales and people are really going rampant for certain deals. This has grown more popular and even violent over the years, and it’s slowly becoming a thing in other countries as well. The popularity of this event was eventually used to spread a mass pandemic thanks to some infected dollar bills.

At the moment, Manhattan is in quarantine and it seems that the virus is spreading rapidly. The story starts in Brooklyn, where things are going down the drain as well. The government has activated several sleeper agents who work for an organization called ‘Strategic Homeland Division’ or just ‘The Division’. Your character is one of those trained soldiers and is on the way to a safehouse. Here, you will meet fellow Division-agent Faye Lau, a die-hard woman that wants to save her city. Before you can actually go to the quarantined zone, you will need to do several missions for the JTF (Joint Task Force).

Eventually, you get into Manhattan and this is where the real fun starts. The base of operations has been jeopardized and it is your first task to get it back and functional again. After a while, it gets painfully clear that there is more than meets the eye and it will be a hell of a task to get everything back in order.

Overall, the story and missions are straightforward and you will have the opportunity to dig into enough side quests and hidden items to obtain a more detailed vision about what has happened.

Tom Clancy's The Division

Graphics

We have gotten the opportunity to test this game on the PS4 and it is clear that the developers did their best to use the full capacity of the console. The character customization might be limited at the start, but the quality of the graphics make up for it. The facial expression could have been a tad better, but that’s just a small remark.

Your surroundings will be something that will take your breath away. You might recognize some familiar places, although they’re ravished and abandoned due to the plundering and fighting. Both details that are far away or close by are really stunning and there doesn’t seem to be any rendering problems.

Something else worth mentioning is the weapon modification screen. You will get a lifelike image of the gun and the possibilities you can add or remove. It is a small gem, hidden in the rest of the yet amazing graphics.

Sound

What vibe can you expect when you’re running around in an abandoned place, filled with sorrow, anger and fear? As you might imagine, the sound effects and voice acting is more important than the actual music. When you’re running to your next objective, you’ll hear some mumbling when passing survivors or some distant gunshots and fighting noises when you’re getting close to a hotspot. When you’re getting into a battle, you can certainly hear the difference between the several guns.

Tom Clancy's The Division

Although the protagonist is muted, the other key players make up for that. Each important character has a specific voice and they really fit with the characteristics. For instance, Faye Lau has a real strong, almost forceful voice that really stand out against the other agents. The rebels you’re up against have a more similar tone and feels more like a work of copy paste though.

Gameplay

Tom Clancy’s The Division is a third-person shooter which can be played alone but it is advised to team up with fellow agents, at least for the main missions and the Darkzone. Side quests can be tackled alone, although you might have a hard time then. Certain elements might help you out, like a turret and increased health supplies, but this is only accessible after levelling up or obtaining several new areas for your headquarters.

Before you can start clearing the town, you’ll need some heavy equipment. Next to your ‘main’ weapon, you can take a secondary and even a handgun. Each of these weapons can be modified to your liking, if you have the necessary parts of course. Next to that, there are some grenades you can take with you, but at the beginning you will mostly have the normal frags and disorientating ones. The last basic equipment are some med kits, which will certainly come in handy.

Next to all this equipment, there are two extra slots for special abilities. At the start of the game, you can choose one, which will turn out handy in battle. For instance, you can choose to take a fortified jacket or a sonar/scan skill to detect nearby enemies. The choice you make here will determine your playstyle, as the shield is handy when you’re exposed to a lot of gunfire, while the scan will make you go stealth more.

Tom Clancy's The Division

You can hide behind several objects, giving you quite an advantage when you’re not seen. Even more, you can dash between cover, creeping slowly closer to your prey. Jumping over certain rubble is possible, although it will probably blow your cover.

Doing both main and side quests will help you level up thanks to the experience you receive. Next to that, killing enemies or finding certain intel will give you some exp as well. Levelling up is really important, as you will gain the possibility to get new talents and skills. This certainly gives you an advantage during battle, although each area has a certain difficulty level as well.

During these quests, a lot of things might drop, like new guns or other important ‘armor’ you can wear. Even more, you will also gain currency to buy weapons, armor and other useful items. Each item has a certain armor quota so it is a good idea to check this regularly as there are five levels (common, good, rare, superior and high-end), with their own color code.

You might consider skipping the side quests, although they might provide you with a lot of benefits. Certain areas in your headquarters require you to have resources, like medical items. These side quests will provide this, along with blueprints from time to time. This is necessary to build certain important items like better weaponry.

Tom Clancy's The Division

During your travels, you might encounter citizen in need. They will come up to you, asking for something like an energy bar. It is your choice if you want to give something or not, but doing so will give you an extra reward. This can be a new gun or even a piece of clothing you can wear. This gives you the possibility to further customize your character.

After a while, you can enter ‘The Dark Zone’. This area is a pvp mode where you can find a lot of high-end weapons, although you will have to do some hard work for these. These great items are labelled as “contaminated” and can be stolen by other players. If you want to use these weapons outside the Dark Zone, you must ‘evacuate’ these by a helicopter. You might reconsider teaming up with other players, but watch out that they don’t go rogue on you.

Conclusion

If you like a semi-apocalyptic setting where the primal instincts of mankind takes over, you’ll be happy to play this game. Be ready to venture a dark but beautiful illustrated world and gnarly sound effects, where your guns are blazing to take down the cruelty that took over Manhattan. During your journeys, you might discover some unusual truths, but what else can you expect.

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AnneMieke
AnneMieke


Faster than lightning

1 Comment

  1. […] The Division has always been that game for Ubisoft that combined futuristic gadgets with RPG shooter elements. While this combination had some difficulties in the past, receiving mixed reviews for the first game, Ubisoft has learned from it to adjust the second Division accordingly. The Division 2 is built on the great foundation of the first to become a highly appreciated title. Now Ubisoft has released the Warlords of New York, which will take you back to the scenery of the first game. On the one hand a great homage, on the other hand, it feels like a cheap re-use of assets. […]

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