Finally after countless hours we here at Nerd Lowdown have gone through The Division with a fine comb.
First things first this article will contain spoilers so be aware you have been warned.
The Division set in New York has been hit with a deadly bio-developed virus that is killing people quicker than they can be diagnosed. You are a member of the secret elite task force known as The Division. You and other Division agents live their lives normally, go to school go to work have families, but when they are called to duty they must drop everything and complete the mission they have been tasked with.
When you first enter New York the first thing you notice is the beautiful world around while it has been ripped apart by gangs. The world is put together amazingly. The weather system works great you will find yourself strolling down 22nd St., the wind will pick up you will then have zero visibility. After ten minutes it might die down, it can be very unpredictable and can sometime aid you or lead you into a group of enemies. The NPCs in The Division mainly the civilians are scattered around New York roughly a couple of hundred still wander around the streets or lean out of apartment windows taking photos on their phones. While you do not interact with many you can stop to aid some civilians with food, water or a medikit. In return they may give you a random item that could help your cause.
Overall the world of The Division is gorgeous. Visiting real life landmarks in this fictional story is amazing especially when the landmark and the area surrounding it is identical to its real life counter part.
The Enemies you encounter in The Division are very smart. You will always run into a foe while trapsing around New York. There are four gangs that control areas in New York; The Rioters a band of low-level thugs that you will first encounter. Not a tough bunch but in numbers can overwhelm you. The Cleaners are a bit more organised than the rioters, The Cleaners being ex fire fighters believe the only way to eradicate this virus is to burn everything. The Rikers are a gang of prisoners whom escaped from Rikers Prison. The Rikers are hell-bent on hurting the authorities and can be tough even in small numbers. The LMB or The Last Man Battalion are a band of mercenaries who were employed to protect assets during the outbreak but then decided to take over the city using brute force. The LMB have all the latest technology and high-powered weapons they are a force to be reckoned with.
The AI in The Division is extremely smart when you enter a fire fight, with any of the above gangs tactical manoeuvring is key to over coming any battle, You could just dive behind a car an open fire but so will your enemy and as you exchange fire other gang members will flank you from either side of your cover. This is how smart the AI can be as you progress to the more organised gangs. You will come into more heated battles where grenades, heavy armour, snipers, military grade weapons will all become a factor. You will have to equip better weapons acquire better armour and change your style of play to over come the enemies you face.
The character customization is okay at best. Starting off you get to choose what your agent looks like male/female, race, tattoos, scars hairstyle the norm for any RPG but with very little to choose from you will come across a lot of Division agents that are identical to you. The clothing side is interesting you find or are given clothing throughout the game so of which can be stylish or down right ugly. Once you find your preferred style you can equip hats, scarves, boots, pants, under tops and jackets. Armour in The Division can be purchased, found, looted and crafted like any open world game you find acquire better gear as you progress through the game this is the same in The Division. Your armour comes in different classes too. You have your Body armour, filter mask, knee pads, back pack, holster and gloves all of which give your character extra points toward Health, Skill Power and Damage Per Second on your weapons.
Weapons in The Division were always going to be good, after all it is a Tom Clancy game, There is a massive amount of weapons from your simple Glock pistol all the way to your SAW light machine gun, Each weapon has its own customization slots which you can add a bigger clip, a larger scope or maybe a silencer moding the gun to your style & makes the experience all that more fun. Skills can be unlocked as you push through the game. Skills can assigned to your agent to give him/her that advantage in battle for example, if you are pinned down in the midst of a fire fight use your turret skill which launches a small auto-turret attacking any nearby enemies. Other skills include portable shields, a health kit that heals you and your fellow agents and a seeker mine that can be dropped in battle seeks out the nearest foe and boom.
The story was interesting and has promise as it was finished on a small cliff hanger. It can be expanded on in future DLC which we hope it is as it is not the ending we would have hoped for after such a big build up. When you do finish the main story there is countless side missions to choose from. While these can feel repetitive at times tackling them with friends make’s it all the more enjoyable. Phone recordings, drones, incident reports all can be found at random points around the map giving an insight on what happened during the out break with everyday people but again can feel repetitive running across the map just to find a recording.
Moving into the DZ or Dark Zone can be an experience to say the least while there is not much to do bar kill everything and loot, The DZ is the PVP part of The Division, like the safe area you can team up with other agents and take on other enemies. With the DZ you can find some great loot out there but because of the infection all loot must evaced via helicopter. Once said helicopter has been given the signal you must wait for it to arrive. In this time NPCs could attack you or other agents could attack or assist this quality will leave you on edge and I have found myself being in a Mexican stand off on more than one occasion.
Overall The Division is an outstanding game with so much to do and doing it along side friends will grip your attention for hours. With future DLC packs coming we hope to see the story expanded on aswell as the customization for your agent.