Division. A word that, by definition, means to divide and make things less. To make them small and less significant. Also, it can mean to form a boundary between two things, or to separate one thing from another. For example, the divide between good games and bad games. Which side will you find Tom Clancy’s latest shooter? Where does BBR draw the proverbial line? Let’s find out!
Blue Ball Score: 17.5 out of 25 balls
It is third-party shooter meets RPG meets MMO… or in other words, it’s Destiny. Imagine if Destiny put on an Edgar Suit and walked around a sort of apocalyptic Manhattan. Well that’s The Division! Now let me say right off the bat that I have NEVER been a fan of any Tom Clancy game. Perhaps it is my personal taste but I have never played one that I liked. The Division had no positive effect on that trend. Although, I will admit that it is probably the second best Tom Clancy title that I’ve played, with #1 on the list being the original Rainbow Six for PC released in 1998.
If you’ve played Destiny, you know the routine here. Do a mission, earn XP and loot, upgrade your character, rinse-and-repeat. And repeat. And repeat again. And repeatedly repeat. The game requires a grind that some players will certainly find too repetitive and quickly become bored. Others will love the endless missions, activities, side missions, and did I mention missions? The mission objectives will noticeably become repetitive themselves. It’s either hold the area for several minutes, or fight through foes until you reach a heavily armored boss and take him out. Grab the loot which could be new equipment or weapons, upgrade your character, and move on to the next one.
Controls are standard for shooters. Aim, shoot, throw grenades. Personally, I didn’t find that it did a good enough job of explaining everything so new gamers may have a tough time at first. A little practice will go a long way and you’ll be fighting through enemies with ease in no time. Also, I found the “cover” system to take a bit getting used to. Pressing the wrong button can be certain death in the midst of intense battle. Overall, the repetitive nature and cumbersome-at-times controls earns 3.5 balls.
While this is an open-world game, you have story missions and side missions to keep you busy. They will seem endless and they are always in plentiful supply. Your map will stay as full as a tick on a dog. Each mission will award you with new XP, weapons, and gear. Loot that you don’t want can be disassembled to provide crafting materials that can be used to build new weapons and gear. Continue leveling up your character and you’ll be kicking arse and taking names! The AI difficult steps forward fairly quickly, so make sure you keep up by buffing your stats and upgrading the three wings in your base.
While the story isn’t completely immersive, a bountiful supply of missions will keep you busy for quite some time. Due to the sheer volume of hours involved in this game, it earns a solid 4 balls.
Don’t want to be on the same side as your fellow agents? Then the “Dark Zone” is where you’ll be spending your time. The Dark Zone is the PvP area of the game and becomes accessible during the campaign. You can use the DZ to earn new gear and weapons. Loot in the DZ is typically better than normal loot encountered throughout the main game. But it of course comes with a risk. The loot is considered to be contaminated, and contaminated loot can be stolen by other players. Anything gained must be extracted via helicopter, and extraction points pop up as a huge beacon for all other players to see. Just like a murderous serial-killer moth to a flame, anyone who is looking to steal your loot will quickly come running. Even players who pretend to be on your side can, and likely WILL, turn on you at any moment by going rogue. A player who kills enough other players will eventually have a bounty on his head for all to see, and the hunter will become the hunted. Good luck and stay alert!
An average at best multiplayer experience earns 3.5 balls.
In terms of sound quality, it’s more of the same. Nothing amazing, nothing spectacular, just the usual gun and grenade blasts. However, it doesn’t detract from the overall experience so no major loss here. Fitting graphics and the usual sounds earn 4 balls.
Overall, The Division is a decent third-person shooter that can provide hours of gameplay. The offering of risk/reward PvP play adds a thrilling aspect to keep the experience fresh and keep you coming back for more. Unfortunately, the repetitive aspects don’t keep this gamer entertained for long enough. All of these elements add up to an average score of 17.5 balls.