Health can be increased by equipping gear. Different types of gear can be found all around The Division’s vast map and they come in many types such as: body armour, backpacks, masks and more. Gear is quite easily found during the lower level areas, so you can keep strengthening yourself to handle bigger and badder foes.
If you want to stand out from the crowd, different apparel can be found which change how your clothes look. Equip items such as different hats, boots, jackets etc. to fully customise your Division agent.
Weapons, armour, outfits etc. can all be purchased from NPCs, rewarded from missions, found in chests, dropped by baddies or crafted. There’s heaps to do in The Division which will keep you occupied for an incredibly long time.
Missions can be found scattered around the map, or you can be given them by NPCs. Often you’ll find missions require you to kill someone with a bounty on their head or break up illegal deals going down on the streets. Sometimes your missions become a bit more intricate by needing you to restore power to certain parts of the city within a certain time limit or research viruses.
Extra little tidbits can also be found around the area, like cellphone recordings, or traces of missing agents. By collecting all these little extras you can find out a bit more about what’s happened in the city and listen to citizens talking to their loved ones.
PVP in The Division is controlled via certain places in the city called Dark Zones. By entering a Dark Zone, you’re more or less asking for trouble. But if you can hold your own in a gunfight and take down any hostile players, you’ll be generously rewarded with whatever loot they’ve acquired in the Dark Zone.
Items picked up in the Dark Zone are needed to be put through a process called Extraction. By doing this, the item becomes permanently bound to your character. If you die before undergoing Extraction, any loot you’ve acquired in the Dark Zone is up for grabs by whoever killed you.
Extraction is a nail biting experience whereby you have to call a chopper from a specific Extraction point and defend yourself for ninety seconds. During that time, other players might come over to you (having seen the Extraction request location), and do whatever they want. If you’re lucky, they might be wanting to get some items extracted as well. However, if you’re unlucky, a gang of rogue agents might come over looking for a little bit of agent-killing fun.
Don’t worry about the items you have with you before entering the Dark Zone as all items you bring in with you are safe. The only things you’ll lose upon death are items you’ve picked up (not purchased) in the Dark Zone, Dark Zone funds, Dark Zone XP and Dark Zone keys.
In the Dark Zone you can level up. Not the same way you do during PVE play, but with a Dark Zone rank. Killing other players will lose you DZ XP and you’ll become a rogue agent. Rogue agents are identified by a big skull above their head. Rogue agents lose DZ XP and funds by being killed whilst in rogue status, but this status only lasts twenty seconds initially. If you keep killing, the rogue status will last for longer until you are killed or it runs out. When it runs out without you being killed, you’ll gain some extra DZ funds.
So overall the Dark Zone is quite an exciting place to test your might and cunning.
Firstly I want to talk about the user interface (UI). Everything is so streamlined and simple that the graphics become that much more enjoyable. At the top left of your screen is a minimalistic mini-map and everything else from health to ammunition float around just beside your character. I think this is amazing because it keeps everything within easy view and also lets the environments shine the way they should.
Graphically speaking, The Division is superb. At the very beginning as I watched my agent walk up to the car window that triggers the customisation process, I thought I was watching a brilliantly animated cutscene. However, when I finished giving my agent a trendy beard and slightly grey hair, I realised that what I was seeing was the actual in-game graphics. Just… wow. The entire city is designed flawlessly and I felt like I was actually walking around Brooklyn once again. Is the city accurately depicted? Not sure… I didn’t visit everywhere in NYC when I went!
I can’t say the music is astounding, but it does fit the atmosphere. The soundtrack is similar to something you’d hear in an action flick with hints of desolation. Sound effects are layered nicely and are timed well to match wherever they originated from.
I’m quite disappointed with the voice acting though. Everyone sounds so dull and lifeless. Dialogue sounds forced, fake and ultimately pushes you away from wanting to hear what’s being said during a cutscene. Being such a large production, I would have expected more in terms of voice actors and story.
The story is mediocre at best but the gameplay more than makes up for that. However, I can’t help but be disappointed about the fact that a product with Tom Clancy’s name on it has such an uninteresting story.
Missions are entertaining and fulfilling to play through, there’s heaps to find and collect in hidden alleyways and down sewer drains, and the Dark Zone is an enthralling PVP experience.
Playing with your friends adds a great social aspect to the game, but playing by yourself doesn’t detract from the fact that The Division is an online game.
If you’re looking at buying The Division because it has Tom Clancy’s name on it, don’t bother. But if you’re looking for a decent shooter in a massive open world environment, definitely get your hands on this one. You won’t be disappointed.
3 stars – has a lot going for it in terms of gameplay, but when using Tom Clancy’s name, you’d expect a better story