Gaming: A virus is decimating NYC. How will you save it?

New York City is reeling under the attack of a lethal virus in Tom Clancy’s The Division. Will you manage to restore order?

For a game that had such a painful beta, The Division does a lot with its production version to keep the user interested. Unlike the beta, you can craft weapons, buy items and generally interact with all the NPC. The main storyline is fleshed out and does a lot to keep you engaged with the characters in the game. Basically, you are part of a special group of soldiers known as The Division, who are activated after a virus spread through contaminated money has decimated New York City. You have to bring order to the chaos by dealing with scavengers and gangs of bad guys.

The Division is heavily focused on grinding, looting and teaming up with other players. While you can do a lot of missions alone, it gets tiresome when the enemy is particularly tough. In this scenario, team strategy plays a big role and coordinating around the enemy to flank them helps tremendously. Matchmaking is fairly simple and there are enough players to help you form makeshift teams. You can also link up with friends, which makes it easier to communicate with them.

As with most RPGs, you will need to level up both your equipment and your skills. Without levelling up the bullets in your gun just don’t seem to kill stronger enemies, even if you perform highly skilled headshots. It’s not the most realistic scenario considering how realistic everything else is, but it works well to keep you motivated about levelling up. The levelling up system is a bit confusing, and takes a bit of time to figure out what skills you need, what upgrades work and how it will change the way your character plays. The game does try to explain stuff to you, but during gameplay we usually didn’t wait to read about it, instead an online tutorial about the levelling up system did enough to bring us up to speed. Needless to say levelling up is a good thing and it will only make your character more capable of doing a lot more damage.

Division lets you buy equipment and gear, or even craft your own from deconstructed parts of the stuff you no longer use. You can sell the worthless gear too, but crafting a new one is more fun, higher your level better equipment you can craft.

Speaking of gear, if you want the best loot you have to go into the Dark Zone. The Dark Zone is The Division’s attempt at PVP, but it is a lot more sophisticated than most PVP models. First of all, you can’t carry your loot out of the area as they are contaminated, so you have to call for a helicopter. While you are waiting for a helicopter, it is possible for new enemies to spawn and for other players to kill you for loot. Once dead, to end up at the entrance of the Dark Zone, can be frustrating, so you may want to team up with friends to give you a fighting chance. Not to mention dying reduces your dark zone experience/ranking which is different from your player level. The game also labels agents as rogue if they kill other Division agents making them a target and further decreasing experience level. So, for now most people usually try to form alliances, rather than kill each other in the Dark Zone.

The biggest problem with the game is server issues, and stems from the fact that is it a MMORPG Shooter. While regular updates promise solutions, it is still annoying to get booted during a mission. You can even tell when you are going to get booted. The bullets that you so carefully aimed suddenly don’t seem to make any dent in your opponent, and you seem to be in that state for at least another minute till the game boots you out. The latest patch has reduced this disconnecting quite a bit, but hasn’t gone away completely. Another issue is starting the game when too many people are online, which means you are in a queue to connect, and end up wasting time.

Despite the flaws, Tom Clancy’s The Division is fun to play. It is literally a grind, so be prepared to invest a lot of hours into this game. We have had the game for a couple of days and have barely scratched the surface. Needless to say, this is one of those games that you will keep coming back to, especially when you have friends online at the same time.

Tom Clancy’s The Division
Publisher: Ubisoft
Rating: 4/5
Developer: Ubisoft
Platform: PC, PS4, XBO
Price: Rs 1,799; Consoles: Rs 3,499

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