Tom Clancy's The Division Review
Tom Clancy's The Division Box Art
System: PS4, Xbox One, PC
Dev: Ubisoft Massive, Red Storm Entertainment
Pub: UbiSoft
Release: March 8, 2016
Players: 1 (2+ Online Multiplayer)
Screen Resolution: 480p-1080i Blood, Intense Violence, Strong Language

Playing alone is also hard as hell after the first few missions. The game is brilliantly paced, and as long as you're staying in areas and engaging in missions appropriate to your level, you'll find that even side missions and encounters can be really challenging, usually due to your being unfairly outnumbered. This, so far, is doubly true in the Dark Zone. It's still the Wild West in there, and more than once I've been met with salutes and applause from seemingly peaceful players, who later turned out to be malevolent. It's infuriating. You have to work hard to score loot there, because the enemies are much tougher. Actually extracting that gear can be a real pain, unless you're running with a tight crew, and even then there's no guarantee. Last night I fought alongside 2 other agents for about half an hour. We shot bad guys, revived each other repeatedly, and finally called in an extraction together. As soon as the copter arrived and dropped a rope for our loot, my two "friends" shot sticky bombs at my feet and killed me. It felt bad, man. Most agents will shoot you on sight, but I'm assuming that as the novelty wears off a balance will emerge.

As for the endgame, it's a constantly recessing prospect. Ubisoft has already laid out a roadmap for DLC and 3 expansions that will continue to provide new goals, and possibly higher level caps. The Division does feel like a whole, complete experience as it stands, though. It's a huge relief, and right out of the gate I can tell that there is more than enough content here to keep even the most hopelessly addicted and unemployed players busy for months.

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Cooperative play is a joy, an abundance of gear means your agent is ever-evolving, and an air-tight narrative set within a game world that is unmistakably Tom-Clancian provides a sense of purpose and urgency that makes it nigh impossible to put the controller down. You'll be like me soon enough: fighting off sleep as you recount recent battles with your friends and think about which branch of your base you'd like to upgrade next. It's an addiction as contagious as the fictional virus sweeping through The Division's New York. The wait was worth it, so get out there and gear up, agent. I'll meet you in Brooklyn.

By
Matthew Hayes
Contributing Writer
Date: March 8, 2016

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
4.6
Graphics
New York is breathtaking, and characters are believably lifelike. Draw distance limitations can be apparent, but don't detract from the experience.
4.3
Control
You always sacrifice a little precision when occupying a third-person perspective, but commanding your agent is a breeze. You'll forget about controls altogether.
4.9
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
The voice acting is cinematic in quality, the soundtrack is captivating, and weapons sound frighteningly realistic and powerful.
3.8
Play Value
Combat can be dull and the Dark Zone is frustrating, but there's enough gear here to keep things fresh and interesting for a long time. Pacing is perfect.
4.6
Overall Rating - Must Buy
Not an average. See Rating legend below for a final score breakdown.
Review Rating Legend
0.1 - 1.9 = Avoid 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 3.5 - 3.9 = Good 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair 4.0 - 4.4 = Great 5.0 = The Best

Game Features:

  • A Living, Breathing World - Use the environment for strategic advantages to dominate fights and ambush your enemies.
  • Seamless Multiplayer: The Dark Zone - Collaborate with other players, or attack and steal their loot.
  • Gear Up and Customize Your Agent - Customize your agent and your backpack. Level up your weapons, gear, and skills.
  • Cutting-Edge Tech - Choose and upgrade your skills, and synergize with teammates to increase your chances of winning in combat.
  • Urban Jungle - Fight the Cleaners who wield flamethrowers, take on thugs who roam the city, and encounter enemy factions.

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