|System: PS4, Xbox One, PC|
|Dev: Ubisoft Massive, Red Storm Entertainment|
|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.
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.
Date: March 8, 2016