Early 2016 saw Ubisoft release the highly anticipated Tom Clancy’s The Division. The game was a breath of fresh air amongst gamers, a brand new IP set in Manhattan in the aftermath of a deadly outbreak of smallpox. Players took on the role of a special agent in the Strategic Homeland Division; called upon only in the wake of a catastrophic national incident.
The open world 3rd person shooter has a wonderful mixture of both co-op PvE gameplay, where friends can join together and perform various tasks across the city, mixed with some of the most tense PvP action out there for those brave enough to enter the Dark Zone. Upon release the game had a huge following, with many gamers rushing home from work to get their daily challenges done, and jump in the Dark Zone for a loot run with their friends.
It’s been almost a year and a half since I last played The Division as I stopped playing after the first Incursion was released. The game is now in its second year and has achieved over 20 million players worldwide and from what I can tell is growing. I believe its been a few weeks now since I re-purchased The Division as to me it is still one of the best squad games to play with mate’s and with the recent announcement of the The Division 2 here at GReviews we thought it would be great to see how The Division still holds up.
You can pick up a copy of The Division fairly cheap now as I got an Xbox One copy second hand for £10. The update was insane but it’s something you would expect when its two years worth of content. Straight off the bat this game is surprisingly a lot harder then I remember it being the first time round. I’m not sure if it’s because I’m used to playing the likes of Battlefield 1 and Fortnite or if it’s down to Ubisoft devs increasing the difficulty, I’m going to go with the latter. I mean it took me at least 3 or 4 attempts to complete the first mission which leads you onto Manhattan as I just couldn’t get to grips with the recoil of the weapons. The cover system however has massively improved with my character entering cover a lot quicker and even moving from cover to cover now appears to be a lot smoother.
Overall gameplay has been improved on massively and it runs a lot better then I remember when I bought the game back in the day as there would be times where it would suffer from frame rate drops or general lag. Loading times have also been dramatically reduced and this goes for entering the game first time round or dropping in and out of someone’s squad. Weapon balance has been tweaked along with the stats of certain weapons and as mentioned before even the way the weapon will handle when being fired fully automatic. A prime example of this is I always remember the AK-47 being like a freaking laser beam when fired fully auto and the recoil was minimum or took no effort to control. Now this thing has the kick of a pissed off mule and pretty much forces you to fire it in short bursts or risk the chance of making a bullet-hole outline of your target only to have them turn round and down you.
Squadding up with mates an hitting the Dark Zone is still a massive part of The Division and it’s still got the same amount of crazy attached to it. There were four of us entering the Dark Zone after completing all the missions and reaching the highest rank. From the off it was just complete carnage, literally as soon as we went through the door the map was filled with rouge agents, supply drops and a addition to the Dark Zone called threats. If you like crazy and that feeling of constantly being on edge then two years on the Dark Zone will still give you the buzz you’re looking for. Mix all that with the panic of extracting high end gear you’ve collected from named bosses and you have the perfect recipe for one hell of a gaming night.
All in all two years on with 20 million players and counting The Division is still one of the best third person shooters I’ve played and I will always hold a torch for it. Everything Ubisoft have done in order to get this game where it is perfect and if they continue to support the game and its community until The Division 2 is released then I can’t see this game going anywhere.