Community Review: The Division

After the damp squib that was Watch Dogs, I have to admit I'd lost interest in Ubisoft's next big hitter.

Turns out I might have been wrong about that.

Here's a telling moment. My brother in-law, an avid regular Destiny player, searching in vain for a fireteam because every single one of his Destiny buddies were playing The Division instead.

It seems to be a miracle of good timing combined with a video game that actually lives up to the hype. People are playing and loving The Division from what I can tell, and while I'm unsure whether I can commit to another time-sink like this, I have to admit The Division has me intrigued.

I'm keen to hear what you guys and girls think. How are you finding it so far?


Comments

    Returning it today and picking up the Taken King. I couldn't get into it. The world didn't hook me unfortunately. I would have liked it if I could play with friends, but I went in solo and it's left a sour taste in my mouth.

      People can say what they want about Destiny and its issues, but its setting is much more enthralling than The Division's. There's only so much excitement and mystery you can squeeze out of a world that looks exactly like ours but with 200 times more garbage bags.

        When people say things like this I always feel like prefixing it with a big fat "In my opinion". Destiny and The Division can co-exist, both can be good games for those who play or don't play them.

          Unless they cite sources, all comments are inherently opinion. Even if they do cite sources, it's usually then just someone else's opinion given second-hand. :3

          Yeah I love Destiny too. I just know a lot of people have issues with it without acknowledging and respecting what it has done well. The Division's world in comparison serves to highlight this.

        The really telling difference between Destiny and The Division's setting is that there's been so much attention and care paid to damn near every square virtual metre. From the type of litter that's strewn around, the type of graffiti, the position of bodies/blood spatters, how the makeshift bedding is set up... even without echoes and audio logs, just about every space tells some kind of story. Many of the stories are the same, but the world communicates a hell of a lot more to you than Destiny's does.

        (And as a bonus, you're usually better-rewarded for going out of the way to explore.)

        Destiny's world might be less familiar, but it's a hell of a lot less interesting to me because it's just so empty. The Division's spaces are empty of life, but are full of the signs of it.

          Yeah I definitely agree with that too. From an environmental storytelling point of view, the Division has Destiny beat. The world has this density that is really impressive.

          But from a world building standpoint, I just don't see where they can take it past this. I mean, the enemy factions are all largely the same, even with their specific enemy types such as the flamethrower dudes. Destiny has otherworldly enemies with unique and strange behaviours. Each faction looks radically different. From a design point of view, the silhouettes of the enemies are all so similar that I can hardly tell who I'm shooting at sometimes.

          Where can we go after this in terms of cities? Most modern cities tend to look the same, and while New York is iconic in lots of ways, going to another city, on ground level, is largely going to be the same experience. Destiny can take you literally anywhere, and even familiar locations look radically different because of the sci-fi distant future angle.

            Mm. Thinking about The Division levels of attention to world-building detail in a 'lived-in' space station/off-world colony type situation make for some pretty nice 'what if' fantasy.

            I would definitely play:
            1) Zombie DLC.
            2) Aliens DLC (off-world or Invasion).

              But will the world they have built allow for either of those options? It is Tom Clancy after all.

                Oh, very unlikely. I just want some non-canon spin-offs. CoD Zombies style.

              I can immediately think of some possibilities in a world setting like this:

              - Cannibal Group: With Central Park being a dumping zone for bodies (no doubt there will be thousands upon thousands filling it up), as pointed out in the opening cinematic, you immediately have chance for a really blood thirsty faction.

              - Mad Max type group: Chaos, pure and simple. You think having one or two axe wielding enemies running up to you is annoying? Try a whole group! Six, seven, eight enemies all trying to close the distance wielding all manner of crazy weapons for close combat.

              - Vehicle faction: Vehicles can function. It's just a lack of gas that's causing issues, not to mention gameplay is based around running on foot. That said, who's to say that once the map expands, we don't run into vehicle-based factions? Jeeps, turrets, tanks, buses with snow plows on them?

              - Religious Nutjobs: What about a religious based faction? They can use all kinds of different weapons, trying to achieve synergy with technology and faith - such as healers who stand there praying as they drop healing 'water' on their brethren.

              - Contaminated group: What about all those contamination zones? Not everyone is going to have filtering or safety procedures to deal with infection. On that same note, there's a general mutation option, as the virus evolves and offers potential for people to become zombie-like, or at least more bestial and even physically changed?

              There's options.

            I disagree about the enemy factions, I think Massive has done a great job on the different AI and abilities for each gang.

            Last edited 14/03/16 5:39 pm

              I 100% agree, with the only exception of the (relative lack of) difference between the Rioters and the Rikers.

              The Cleaners shit me to tears, but I dig how they force me to fight differently because of their flame throwers.

              The Last Man Battalion are legitimately impressive. Their equal technology and proper military tactics can be incredibly tough to go up against in the right missions. They'll suppress and flank you given the slightest chance. And that first rogue Division agent in the story you face!

              Last edited 14/03/16 5:49 pm

          The graffiti in The Division is so good... it looks like actual graffiti.
          I know that sounds stupid, but in other games it doesn't look like the kind of stuff you'd actually see in a city... here it does.

            Massive/Ubisoft actually hired graffiti artists to design their game imagery, so everything you see has been created by someone in the field.

            Additionally, they contracted a design company to create the majority of the posters, signs and advertising you see in the world; and while some is very generic, such as 'Liquor Store', at least that simple shop name is on a shopfront that looks like a shopfront.

        You do realize that that is the entire purpose? The entire "world" is geographically based and modelled on Manhattan in New York. I'd imagine the place would be filled with garbage bags and a lot of general refuse after something like this wipes out most of the city and there's no council services to clean up the place. You've completely missed the point of the post-apocalyptic setting.

          No, I haven't completely missed the point. I understand the setting. I understand the concept of post-apocalyptic worlds and their tropes.

          My point is that there's only so much they can do to stretch this world into refreshing and exciting directions. Because it's so grounded in reality, there's less of a feeling of excitement or surprise from exploring the world. You might see some cool environmental storytelling and go "huh, cool." and then move on. But after getting to level 30 I know now that most of the subway sections are going to look the same, most of the office buildings or shop interiors are going to be the same. The next street's probably going to have some cars stopped on it for cover and steam and assorted junk.

          Again, I get that this is exactly what they are going for, with a realistic depiction of New York in an apocalyptic scenario. But saying "that's the point!" doesn't change the fact that this familiarity can be quite limiting.

        Haven't played the Division but I wouldn't exactly call the Destiny universe enthralling. It seems like a huge pile of colourful elements all thrown together. The world looks great from a distance but it's pretty shallow beyond that. There is lots of complexity in the world but it seems to be in things like the vast array of currencies and doohickeys with vague confusing names.

        Beyond "giant ball helps mankind fight aliens" I still have no idea what the plot was.

        Last edited 15/03/16 1:57 am

          There is no plot. The closest it gets is trying to figure out how to get to the final Bigger Badder.

          You literally just hop from planet to 'planet' (or moon), putting out fires on your sight-seeing murder tour until a mysterious robot decides that you are deadly enough to go do some damage to a Vex big bad, and points you in the right direction to go kill that.

          But if you couldn't do it, then NPCs make it clear that someone else could.
          And when you do, the Speaker makes sure that the credit goes to everyone else.

          Apparently there was some kind of war going on that everyone was participating in, which everyone made gains on or something. Not that you actually see or hear ANY sign of that happening in-game, though. It's implied. (Like all the best stories, right? *spits*)

          There are no stakes. No losses. No characters interacting with each other, let alone developing or growing from interactions or conflicts.

          Your character has maybe three lines and zero personality.

          The story is a clusterfuck of terrible, disconnected ideas with no cohesion and no point. It's worse than writing I had to mark from children doing creative writing in school who were obviously just trying to describe some disconnected scenes they remember from some movie they liked but didn't understand. A child could have written better.

      I fail to see how you can return it, once you have already claimed it.
      but thats another topic for later

        What is there to claim?

          The activation code attached to your copy is what @bluxy is referring to.

            Ummm EB games.
            Xbox One.
            Playstation.

            Not everything is on steam these days mate.

        Returning the disc? Trading it in? That's how those transactions usually work.

      It's not for everyone, but at least you're gaming and having a good time :)

    I'll play it casually with mates until Ghost Recon: Wildlands drops.
    That's not to say it's a bad game - far from it. I'm currently enjoying my time in it, but it's just not holding my attention for extended stretches. Family and my back catalog are taking priority.
    I just can't commit to another time sink.
    I must say I think they nailed the PvP aspect.

      Isn't wildlands due out next year around this time ? that's a fairly long while to play it casually haha

        I think we have different ideas about what "casual" entails in this instance.
        I mean I won't be organising any scheduled play time with the lads - it will be more of a "oh, one of the lads is on" and jump in and out type scenario.
        We certainly won't be dedicating any planned time.

          i'm not sure how the definition of casual changes the length of time until wildlands but okay!

    Should have been called The Subtraction because this game is a minus. C minus.

      ‘C minus’ isn’t a subtraction, it’s a rating.

      I’ll give you credit for realising you could make a math joke out of the word ‘Division’, but then you botched it! I expect more from you.

      The UFC 2 review should be up soon, a three letter acronym should be a lay-up!
      You should start working on new material now.

        I'm tired and trying get work done here. I'll come up with better shit after lunch.

        No one goes to the dunk comp to see lay-ups. 360 Windmill against the rotation. Always a crowd pleaser.

    Only complaint is it can be a bit of a running simulator when going to the next mission when you haven't unlocked the closest safe house yet. other than that loving it.

      I'm just glad I figured out that you can fast travel to safe houses and your base. I mean, I didn't figure it out right away but I did figure it out eventually :)

      Last edited 14/03/16 12:16 pm

    If I hadn't spent a year playing Destiny like it was a second job, I'd be interested in this. The setting looks great. The detail looks great. The gameplay looks satisfying if a bit clunky. The beta interested me.

    But I don't need a timesink right now. While I liked the beta, it wasn't enough to sell me on the game.

    All my friends are playing it... while I play Batman and hang for Quantum Break. But they seem to like it, and/or feel the need to level like crazy. Must be something there.

    It sucks to see this kind of game "wasted" (IMO) by making it essentially MP-only. I'd like to get immersed in the world and environment but there's zero attraction for me as a SP gamer.

    I've heard it's a game that encourages and rewards slow-paced, exploratory game styles but then they've made it essentially unplayable unless you're playing with friends. And who has friends that plays MP games with the same pace that they play SP games?

      Everything until you hit max level is fully playable solo. Thats how i did it, by choice mind you as i like to explore everything and collect all the doodads, while my mates all ran for Max level as fast as possible.
      and even solo its still challenging but not overly hard.

        I've been playing it almost entirely solo, with the exception of the 4man missions. Which can also be soloed, but are a lot more fun as a group.

        When I say unplayable I mean it's so boring that you'd want to kill yourself. At least that's how it's been described to me in most reviews, let's plays etc. that I've seen.

      I've been playing solo too, mainly because my nephew doesn't have the game yet - hurry up dammit!

        Same boat! Waiting for my nephew as well!

    Its weird, im like 30 hours in, just hit level 30 and whenever someone asks me if its good.... i kinda shrug...
    Its hard to explain its almost like it wants to fill a very specific need for me, but it kinda never gets there..

    Pro's.
    Story is rather good
    Well paced
    Looks amazing
    Game world is excellent (eerie and sort of intimidating when foggy)
    Army rolls FTW
    Level of difficulty scales well
    playable both in SOLO and MP - Play with REAL friends

    Cons.
    Lag Spikes
    massive FPS drops for no reason
    playable both in SOLO and MP - this is listed twice due to the fact that i tried grouping with randoms and like any MMO they were numptees - So never tried again.
    Not anywhere near as tactical gameplay as the trailers indicated.

    Dark Zone - Going Rogue doesn't seem to have any real benefit but the risk is massive and what you lose is crazy.

    So did i get value for money so far... yeah i suppose i did.
    Is it a great game.... no
    Is it a good game.... Shrug... yeah i guess.

      All of the Matchmaking experiences I've had have turned out brilliantly. Sorry to hear that your experience has been shit with PUGs.

      I think the gameplay is pretty tactical, it scales with the different kind of enemies however.

        I grouped with 1 bloke to do the first Story mission, went really well was a French guy.

        Tried another 2 after that, dudes pushing me out of my cover, not watching the sides of the map they were at, not ressing when the other players (myself included) down right next to them fully behind cover (and then running away).
        And 1 guy even backtracking to the VERY start while we were in a boss battle to "check for missed containers".

        The tactics are limited to, cover and crossfire, i was hoping for more stealth, more need to have each person have different skillsets but so far in end game every player runs heal spec and shoots the shit outta the enemies from doorways.

          Enh. If your team is pinned into a doorway, the enemies will 'nade-spam the team to death. A little risk and running out to the side and really yield some rewards in terms of dividing the enemy's fire to make it easier to risk taking some shots, and drilling distracted enemies from a flanking position can be absurdly effective.

          Especially if you are able to mark targets for coordinated fire.

          Unfortunate on the second paragraph. Out of curiosity, are you playing on Console? I've mained PC. I've had the complete opposite experience. Teammates are consistently flanking enemies and our loadouts are varied, with almost everyone I've run with using the gas grenade and shock turret to CC enemies.

          Hopefully the experience picks up for ya!

            PC player - Yeah i imagine as the meta for builds gets more in depth it will get better.
            My "review" is based as it stands with my experience i know it will get better as the game matures, not a stranger to MMO's ive played them all.

            @transientmind - Yeah and thats how i'd like it to be, but most of the experiences so far have been funnel enemies into single corridors to win fights, especially in the Challenging Dailies.

    When I first heard about the game (back when they were showing controlling a drone with a tablet device), it grabbed my interest. Then I lost interest when it seemed to be another Dayz/Rust/H1Z1 "interesting interactions with real world players aka in reality you get ganked every 2 minutes because they can".

    Then earlier this year, I learned that it had a single player capability and the devs stated in a couple of interviews that they had taken single player into account and were delivering a good single player experience. Interested again.

    Missed the closed beta, but downloaded and played the open beta. Limited to level 4 to 8, but had an enjoyable experience with the two story missions. Lots of exploration, collecting things, random loot drops etc.

    Purchased the game, I've been playing it a couple hours every day since launch and I've just reached level 19. Story is decent enough, with the "main story" missions focusing on the "what's happening now" and lore collectables focusing on the "what lead up to this point" you get a pretty good handle on the story (unlike Destiny imo).

    It's kind of a cross between Mass Effect 2s combat and Borderlands/Diablo style loot system.

    In the past couple of days, more information has come out about "end game" and it's looking pretty likely that there is no end game for single player. All the progression is in the PvP area and "Challenge Mode" group content. There's crafting in the game, but the high end recipes are looted from non-single player content etc.

    So after I finish the main story, I'll probably put it to the side and never play it again, which is a shame really, because it's quite enjoyable to play solo so far.

    (It's not that I only want to solo, it's that none of my MMO buddies play it and after 16 years of online gaming I am just over random PUG's).

      It's sorta the equivalent of most games that come out with single and multi-player for me where I'll play through the single-player game and that's it. Except that in this case I think I might play through the multiplayer stuff too...

        The multiplayer at the moment (Dark Zone) Is probably in the best spot it's going to be in, if you don't want to get into PvP encounters. *People are too afraid of going Rogue* due to the vast amount of hours lost when you die as Rogue.

        I've spent 24 hours already in the Dark Zone and have only had 2 Rogue Encounters. Everyone is more than willing to work together currently. We'll see how that changes with time.

          I went into the dark zone on the weekend (because a quest wanted me to), saw some people shooting ahead of me, then quickly ran back out :)

          Last edited 14/03/16 12:35 pm

          Had good experiences in the dark zone. Team of 4 clearing out mobs in a sports complex. Got a ton of loot and another group enters through a window and goes rogue. 2 in the team suppress fire with LMG's, other 2 flank and kill 3 with the 4th surrendering. We let him live. It's these oh shit moments which bring me back into the game.

    Yeah..... After Watch Dogs I'm treating all Ubisoft games as discount/specials only purchases. I almost gave in this weekend and bought it but realized I wanted to play Valkyria Chronicles on the PC instead so spent 6 bucks on steam instead of 70 at JB.

      I found Watch Dogs to be great value for money. I paid 18 bucks for it :P
      Same deal for me for Ubisoft now, I've fallen behind on AC games which is fine because once I get them they are much cheaper.

        Yeah I would've loved Watch Dogs at that price :P At 70 bucks I'm kicking myself; oh well! Live and learn!

    I went in with no expectations of it being good, but the skeptic within me died after 2 or so hours and now im hooked. It has a great loop with upgrades, intel, progression etc. I havent even touched the dark zone but so far this is the best game I've played this year.

      Plus the game has a fantastic OST and there's some great licensed tracks as well! Havent heard many people say it but it really glues it together

      I was digging it, playing mission, unlocking skills etc, then my mates and I thought we'd check out the dark zone just before we logged off...

      Ended up staying on another 2 hours. It's so much more chaotic and intense than the eerie NY outside the walls, it is the highlight for me now. Played the closed beta and DZ was ok, but now I definitely prefer DZ gameplay, Check it out for sure.

      Haven't had any rogue encounters yet, my group accidentally went rogue when a mate shot another guy by accident, but then everyone in the area had to band together to fight off high level NPC enemies while we waited for the extraction chopper and it was awesome.

        The dz is the tits. As I've been mostly soloing it iv3 had some unfortunate run ins with opportunistic deviants though. Usually a trio of yanks who act friendly and then kill me for my shit, so I try avoid groups until I've done an extraction with them nearby.
        I almost killed them one time with some sniping and a sticky bomb tho, alas they rushed me haha

    Level slowly, you will enjoy it more.

    Take your time, there is no rush.

      I actually found it extremely dull and boring until about level 18-or-so, and once I hit 30 the daily challenge missions absolutely hooked me. Planning out approach, coordinating the initial engagement and subsequent firefight, coordinating stun and heal cycles, focusing fire to take enemies out fist enough... so good.

      Different strokes, I guess.

      Last edited 14/03/16 1:29 pm

    I cant help but feel the setting of the game itself is working against itself.

    With Destiny, its "sci fi" so you have crazy legendary weapons and skills that are fun and significantly varied (and op!). With The Division, you cant do this because of the time/world its set in, it still needs a level of realism to it.

    Whilst leveling up, i just dont find myself interested in getting different weapons or skills where as with destiny the "super powers" you get are just so cool

      I got a stupidly powerful marksman rifle in The Division last night that I think I may be in love with. One shot kills are back on the table!

      Thats weird I thought unlocking/upgrading the different wings and getting access to the new tier of skills to use was one of the funnest parts of the game.

      Yeah I had very similar feelings in response to someone above. Not sure if this comment was before or after mine but yeah I definitely agree with you.

    Wow. I can't believe that there is such a strong stigma with the Aus/NZ Kotaku Community against it. I'm surprised at that.

    I'm loving The Division. I'm loving it more than I did with Destiny (I sunk 600+ Hours into it within the first 5 months of release). It's got a tonne of more content and encounters *at launch* for you to do. The 'Story' doesn't require you to access an external knowledge base (IE: Bungie's Grimoire) and it's all in a plausible setting. It kicks into action as much as it can around level 18 or so.

    I love the fact that for the most part, RPG comes first. A lot of people I've seen on Reddit that were anti it were complaining that it takes a long time to down bosses and that it's a 'Bullet Sponge' game. The game rewards you for playing as a group and if your group functions correctly it can synergise amazingly well.

    EDIT: Need I mention how freaking fantastic this Matchmaking service is compared to Destiny's? ahhhhh it's fantastic. So much more fluid and no where near as much of a pain in the ass.

    Furthering onto @dnr's Cons:
    The lag is unfortunate but I'm rolling with it - it's Ubisofts first RPG - MMO - TPS, so I'm giving it some leniency here. Most other MMO's suffer immense hiccups within the first few weeks of launch. Ubisoft Massive have been communicating with the userbase at Reddit in a huge way, reading through the Bug Report Thread and actively seeking for feedback.

    The Dark Zone at the moment is in a worse position than it was during the Beta, but further to my previous statement (With Massive interacting with it's playerbase) it stands to reason that there will be major changes in the next few weeks.

    The roadmap for the 1st year alone looks incredibly promising. The loot-game feels more attune to Diablo 3 than Destiny. It's only going to get better.

    Last edited 14/03/16 12:26 pm

      Sort of agree on the loot feeling more like Diablo 3 than Destiny, but only if we're talking vanilla D3.. I get all kinds of stuff, but rarely anything that works with my build eg, all my drops seem to have +sticky bomb on it, but I use Turret and Reinforced Cover (I think that's it) skills. I also seem to get a lot of better quality shotguns.. when all I really want is marksman rifles, accurate assault rifles or accurate SMGs etc. I'm sick of seeing that "some of your gear/weapon are lower level than you, you can get better gear yada yada" popup.. I'm trying to get better gear game, but you're not giving it to me!! ;)

        I know what u mean about stats on items not working in your favour but I've found that the recalibration comes out in your favour more often than not, the thing is that piece of gear will be obsolete in a few levels so if I'm gonna be levelling lots I'll just live with it and see what I get. But tbh the stats can be a little intense at times for sure

        Easiest thing to do is roll whit what you get until lvl 30 then you can customize everything to suite your play style. Not much point in rerolling stats at lower levels as you will find better down the track.

      Oh dude the matchmaking is fantastic being able to quick join any of your online friends games is a godsend.

        Let alone seeing all of your friends on the map! It's great stuff.

          Oh and the fast travel teleport to your friends location. I play on pc and there is basically no load time. That is another massive time saver.

    The realistic setting makes it hard to except even the basic of game mechanics likehow many times you shoot people before they to item drops or ressurections... sci or fantasy would of worked better with these mechanics. Longevity is a major concern with so many stock standard enemies.

    Kill a person and he drops motorcycle gloves... but he is still wearing gloves and why cant i take the rest if his gear or the flamethrower or walk to the nearby desolate motorbike shop and get setup there. I like Fallout 4 where you can strip the dead of everything they own.

      LOL you do realize its basically an MMORPG. Have you played WOW or any other MMO, you kill wolves right and some might drop a paw as an item but then you kill anotehr wolf but no paw drops, why does this happen because obviously the wolf has four paws why don't they all drop? Same case if every NPC dropped everything they held the game wouldn't have that discovery factor or getting gear would be far too easy. I guess anyway. Just my opinion.

        In a fantasy and sci-fi environment yes, but when you model the whole world on a form of realness that this game is throwing at you... its just really takes you back out of it tells you yes this is a game, your suppose to be surviving and helping others to survive by ignoring all the resources around the world and your suppose to be happy you got a winter beanie you can pick up at Kathmandu. Mechanics dont suit the environment or the loot models imo... and thats something I had trouble grasping too... and at the end of it, if your shiney gear doesnt feel shiney or packs a punch you start feeling like that loot grind isnt worth it. Your an agent of the Division and once activated in the event of a major national crisis... you cant do your job effectively cause your have to earn the favor of and scrouge materials to pay quartermasters who are hoarding resources and technical plans to build effective equipment in a national emergency. Government crisis management at its finest.

          Lol ok then don't play the game pretty simple. If you want realistic I think you will have to go play ARMA or something similar.

    Very much enjoying it, I am a casual player, only give it a few hours every couple of days, but friend got it as well and we are working through the main missions together and the difficulty is just right and the crafting/leveling/base building very much hits all my buttons.

    My main complaints being that there are no female bad guys, so all the "GET HIM!" and what not shouts, sound exactly the same and get a bit tedious after a while.

    It also ruins the immersion a little bit, as if you see any Trump rally, intensely crazy ladies are there too, so I expect them to be out and about and murdering people come an apocalypse. Considering it is from "too hard" ubisoft, I shouldn't be surprised.

    Last edited 14/03/16 12:49 pm

      You'll start to see a few more female bad guys when you get deeper into the game.

      Great points, but Massive have nothing to do with the "Too Hard" part of it.

    I'm level 28 and around 26 hours in. So far, I'm absolutely loving it. I've probably played a 50/50 mix of solo and with one or two friends.

    Pros:

    - The game is absolutely gorgeous.
    - The level of detail is astounding. This is what really grabbed me aesthetically, probably moreso than the sheer graphics.
    - Mechanics are really fun, especially coordinating roles/skills with a friend or two.
    - The story is pretty solid. No, it's not Naughty Dog, but it's pretty decent.
    - The loot system (until now at least) has been a good balance between rewarding and encouraging you to play more.
    - Dark Zone is brilliant fun.
    - The map is a good size and filled with little easter eggs and secrets. I enjoy just wandering around from place to place.
    - The matchmaking. Holy crap, it's so easy and smooth to join friends and see what they're doing. Destiny take note.

    Cons:
    - Some of the mission scaling with more than one person can be funky.
    - A big one for me is how the game essentially locks you out of playing with friends more than 4ish levels either side of you. I understand it's to stop people from carrying others through content they really shouldn't be in, but it's frustrating. If I want to play with my level 12 friend, I wouldn't even care if I was scaled back down to 12 and got no rewards.
    - I've heard the current end game isn't ideal, especially as they recently nerfed the end game currency earn rate. So people that rushed to 30 now have an unassailable lead gear wise. Though, I'm hopeful for the free mini-raid Incursion next month. I think that'll be the true test of end game quality, not the Challenge Missions.

    TL;DR: with some caveats, I think it's brilliant.

    Last edited 14/03/16 1:38 pm

    The worst thing about The Division is that the Dark Zone isn't everywhere. It's the only really mechanically interesting part of the game, and they should have made it game wide. The non Dark Zone is just empty and boring. I want to see and help and fight players throughout the entire game.

      Edit: Oops, didn't mean to reply.

      Last edited 14/03/16 2:00 pm

    While I can't see myself dumping another 600ish hours into it like destiny, but that's more my issue than an issue with the game. It's a pretty solid game so far. The game world is beautifully realised, although the whole "Map will be the size of Manhattan" this is an actual lie. So much of it is out of bounds.

    The shooting feels good and very satisfying. The thing that really gets me excited is that once you're in there's not really any loading screens (unless you go for matchmaking for a mission), everything's seamlessly built into the world you inhabit. If you're in an existing group though, it's all good. Persistent world for the win.

    Story seems decent so far although I've learnt not to dive into the hard difficulty straight away, had some overly annoying missions where it was just waves and waves of dudes soaking up all my ammo and then ended up having to do a boss fight with my crappy shotgun sidearm against a boss who kept throwing down turrets and running away.

    I was pretty sceptical going in. Hell, by level 15-or-so I was getting bored with it, and considering returning it. Held out until level 30, tho... What finally hooked me was the Challenge missions. Discussing with my team how to tackle a certain encounter, planning and executing the initial engagement, coordinating heals, stuns and focus fire... amazing fun. I didn't expect to be this invested in it, but now I'm really looking forward to the incursion next month.

    Spent a lot of time in the DZ, too - PvE in there is great fun, but the few rogue-hunts I engaged in all turned into Benny Hill-style chases across the map, and were a colossal waste of time for everyone involved - if a rogue manages to run, there's no way to catch them unless they corner themselves in an area with no cover. Not to mention if you take out 3/4 of a rogue squad, the last can run around until his non-rogue buddies catch up and gun everyone down from behind. The DZ is great fun - had a great time pushing DZ06 with friends - but the rogue system is just broken.

    I'm really enjoying it. The destiny RNG grind was just getting too much to take. Hours of play for nearly zero rewards. The division has made gaming fun again for the moment, my destiny crew has made the switch and we're having a lot of fun.

    Taking is slow, playing the missions and side missions and the DZ is hectic at times.

    Having a blast so far just soloing, with a bit of a match making here and there, surprised that I got matched up with Americans the latency was not an issue at all ( pretty stoked with that)

    I hope end game PVP/dark zone lives upto the hype, Competitive PVP aspect is big in my books - loosing items etc...

    Last edited 14/03/16 3:57 pm

      You might wanna get the Dark Zone's PvP a pass for a couple of weeks in the hopes of Massive balancing the system. You lose too much shit (An entire levels worth of XP, 80% of your keys roughly and a similar amount of DZ $) as it stands and not enough to gain should you survive the rank 5 timer.

    Challenge modes need to be timed, or the difficulty increased. It's too easy at present (on PC at least).

    Other than that.. the game is really good and has serious potential pending what they do with the future DLC.

    Man... how good is the fog.
    I'm playing on an xbox juan, I came out of a sewer into a snowstorm... and there was steam coming out of one of the vents nearby, then the storm just kind of fogged over. It was fantastic... it looked so good. There were police lights in the distance, and they were changing the colour of the fog. It was just great.

    Last edited 14/03/16 7:50 pm

      man so good... we had an extraction point in the DZ at night and it fogged over and started to snow, the glowing neon lights pulsed in the distance and then a big flamer boss loomed large down the street. Exploding tanks lit up the night.

      Hectic yet gorgeous firefight until the soft glow of the chopper began descending from above.

      Really Incredible stuff.

    I think referring to it as a time sink is slightly wrong especially when comparing it to destiny, the fastest to level 30 so far has been 15 hours granted he was doing everything on hard with 4 friends.

    I think it took me about 35 hours solo granted that was doing absolutely everything available on the map including phones, survival guidebooks etc and still had stuff left over after getting to 30.

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