5 Things To Be Excited About The Division
The Division is one of the early games Ubisoft showed that wowed us to the potential of the new consoles, the PS4 and Xbox One. After countless delays, looks like Ubi is on board to launch The Division on March 8th, with a public beta test coming on the 28th of January.
There has been a preview event and now many footage of the preview build is out in the internet. While I never got to see it up close, here’s some tidbits that may interest you about the game.
Generally speaking, it could be something along the lines of Destiny, for better or worse.
It’s a Third Person Shooter with RPG Mechanics
Here’s where the main comparison with Destiny comes in, along with its focus on playing co-op in a fireteam. There’s XP and levelling system (no surprise here). Each weapon and gear has stats to compare, with the classic colour coded rarity (white green, blue, purple orange). Weapon damage is even displayed ala JRPGs. With that in mind, don’t expect a realistic depiction of weapon damage, and expect bullet sponge enemies which will require more than just a few shots to take down.
It’s a Cover Shooter with Verticality
Now this is unlike Destiny, but share some similarities to Gears of War due to the cover shooting. Blind fire and moving cover to cover is key in most combat situations, and New York has plenty of traversable areas. Some rooftop areas are accessible by ladders, and elevated ground can be found a lot in the environments. Expect gunfights to happen a lot, with multiple levels to engage in.
There’s Crafting, and Instanced Loot
Another layer of RPG comes from loot and crafting. Loot comes in the many forms, weapons, mods for weapons, and ‘vanity items’ (read: cool cosmetic items, like a sick bean hat). Mods can be broken down for crafting materials of different rarity, so you can potentially craft rarer and better mods.
To top it off, loot is instanced, meaning the loot you see is for you only. Friends playing along will have their own unique loot, similar to, again, Destiny. Unless you enter the Dark Zone.
The Dark Zone is A PvP Arena
The Dark Zone. It may seem to be a silly gimmick, but boy do they really betting big on it. While the normal areas are safe for any agent teams to operate, as in PvE only, entering the dark zone will not. There’s plenty of rare loot to be.. looted, but can’t be used immediately. You have to call in a helicopter to extract the loot. With rarer loot to be collected, there’s also more lethal enemies, in different factions, waiting for you too.
Since there’s rare loot up for grabs, you can at any time turn against each other, as in other teams, and also your teammates, to nab the loot for yourselves. Calling that helicopter also pings other agents of it, so it is a risky endeavour. Plus, you can earn and lose a different set of experience points, which increases and decreases your Dark Zone rank, which allows you to buy rarer stuff from vendors.
The odd premise of this Dark Zone is interestingly justified story-wise, as The Division has a proper story to it. Yes, you read that right.
There’s a Story
While Destiny stumbles on brining a good narrative experience on launch, The Division seems to be well prepared. Having the Tom Clancy branding, expect a realistic take on government agencies tackling world crises. The Division sets up as you being an agent of the Division, sleeper agents that has just been activated to counter a disease outbreak, now happening in New York City.
About the Dark Zone? Those are contaminated areas, so everything you need to take out of the zone, including loot, will require some cleaning process first. Hence, why you can’t access your loot immediately.
Neat, huh? It feels a bit contrived, but as long as the narrative is engaging enough, it should keep players interest, aside from the prospect of getting a sick bean hat.
The Division seems to be a blend of tactical third person shooting wrapped around RPG, specifically MMORPG, elements in a realistic mid-crisis setting. It’s odd, but the idea of another game with vibes like Destiny- itself is a blend of an FPS wrapped around MMORPG elements, will surely appeal to some.
While I personally am somehow interested about the game but not as hyped (don’t really find Destiny to be my jam), what about you? Will you pick it up on release or try out the beta? Or are you as as sceptical as I am? Shoot off in the comments below.