Review by Christopher Wilson, Staff Writer
The Division, a third-person shooter developed by Ubisoft with help from Red Storm Entertainment was released for all current generation platforms and PC in March 2016. It was first announced to the public as E3 in 2013 and has been an anticipated arrival ever since.
The game was a huge financial success, selling a metric ton of copies and earning the most of any of Ubisoft’s games in first-day sales history.
The plot follows a smallpox pandemic that sweeps New York City during black Friday. The
disease is put on banknotes, quickly spreading throughout the city.
Citizens dub it “Green Fever” or “The Dollar Flu.” The sickness causes quick and widespread chaos throughout the city and causes the U.S Government to put the city under quarantine. The game takes place with the protagonist trying to rebuild operations in Manhattan and find the source of the disease.
After quarantine is established, the government activates “Sleeper Cells” in the general population who work under the Homeland Division, simply called “The Division.”
Players control one of The Division agents whose task is to move forward in trying to restore order to the broken down city. Above all else players are to restore order to chaos and try to find a cure to the current rampant disease spreading across the city.
The story itself seems a bit contrived, yet the gameplay is quite entertaining. Character-building is reminiscent of RPGs. As players advance in the game, they gain currency and experience killing those in their way.
Purchases are allowed of various gear and weapons, which can range in 5 levels: Worn, Standard, Specialized, Superior, and High End. The higher level the boss mobs, the more likely you are to get high-end loot, while the small peon monsters are much more likely to drop lower level gear.
Your character is allowed to carry up to 3 separate weapons, and then a set of explosives of their choosing. It is best to spread out the gear to cover all forms of attacks.
Players need to look out for several factions as they go about the city. Rikers, standard rioting escapees from Riker Island Prison take advantage of the chaos, and Cleaners, insane New York Sanitation workers who wield Flamethrowers thinking everyone in the city is infected.
On top of that, rogue agents lurk throughout the city as they fight against you in the field. The game also has a unique weather and day/night cycle that adds night vision weaponry as a benefit for night carrying, and makes visibility and aiming much more difficult during rainfall. The game is all about using surroundings and environment to one’s own benefit.
The game has its quirks and sometimes leaves one scratching their head wondering why some things occurred and the silliness of it all. But overall, the gameplay is fun, and that is all we can ask for in a video game.