Tom Clancy’s The Division is one of those games which are good at exploiting the human need of progress by wrapping it up in fancy clothes and this makes you realize in the end that you have gone nowhere and accomplished nothing at all. This applies to a lot of games like Rocket League, Battlefield, Red Orchestra and ARMA among others.
These games have something missing in them. They neither have the capability to offer gamers with a purely offline experience nor do they have fast-paced multiplayer gameplay that is so vitally required for it to be a good multiplayer title. For example, Quake 3 didn’t have as many bells and whistles as Call of Duty games these days.
It was still uber-successful! These games have everything stripped down to the grind and the ultimate goal for any gamer is to fill up bars. All you have to do is get better and new gear, bulletproof vests, guns and gloves among others. You need to kill more guys to get better gear and the process keeps repeating it.
You will enter an area that is underpowered enough to make you feel challenged. Then there comes a new gun or backpack to turn you into a brutal killing machine for the next couple of hours. The game makes a half-hearted attempt to tell us the story of how a smallpox epidemic ended up devastating New York City.
The setup is quite thin and any story-telling attempt sounds quite feeble. There are audio logs named echos which are actually pale orange holograms of events which occurred before and have been reconstructed from surveillance footage.
Although it provides a window in the real world, it provides no real purpose. They are simply collectibles. However, there are few missions which do stand out. They are mainly a series of stand-offs, occurring in Time Square and outside Grand Central Station.
The highly-developed art team of Ubisoft has proved its excellence yet again, by turning out brilliant recreations of real-world locations. Don’t for a moment think that the beauty remains limited to landmarks.
The houses and subways in snow-covered streets of Chelsea have received just as much care. It is fascinating to see the always-busy and bustling Times Square reduced to greyed-out billboards, dilapidated locations and busted screens.
There is one mission where you are tasked with turning the power back on and you end coming under fire in Times Square while the billboards roar back to life.
You suddenly notice New York glowing red and yellow with attractive advertisements following. It should have provided a climatic bit of storytelling, considering the surreal environment created by this game.
Sadly, once the prepackaged events are over, you are thrown back into an empty city filled with nothing. You are merely a slave to the orange line which orders you where to go. There are boring side missions with not much padding.
There are loads of stop-and-pop covers featuring shooting at enemies, with a hell of a lot layers of armor. A world map dotted with various icons is now practically an Ubisoft signature move.
You will see it in games like Assassins Creed, Far Cry and the likes. Gamers usually ignore these are return to the primary experience but Division being an RPG, forces you to engage.
Again, you end up in the pursuit of bigger and better numbers. Outside the Dark Zone, you can pretty much play the entire game and not see another person.