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Restore order to chaos in 'The Division'


March 22, 2016

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    Ubisoft, Tom Clancy’s The Division is a third-person shooter set in New York City after a smallpox pandemic has left it in a frightening and chaotic mess. Players assume the role of a Strategic Homeland Division agent who must help rebuild the Division operations in Manhattan to bring some order back to the mid-crisis city.
    The city of Manhattan is open-world with destructive environments which players are free to roam as they please. Gameplay is very similar to last year’s hottest MMO shooter, Destiny, as the gamer will carry three weapons and explosives to take out the enemy. Players also have access to a cover mechanic which allows them to hide behind objects and plan out tactical ways of encountering the enemy.
     The player earns currency and experience as they progress through the game which is used for new weapons and gear. Aside from the main storyline of restoring order to Manhattan, players can also go to a part of the city called the Dark Zone which allows for a competitive player-versus-player mode. As stated on the GamesRadar site, in the Dark Zone “players can be accompanied by several co-operative partners and other neutral, player-controlled agents. These people, however, can turn against the player at any moment, going rogue. Players' level and ranking may drop if they die too often in the zone.”
     The game is ridiculously fun and challenging. Players who enjoyed Destiny will also enjoy the grind found in leveling their characters and finding new gear in The Division. Having a vast assortment of weapons and also abilities gives the game a good mix of options to keep players invested with their character. Best played in co-op with other gamers, The Division can also be played solo, but trust me: It’s extremely difficult at times.
     The game gets a great deal right with its MMORPG elements; however, there are some instances where it may fall short. Being that it is an RPG type of game, damage relies on stats of the character and stats of the weapons being used. Since the game is so stat-dependent, players will come across bullet-sponge enemies. If you are used to playing shooters where one well-placed bullet will drop the enemy, you may be disappointed to find bosses and other enemies that soak up an entire clip in The Division without dying. The cover system at times will cause some awkward camera angles, but a few hours into the game and players will learn how to avoid those situations.
     All in all, I think The Division does a great job of using RPG and MMO elements to create the perfect balance to a highly addictive video game that sees its players grinding through missions in order to level and find new gear. Combining that with the thrill of co-op and multiplayer Dark Zone play has created a new type of shooter that is both challenging and entertaining. Although bullet-sponge enemies take away from the realism, the gameplay makes up for it by introducing a new game that will have a long-term appeal.

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