By Sean Reis
An evolved strain of smallpox has intentionally been placed into one of the world’s busiest cities: New York City. What started with a few minor cases has quickly erupted into an epidemic and the city has been forced to close all borders. While the rest of the country sits in fear from the virus, Ubisoft’s 1:1 scale recreation of Midtown Manhattan has been left to struggle for survival. However, an organization known as The Division has arrived to help the apocalyptic concrete jungle that once operated as the epicenter of the world.
In “Tom Clancy’s The Division,” you play as a member of The Division organization, called to save those suffering from the disease and save the city. Released on Tuesday, March 8, across all platforms, the game was the first I have ever purchased for multiple devices — PC and Xbox One. I was that excited and I wanted to play with as many friends as possible.
Ubisoft might not have included every detail of Midtown Manhattan, but built on a 1:1 scale, “The Division” has been one of the most realistic video games I have ever played. The map may not have been as large as most had anticipated, but whenever I played the game I actually felt like I was walking through New York City — only the city was dangerous and decaying, so it is not quite the New York City we know.
The realistic world was not the game’s only positive aspect, though, and I found the gameplay to be especially smooth. As an avid gamer who would likely choose to play another first-person carbon copy “Call of Duty” over any third-person shooter, I have enjoyed “The Division” despite an unfamiliar perspective. The controls, both for the Xbox One and the computer, were easy to learn and I felt comfortable playing the game.
Nonetheless, with an expansive world and great gameplay, as well as a rich and well-written story, “The Division” has been fun to play overall. However, I do regret purchasing the game for more than one platform.
While many may argue that there was not enough story to reach the maximum level, I have to disagree. I have yet to reach the level cap with either friend group that I’m able to play with and I doubt I will anytime soon. The Dark Zone, an area set aside for player versus player content, does not have that competitive edge at lower levels, but at end-game, the area transforms and I wish I was able to experience that sooner.
“The Division” does not have to be “World of Warcraft,” with hardcore grinding, and I do not want to dedicate countless hours to get to the game’s best part — twice. I doubt I will even create more characters because I imagine the story will likely lack replay value due to the time required to level.
At the end of the day, although I may regret that I bought two copies, “The Division” has been fun, despite the fact that I have yet to beat the game. I highly suggest that when you have the time to truly dedicate after the semester ends, you purchase “The Division” (but maybe only once).