Opinion – The Division Reviews Don’t Paint The Entire Picture

The end game may be lacking, but should scores for Tom Clancy’s The Division be penalizedĀ because of it?

Ask a number of The Division players how their time with the game is going, and you’ll more than likely hear a familiar theme throughout: ‘completed the story, got all Gold gear, hit level 50 in the Dark Zone…..now what?’ Similar to another loot grinder, Destiny, the end game content in The Division is severely lacking shortly after launch. As opposed to harvesting materials, The Division has agents mission farming in Challenge Mode to accrue enough Phoenix Credits for new gear and blueprints. Once you’ve gotten the best gear, players can use those same credits to change or reroll a single stat on said gear. Monotonous? You bet. Once the allure of new gear is removed from the equation, it is easy to see how tedious and dull the end game can become playing the same missions constantly.

But what about everything leading up to The Division’s end game? Amongst the backlash, critics appear to be overlooking that The Division’s main story component is quite enjoyable. Massive has created a world where players can progress either solo, with a group of strangers using The Division’s fantastic (though slightly obtuse at first) matchmaking system, or with three friends. If you want a bit of mischief, players can step into the Dark Zone for some PvPvE action for a nice diversion. The Snowdrop engine looks fantastic with some of the best graphics we have seen this generation (fire effects anyone?). The main storyline lacks depth, but the audio logs and ECHO’s — complemented by the stellar visuals in the snow laden, post-pandemic NYC — do a good job of painting a picture of what NYC was like shortly before and during the early goings of the outbreak.

In one ECHO, a scene plays out where two friends are out in the street having a discussion. One is now apart of The Cleaners — a flamethrower wielding group looking to burn and kill anything infected — and the other is an average Joe who unfortunately has come down with a cough. The average Joe is trying to plead his case saying its just his asthma and that he is not infected. He even pulls out his inhaler as proof. The Cleaner isn’t buying it, and proceeds to scorch his longtime friend alive. While a real-life pandemic is (hopefully) something I won’t be apart of, it is almost impossible to not examine your own morals and wonder: what would I think in that scenario? Would I give my friend the benefit of the doubt? Could I pull the trigger?

And let’s not forget the gameplay or character progression. As a third-person shooter, The Division makes use of the cover mechanics first championed by Gears of War. Though the shooting can feel off at times due to the lack of enemy reactions (think Shotgun to the face), the shooting remains enjoyable throughout the journey. Players can also make use of consumables to alter bullet types and gain other buffs such as extra damage to Elite enemies. With new loot found everywhere and unlockable skills that cater to very different play styles, you’ll have more than enough incentive to stick around until the end. Completing the main storyline and hitting LVL30 (while dabbling in the Dark Zone from time to time accidentally hitting level 23 along the way) took me around 20-25 hours. Looking at just the main story and not taking into account the end game, The Division was a very amusing experience. And based upon the amount of time I put in, those 20-25 hours were absolutely worth the $60 I spent.

Did you get your money’s worth out of The Division? Let us know in the comments below!

Tom Gregorio
Editor - News / Reviews
Editor for MP1st. Eradicating Comic Sans from the internet one day at a time.
  • Suicidal1

    It’s a good game and I enjoy playing it almost every day, but I only play in little bursts because I know that there is nothing to do after a certain point. Since it is an MMORPG first and shooter second, there should be a lot more end game stuff to do and a lot more story/side mission content.

  • Aria68

    It’s a fine game but it lacks some seriously questionable gameplay mechanics such as prone/ crouch or stealth takedown also lacks enemy variation. The fact that they’ve spent so much time to build such a beautiful and detailed levels yet they excluded bunch of basic things and different enemy types is really beyond me. The story is a joke. Keep talking about the “virus” yet you can’t see any sign of it other than the dead bodies on the ground, i dunno why such a sexy game lack the basics.

    • Sgt. Mofo

      Good points. Considering all the civilians see you as aggressive just by running past them makes me wonder if they just scrapped a stealth mechanic. They could’ve looked at Splinter Cell and kind of ripped from that, but who knows? Maybe there weren’t enough available resources to make it happen. I’m hoping the DLC does a little more to expand upon the virus. The only glimpses you got were the coughs you heard in ECHO’s and Phone Recordings.

      • Aria68

        Exactly, those stupid echos that i don’t waste a second on them. Such a rubbish story telling.

        • marpla78

          and they only give you 300-400 xp…so they actually are not good at all. MAybe they could throw a cosmetic item+xp afte you finish them…i dont know.

  • Fernando

    For me the current content of the game is definitely worth the money I paid for it… Actually is one of the most worthy games I have had in years…
    It has its lacks but I’m afraid they will solve it through dlcs and season pass… But still, the gameplay is so neat and the dark zone so fun that I don’t mind if they want to charge to give more content… Hell, Destiny was way worse regarding content and variety, I had to sell it after I played the “campaign”.

    • Sgt. Mofo

      Destiny’s first 2 DLC packs were awfully light on content, and did little to remedy the paper thin story that they claimed would put it on the same level as Star Wars. However, The Division is not Destiny and Massive is not Bungie, so they could potentially get it right. While I’m cautiously optimistic the DLC will be good, I certainly wasn’t optimistic enough to already purchase the Season Pass.

      Felt the same way about Destiny when I got done. Looking up Material Farming runs on YouTube was not my idea of fun.

  • marpla78

    First…nice article Tom.

    Well the game worth the money for sure …the story is ok…visuals beside the downgrade taht everybody cry about it is amazing…NY looks great and im not from the US…on the art department this game is by far one of the best ones out there…at least for me.
    I will say this…the game tends to be a little boring after you hit lvl 30…and is even worst if you play solo, playing with at least 2 friends is way much fun, even when you do the matchmaking…shame that not that many people use the voip but well is part of the game.

    Gameplay is ok…a little repetitive after a wile, agree with @aria68:disqus on mechanics…not sure why there is no prone and crouch…because the game allow that type of movement…take down is another story and im a huge fun of the knife on BF games …no sure on the MMORPG world how a knife will work with an enemy with armor and all that crap…seems like everybody will use a knife if you can kill with one slice and the DZ will be knife trolls 24/7 šŸ˜‰

    DZ is fun…only and just only if you play with 2 or 3 friends…or more in 2 squads…run with a few trolls or jerks that are just there to annoying people…but is part of the game. Solo in the DZ you need to have some superior or high end to really enjoy after you reach lvl 30.

    Still didnt buy the Season pass…tho seems like if i dont buy it i wont get that much fun out of this game…let see what the free dlc brings the i will decide on that.

    The game is good overall for me.

    PS: marpla07…if you are looking for some teamwork and coms add me (PC only).

    • Sgt. Mofo

      Thanks for the kind words.

      I’m taking the wait and see approach as well on the Season Pass. Since owners don’t get any sort of XP boost as far as I can tell, I won’t mind buying the DLC piecemeal if it means I’ll pay an extra $10 in the long haul. Much safer that way than paying for a season pass where I may only play 1 of the content releases.

      • marpla78

        Anytime @Sgt.Mofo

        Yeap same…i really hope they donĀ“t come up with some super high end gun with 4 talents because that will enter the “pay for win” that i hate on games so much…i know they said they wont be that way…but…gaming industry..you never now.
        I’m guessing the majority including myself put a lot of hype/hope on this game and turn to be a ok/good game so far… but without a bright future on the long run.

    • pb0yd1

      Prone and crouch i agree 100% .

  • dpg70

    I really like it and I’ve already hit my $1 per hour threshold for determining value. I’m actually well below $1 per hour. Still holding on the Season Pass until these things get closer to release and we get more details.

  • pb0yd1

    Four days 10 hours ,bought the gold edition Ā£60 enjoying every second so far .