By Lee Vaughan – March 8th, 2016 was a day I looked forward to ever since e3 2015. It was the day The Division launched and I couldn’t wait to get stuck into the gritty post-apocalyptic Manhattan.
For the first 5 hours or so I loved it, the game looked fantastic and played very well but it had its issues. Frequently being logged out because of dodgy servers and the occasional crash got annoying but didn’t take to much from the experience, it was once I had finished the final story missions that things started to go downhill. The games side missions and encounters got boring and tedious very quickly, and the less said about the dark zone the better.
I got to around 20 hours of gameplay before I gave up for good and moved on, but in November’s Black Friday sale The Division: Gold Edition went on sale and I thought to myself what the hell let’s give it another go, there have been plenty of updates and the additional Underground and Survival DLC packs. I have had a lot of people tell me it’s finally the game it should have been when it launched. So I fired up the Xbox and started playing once again.
I was lvl26 on my first character and loaded in on that save rather than starting again, spending the first hour trying to remember where I left off was interesting and also forgetting that there were certain areas a level 26 shouldn’t attempt to go. I spent a lot of time running for my life and subsequently being murdered by anything and everything, but I was soon back in the swing of things and working hard to get to level 30 so I could see what the new endgame features were. To get there is spent a couple of hours grinding missions on hard with the assistance of other players, that’s if I wasn’t immediately kicked straight after joining because I was a low level. Eventually, I found a good group of people who didn’t mind helping me get up to level 30, shortly after, I had hit my target and then I could really start having fun with the endgame activities.
The endgame is very similar to destiny where once you reach the level 30 cap you get a score based upon your current gear. The gear score varies from 0-256 so my main goal was to get that up and become a super powered God so I jumped into The Divisions first DLC pack ‘Underground’. The underground Is a randomly generated mixture of rooms, enemies and objectives in which you work your way through the rooms either solo or as part of a group of four killing everything that moves in the hope that you get some useful gear and weapons, unlike Destiny, however, The Division is a lot more generous with its loot and I found that each time I ran through one of the missions I was always getting something that was useful to me and a few items I could deconstruct or sell.
The first time I tried the Underground DLC I sat for 4 hours running it over and over again going from a gear score of 86 all the way up to 224, although I did come across a very friendly player who was already at 256 and any item he got he would drop for me to use which helped me level up a lot quicker. So far I have spent probably eight hours playing missions in the Underground and I could easily do eight more, the action is fast-paced and being randomly generated it doesn’t get boring, couple that with a steady supply of decent loot makes the Underground an extremely enjoyable experience and I can’t wait to hit 256 and help out players who are lower levels and make their day by dropping them some sweet loot.
Unfortunately, I haven’t had a chance to sink some time into the survival DLC, but from what I gather you get put on the map either on your own or as a team of 4 in either a PVE or PVP lobby with nothing but a few med kits, green tier armour and a pistol. You then have to scavenge better gear from loot boxes and enemies but there is one catch, all loot is visible to all players on and off your team. So unless you are all in voice chat with each other it’s a free for all when it comes to getting better gear to help you survive. While in survival you will have to keep an eye on your body temperature and make sure you eat and drink to stay alive, but you are also infected and have about 45 minutes to live. This can be kept away by finding some medicine which will stop the timer for a short time.
The survival DLC to me seems like it could either be an amazing experience or a really frustrating one as even when you’re playing in the PVE lobbies and you go down your teammates can either choose to revive you which consumes one of their med kits or execute you, so unless you are playing with friends this could make it a major pain to finish especially if you’re playing with random players who don’t have a heart.
So to conclude is The Division worth picking up? Yes, the game is an amazing experience whether you play as a lonely wolf as I do most of the time or with friends. Constant loot drops and fast paced action keep the game fun and the Underground DLC is an exceptional experience that has kept me hooked for hours hoping for the epic named loot drops to make my character just that little bit better. Whether you are a new player or a dissatisfied day one player like me, The Division is finally the game it should have been at launch, it might even pull me away from my Destiny addiction after the lacking Rise Of Iron DLC but I’ll leave that for another day.
What do you think of The Division? Are you loving it or are you still not satisfied? Let us know in the comment section below.