Over the past weekend, I’ve been playing through Tom Clancy’s The Division‘s open beta and was surprised at just how much I enjoyed myself. Since its announcement I’ve been a rather skeptical, mostly due of a recent trend in multiplayer titles. I expected something that only focuses on online gameplay and offers very little to no single player content. Surprisingly though, this was not the case for Ubisoft’s upcoming RPG/Shooter.
Division plays like your basic cover shooter; you hide behind stuff and repeatedly shot at anything that moves. So nothing new compared to other titles of that ilk, but then the game changes with the introduction of RPG elements. There are 12 skills to choose from divided into three different skill trees; medical, security, and tech.
Each skill has three modes which can be unlocked by upgrading the corresponding wing in your main base. Each upgrade you buy in each wing can unlock new skills, talents and perks to equip. This is an interesting way of upgrading your character and allows players focus on the skill trees they prefer and go for the upgrades they want but because of this, it makes leveling up your character redundant.
The only benefit you get for leveling up your character is they can dish out more damage, take more damage and equip better gear. I do like this way of upgrading characters, but it is annoying not unlocking a new skill or perk whenever my character gained a level.
Another thing worth mentioning (which you’ve probably been hearing some chatter about lately) is the Dark Zone, a PvP area where anything can happen… well at least through Ubisoft’s advertisement it can. The Dark Zone is where you can obtain better loot by killing high-level NPCs, searching random crates scattered across the map and killing another players to nick their swag.
When I first entered the Dark Zone, I was expected players to be shooting at each other like a kind of wild west setting and making it nearly impossible to claim loot for myself – that never happened. Instead players would patiently wait for an extraction to show up, drop off their newly gained gear and go about their way… a it uneventful I thought. At least at the time of Division’s open beta I found that’s exactly what the Dark Zone is, an area with very little going on. There weren’t many NPCs to fight and players would rarely start fights with each other. After a while, it was just boring walking through a darkened and dismal area in New York.
In the end, the beta was fun and got my interest back into The Divison but I sure hope that Ubisoft is holding back a lot of content for later. The Dark Zone is too barren to keep my interest and the single player content gets repetitive quickly. I’ve found that the best way to find enjoyment is to team up with friends, which is what I’d guess you’d want in a game focused in multiplayer.
So if none of your friends are interested in picking up the game, then you might want to give the game’s launch a miss for now. If you and a few friends want to play the game, then you might be better off waiting a few months before buying the game.
If The Division is following the current trends of multiplayer games (which personally I think it is) then there will be a lack of content to go through when the game has launched.
Tom Clancy’s The Division is set to launch from the 8th March for Xbox One, PlayStation and PC systems.