Division brings people together.
After much hyperbole and delays Tom’s Clancy’s The Division finally landed earlier this month.
And it did exactly what it says on the tin... caused division among reviewers.
Some major gaming websites panned the game on release with scores as low as 6 our of 10.
But I would argue they were too hasty in their approach to a game that very much grows organically.
If you don’t know about The Division, it is a third-person shooter by Ubisoft set in a dystopian New York City in the aftermath of a smallpox pandemic.
The player, who is an agent of Strategic Homeland Division, is tasked with helping to rebuild the Division’s operations in Manhattan, combating criminal activity in the wake of the outbreak, and investigating the nature of the outbreak.
But this is no ordinary shooter.
The Division is structured with elements of role-playing which has seen (fair) comparisons to the likes of Destiny, Guild Wars and World of Warcraft.
The big thing with The Division is the collaborative and player versus player online multiplayer format.
It is this element which meant the game was something of a slow starter as Ubisoft waited for the community to get up to speed and really into the thick of things.
Much like Rainbow Six Siege to make the most of the open world format, some gamers’ enjoyment of The Division depends largely on 1) whether you have friends playing the game and 2) having them playing it at the same time as you.
The more considered reviews rightly took a wholly more positive stance and this will add to that.
The Division boasts a beautifully and intricately detailed world and a genuinely intense campaign mission experience. The loot system is one of the most rewarding aspects of play as you forage around the city that never sleeps.
The multiplayer integration is up there with the best gaming has to offer and the clear structure means things do not get too messy... well at least until you call up for screen-cluttering inventory.
It’s not perfect mind. The enemy AI can be a touch predictable while side missions can be tedious and my biggest frustration was the omission of an option to crouch, surely essential for any shooting game?
On the whole, though, The Division delivers what it promised and will be one of the best value games you buy this year.