After a quick workout at the gym, I arrived home to find Tom Clancy’s The Division sitting at my doorstep, courtesy of Amazon Prime. Much like most gamers dealing with door trolls, I was unable to enter my home until I moved the game.
Once I brought it inside, I immediately inserted the game into my PS4 to install and download all the updates. I left the room, took a shower, ate dinner, and came back into the room to find that the game was STILL downloading all the updates and had about 30 minutes left. It’s a rather large update. Usually, I would just turn my TV to sports or some other random show that I couldn’t get invested in, until the update finished. Unfortunately this night, my satellite wasn’t working, due to the storm clouds above my home. Instead, I decided to play some Madden which ultimately made the update go even slower.
Fast forward about an hour and I was finally ready to start the game! The opening credits began, the loading circle started, and Ubisoft wanted me to activate their club membership. Then, wouldn’t you guess it, the game had to be installed again! This time, I was helpless. I couldn’t occupy my time with a TV show, game, and social media was just boring. Instead, I was reduced to staring at my two cats like a Roman official calling out to two gladiators yelling, “Entertain me!”. Luckily, this install only lasted for about 15 minutes and then it was time to be activated.
Tom Clancy’s The Division starts off with a cool opening scene where they show just how the smallpox virus was spread. If you don’t know already, it’s due to money being contaminated and spread amongst the shoppers during Black Friday. It’s actually a really cool scene that should scare people with how easy that could actually happen. When the scene ends, it goes into how the Division was activated and how they always were hidden in plain sight. This is where I began.
I started off by creating my character and customizing what he looked like. However, I was disappointed to find that the character creation is seriously limited. There are only 5 faces per the 5 races that are represented. Plus, the hairstyles are not only sparse but also bad. They had more tattoos than they did anything else. My character ended up looking like a cross between Donald Glover and Lenny Kravitz. Since your character doesn’t have an official name, my buddy Tyler had named his Phillip and had a huge backstory to his character. I named mine Donny because of the previously mentioned cross.
The gameplay started off in Brooklyn with a quick aiming tutorial with the rest of the practice coming in later missions. Switching between weapons took a quick second to get used to and I had to learn to run on my own but these were really non issues. Using my radar, I rushed over to the nearest Safe Zone to progress the story. It was here that I started realizing just how crowded this tiny room was. If you ever played Destiny, you’ll remember the Tower. It is a safe zone of sorts where other users can go to buy supplies, start missions, progress the story, or listen to some sweet jams. The Division’s tiny, cramped New York City apartment (no doubt rent is $2,000 a month) made me miss the spacious Tower with random NPCs yelling, “Guardian!”.
Continuing with the story, I approached the door that was marked as my main mission. A cinematic started up with me walking into the room with a woman planning with another agent. They started talking about the problems in the city when I got kicked off. Yep, server error! I couldn’t believe it. To make matters worse, the subtitles from the dialogue were still scrolling at the bottom! Immediately, I restarted the game and got stuck in a queue. A queue! I was number 466. It ended up going by pretty quick but I felt like I was waiting at the DMV… Then, the game needed to load which I thought was pretty weird. In any case, I returned to the Safe Zone to a closet where all the other users waiting to log in, were respawning. It looked like I had transparent ghosts passing through me.
Finally, I was able to continue on with the story without any issues. I spoke to the woman who said she was activated at the same time as me, but for some reason is my superior and knows everything. Makes you wonder what the heck my character was doing the whole time while waiting for me to control him. Anyway, I started going a couple of side missions to learn the game. I quickly discovered that headshots don’t immediately kill bad guys. In fact, you need better assault weapons to cause more damage. With each side mission I did, I learned a lot more about the fighting mechanics and I actually liked how everything was streamlined for your convenience. For example, the medpack and grenades are just a d-pad click away, which helps a lot in a firefight.
Looting is pretty easy too, however, it requires a lot of staring at your radar and running around into every possible room. Quick warning, though. Sometimes I couldn’t pick up certain objects because whatever it was was already full in my pack. Although, it doesn’t say what it is. I did get a skill point pretty quickly, which starts you on your path on growing three skillsets Security, Medic, and Tech. You can upgrade all of them but it is a good idea to start by specializing in one thing. I went with Medic to support my team in future missions. Plus, the radar power you get is pretty sweet.
Later, after all the side missions were done, I had a main mission I had to complete. Take back the Police Precinct! At this point, I felt pretty confident that I could beat this on hard difficulty. 4 deaths later, I immediately regretted my decision and dropped it back to normal. Once again, Donny the Brooklyn Badass was back to kicking some major criminal butt!
I finished the mission and was transported out of Brooklyn in pretty epic fashion. I ended off, stepping onto Manhatten island for the first time. Tonight I take back Manhatten on the Cinelinx Twitch Channel! You can also read about it during Night 2 of my Division Journal!
What are your thoughts on the Division so far? How have you enjoyed it so far?