If you ever wondered what would happen if a viral disease was to be spread on Black Friday, Tom Clancy’s The Division is probably the best answer you’ll get. First announced back at E3 2013, The Division is a third-person shooter that promises hours of replayability with your friends.
The Division takes place in a dystopian New York City approximately three weeks after a strain of smallpox, labeled “Green Poison,” is spread throughout the city via paper currency. The city gets placed under quarantine to prevent the spread of the disease. You take control of an Agent from the Strategic Homeland Division, or “The Division” for short. There are other factions present in the game: Joint Task Force (JTF) are the emergency responders that remain in the city alongside The Division, Rikers who are prison escapees, and The Cleaners who wield flamethrowers to rid the city of the infection by killing anything and everything. Your task as an Agent is to protect the people that is left from the enemy factions, find the source of the disease, and most of all: Restore New York City.
The Division, like other Tom Clancy games, is a third-person shooter. It follows suit of many popular third-person shooters. The game utilizes a cover-based system, allowing you to take cover behind most objects such as cars, barriers, crates and so on. You are also able to equip three weapons at a time: a primary, secondary, and a sidearm.
As the game also follows a role-playing aspect, it introduces skills that the player can use. Medical skills grant the player abilities such as pulsing – sending out a pulse to mark nearby enemies -, a healing station to heal allies, and so on. Tech skills grants the players mechanical assistance, such as an automated turret or a heat-seeking rolling mine. Security skills is catered to defensive players by giving them riot shields or improving the effectiveness of cover.
The Division is set in an open world New York City, which is rendered to scale. With many areas to explore, it’s widely encouraged to start a squad with your friends online. Much of the hype for the game was about the Dark Zone, an area of New York that was walled off and abandoned by the military. It is a player-versus-player area where you can encounter other players online and find rare items. What makes the Dark Zone unique is that you are able to play how you want to. You can choose to be a good samaritan and help other players out, or go “Rogue” and kill everyone else, stealing their items.
With hours of replayability and the thrill of taking back a city, The Division certainly delivers on the expectations it gave off nearly two years ago. The Division is available on Xbox One, Playstation 4 and PC now.
Alex is a junior at Concordia University Chicago studying communications and journalism. Follow him on twitter @alexaguiluz_