Some of you know a while back I gave up PC Gaming, in fact I haven’t really been on my desktop PC except to do research. All my gaming is now done via my PS4 which I purchased last December. I used to always think keyboard and mouse were the only way to play FPS games (first person shooters) but I tell ya, the consoles aren’t half bad. Now The Division is not an FPS, it’s an over the shoulder shooter or third person shooter, but the concept for the control is the same, point and shoot.
So, lets review the game. I have played a lot of Tom Clancy games in the past, mostly from the Splinter Cell series, and most recently I started playing Rainbow 6: Siege on the PS4 (which deserves a review of its own later). SO when the division came out earlier this month, I jumped to the PS4 store and bought it.
The back story to this gem is something straight out of the Plausible Fiction Novel Category, the kind of story I love. It’s basically a post apocalyptic world which was created not my world war III or by nukes, but by a man-made virus known as “Green Poison”. Green poison is perfectly named too, because of the method of delivery, basically some chemist created a mutated strain of the small pox virus and coated dollar bills with it. Then distributed them to stores on Black Friday, the busiest shopping day in the States. This strain was modified to be contagious during incubation and made to be ultra potent. So pretty much 90% of the population is said to have died off, and now the world in ruin.
In come the Division, a group tasked to take back the cities from the looters and cleaners to bring order back to civilization. In this case, you are taking back Manhattan. The game takes place in a 1:1 scale replica of Manhattan which is pretty close if you ask me, is pretty close, I mean if you look at he image, despite the building having one less column of windows, Its pretty darn close.
Now before I got the division I got hooked on Metal Gear Solid 5 (MGS5) and was used to playing over the shoulder, so when I got into the Division, I was already used to the controls, well mostly. MGS5 reverses some of the buttons, for instance Circle is reload where in The Division its climb, and reload is actually square… Makes it quite tough when you are in a gun fight, and instead of reloading, you are climbing over the protective barrier and into the direct gun fire… so it takes a little getting used tot he controls again.
The game itself is a RPG type game, where you get experience and loot by killing your enemies and completing tasks. The only other RPG game I have played on PS4 has been Destiny, so it was a breath of fresh air to finally have another MMORPG game available.
The weapons are somewhat customizable with skins and mods, which differ between weapons, for instance certain scopes can be attached to light machine guns, but not sub machine guns. Same for silencers. And each item has different stats. Like with Destiny there are 3 different modification stats, but instead of Strength, Discipline, and Intellect, you have Stamina, Firearms, and Electronics which can boost your health, damage, and gadget power. Keeping a good balance over these is key, If you put too much into Firearms and not enough into stamina, although you can kick some ass in-game, you risk getting killed easily.
The different zones of Manhattan are level based, and the enemies within are based on that level, to a point. By this I mean if you go into the lower areas (say level 3-5) at higher levels, you will run into a few gangs near your level that do not match the area. This makes it interesting as you go back to pick up missed items or to gather resources.
Your Main base plays a key part as well, located in one of the first starting areas, I find myself going back to it at least once or twice a session. Although you can recoup ammo at the local safe house (one per zone) the main base is where you upgrade the 3 different branches which match your modifications: A Medical Wing (Stamina), A Security Wing (Firearms) and a Technology Wing (gadgets) and upgrades to these wings give you new abilities and bonuses. There is also 3 to 4 venders (Weapons, Gear, and Modifications, as well as a Higher Gear vender that needs to be unlocked). And of course the crafting table, where you combine resources to makes weapons, armor and modifications.
Along the way are intel, you can find info on missing agents from the first wave (Your part of the second wave), discover strange phone recordings (see video below) as well as view “Echos” which is a sort of visualization of the past. Along with Main Quests, encounters, and side quests, the game is very well thought out, and fun to play. heck out the gallery below which hows you some of the screens you will see in-game: