Ubisoft’s The Division was one of those games that was hard to define when it was first announced back in 2013. It really made a mark upon its release in 2016; but for many reasons, it quickly dropped off the map for a lot of gamers. In my opinion, it was more gamer-friendly than Destiny (the big dog of MMO shooters at the time) and pretty easy to get into.
I enjoyed the game for the few months that I played it, because it was one of those games in which my friends and I could easily link up and play for an hour or longer and then drop out — and with our busy lifestyles, it was ok on that front. However, what killed the game for me was how uneven multiplayer quickly got, especially if your friends leveled up ahead of you. It was hard to enjoy The Division if your level 30 buddy had to keep saving your level 23 arse as you became a bullet sponge. This was because the AI ramped up to the highest level of your team mates. On the plus side, as long as you managed to stay alive, you could quickly level up. Still, there were many story missions that were closed to me until I was closer in level to my team mates.
As I slowly got back into the game a few weeks ago, I noted that with the patches that have come and gone, some of the game play bugs had finally been solved. However some of the imbalances in gear still plague the Dark zone…so I choose not to play that mode. Another issue is that the AI is still worthless when fighting against the enemy in Encounters missions. There were many times when I would see enemy characters walk right past my soldiers and neither would shoot at each other. What’s worse is, because of that slip, I would get shot because my AI soldier just let the enemy right on through.
My last gripe (and one of those that originally turned me off) is the map layout and waypoint system is still bad. On three different occasions in one play through, my teammate and I had a difficult time finding a start point for a mission even though we followed the arrow to the precise point on the map. Other times, we killed boss enemies and had a hard time actually leaving a building and making our way back to the point where the boss dropped some legendary goodies. After 20 minutes, I just gave up looking for it.
Despite some of the issues that still seem to plague the game, The Division still attracts players because, like Diablo III, there is always that off chance that a god-like weapon or armor piece will drop; that drop would make up for long grinding sessions.The control scheme is still easy to understand and it’s still a gorgeous-looking game. The more I play, the more I wonder how the sequel will learn from the mistakes of this one.
Don’t get me wrong, all of the patches and added content still make this a game to jump back into if you’ve nothing to play this summer, but there are still a lot of issues that may not be worth overlooking if you feel like you have something else better you want to play during the summer gaming drought.