Game of the Month: Tom Clancy’s The Division

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Tom Clancy’s The Division     March 8th     PC/PS4/XB1

The Tom Clancy series of video games have seen tremendous success through the years. From Splinter Cell to Ghost Recon and Rainbow Six, Ubisoft has set the bar for tactical,military style games. But their newest title is their most ambitious and perhaps riskiest project to date. Tom Clancy’s The Division is an online, open world game that combines gunplay with role playing mechanics. Add in some base building and survival elements and you start to get an idea of just how ambitious this game is.

div1The story takes place in a New York City which has been completely devastated by a biological attack that occurred on Black Friday by spreading the virus through currency. The government has collapsed and those few that remain in the city are left to fend for themselves. You are part of the Strategic Homeland Division which has been tasked with staying behind and attempting to hold together (and eventually rebuild) what is left of the city. No easy task when you see the chaos that the virus has left in it’s wake. Gangs of thugs and criminals have taken over the streets and it’s up to you to take back control while also fighting those that unleashed this viscous attack in the first place.

At first glance the gameplay will probably seem familiar, a third-person shooter with cover mechanics. But as you dig deeper you’ll discover that the game has much more in common with roleplaying games than it does with say, Gears of War. When you find yourself face to face with the enemy, things like statistics and which skills you have equipped are more important than landing that perfect headshot. While this may turn off some of the more trigger happy players, RPG fans will be happy with this style of combat. Like an RPG, players will use money and experience points to upgrade their weapons and equipment as well as unlocking new skills  depending on which wings of your headquarters you decide to focus on.

One of the most intriguing features of the game is it’s take on PVP. The Dark Zone is the part of the city that officials had to abandon and where all bets are off. You and a team of friends can enter this part of the city to try and recover weapons and items left behind, but be careful for other teams who are looking for the same thing. If you stumble upon other squads you can work together to get as much loot as possible, or go about your separate ways. But keep in mind that at any time, other members of the SHD (even those on your own team) can go rogue and attack each other and try to keep the gear for themselves. Once Rogue Protocol goes into effect, all other players in the Dark Zone will be able to see the rogue agent on their maps and know to watch out for them, so think long and hard before turning your gun on your fellow agents.

The Division looks very promising and definitely seems to be taking aim at fans of games like Destiny with its similar structure and gameplay style. With over 6 million players participating in the recent Beta, it’s safe to say that they’ve piqued the interest of the gaming community. After waiting nearly 3 years since it was first unveiled at E3, it’s finally time to see if The Division can live up to our lofty expectations.

 

 

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