The Division is without a doubt a great game. It has everything that makes games successful: a riveting plot, solid gameplay mechanics and stunning graphics. However, The Division is also vulnerable to feeling repetitive and possessing a rich environment with wasted potential.

On Black Friday, a group of bioterrorists contaminated banknotes with the smallpox virus. This in-game “Dollar Flu” spread like wildfire throughout Manhattan, and shortly thereafter, the entirity of New York was placed under quarantine.

The city crumbled among the chaos.

The U.S. government activated sleeper agents throughout the country who work for the Strategic Homeland Division or simply, “The Division.” Their goal is to ultimately take back New York from the several groups that terrorize the city.

You win some, you lose some…

The New York that Tom Clancy  and Ubisoft created is beautiful. Graphics of the game aside, there is substance to the environment of The Division. With such a rich backdrop for the story, my only wish for the game was that you could explore more of NYC, not just run around and scratch the surface, but really, really explore like you can in most RPGs. I wish for something like Fallout or Skyrim where there are secrets hidden around every corner. The first time I entered a little corner store for a side mission to save hostages, I died a little inside when I discovered there was nothing to explore. Without this ability to really interact with your environment, the beautiful graphics almost seem pointless.

The riveting story makes up for it, however. The main story is rather brilliant and fun, filled with unique, interesting characters and plot twists.

The side missions are fun and cleverly crafted, if a tiny bit repetitive. Even though I’m only around level 10 at the time of this review, I’ve completed endless of the same missions. Sure, the story is different each time, but, a hostage rescue will always be the same. The game is seemingly endless and full of things to do, but I find myself a little bored after an hour or so of gameplay.

Screenshot from The Division

Screenshot from The Division

I was worried when I first heard of this game and saw the trailer. It looked fantastic, but as a solo player without a Playstation Plus subscription, the idea of an open world game with such an emphasis on buddying-up made me a little hesitant to fork out the cash. Upon the game’s release, I took a leap of faith and bought the game any way, hopeful after reading articles from the developers that the game would be fine for solo-players as well as those who enjoy playing with friends.

Good for solo players?

Because of the lovely two-day free trial for Playstation Plus, I have been able to play the game with friends as well as alone. And my verdict is that it’s a brilliant game regardless of whether or not you want to play with friends. Those who enjoy traveling alone do not miss out on anything, I feel. I had just as much fun playing alone as I do with my good internet friend, Punk.

Overall, I’d say if you’re a fan of third person shooters, you’ll love The Division. If you don’t mind a few repetitive missions for a great storyline, you’ll adore this game. However, if you’re looking for something with a ton of RPG elements and a vast world to explore, you might want to skip over this title as it really only allows you to skim along the surface of NYC.

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