Ubisoft had a closed beta for the highly-anticipated new game, Tom Clancy’s The Division, and the beta was so popular that even gamers who had preordered the game — and locked into the beta as a preorder bonus — could not get in. Ubisoft did fix the issue, and players were allowed to check out the game, but is it worth all of the hype?
The short answer is yes. As it is impossible to judge a game based on the beta alone, what was offered was a small taste of a post-apocalyptic Manhattan, where players could get a feel of the mechanics of The Division, and then, post-beta missions, spend the rest of the time in the Dark Zone, the massive multiplayer arena where essentially anything goes — as players found out.
First off, The Division is gorgeous. The streets of Manhattan and the burned-out buildings that line those streets are near photo-qulaity in their aesthetic. Light and shadows are near perfect, and my eyes feasted on what was popping off my screen. I spent a good portion of my time in the beta exploring and taking in this messed up world. The few missions that were available were nothing special. Clear out enemies here; rescue this person there. It had the feel of other MMO shooters, but the main difference was the graphics. This is one of the best looking games of this generation, or any generation.
This world has been lived in — and ultimately discarded. Playing the game, I felt like I was a very small part of something much bigger. And I think that is Ubisoft’s goal here. The Division isn’t a game that you just rush through to complete and then move on. Once you are in, they want you to stay in, and while the beta was just a small portion of what is to come, I can plainly see that I will be losing a good portion of my life come March 8 playing this game.
As for the Dark Zone, all of my fears that came up from the 2015 Ubisoft presentation at E3 came to life instantly (see video below). I teamed up with another player (up to eight players can join together) to clear out some enemies and then we called for pick up. As we waited, we were assaulted by swarms of bad guys, and luckily, another human player joined us in the defense of the LZ. Once the enemies were dealt with, the new guy turned on us and killed us both, taking our loot. Seeing as this player came out of nowhere during the end-mission scrum, I fully believe that he was camping of sorts, waiting for a time to strike to betray us and take our stuff. I predicted that this would be a thing last summer, and my first time in the Dark Zone it happened, so it doesn’t bode well.
The Division beta was short (though time in the Dark Zone was unlimited), and it gave a taste of the greater game that is to come. From what I played, I’m excited for what Ubisoft has in store for gamers, and The Division could be one of the best games of the year. We’ll all find out on March 8 when The Division hits shelves for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One consoles.
Another beta, this one open to all, will go live in a few days, so more players will get a chance to check out the game and see what the hype is all about. Until then, stick with TheHDRoom for continuing coverage as the release date for The Division draws near.