I got my code for The Division beta quite late but I was still able to get a feel of the scale of game The Division is offering and the fun it has to offer. I didn’t want to think too highly of the Division as games that have been hyped a lot recently end up not being as good as you expect which normally ends in disappointment rather than enjoying a decent game, so I didn’t read about it before I played it and this is what I thought:
The opening cut scene made me feel like I was in ‘I am Legend’ due to being in a Helicopter with New York in disaster below you due to a virus… Just the virus isn’t the zombie-esque type it’s a smallpox virus spread on Black Friday via banknotes
The gameplay felt like a mix between Gears of War and Ghost Recon, the movement and cover system is very similar to gears of war. I was a little bit shaky with the cover system at first, but once you get used to the flow of getting between cover it works extremely well! The shooting is nothing too special, you feel like a regular guy shooting a powerful gun so you have to control you bursts otherwise you will miss the majority of your shots in mid-long range combat. The shooting is probably the weakest aspect, but even this feels unique and at least there is a challenge, at least at the beginning.
Enemies are pretty dull, they don’t seem to have any variation in how they attack you and they have way too much health considering they are supposed to be humans. Like other RPGs you can tell the higher level enemies by the colour above their head, plus they generally have an actual name too!
The single main mission that the beta had to offer was really quite fun bringing you into a Basketball stadium turned emergency hospital gives you an idea of the scale that this virus got to, whilst it does feel a bit eerie with it being empty, I wish they had added more blood and bodies into the mix to really make the message heard, it’s a little too clean to be a disaster site.
Load times will probably be the nicest thing of the Division, as you will find… there really isn’t any! Once you load in you have load screen coming in and out of safe hubs and these are done by forcing you to walk slowly through a decontamination screen, its genius!
The gun customisation on the other hand is fun! There seems to be alot you can change a lot of the parts on your gun and just as easily take them off afterwards to put them on a new gun if you so wish. I’m not entirely sure how many guns will be in the full game, the only extra gun I picked up during the beta was a different variant of the M4… It was worse, I guess I was unlucky on this one. The rest of the items I picked up were helpful and always increased my stats in the ways of speed or armour which was nice to have but I never felt too much threat whilst playing the game. Something to note, the beta only had preset character customisation options at the start but there seems to be a lot of variations you can choose at the beginning, probably not a much as Fallout 4 had though!
Overall The Division beta was a very nice experience, I’m slightly worried about the sidequest and possibly the blandness of walking around a very much grey New York. A second beta is meant to be coming to us around the 16th of this month so I will definitely give it more playtime then!
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