The Division finally launches next week to the anticipation of many, leading up to the release which is on March 8th, The Division has had two beta tests in February. I’ve been looking forward to the game since it was first announced back at E3 2013, they have kept the game under wraps for the most part ,with barely any information on the game being leaked to the public until very recently getting everyone hyped up and excited for the game. Some are even going so far as to call the game the “Destiny Killer”, a title given to the game very unfairly, and it will be remembered by that name or mocked forever depending on whether it does good at launch or can’t quite match up to Destiny. Well, having spent over 10 hours with the beta and gaining Dark Zone rank level 10, I have very mixed feelings with the game. But one thing I know for certain is this, The Division is definitely no “Destiny Killer”, not even close, but simply a different gaming alternative you can play that will get better as time goes on.
The Division beta left me with some very mixed feelings about the game, to the point that I’m no longer 100% sure whether I will buy the final game on launch, I’ve been left ponding if I should cancel my pre-order and just pick the game up a year from now. So that’s the topic for this feature. Will The Division be better to buy on release day or a year from now after all its online problems have been sorted out, small content added, tweaked, or removed and maybe an expansion or two? I’m up in arms on what to do as there are pros and cons to both scenarios.
When Destiny first came out back in 2014, I bought the game at launch and played the game on a daily basis, I had fun and hit level 20 in a decent amount of time. Once at level 20 it became tedious to level up, what was once fun and enjoyable content turned into repetition. Doing the same tasks again and again on a daily basis became tiresome and I didn’t see the appeal, so I sold the game as there was no new content to do. Twelve months later, The Taken King comes out and I want to retry Destiny again, but I’m far too under levelled from my time away. I’m behind on all the content I’ve missed out on from before and it’s just too hard to get back into things again.
I fear this will be the same problem I have when playing The Division.
The Division beta was a lot of fun, but I can already see the repetitive nature of the game, there wasn’t much in terms of mission variety. Grouping up with a team to take on story missions or random encounters felt no different from doing it alone, and at times it felt like I was running around aimlessly, like I was playing a running simulator, as I was searching for an event to pop up in order for me to shoot something and get some loot. The most fun I had with the beta was, of course, inside the Dark Zone: A walled-off quarantine zone in the middle of the game where PVP takes place, and it’s the only way to find the most powerful and the rarest loot.
The Dark Zone is the main reason I want to jump into the game on the day of release, I found the experience to be very unique and the stakes were high all the time, every minute I spent in the Dark Zone I felt tense and on edge because at any given moment all hell could break loose. There is nowhere to hide in the Dark Zone, if you’re alone you can be hunted down by rogue agents who are looking for an easy fight, and even in a team you can get caught up in some of the most tense and fun shootouts with other teams and nearby NPC’s, and don’t get me started on the excavation events. When you have twenty odd people turn up and half of them without any loot, it feels like you’re in an old western quick draw, everything waiting on that first guy to pull the trigger, so then everyone has the right to draw arms and defend themselves and steal some loot.
It’s hard to say whether The Division will hit the ground running or take a year to come into its own. It’s got everything you want from a game, an interesting story and premise that you can take on solo or with other people, lots of content, items and upgrades, and the multiplayer aspect. The experience you get from the Dark Zone will most likely be better the sooner you play the game, but overall I think that just like Destiny repetition will creep in at some point and players will drop off until more content becomes available. Yet with all my concerns, I can’t stop thinking about how much fun I’ll have in the unpredictable and fun Dark Zone.