The biggest game of the year so far is out, and we're sharing our experience with you as we play.
We do a special kind of review on gamelust called a ‘rolling review’ where we play the game and share our opinions on a daily basis as we progress through the game. This gives you an in depth look at whether or not we are enjoying the game, as well as a dynamic score through out the experience from beginning to [hopefully] end. If you would like to watch us play the game throughout the duration of this review, check out our channel on twitch. We will be online playing between 5pm and 9pm US Central.
3/8 – xsuicidesn0wmanx
Tom Clancy’s The Division has been one of the most anticipated games among my friends and I since it’s initial reveal 3 years ago. The excitement was real, and now that I have gotten my hands on this game, I can honestly say it delivers on everything I had ever hoped for. This is the game that had me refreshing the tracking page on UPS every 15 minutes, and going to lunch early as soon as it had been delivered. It was at this moment that the surprises started. I wanted to let the game install while I went back to work so it would be ready by the time I got back later. I don’t know how they did it, but my game and the 2.6gb update that came with it installed in around 5-10 minutes at most. I’ve had indie games that took longer to install! So I played with the character customizer for a few minutes before I had to return to work.
While I was at work, eager to return home and get my hands on my newest game, I had heard reports that the servers had gone down. I did not experience this first hand, everything was fixed by the time I got home. The game starts off right from the character customizer directly into the tutorial, which shows you 3 or 4 basic mechanics and then has you off to complete your first mission to go meet up with other Division agents in the near by Safe House. Immediately after completing the mission I sent my buddy an invite to join my group, and we began clearing out all of the side missions before tackling the main mission to clear out the nearby police precinct. Already the both of us were in agreement, this was the game we had been waiting for, part 3rd Person Tactical Shooter, part RPG.
I think in order to get the most out of this game you NEED to play with a friend. By the end of the night my buddy and I already knew how we wanted to attack a group without having to say it. I’d use the pulse ability with extra damage mod, toss a flash bang or tear gas into the area with the most enemies grouped together, and shoot at them to get them to stand around for an extra second. As I’m doing all of this, my buddy would toss his turret right in the middle of them, join me in distracting the enemies until the grenade went off and… BOOM! 5-8 enemies dropped in a matter of seconds. If any enemies were left over, I’d flank right and shoot everyone on the left, he’d flank left and shoot everyone on the right. So far we have played for about 7-8 hours, and only completed 4 or 5 of the 26 missions.
So far, I’m going to hold back on my early score, this game feels like a 95, but I’m going to say it’s trending towards the 86-94 range. The game so far has been nearly flawless, gameplay, sound, graphics, and story are all quite solid, yet I can’t help but feel the game cannot possibly sustain a 95 or higher in my opinion. This is definitely a great game, and possibly the best game I’ve played in years, but it’s too early to tell how great the entire campaign will be.
3/9 – xsuicidesn0wmanx
Day two with the game and my feelings haven’t really changed very much. My excitement for the game started to decrease a little bit throughout the night, but I believe that was partially due to the fact I was up most of the previous night playing the game so I was quite tired. We also spent a large part of the night clearing out side missions and gathering hidden items, with nearly 1/4th of the campaign area completed by the end of the night, and we’re only level 12.
This does not mean the action wasn’t aplenty, nor fun. At the start of last nights session, I joined up with my buddy who was leveling a secondary character so we could keep our primaries close to the same level. This led to the discovery of an annoying bug which affected our progress in a minor way. Because his character had not progressed as far as mine had, it appears that mine inherited the settings from his characters map, displaying main story missions I had already completed as incomplete. After finishing the mission I had joined, we proceeded to turn the mission in on his character, and then he left, promoting me to squad leader. Problem is, the map never reset to show my own progress, it kept his progress, even after he joined me on his primary character which had completed the same missions I had, and he was shown the same map as well. At first we both assumed this was merely a cosmetic glitch and proceeded to clear out all the available side missions and encounters(plus pick up any of the hidden items along the way). Except the map believed the two missions in question were still incomplete, and because of this did not display the next mission on the map, nor allow it to be started. It wasn’t until later when one of the side missions wouldn’t complete for me that the glitch was noticed.
Regardless of this ‘issue’, we still enjoyed the missions we did have access to. The previous night my buddy and I had been primarily swapping between assault and marksman rifles, keeping our distance from most of the enemies, especially cleaners, whenever possible. Tonight though, he took a different route, opting to combine his turret with an LMG and the marksman rifle, and the results proved to be hilarious, at least for us. Between the LMG and the turret, many enemies would cower behind their cover, suppressed by the unending supply of bullets flying past their head. For whatever reason, I decided to take a chance and walked up to one of the enemies with my scope up, got as close as I thought I could, and blasted him right in the dome! This ended up working so well we used it several more times throughout the night, with similar results.
It is not just great gameplay that makes this game so much fun, it’s the experience created with other players that makes this game stand out. By the end of the night we were both sniping again, focusing on shooting cleaners in the tank and watching them freak out before they’d explode. Even more hilarious was the few times where my buddy hit the tank just before I headshot the enemy, who fell backwards onto the tank, and then got launched into the sky by the explosion. If sleep had not been a requirement, the two of us would probably still be playing the game right now.
So far we’re only 25% done with the campaign, and have yet to touch the Dark Zone, and this game seems to be as solid as any we’ve played in a long time. I think for now I am going to stick with my remarks from yesterday. This game feels like a 95 right now, but I’m expecting to find a reason to bring this back down into the upper 80’s to lower 90’s range. I hope I am wrong, but either way this game so far deserves it’s high score and praise. In truth, I’m more worried whether I will be finished with this game before Quantum Break comes out or not.
3/10 – xsuicidesn0wmanx
Since we have spent a decent amount of time clearing out the first 25% of the campaign, we decided tonight was the night we finally took our talents into The Divisions PVP area, the Dark Zone. First though, we took care of an encounter and one mission to get warmed up for possible encounters with Rogue Agents. In the mission, we had to infiltrate the factory where The Cleaners were making their napalm and close it down. I won’t get into too many details, but I will say that the mission took us about 45 minutes to clear 100%, and was one of the better missions so far. What I have noticed along this journey is that all of these missions feel very well thought out, the amount of enemies is just right, the location and amount of cover is just right. This makes for a game that feels very balanced. It’s challenging, but not excruciatingly challenging. There are plenty of ‘oh shit!’ moments, with very few ‘god damn it!’ moments in between.
Next up, we were finally ready to tackle the Dark Zone. Both of us had participated in the beta test, and had experienced more of a ‘wild wild west’ type of experience there. So going in we expected a similar experience. While we did encounter one rogue agent, and went rogue ourselves at least once, the real threat was the PVE characters in the area. When we first entered, we found that the PVE were scaled to our campaign level, even though we were only a lvl 1 in the Dark Zone, so our first PVE encounter was against lvl 12 enemies who all had armor on. On top of that, the enemies spawn more often, and in greater numbers than in the beta. The action was non-stop, and extracting our gear was the greatest challenge we have faced so far. There really was no safe place to call for an extraction as enemies would come from all directions, our focus had to be fairly high in order to protect each others back, and the fact everyone had armor on meant my sniper rifle rarely got one hit kills anymore.
The more I play the game, the more it proves to be exactly the kind of game I have been wanting for a very long time. As someone who owns and plays a lot of games, I had been in a gaming lull since almost the beginning of this generation. I would play games but I wasn’t truly enjoying them. Often choosing to watch a video on Netflix rather than playing one of the 70 next gen games I own, or any of the GWG/PS+ titles give to us so far. Ever since Tuesday though, I’m eager to get home after work so I can jump on and continue taking back New York with my buddy. I’m not so worried about how the game is going to hold up now. The PVP is absolutely amazing, the campaign is stellar, and I can’t get enough. I’m fairly sure I’ll be scoring this in the 90’s, if not the high 90’s. While I can appreciate some people’s views won’t match my own, for me and gamers with similar tastes, this is the best game this generation, and it’s not even close. Firmly entrenched at a 95, with an outlook that only points up.
3/11 – xsuicidesn0wmanx
Tonight we will mostly be taking the night off. We may stream some games from Xbox One and/or Playstation 4.
3/14 – xsuicidesn0wmanx
We are streaming The Division again tonight, join us on twitch.
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