The Division Open Beta Impressions

My current situation looks bleak as I huddle crouched behind an abandoned SUV, the only cover between me and a hail of bullets. The snow in the Dark Zone is coming down thick and limits my team’s visibility as we clean out a group of yellow bar elites. Suddenly, after gathering our spoils, four other agents appear out of the blizzard, guns drawn.

Slowly, I came out from behind cover and preformed the gesture of putting my hands in the air. I knew the other agents could see the bags slung over our shoulders, printed with a hazardous insignia, freshly foraged loot inside. My partner and I looked at them and the other agents stared right back, four of them and two of us, not very good fighting odds. The tension was thick and our backs were to the wall, we had nowhere to run, and as if to confirm our fate, I heard the leader’s voice come over the area chat.


“Do it.” is all that he says and in a few short seconds my teammate and I are bleeding out in the alley that will soon become our digital graves.

These are the kinds of moments that played out over the weekend as I finally got a chance to step into the world of The Division and the game has some serious potential - here are just a few thoughts

What happened to New York?

In game the player is tasked with taking back New York City, one of a few major metropolitan ares around the world to be hit with a biological terrorist attack. Details about The Division’s story are scarce but we can discern a terrorist attack because of the Agent Origins short that is currently playing on Amazon Prime. All of this occurs on Black Friday weekend meaning that an already overpopulated city was even more crowed. However...


New York feels empty

While running across the small area that I was given one thing stuck out to me in particular, the game feels empty to be in a city so populated especially in the PVP oriented Dark Zone. I ran around both areas with a teammate and sometimes it took twenty or so minuets to find spawned NPC’s. I imagine that the majority of people are being good martial law abiding citizens and staying hold up in their apartments.


Choosing Black Friday was a stroke of genius.


Whether it was on purpose or not, choosing the start of the holiday shopping season allowed Ubisoft to use holiday lighting to avoid making The Division too monochromatic which is nice. Games this generation seem to be bring back the color.

Ammo is plentiful.

You can practically trip over ammunition in The Division which is a good and a bad thing. It’s great because it ensures you’ll never be with our your trusty police issued M4 with ACOG attachment, but it’s unfortunate because a lot of people in the beta never found out that...


You can do God’s Work with a pistol.

This one maybe a little bit bias because I’m a freak for pistols in games, but pistols in The Division are a blast. With the right drop you can find one that will increase the amount of damage you do to the target once they drop below 30% health, and pistols have infinite ammo, just like Snake’s headband.


Numbers, RPG, numbers.

At the start of the beta before the player even gets into the game Ubisoft takes great care to have one their programmers tell you that The Division is an RPG. I think most players knew that going in but I was surprised at the amount of depth that I had to account for when switching armor pieces. Not only does each piece have different defense stats but some raise your health while others effect your DPS and Skill power.


Bonus: Melee Weapons are too strong

Just a personal rant, and this not only goes for The Division, but for every title that currently exists with a melee mechanic. I hate it when I unload an entire magazine of high caliber rounds into an enemy and, instead of dying, he returns the favor by beaning me in the head with a golf club, ending my life. It makes for some controller throwing moments and some very fond amusing memories.


An excellent breakdown of the closed beta was written by BareFanatics on TAY already so make sure to check out his thoughts there as well.


The Division is set to release on March 8th and is already set to satisfy my shooting, looting itch. Did you play the Beta? Let me know what you thought of it in the comments.

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