Tom Clancy's The Division Review: The wait is over, but you might want to wait for a patch

Tom Clancy's The Division is a raw cut, but with a huge potential for something really groundbreaking. Only time will show, if Ubisoft can actually make it happen.

The biggest title of the first quarter of 2016 – Tom Clancy’s The Division is finally out. Taking into account that The Division is a multiplayer game, it wouldn’t be completely fair to make a review based on the first day of the gameplay. Why? Well, because such projects like The Division require almost a constant flow of upgrades from the developer based on the massive feedback from the players to be able to showcase its full potential. So, please, do take this day one review with the grain of salt, as this is only the first steps of the game into the big world.

They did take a lot of risks with this game, starting from the implementation of the new engine and finishing with several beta tests that gathered tons of divisive opinions from the community.

But no big things happen to be flawless, and this is the case with The Division now, just like it was the case with Watch Dogs a couple of years ago. High expectations may reduce your overall enjoyment of the gameplay, but if you expect the right things, then The Division will be a blast. So, all it needs is to find the right audience and ignore the naysayers.

The order of the things

The Division looks great on PC, but not exceptionally great. It will not change our perspective of the multiplayer games yet, but who knows what the developers will bring to the table in the coming months and years.

Quarantine zones and the light version of the post-apocalyptic New York are the main features of The Division’s world that look like an almost optimistic version of the city that just got struck by a deadly epidemic. It probably should have been darker, but for now, it gives you enough space and opportunities for cool shootouts and scavenging, which is basically all that is needed at this stage.

Because character creation options are extremely limited, all other players look very similar.

There is no sense of some big story or dramatic sequence of events here; instead, you immediately jump into action after a short and sweet character creation process. But because its options are extremely limited, all other players look very similar to each other, so don’t expect much variety in this department.

It’s easy to navigate the map and the AI helps you move forward with your campaign in the most convenient way, so you won’t get lost. The missions are clearly stated and have no unusual features that could puzzle you - on the contrary, everything seems very familiar.

The world we share

The starting point is Brooklyn – the tutorial zone. It’s not a typical tutorial, but is an integral part of the single campaign. After that you are being directed to Manhattan and this is where your missions really start to get going.

By accomplishing your tasks you get new gear and other necessary loot, like medications and components. These missions are very simple and don’t take long, so you quickly move to another one and it never gets boring.

You can also help NPCs you meet on your way and they in return will give you something valuable. All this you can approach single-handedly, however if you want to take on a boss or huge waves of enemies – the small team is the way to go, especially if you play in hard mode.

By the way, some enemies can be really difficult to kill and they will require you to waste lots of ammo. If you decide to get into the Dark Zone, where all the PvP takes place, then being well-prepared is even more crucial or else you’ll get killed on the spot.

Getting closer to the point

But let’s talk about the launch of the game. There are already tons of complaints online about the performance. Well, this should be no surprise as the PC version is extremely demanding in terms of hardware, so lags and overlong loading times are unavoidable.

The locations in The Division give plenty of opportunities for intelligent siege operations and stealthy mechanics.

The servers have been working so-so, and this is also the reason why there are so few players online right now. But even with such a small number of users in the game, you can’t get past the queue lines inside the Base of Operations, where you have to get passed all the check points to get your missions going.

Overall, it’s a bit of a mess right now. It’s hard to imagine what’s going to happen when more and more players will try to log in. It’s already frustrating, but in time Ubisoft should add a more convenient system of matchmaking – that’s a must.

Is there a light at the end of the tunnel?

Tom Clancy’s The Division still needs a lot of refining. Right now you get a very good team shooter, which will not be too interesting or exciting if you want to play it alone. After all, this game was designed for PvP and this is indeed its strongest point.

The locations in The Division give plenty of opportunities for intelligent siege operations and stealthy mechanics. This is sort of a hybrid of Splinter Cell and Counter Strike, but it’s a matter of perspective and each player might find their own style of gameplay.

It’s difficult to say right now if this title will be successful and if it is, then how long it will last. It all depends on the changes that should come in the next weeks and months. Then, it would be possible to estimate the real value of this both very ordinary, but at the same time very odd online shooter.

The Division has been reviewed using the preload code that was kindly presented by Ubisoft.

If you had the chance to play Tom Clancy’s the Division, let us know about your thoughts in the comments section.

Our Rating
Tom Clancy's The Division is a raw cut, but with a huge potential for something really groundbreaking. Only time will show, if Ubisoft can actually make it happen.
Reviewed On: PC


Sergey has been a freelancer in the video games industry for more than five years, writing for various publications around the world. His favorite games are MtG, Dark Souls, Diablo, and Divinity: Original Sin.

Published Jun. 27th 2016
  • Synzer
    Guide Editor
    Well, the good news for Xbox One players is that there haven't been many problems since like the first hour of launch.

    I played nearly all day yesterday and the night before without trouble getting on. None of my friends had any issues either.
  • Eric Adams
    Featured Contributor
    I tried to play around 4PM EST on PS4 and couldn't. I would run up to enemies and shoot them and none of their health went away. Then, I would die and be kicked off the server with an error code. After going offline for about 2 hours I tried again and played without any problems but I did not try the dark zone.

    Needless to say, they need some patches but I think it deserves at least an 8 with the only thing possibly holding it back from being truly great is lasting appeal. I just don't want to shell out another $50 for lasting appeal.

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