As far as RPG-shooter-MMO-sandbox-lootathons go, The Division is a rough yet fully engrossing experience. It’s got a story that is easy to gloss over and completely ignore the by-now worthless Tom Clancy brand that is attached to it, it’s actually better with friends who you don;t consider to be scum (only a handful of those people exist) and the cover system is divisive at best depending on who you ask.
It’s still a good game, and another week or so with it should see more reviews out in the wild. But it’s also a typical Ubisoft title. The user interface feels like a thousand pitches from graduate students being needled into your eyeball at once, the vendors outside of the Dark Zones are rubbish and there’s a whole stack of gameplay that The Division assumes you are intimate with.
But let’s assume that you’re not. Here’s a few handy tips for survival in New York.
As a cover-RPG shooter, The Division can be tough as nails at times. Enemies are actually pretty damn quick to outflank you, and they’re also packing plenty of heat. Heat which can leave you buggered from your little hidey-hole. There’s a plus-side to all of this however: You can also use those tricks on your enemies.
You’ve got a variety of grenades at your disposal, if you hold in the left side of the D-pad. Incendiary grenades can cause burn damage, shrapnel grenades can cause bleeding damage over time and a well-timed smoke grenade or flashbang can leave former friends and foes alike disorientated and unable to use cover.
Rope a dope
See those stairs next to that building? It’s for losers. Rather, see if you can spot a rope, because that’s an instant rappel upwards to a good sniping point. Another thing that The Division neglects to mention to you.
There’s a stack of collectible consumables which are massively handy in The Division. Items that I was collecting and doling out to the scum of New York who were begging for help. Most of the time, I didn’t even realise that holding down the right button on the D-Pad would open up a menu option to give me the following perks:
- Canned Food – Healing effects increased by 40%
- Energy Bar – Instantly remove all negative status effects
- Water – Increased damage output to elite enemies by 20%
- Soda – Reduced Skill cooldown time by 30%
But wait, there’s more! There’s also plenty of ammunition hidden in that same menu. I was shooting random rats and pedestrians with regular bullets like a chump, when I could have been using explosive rounds that I’d picked up. Uuuurgh. Once activated, you’ve got about 30 seconds to use these rounds, and inflict some properly heavy damage on a tough enemy or five.
You don’t earn player XP in the Dark Zones
It’s easy enough to rank up through the first few levels of the Dark Zones. You’ll ding level 5 in no time flat, but it’s also a zone which is more than happy to throw some truly gigantic bullet sponges at you that can drop your assault with a misplaced fart if they choose. Remember, you don’t level up in the Dark Zones. You need to balance main and side missions with excursions inside of the Unfriend Zone if you want truly good gear.
You’ve got a level cap of 30 to deal with, so spend your time wisely inside and out of these areas. Or you’ll be stuck hiding from high-level bastards and hoping that they don’t see you.
Last Updated: March 10, 2016