Release Date: March 8, 2016
ESRB Rating: M (Blood, Intense Violence, Language)
The concept of the apocalyptic survival genre is not new to gamers but Tom Clancy’s The Division is a journey that stays true to the techno thriller concept that the acclaimed author is known for.
In the last few years, the apocalyptic survival genre has grown in popularity as titles have players try to survive a zombie outbreak or a journey across a post-nuclear war wasteland. While most of these titles focus on an unlikely scenario, none have put players in a crisis that hits close to home in a manner that only Tom Clancy could create.
The concept of the game was inspired by the results of Operation Dark Winter, a bio-terrorism simulation that examined how prepared the United States government is in dealing with such a crisis. The study examined the weakness in responding to such a crisis along with establishing preventive measures and response strategies. By taking the results uncovered from Operation Dark Winter then incorporating it into an MMORPG adventure, Tom Clancy has created an unforgettable gaming experience.
Terrorists launch a biological attack in New York City on Black Friday with banknotes contaminated with smallpox disease. The viral outbreak spreads within a week, forcing the city to be quarantined while order is lost and survivors fight for security and resources. In response to the crisis, agents of the Strategic Homeland Division (aka The Division), a clandestine stay-behind agency, is activated by the President of the United States. These agents are authorized to do whatever is necessary to restore order in the quarantine zone.
Players must first set up a base of operation and regroup with other elements of the Joint Task Force (elements of the NYPD, Fire Department and National Guard). This is followed by players having to join up with other agents in an attempt to restore law and order while battling several rogue factions who are taking advantage of the crisis or fighting to control the city.
Tom Clancy’s The Division is an MMORPG that combines the gameplay system of an open world survival featuring the techno thriller elements that are known as the author’s signature. At its core, this is a true Tom Clancy story that fans of his work are all too familiar with.
Players start out by having to meet up at a safe house while equipped with a simple HK-MP5 and M92F Beretta. To progress, players must complete tasks along with side-missions. The tasks include rescuing hostages, retrieving stolen supplies, and reclaiming key locations from looters or rogue factions. Gears could also be purchased at shops located in the safe house and bases of operation.
To overcome the many challenges and missions, players will have to work together. Gamers could go solo but working in teams is highly encouraged.
From the start, gamers will be mesmerized by the cold and bleak environment of a dystopian New York City. It’s a city that has fallen to the illness and lawlessness, giving the player a sense of duty to restore civilization. Its also eerie exploring a city that has collapsed while the snow tries to hide the feeling of death- danger could be just around the corner.
The game has the basic RPG elements (influenced by titles like Fallout 3 and Borderlands) from being able to design your own character appearance to their special abilities. Players will level up by doing missions along with other random tasks and defeating hostile forces.
Tom Clancy’s The Division is an apocalyptic survival MMORPG that will be best remembered as the late authors magnum opus.
Final Score: 8/10
Words by Stan Rezaee