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Letters from the Front


Welcome to New York.


I spent alot of my time yesterday and most of last night playing The Division either by myself or with friends late at night, roaming around Manhattan and doing some missions together. During that time, I got more acquainted with the game’s RPG mechanics, the leveling system, and raiding the Dark Zone.

Today, a week living in the post Division world and playing it solo and with friends, I’ve came up with an Opinion and how it stacks up against Destiny, it’s first person RPG / MMORPG counterpart, the setting and the gunplay. Read on.

One of the questions, people ask me is The Division like Destiny? Is it better then Destiny? How does it compare to Destiny? And does it have a story? On the surface, both seem similar and both are cooperative shooters that can be played solo or with a friend. In the hours that I’ve spent with The Division, I can tell that Ubisoft spent alot of time studying Destiny– going for some of the gameplay that made Destiny work. There is alot of comparisons to be made, but one thing is for certain: The Division isn’t Destiny and it feels like it’s a new breed of tactical games and it feels like a fresh reinvention of the Tom Clancy games which I’ll take gladly because I love Tom Clancy, his books, and his games.

In terms of gameplay; the minute-to-minute gameplay is certainly better in Rainbow Six and the tense gameplay is certainly better in the Ghost Recon games. The cover-based gameplay is slower in The Division and feels like a mix and match between Ghost Recon and Gears of War in terms of the roadie run and taking cover automatically after running to that position, The Division relies on team-play alot while Destiny is suited for the run and gun gameplay. From the hours that I’ve spent in The Division, I feel that I enjoy more of The Division then I did Destiny because I guess it is personal preference that I prefer realism over what Destiny had which was a sci-fi MMORPG.


Concept Art.


In terms of setting; I love realism and I love that The Division takes place in an actual city, a city that has gone through the ringer both in-game and actual real life circumstances, you can spot all of the landmarks like Times Square, the Flatiron building, and most of the monuments are there. It sets a time and place, sci-fi is fine but I adore realism because it sparks your imagination; What if the world was like this? And The Division certainly sparks my imagination.

I agree with most gamers that New York is the most overused locations or environments in gaming from Assassin’s Creed III to Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 , it is the most overused setting ever but Ubisoft does it in a interesting way because the scale and the density feels right, it isn’t Fallout or it isn’t The Witcher that has this huge world that spans from White Orchard to Skellige, the world in The Division feels right, it just covers Manhattan, it doesn’t cover Brooklyn or the Bronx or Staten Island, it isn’t a huge map. Streets and alleys are filled with smoke and stacked cars, there is enough there that propels your imagination to wonder what happened during the first hours of the outbreak, what happened to the first wave of Division agents that are lost in the city.

I like The Division and there is alot to like, everything feeds into reality. There has been evacuations, massive casualties to the outbreak. It’s a “What are we going to do now?” and “We’re going to make do with this.” question that covers the game and the world and the NPCs that you meet along the way.


Brooklyn’s Police Station ( Early-in game, E3 2013 photo.)


My goal is to reach Level 30 and then do a review, let’s see how the endgame stacks up to the rest of the journey, and let’s see how The Dark Zone stacks up after reaching a few higher levels and let’s see how it stacks up against Destiny in Year One. Check out my review sometime this month.


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