For this first impressions, I will keep it short and minimal, also brief to let everyone play the Division at their own pace and let the game sink into their soul, without telling much. The first thing that struck me about The Division was the world and the setting.
The Division’s world and setting is the most intriguing about the game itself, the Apocalypse and Christmas, also loads of Christmas Music that you can hear faintly in New York’s malls. The Division and the setting is something that we have seen time and time again, but it isn’t like Fallout or The Walking Dead, it has meaning and it’s a dark world.
The world is heavy-handed, from the opening cutscene which is pretty good in itself because it’s paints a believable, realistic picture of a virus outbreak that has destroyed New York from the inside and from survivors asking you for help, nothing but the first 40 minutes and probably still an hour in was nothing but just looking around the world, and picking up phone conversations and finding ECHOs strewn about Manhattan.
The rest of my orientation into this world was just something that you would see out of Destiny or any online-only game. A hub filled with other players, NPCs that offer you gear and weapons, a map filled with side quests, quests, encounters, etc. The Division handles all of this pretty well, the menus are clean but hard to read, but also the menu can be the worst thing about The Division because sometimes, it will be nothing but numbers and clutter.
Ubisoft gave us an RPG and they semi-delivered, it still is an RPG but in terms of stats, systems, a basic-looking upgrade path that offer perks and a number of modifications to make those perks stronger, attachments to weapons, most of the things that you see in an RPG is there in some way or another.
At least, for now, The Division has a story and it’s throwing me more RPG systems and mechanics then ever, and that’s a sign that we’re going in the right direction and on the right path that Ubisoft is doing something to fix their reputation. It’s a long way to the endgame but I hope for the rest of the ride, The Division has something meaty and has hooks like the first hour or even the first 40 minutes.