Tom Clancy’s The Division: Survival Review

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( This is PvE only.)

Fuck, the rioters got me again. Here I am, getting shotgunned at close range while trying to evade them and then I go down, and the baseball guys happen to run over where the action is and decide to beat me to death and then I’m dead: All of my items have disappeared into the ether, it’s been a long life: I have managed to evade bosses, stole the belongings of my fallen enemies , I almost froze to death, and somehow almost reached to the ending of the expansion: I have gotten all of the anti viral canisters, and now I’m dead. This is Survival, in many ways this is what the Dark Zone should’ve been when it came out last March.

You sign up for a game of survival and you’re whisked away to a cutscene and the chopper that you came in on, is destroyed and you’re the only survivor. You wake up in a hideout with none of the gear your character has in the base game, you just have a pistol, a fabric, and painkillers. Take the painkillers first since you have an internal wound, and you are infected with the dollar flu but you can slow the time down with painkillers.

The goal is not to survive, but to find anti-viral drugs stashed somewhere in the Dark Zone and while many survival games like DayZ or Rust has a timer, this version of that doesn’t have a timer unless you count the Infection timer,  and a temperature meter that goes down so fast as you scramble between fires, shelters, and hideouts that have a crafting station attached to them.  As you craft, you can craft pants, hats, gloves, scarves which makes you immune to the weather. Likewise, weapon parts becomes guns and electronic parts becomes skills and you’ll get thirsty and hungry and you know what’s awesome: That this moment doesn’t have a message where it says “You’re hungry and Thirsty” like DayZ or We Happy Few, it’s just a small icon and this isn’t irritating or annoying.

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Up to 23 A.I or players will be alongside you, just depends on what you chosen but they won’t be alongside you for long. Death is swift and comes fast for those who are weak, the snow storm means it will be harder to spot your friends and your foes alike, that goes both ways. There’s no radar either, warning you of unforeseen foes and this ends up being in a surprise shootout as you turn a random corner and find yourself with a lot of bad guys. If you’re brave, then head to the crashed helicopter sight where everybody will happen to shoot you on sight and if you win, get the good loot that is buried within.  Unlike DayZ, Rust, or Gears of War with it’s Horde Mode is that it gives you goals to complete: Make a filter mask, Get inside the Dark Zone, Make a Flare Gun, grab the canisters and call for extraction.

For the first time last week, I made it to the final objective and completed the Expansion. It’s so fucking hard, it’s hard that if you fail enough times, you just give up and want to try the mode another time on another day or at least that happened to me. I jumped into the mode solo and with A.I turned on, I manage to get to the Dark Zone and call for extraction with the canisters. I managed to fend off everybody even the new enemy types, the Hunters who run up to you and bury an axe in your body, Extraction comes and I jump into the helicopter and the Expansion is over.

The Division isn’t good at creating memories like certain games do, but it’s good at creating atmosphere and the sense of you’re actually there and a few games achieve that. New York in the base game is a complete waste of space, it’s a ghost town but with Survival: New York comes to life and it makes the Division a better game, albeit the repetitiveness that the game happens to have.

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The Division’s Dark Zone, pre-Survival was a step in the right direction for the game but with this new expansion, the Dark Zone and New York as a whole is another step in the right direction. The Dark Zone and New York comes to life in this new expansion, it doesn’t feel as empty like the base game, the setting takes on a whole new meaning to PvE or PvP action within the Division.

The Division: Survival is another step in the right direction for this game, it’s nervous and filled with tension and that feeling brings out The Division’s true colors and true intentions and I would go so far to say, that if this Expansion wasn’t what it is then this game would’ve been dead in the water as soon as the first expansion dropped. It’s definitely worth it to pop back in and see what’s it all about.

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