It is now less than two weeks until the launch of ‘The Division’ and also a few days after the second BETA has closed. This is the last time we’ll see the game until March 8th (only two short weeks away) so this will be my last post on the game until the review in early March.
I played the open BETA and I’m here to offer you my updated thoughts and feelings about the game. To save you some time I will offer the following disclaimer; my thoughts on the gameplay, graphics etc can be found in my original post here! In this follow-up post I’ll be concentration on the things that I was less impressed by in the closed BETA and assess if they have been improved upon and; of course, to give you my final thoughts on the state of play.
My first criticism of the closed BETA was about the one story mission and how it was a “stingy call from Ubisoft, it was tutorial level that was pretty forgettable”. Well, here they had two-story missions (one from the closed BETA and a new one) and they were both tutorial based. Although the new mission was better, it is still a long way from being a great mission.
The new mission took place in the subway system and tasked youwith recovering the tech specialist ‘Agent Rhodes’. Both of these missions are early game missions and it’s to be expected that they follow a pattern. I hope that Ubisoft can effectively mix up that pattern and deliver some more memorable missions in the later game.
One thing I will say though is that co-op was almost mandatory for this mission. The final boss ‘Benchley’ was a monster! He was a level 6 with a full level of armour and a flamethrower with god-tier range! He was a rock hard boss. It took Cardinal_Smith (my co-op partner) and I a good three or four attempts and whole lot of strategy to take him out and we were both level 6 characters with upgraded weaponry! This alone has me excited for the final game, I hope there are later or even post-game enemies that will require a full team of us strategising like mad to defeat! .
My second criticism was that the Dark Zone (DZ) was “rather underpopulated and lacking in realcontent” and again Ubisoft have rectified this in part. There was a rumour flying around that they had toned down the number of NPCs in the closed BETA DZ and if the second one is anything to go by that rumour was true. There were far more NPC groups wandering around, Cardinal and I were constantly getting into trouble from high-level NPC groups in the DZ!
The higher population made the DZ feel more dangerous and your loot felt like it was worth more! Extractions were made far more regularly…
…which is funny because the NPC presence completely changed the dynamics of the extraction area (EA)completely. Players were far less inclined to kill on sight during extractions, I don’t know if it is because we all had empathy for the journey to the EA and the trials that involved or if it was simply a case of a lack of bullets. All I know is that I was only killed by players on one occasion in the EA by a player! There was still real tension whenever a group of players arrived while you waited on the chopper though.
It was far more common for NPC groups would storm the area almost every time! Suddenly players who were killing each other two weeks prior were banding together to hold off the NPC raiders and it was simply brilliant fun! I know I will be spending the vast majority of my time in the Dark Zone and I cannot wait to meet you all there!
Overall the BETA tests for ‘The Division’ has me incredibly excited for the full game; its mix of tight gun play and addictive loot mechanics on top of a robust multiplayer component has me dreaming of the potential greatness of the game; I hope I’m not dreaming too big!
My preorder of the Gold Edition still stands and I am counting the days until March 8th…
Why not tell me what you thought of the BETA in the comment section?